Royal Enfield Meteor 350 long term review, third report


As much as I’m trying to not sound clichéd, I can’t help but say that some goodbyes are hard. The Meteor 350’s time in the Autocar India fleet is up and, not only me, the entire team is going to miss it.

Since the last report, the Meteor has been on a near- 2,200km round trip to Mangaluru. It gave me a chance to evaluate the ‘cruise easy’ tag line of this motorcycle and I was largely happy with the way it fared.

The bits that I loved throughout the trip were the engine, riding position and handling. To me, this is the best 350cc engine that Royal Enfield has made, with plenty of low-end torque and minimal vibrations, crucially at highway speeds. That said, there were times on the vast and empty highways in Karnataka where I wished it made a little more power. Nevertheless, the engine could easily hold 90-100kph and that’s a decent cruising speed on our roads. For those wondering about fuel economy, the bike returned 30-32kpl throughout the trip. That translates to a reasonable 350-380km between fill-ups.

USB port is a boon for keeping phones charged on long trips.

The riding position is spot on and I have no complaints here. Only grouch I have is a strange issue with the seat in the rain. The foam soaked up the rainwater and began to sink under my weight. As a result, there was barely any cushioning left and butt aches crept in after an hour of hopping on the saddle. This wasn’t an isolated case, as my friend, PratheekKunder, who was riding Bikewale’s long term Meteor 350 on this trip, faced the same issue. 

But all was forgiven and forgotten as the bike’s ride remained composed over bad roads, despite carrying saddle bags that were stuffed to the gills. The riding experience was made even more enjoyable by the sweet handling of the bike. 

Following the trip, I’ve realised that – for someone like me, who’s traditionally been a non-Royal Enfield guy – the Meteor 350 has me converted. I’ve grown to like the relaxed form of motorcycling that it offers. There’s an undeniable charm to it, despite some other niggles that cropped up during our time with the bike.

For instance, the time read-out on the main instrument cluster and the Tripper navigation screen would reset to 12:00 hours, every time the ignition was turned on. Then there were days when the Tripper Navigation would simply hang.

Tripper screen shows wrong times despite resetting.

The solution, as suggested by the Royal Enfield service team, was to change the screen and instrument cluster, under warranty. But that didn’t happen by the time this report was filed, due to unavailability of parts. Barring these issues, the bike ran trouble-free during its time here. 

The service experience was smooth as well as easy on the pocket. We got one full service, with oil, throttle body injector cleaning and chain lube done. The bill came up to Rs 2,100, which is reasonable. 

From multiple trips to Pune, weekend sojourns to Dahanu or the 25km commute to office, the Meteor 350 has been dependable and enjoyable all along. Time to bid adieu to a motorcycle that I genuinely liked from the first time I rode it.

Also see:

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 long term review, second report

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