Official Enfield Meteor 350 thread

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Tanshanomi, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. Retro Iron

    Retro Iron Been here awhile

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    After a couple nice demo rides and reading/watching every review/video I could find, I bought one. Nearly 300 miles now and it’s a solid keeper. :clap
    #61
  2. jebediahjones

    jebediahjones Adventurer

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    I would love to hear your overall thoughts on the it. I've been looking for a small displacement, air-cooled bike, though there are not a lot of (modern) options out there. I suppose I have the same concerns as everyone else: power and weight.
    #62
  3. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Low power kind of comes with the territory when you are looking at small displacement air-cooled singles.
    #63
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  4. jebediahjones

    jebediahjones Adventurer

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    Of course. I only meant power and weight in that specific package. I believe someone else mentioned the SR400 cranking out 27-28hp which seems like a good comparison (but with an over square engine). I am curious about a rider's perspective that isn't purposely writing a review.

    Although I will note, I am not necessarily looking at singles (e.g., Scrambler Sixty2), but I like what I have read about the Meteor. I guess I'll have to find the time to test ride one, though I sadly do not have any dealers nearby.
    #64
  5. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Is Ducati still offering the Sixty2? FYI, the valve check intervals on the Sixty2 are shorter than the 803 and 1100 scramblers. 6000 miles (and 12K for belts) vs 7500 and 15k for the larger bikes. However, the labor costs are about the same if you have it done somewhere.
    #65
  6. jebediahjones

    jebediahjones Adventurer

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    I believe Ducati is done with the Sixty2 in this market. There are a handful of leftover models, some priced about where it should have been originally (last I checked). I am aware of the maintenance intervals, hence my hesitation. I would likely do the work myself, but I know it's a bit of a pain (and requires special tools).

    Granted, even discounted to the $6-7k range, there are other options out there like the RE twins. I have seen a couple low mileage Sixty2s pop up in the used market which brings it right about the cost of the Meteor. New vs. used, of course, but I don't know how good a warranty will be with dealers 3+ hours away.
    #66
  7. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Yeah, the Sixty2 was horribly overpriced out of the gate. It had half the performance of the 803 at more than 75 percent the cost. It was an interesting idea, but I think it was a poor choice for the US market where nobody cares about A2 versions of higher performance bikes.

    I put 22k miles on an 803 and it was totally reliable. I hated the fueling and suspension and fought with them the whole time I owned it, and ultimately traded it away due to not ever being happy with either, despite numerous mods to both.
    #67
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  8. Retro Iron

    Retro Iron Been here awhile

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    Well, a bike like this is always going to get very mixed reactions: low HP, too heavy, not fast enough, needs more of this, less of that… yadayada.

    What I wanted in this next purchase was a relatively low height, cruiser ergonomic, mid-controls, lower weight, EZ maintenance, low-tech (yet modern-day) bike with a price that wouldn’t break the bank. I would be using this bike for those morning coffee runs, breakfast meet-ups, back road and suburban riding. Rides that don’t take me all that far and generally don’t last the entire day. More like a few hours of morning or evening times when the weather and the traffic are most favorable. “No place to go and plenty of time to get there”. I needed a bike with just enough juice to pull away from traffic at the lights, would keep up with the normal flow of traffic in any condition without struggling or getting intimidated. A bike with enough top-end to keep the pick-up trucks at a comfortable distance in my mirrors when cruising the two-lane state highways. A bike to compliment and fill a gap between my “travel bike” (NC700DCT) and my Vespa. I looked at, rode, and compared the SR400, the Genuine 400, RE Twin, and have previously owned a Himalayan. I also considered waiting for the Honda CB350 that is undoubtably on the way. (One comment on that one. Reviews described a transmission and gearing that did not sound like what I was looking for,)

    No sense spending time on why I passed on the others. Better to focus on the one I bought. First, it’s all too easy to get fixated on the numbers. And my concerns from the start were the HP, relative weight, and perceived performance of this bike. I understand the market it was designed for. It’s built for rugged use and even abuse in a part of the world that doesn’t require a high powered, interstate capable, high-tech, difficult-to-work-on motorcycle. Watch video after video…you’ll get it. Sooo, making it “fit” our environment here is always going to mean trade-offs and compromises. I knew right away that quickness and upper-end speeds were going to be my biggest hurdles to overcome in the class of bikes I was looking at.

    I’m still not fully through the break-in periods. It’s like monsoon season around here and my riding routines have taken a hit. But I’ve ridden it in every condition for what I intended the bike for and have had no regrets. What I like is how easy it is to just push around in my (now) crowded garage. It may be heavier than most of those others, but it’s low-slung. And as a result, that much easier to throw a leg over. Did I say “throw”? Nah, just “ease” a leg over. It lacks that extra inch or two and the raised pillion that the Himalayan presented. As much as I enjoyed the Himma, it felt tall and a bit hefty for my liking. Just didn’t quite fit the bill any more for me as my riding style and bike usage changes.

