Author Topic: RE Meteor 350 vs. "the competition"  (Read 2077 times)

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axman88

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on: November 18, 2020, 05:02:42 pm
In an anticipatory thread for the RE Meteor, I marveled on how close its specs seems to be to the new Honda H'ness 350.

         RE Meteor J 350                       Honda H'ness CB350
               349 cc, single-cylinder           348.36 cc, single-cylinder,
               20.2 PS                                21.0 PS
               72 mm x 85.8                       70.3 x 90
               air / oil cooled                       air cooled
               counterbalance shaft             counterbalance shaft
               5 speed trans                         5 speed trans

Here the two are in some friendly competition, comparing roll-on acceleration in every gear.  These two look very well matched to me, with the Honda having the advantage in 1-3, while its taller gearing in 4th and 5th seem to place it at somewhat of a disadvantage in the high gears.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FBzOyt9wjw

I don't see much advantage to the existence of another ratio in these bikes.  They both seem to run out of steam above around 100kph and top out about 120 - 125 kph, and taking quite some time to get there.  With the torque band, starting low and continuing rather flatly right up until the limiter kicks in that I recall seeing, the presence of another, intermediate ratio wouldn't seem to serve much purpose.  I wonder if it might not be possible to reach the power-limited top speed in 4th gear, without hitting the rev. limiter?  I look forward to publication of the ratios, and illustrations and videos of the engine innards.

US riders would likely find this performance lacking, as the bulk of our expressway traffic in some areas will be traveling 120kph or faster.  It does however, appear to be quite adequate for Indian highways.  I cringe every time I see a U-tube video like this, with riders lingering stationary on the side of a highway, in what for americans would be the fast lane, or performing a "speed test" on a road with pedestrians and animals.  On the other hand, I can't argue with what appears to be a lot of personal freedom.  Do the police in India even have patrol cars?


AzCal Retred

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Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 07:03:03 am
A 6 speed is useful in more vertical terrain. You aren't stuck in a specific gear at a specific speed when on an uphill. The Bullet base 4 speed many times determines your road speed. Often it can't make the jump to the next ratio on a slope, so you either chuff along at the speed it's comfortable at on that slope or buzz the bejesus out of it. That's why the 5 speed is a popular upgrade. Modeling the 350/500? after the 650 and leaving out the 6 speed gearbox is false economy. Even the lowly Jawa 350 has a 6 speed box.
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #2 on: November 19, 2020, 04:25:18 pm
Recent First Ride reviews -

Nov 19, 2020
https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/first-ride-review-the-royal-enfield-meteor-350-needs-no-excuses-9030061.html

Nov 19, 2020
https://www.drivespark.com/two-wheelers/2020/royal-enfield-meteor-350-review-video-first-ride-impressions-details-032849.html

Nov 13 2020 - Royal Enfield to Bring Meteor 350 Cruiser to US in 2021
https://www.cycleworld.com/story/bikes/2021-royal-enfield-meteor-350-first-look/

>>>  In the US, the Meteor will be available in three trims: the Fireball, the blacked-out base configuration; the Stellar, which features a passenger backrest; and the Supernova, which features the passenger backrest and a windscreen. Each trim features additional variations in styling. Royal Enfield has been making headway in the US market lately, so it’s great to see it continue to expand its product lineup. The Meteor 350′s closest competition is the Honda Rebel 300, which retails at $4,599, so we’d imagine the Royal Enfield will come in significantly below that. Expect it to land in US dealerships in the spring of 2021. <<<

( so maybe we're looking at a $3999.95 new bike? $3599.95??  - ACR - )
« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 04:37:40 pm by AzCal Retred »
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 03:13:02 am
More Comparo Info -

RE Meteor 350 Vs Honda CB350 Vs RE Classic 350 Vs Jawa Vs Imperiale 400 | Spec Comparo | ZigWheels
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnXBXA_TLiQ&feature=push-fr&attr_tag=A-qv4g6SOEnmroLP%3A6

>>>  There’s no denying it: when it comes to classic motorcycles in India, the name Royal Enfield Classic 350 absolutely rules the roost. More recently though, the Classic 350’s reign has been challenged by the likes of the Benelli Imperiale 400, the Jawa and the Honda H’ness CB350. Royal Enfield’s answer to this growing competition is the all-new Meteor 350, a replacement for the Thunderbird 350 X built on a completely new and modern platform. So while we will have a full-blown comparison coming up soon, this time let’s see how the new Meteor stacks up against all of these bikes... on paper.  <<<


2020 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 vs Jawa vs Benelli Imperiale 400 : Vintage Bike Wars | evo India
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aggk6P-jPkc
>>>  We’ve established the fact that the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is a brilliant machine. It’s comfortable, refined and brimming with character. But can it hold its own the company of the sporty Jawa and classic Benelli Imperiale 400 ? Find out in this comprehensive 2020 Meteor 350 comparison video which also features the 0-100kmph figures of the three neo retros. <<<

And NOW for something completely different...
All New Royal Enfield 2020 METEOR 350 II Off-Roading II POW
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hETgT3_Romc
>>> So this is the first offroading test of All-New Meteor 350. So if you are thinking about this bike to buy so watch all videos created by me on meteor 350. I have created a dedicated playlist for this Bike, Royal Enfield Meteor350 <<<

Next week - Electraglides on Ice!!  :o
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 03:30:13 am by AzCal Retred »
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oldphart

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Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 05:18:18 am
They're listed on the Australia website so we must be getting them at some point (no price, no date).

