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Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review


Napoli finally gets to stretch its legs and gets pampered at home with Royal Enfield’s ‘Service On Wheels’

Odo reading: 4,389km

Fuel efficiency: 34kmpl

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

With the second wave of lockdowns hitting us hard, riding was reserved just for running errands and grocery shopping. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as I was just warming up with Napoli (our long term Meteor 350) and wanted to spend some time with it on the open highways. Lockdown restrictions eased a bit and I hit the open roads of Maharashtra with just the monsoon for company. 

 

Good bits:

Calmness

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

I had mentioned the impressive refinement levels of the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 in my previous report as well, but that was at city speeds. However, even on the open highway, the Meteor feels super chill, with hardly any vibes transmitting to the rider. It isn’t butter smooth as the  Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, but for a 350cc single, it is really impressive. This nature of the motor also helps while touring as you don’t get fatigued easily and can clock lots of miles at one go. 

Chill Scenes

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

Apart from being very refined, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 can also maintain triple-digit speeds easily, unlike the previous 350cc bikes from the brand. You can ride it all day at speeds around 100-105kmph, but the sweet spot for the bike is around 90-95kmph. My only grouse is that there isn’t too much power at the top and you have to downshift while overtaking. Unlike its other 350cc siblings with their poor roll-on performance, the Meteor 350’s motor delivers a wave of torque that makes overtaking easy. The 5-speed gearbox is slick and performs its duty perfectly. 

Wet & Joy

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

This year's monsoon has been particularly severe and I did two Mumbai-Pune rides for work purposes. I was a bit skeptical about Napoli’s performance on wet roads as my previous experiences with Royal Enfield haven't been that great as their heavy kerb weight made them feel nervous. The lower mass and easy steering meant that on the ghat roads, the Meteor 350 felt predictable and stable. You can’t go apex hunting on Napoli, but for a cruiser, it does its job admirably. 

 

The not so good bits:

Braking Bad

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

As I had mentioned in my previous report, the disc brakes don’t inspire confidence and this feeling was amplified on the highway. Yes, on paper the Meteor 350 has better braking performance than the Classic 350. However, feel and feedback through the lever is almost non-existent. Apart from the wooden brakes, the bite is also missing and on wet roads, you do feel a bit nervous. Having said that, the dual-channel ABS does come to your rescue. 

A Bit Rigid

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

While the monsoon does make the scenery beautiful, our road conditions are absolutely pitiful. Potholes emerge at a faster rate than our country’s growing population and this means your vehicles are abused and tested. Napoli’s relaxed motor makes it a good cruiser, but for that you need good tarmac.The easy steering meant that I was able to dodge a majority of the potholes and broken roads, but I did feel the jolt when I passed over them. 

 

Service On Wheels

Rating - 3/5 

Cost: Rs 847

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

Before I could hit the highway, I wanted to get the bike serviced. Rather than going to the service centre, I thought of getting Napoli serviced at home and also to experience Royal Enfield’s ‘Service On Wheels’. Jehan has covered it in depth and you can head here to read the story

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - 4,500km Long Term Review

The technician was able to carry out the complete service in around 90 minutes, and he was carrying the basic spares and tools required for the job. The best part is that you can see your bike serviced right in front of you and also address any queries regarding the bike. What makes it a sweet deal is the cost, the second service charge was just Rs 847. 

However it wasn’t perfect. I had complained about a sticky throttle and the technician just sprayed WD40, which meant the problem persists. Also, the front brake was making some weird noise and although he cleaned the pads, the issue hasn’t been fixed. This means that I will have to take the bike to the service centre, which kind of made this service futile. For basic service, it’s fine, but if you have any issues with your motorcycle, a visit to the service centre is recommended.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Video Review

Royal Enfield Meteor 350
4.3
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