How different is the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 as compared to the Thunderbird X 350?
A lot of our followers on social media have been saying that Royal Enfield has launched the Thunderbird 350 with new colours and renamed it to Meteor 350. The silhouette might be similar but that’s about it. The Meteor 350 is an all-new motorcycle that looks similar to the Thunderbird 350 because ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it?’, right? Here’s the list of changes on the Meteor 350:
When viewed from a distance, you will notice that the two bikes seem to be very similar including their silhouette but take a closer look and the differences come to the for. The Meteor is longer and thus has a very low-slung stance and better quality paint job as well. The lights are LED and the tail-light is circular, thus completing the vintage look. Like the Thunderbird, this gets a twin-pod cluster as well but the smaller second pod is the Tripper — a navigation system. It is an evolutionary design if not revolutionary but the changes under the skin are substantial.
The Meteor 350 is based on the all-new J-platform and gets a twin-downtube spine frame. The Meteor is larger than the Thunderbird in every way possible. It is wider by 15mm, longer by 100mm and the wheelbase is up by 50mm as well. The seat height is lower though by 10mm and can be lowered further thanks to an optional low-seat. It even weighs 6kg less than the Thunderbird but that’s due to the reduction in fuel tank capacity from 20lit to 15lit. The ground clearance of the Meteor 350 is 170mm which is 35mm more than that of the Thunderbird which means the gigantic speed breakers are a thing of the past.
The OHV setup that was being carried over for decades has been replaced by a SOHC, 2V motor. The stroke has been shortened too by 5mm almost and that’s why the torque figure is lower than that of the Thunderbird’s by 1Nm. The air/oil-cooled motor makes almost 1bhp more though and reeves freely all the way to its redline of over 6500rpm. The gearbox has been heavily revised too but retains the 5-speed setup.
The Meteor not only gets larger rotors at 300mm/270mm at both ends but comes with dual-channel ABS as standard. That’s a major step-up over the Thunderbird 350. Since the Thunderbird was equipped with single-channel ABS, its successor the Meteor 350 now comes equipped with dual-channel ABS with disc braking for both the front and rear giving the rider more confidence while riding at higher speeds. The Meteor 350 gets much bigger discs than the Thunderbird, where the front disc is 300mm with a twin-piston calliper and the rear disc is 270mm with a single-piston calliper.
The Meteor 350 introduces the Tripper. The feature enables the rider to pair the smartphone with the navigation pod via the Royal Enfield app that provides you turn-by-turn updates. The app also allows you to schedule the service, configuration and much more.
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