By John Burns
Everybody wants to win the heritage war, including Royal Enfield, who claim they’re the oldest motorcycle marque out there in continuous production – since 1901. Does it matter that about half those years were in India? I guess it shouldn’t. Do car manufacturers battle it out to be the oldest?
Never mind. With the introduction of the really excellent GT650 and Interceptor 650 twin-cylinder bikes in 2018, Royal Enfield’s quality quotient rose by approximately a quantum leap. And now, Head of Product Strategy and Industrial Design Mark Wells, says the new Meteor 350 is the next big step forward. Ever since RE bought the UK’s legendary Harris Performance, the Indian/English collaboration has been strong. The Meteor 350 is the latest fruit of the symbiotic relationship between Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Center in Leicestershire, and RE’s sprawling new plant in Chennai, India. In another bid to keep up with the American Joneses, RE USA is also upgrading its Milwaukee HQ/museum, and planning a bunch of get-togethers for its people. We’re told there are now 140 RE dealers in the US, and 14 in Canada.
Anyway, the Meteor 350 is an all-new motorcycle that keeps it simple, air-cooled, and inexpensive. But with just enough tech to get by in the modern marketplace, including a balancer shaft for smooth running and turn-by-turn navigation in its own “Tripper Pod” instrumentation.
Royal Enfield Press Release
METEOR 350 TO ARRIVE AT NORTH AMERICAN DEALERS
349cc single-cylinder Meteor available in May
Milwaukee, Wis (Wednesday, April 6, 2021) — The Royal Enfield Meteor 350, announced in late 2020, is set to debut at Royal Enfield dealerships across North America. Drawing on Royal Enfield’s rich history, the middleweight Meteor revives the iconic name given to its predecessor, which was released in the 1950s. The Meteor 350 will be priced at $4,399.