    Sitting on this bike is just a treat. At 5’11” 32” inseam, 165lbs, it-just-fits. Perfect (for ME) reach to the bars, bend at the elbows, bend at the knees, feet to the pegs. And the seat is very comfortable - as is. I don’t envision any upgrade or modification. I wasn’t looking specifically for a single - but I’ve owned them in the past, and know that they can be very deceptive. Some are lumpy, or buzzy at the other end, etc. This one is smooth. Smooth at idle, smooth when cruising and smooth at the upper range. And the exhaust note will simply make you grin when you pull away.

    The transmission is unbelievably smooth - I’ve said it before, RE, with the Himalayan and the Twins, and now the Meteor, really got it right. No “clickiness”, no hard spots, no stiffness. Amazing. And the gearing is just what I’d hoped for: a nice long roll through first and second. Pulls ahead of traffic without drama or high rpms, or hurried shifts. And I haven’t even found myself “looking for 6th”!

    As for “feel”, this is where the extra weight becomes a plus, I suppose. It doesn’t feel like a small motorcycle. From the wide tank, to the bars, to the broad seat, the bike sits, rides, and feels like a larger bike. But when you poke along in the parking lots, duck-walk it in traffic or in and out of a parking space, or throw it into a curve or turn, that’s when you appreciate that it IS a smaller ride. It’s a very EASY bike to ride. And that for me equates to the fun factor. Yup, beginning riders will like it (might be heavy for some). But older riders working their way back through time on lesser machines (hand raised) will “get it” immediately.

    Now couple all of that with ease of maintenance, alloy wheels, less gadgetry, disc and ABS braking, eye appeal, fuel economy, and cost of ownership…, damn, whatever I traded off or compromised on, I can’t even remember. Must not have been that important to me.

    What would I change? That’s a tough one. Maybe some day I’ll want to jump on the interstate with it and wish it was more capable. But as long as it can easily run in that 60 to 70 range when necessary, that’s all I need. I’m now pretty acclimated to the heel/toe routine. It works very well. But I would be just as happy with a toe lever only.
    I did read that the heel shift was actually a nod to the fact that in the home markets, footwear (or lack of) really makes a heel shifter more preferred and realistic. Never knew that. I do miss the tachometer. Or THINK I do. But need it? Nah.

    I’ll probably put a windscreen on it at some point, maybe a “dispatch” side bag, that sort of thing. But for now, a small tail bag and/or tank bag, gets me anywhere I want to go.

    If anything else comes to mind from time to time, I’ll add it here. Also happy to field any questions. Hope you get a chance to ride one somewhere - they’re coming.
    #68
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  9. jebediahjones

    jebediahjones Adventurer

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    Fantastic assessment @Retro Iron, I really appreciate it. I'm a bit taller and wider than you, though one of the appeals is that it just 'fits'. I like what RE is doing these days, but I have had trouble deciding which would best fit my use. I'll definitely have to check one out when I get a chance.
    #69
  10. Retro Iron

    Retro Iron Been here awhile

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    Has anyone spotted a Service Manual thread for the Meteor? Hoping an on-line version might have popped up by now. Can’t buy a print anymore.
    #70
  11. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers Supporter

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    All it needs is tubeless wheels. As crazy as it sounds, that's the deal breaker for me.
    #71
  12. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man Supporter

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    Learned to ride on one of these (among a couple of other bikes), it was actually a pretty good time to ride it. It wasn't fast or anything, but it handled fairly well, and had enough power. The geometry wasn't bad, and it was pretty light (back in those days). I was happy riding it around until I got a ride on my friend's FZR600, then I didn't ride anything but sport bikes for about 25 years :lol3

    The new little RE is a handsome bike.
    #72
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  13. Retro Iron

    Retro Iron Been here awhile

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    The Meteor 350 tires/wheels are tubeless. I believe the 650 Twins are still tubed tires - which was a negative for me when I was considering that bike.

    Now if I could just score a Service Manual of one sort or another… :-)
    #73
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  14. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers Supporter

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    THX for that.
    #74
  15. zap2504

    zap2504 Dave E.

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    Take a look at the Benelli Leoncino Sport (the Sport has the spoked wheels, the plain Leoncino has cast). 500cc parallel twin, FI, vintage looks. ChopperCharles started a discussion thread in Road Warriors.
    #75
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  16. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers Supporter

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    I've seen his reports, and the local dealer carries the Benelli product.
    #76
  17. Wa Ho Thuk

    Wa Ho Thuk Long timer

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    An old Guzzi mate (Shorty) who is a sizable fella bought a Meteor recently , he seems happy with it . Says it will carry his fairly wide self along at 60 MPH quite comfortably .
    #77
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  18. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    It'd be boss if some of the new 300-500cc bikes looked like the old Japanese twins.
    #78
  19. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers Supporter

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    Like a CB450? Oh yea!
    #79
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  20. Wa Ho Thuk

    Wa Ho Thuk Long timer

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    The Meteor looks a bit like a Brit bike from 1958 . The day we all met up in Tulsa , Shorty kept insisting we visit the Enfield dealer W/O giving any hint he was gonna buy one . First time in 25 years he slipped one past me :lol3 Either he is getting sneakier , or I am slipping :D
    #80