Find your dream Bike, Scooter, and EV on loan at drivio.in
icon
RE Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350: Retro Roadster vs Cruiser
news

RE Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350: Retro Roadster vs Cruiser

Reviews by Team Drivio | 12th Jul 23

Royal Enfield introduced the Hunter 350 as its most affordable bike.

  • Both the Hunter and Meteor are Royal Enfield’s newest bikes based on the new J-series platform. 
  • The Hunter 350 will appeal to riders who love retro roadsters. 
  • The Meteor 350, on the other hand, is a true-blue cruiser. 

The introduction of the competitively priced Hunter 350 has prompted potential buyers to reconsider their options and contemplate whether it is a more preferable choice over the pricier 350s such as the Meteor. While the Meteor has enjoyed success as a Royal Enfield model, the Hunter 350 represents a new breed of sportier motorcycles aimed at appealing to a distinct type of rider.

In this analysis, we will delve into the design aesthetics, engine performance, and riding experience of both the Hunter 350 and the Meteor 350. By exploring their similarities and differences, you can determine the ideal ride that aligns with your personal style and preferences. So, let's delve deeper into the Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350 showdown and discover which one emerges as the superior option.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350: Design & Features

The Hunter is an enjoyable bike to ride, and it also has a pleasing appearance. The challenge with the traditional modern vintage roadster design is that you can't make many changes to the overall shape, and you need to include standard features like a round headlamp, teardrop-shaped tank, and small side panel. 

However, Royal Enfield has managed to give this bike its own distinctiveness without resorting to anything strange or forced. This can be seen in the oddly curved knee recesses, unique side panels, and well-crafted rear section. There are plenty of well-designed accessories available, and the flat seat and optional tail tidy contribute to its overall design improvement.

The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 retains the style of its predecessor, the Thunderbird 350X, and is categorized as a cruiser bike. It prioritizes rider comfort, featuring an easily accessible handlebar and forward-positioned footpegs for a relaxed and comfortable riding experience.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350: Engine & Gearbox

SpecificationsRoyal Enfield Hunter 350Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Engine349cc engine349cc engine
Maximum Power20.2PS20.2PS
Maximum Torque27Nm27Nm
Transmission5-speed5-speed

In general, the Hunter 350 offers agility and liveliness, but it wouldn't be accurate to label it as a sporty motorcycle - it's enjoyable, but not specifically sporty. The main reason for this is its engine, which is nearly identical to the ones found in the Classic and Meteor models.

While the power and torque ratings remain the same (20.2PS and 27Nm), Royal Enfield claims that the engine has been programmed with some differences. As a result, they have already managed to create a distinction between the engines used in the Classic, Meteor, and now the Hunter. This particular engine feels more responsive, and the shorter exhaust produces a raspy sound.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsRoyal Enfield Hunter 350Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Front suspensionTelescopic forkTelescopic Fork
Rear suspensionDual shocksDual Shock Absorbers
Front tyre100/80-17100/90-19
Rear tyre120/80-17140/70-17
Front brakeDisc brakeDisc Brake
Rear brakeOptional disc brakeDisc Brake
ABSOptional dual channelDual-channel

The Hunter features a redesigned front master cylinder that provides improved feel and progression in its braking system. However, the rest of the braking system remains unchanged from the Classic and Meteor models. Similar to its siblings, the brakes on the Hunter require a firm pull on the lever for emergency stops. 

In terms of suspension, the Hunter has a noticeably firmer setup compared to the Meteor, particularly at the rear. Based on our observations, while the Hunter's suspension is firmer than its sibling models, it is not excessively so.

The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 features a robust twin downtube spine frame, ensuring a solid base for the bike's various parts. Its suspension system comprises a 41mm front fork and twin tube emulsion shock absorbers at the rear. The rear shock absorbers are equipped with a six-step preload adjustment, allowing riders to customize their comfort level.

Despite being a cruiser with relatively raked-out proportions, the Meteor 350 is a surprisingly good handler. It attacks corners with an agility that’s quite surprising and tipping it from one side to the other is actually a lot of fun as well. 

Plus this is where the Meteor 350’s stiff rear suspension really shines because mid corner bumps do not upset the bike and it remains stable and planted throughout. The front though, feels a tad bit tossy and could send lighter riders for a toss through some of the bad speedbreakers.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350: Dimensions

DimensionsRoyal Enfield Hunter 350Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Wheelbase1370mm1400mm
Ground clearance150mm170mm
Kerb weight177kg191kg
Fuel tank capacity13-litres15-litres
Seat height790mm765mm

Considering all these factors, let's talk about the weight. On paper, the Hunter weighs 177kg, making it 14 kilos lighter than the Meteor 350. However, when you actually ride it, it feels much lighter than that. This is because the Hunter's chassis has undergone significant modifications. It is the first modern Royal Enfield to have 17-inch wheels at both the front and rear, enhancing its manoeuvrability. 

Both bikes have compact dimensions and balanced proportions. However, the Meteor 350 has slightly tighter rake angles and steering geometry, making it the more suitable choice for daily commuting. Additionally, its engine offers more pep, making it the preferred option for enthusiasts between the two.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 vs Meteor 350: Price

PriceRoyal Enfield Hunter 350Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Ex-showroom DelhiRs 1,48,900 onwardsRs 2,04,408 onwards

The Retro variant serves as the entry-level model for the Hunter and will be offered in India and select other countries. This particular model features spoked wheels, slimmer tyres, a more understated color range, and simplified hardware. For instance, the headlight does not include a pilot light, the switchgear lacks circular controls, and the instrument cluster is smaller in size. However, this variant does come equipped with a USB port. 

The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 offers three versions: Fireball, Stellar, and Supernova, each with its own set of options. These versions are available in both standard colors and customizable colors. The Fireball variant, priced at Rs 2,04,408, is available in Red, Yellow, Matt Green, and Blue. If you prefer the Black Custom variant of the Fireball, it is priced slightly higher at Rs 2,06,244.

The mid-spec Stellar variant, priced at Rs 2,10,580, is offered in Red, Black, and Blue. The top-end variant, known as Supernova, comes in Blue, Brown, and Red, and is priced at Rs 2,25,533.

Verdict

The Royal Enfield Hunter does have some drawbacks. Despite its focus on affordability, its claimed fuel efficiency of 36kmpl may not be attractive for those on a tight budget. A smaller, more modern, powerful, and fuel-efficient engine would have been preferable. Touring enthusiasts should also note that the Hunter has a ground clearance of 150mm, which is 20mm lower than its sibling models. Additionally, the seat can be uncomfortable for long rides, although a more comfortable seat option is available.

Despite these limitations, the Hunter is a modern and approachable Royal Enfield motorcycle. It may fall short in certain important aspects, such as engine performance, fuel efficiency, and feature offerings. However, considering its price, the Hunter still holds its ground and offers good value.

Choosing a winner between the Hunter 350 and the Meteor 350 has proven to be a tougher decision than expected. In our initial review and ride of the Hunter 350, we expressed our admiration for this bike as our preferred choice over the Meteor. It is undeniably an attractive motorcycle. However, when it comes to declaring a victor, we have to give the edge to the Meteor 350 due to its genuine cruiser essence. It embodies the essential qualities one expects from a cruiser bike.

Related Blogs

View more