It is always a special feeling when the motorcycle you own wins top accolades. So, it goes without saying that I’m elated to see the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 bag Autocar India’s coveted 2021 Bike of the Year award. To ride a motorcycle that’s been honoured with such a title only adds to the sense of pride I feel while riding the bike. But that’s not the only reason why I’ve grown fond of the Meteor.
Of late, the Meteor 350 is garnering a lot of praise and attention from my friends who’ve taken a special interest in the bike. This despite some of them not owning a motorcycle, ever! The styling is good while the yellow paint, they say, is the most attractive shade they’ve seen on any bike. To my eyes, it simply adds to the charm of the Meteor. In fact, the bike looks so attractive that there was this one time when a random stranger wanted a selfie with our yellow Meteor, just because of the way it stood out on our roads.
The gearbox works beautifully, with slick and positive up and down shifts.
While Royal Enfield has got the shade of yellow absolutely spot on, it comes with its own set of problems. You see, given my OCD about keeping my motorcycles clean, I can’t bear to stand the dust that collects on the bike after a couple of days of commuting. So, I end up spending about Rs 300 every week to get the bike washed at the neighbourhood pressure wash centre. The sense of satisfaction I feel after I see the bike all clean and shining is unparalleled but I recently noticed that all those rounds of pressure washes have caused the rim stripe on the rear wheel to peel off at a couple of places. Thankfully, there is a fix and the guys at the service centre tell me that they’ll have the strip replaced, once it is in stock. The other issue I’d like them to look into is the erratic fuel gauge that seems to have a mind of its own. As the fuel level drops below the halfway mark, the number of bars on the gauge changes randomly. Although there is a low fuel warning lamp, I’ve never taken any chances and top up when the fuel level is down to two bars.
Repeated pressure washes have caused the rim stripe to peel off.
In the time since the last report, I’ve also managed to take the motorcycle out of the confines of the city, up and down a twisty road and generally do what has to be done on a weekend – ride. Even though these have been short, 200km round trips, they’ve all been smooth sailing. There are no unpleasant vibrations from the engine to report on and the gearbox remains smooth as ever. It is such a joy to cruise down the highway on the Meteor that I’ve big plans about setting off on an interstate trip; ah yes, my grand plans. Hopefully, this one actually materialises! Before that, I’m going to prepare the motorcycle by going through Royal Enfield’s Make it Yours personalisation catalogue. The plan is to install a set of accessories, such as the touring seat, windscreen, wider footpegs and more. More on this and (hopefully!) the trip in the next report.