One thing that's go me interested is why they felt the need for a completely new motor considering they've already got the Himalayan motor - just resleeve it down if you want smaller capacity, retune it if you want it to work differently.
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 05:49:54 am
IMHO I think they deliberately made it look more like the 650 power plant. It also seems to have more meat in the cases around the cylinder, so a 500 might appear in the line up via bigger bore and different balancer assembly. The Himalayan motor needed a longer crank stroke to get to 500cc, Hitchcocks only took it to 460 with a bore job. The Meteor was an opportunity to homologate the line, capitalize on the 650's success, minimize parts. - ACR -
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derottone

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Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 07:49:13 am
@AzCal, now that makes lot of sense what you said. The only thing might be that the styling of the new engine, call it retro, vintage, classic, whatever....may not look that great in a Himalayan chassis, but maybe they may rework it down the line and lean it optically on a Bullet Trails.
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 04:57:49 pm
A dual purpose needs to function offroad first & foremost, they already have a great street bike. The Himalayan frame is well proven and won't try to hurt you offroad. The Trials is just a street bike with knobbies - "the best there was when it was all there was". It'll be interesting to see if the new motor shows up as a 500 or maybe 535 Himalayan. A useful sales feature might be to offer the 500 with a weight shedding aluminum frame. A production line frame wouldn't increase cost that much. Capitalize on the novelty of the new and ask $6500 - $7000 for the privilege of being the first kid on the block to be a proud owner, eh?
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derottone

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Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 06:32:10 pm
I don't see this happening. The Himalayan and the engine with it's 411 cc's is built to target the large market of the already available large segment of the top notch 450cc endures and deliver an slight alternative more leaned back view to off roading/off road touring. But that's just my opinion, will have to wait and see what pops up.
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derottone

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Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 08:37:59 am
A production line frame wouldn't increase cost that much. Capitalize on the novelty of the new and ask $6500 - $7000 for the privilege of being the first kid on the block to be a proud owner, eh?

Selling pride?  8)  Gay pride?  ;D

You can have my Fireball 535, costs only 1.000.000 US$.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 08:43:02 am by derottone »
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #10 on: November 22, 2020, 09:57:56 am
$1 USD dollar? Worth every penny!! ;)

Sadly it doesn't have any user friendly points or valves to adjust. You even have to tear the entire engine apart to get to the transmission guts. Waaay to new-fangled, too many gear ratios!   ;D ;D ;D
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derottone

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Reply #11 on: November 22, 2020, 10:40:54 am
 8)...1 and 6 zeros. You underestimate the historical implications and the milestones it set. Worth every cent.  :)
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #12 on: November 22, 2020, 05:21:08 pm
One million = 1,000,000.00
One dollar = $1.00, "period".... ;D
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derottone

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Reply #13 on: November 22, 2020, 06:23:26 pm
One million = 1,000,000.00
One dollar = $1.00, "period".... ;D

That's what must be the root cause to the Year 2000 bug.

Anyway, I live on the continent, Euros are fine for the time being. Just don't show up on day before they cancel the currency.  ;)

One million = 1.000.000,00
One euro = 1,00 €
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 06:26:44 pm by derottone »
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #14 on: November 22, 2020, 06:41:25 pm
Ahhh, the old "Two nations separated by a common language" thing. We'll always be able to barter roots & dried fish though.
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derottone

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Reply #15 on: November 22, 2020, 06:55:22 pm
That's history, today it's more like 27 countries separated by one currency.
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axman88

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Reply #16 on: November 23, 2020, 12:24:21 am
IMHO I think they deliberately made it look more like the 650 power plant.
Maybe, or perhaps, if the engine came from the same mechanical design team, they just started with some of the same 3D models and tweaked the features around as needed, which would natually result in strong design similarity, unless somebody intentionally interfered with it.

I don't design engines, but I do this all the time in Solidworks, because it saves a lot of time.   You can basically get any drawings of the part 3/4 of the way finished, or more, depending on how many features are shared.  Any assigned attributes, like material and finish will carry over.


AzCal Retred

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Reply #17 on: November 23, 2020, 04:34:35 am
Well, it would have been cheaper & more cost effective to put a smaller slug in the existing Himalayan motor that design a whole new motor that "coincidentally" mimics the cases of the popular 650 motor. Style sells - make more of what is selling has always been a popular strategy.
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derottone

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Reply #18 on: November 23, 2020, 12:55:11 pm
IMO in a naked bike the engine is a part of the styling if not the eye catcher number one. The 411cc engine looks relatively good in a Himalayan and the new 350cc just fine in a retro styled bike too. Swap them and it will be like a Schweizer Schnitzel with Pasta combination. Now hopefully I won't get accused of being racist, talking things.   ;D
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 01:09:56 pm by derottone »
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Richard230

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Reply #19 on: November 23, 2020, 02:08:27 pm
I found it interesting that one of the Indian YouTube reviewers was complaining that the new Meteor 350 engine only has two valves. They felt having a four valve design would have offered better combustion chamber efficiency and potentially a higher rev limit and thereby more power, which they felt was somewhat lacking in the new design. Doesn't the Himalayan engine have a 4 valve head? If that is the case it makes AzCalRetred's comments even more relevant.
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axman88

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Reply #20 on: November 23, 2020, 05:42:57 pm
Doesn't the Himalayan engine have a 4 valve head? If that is the case it makes AzCalRetred's comments even more relevant.
I'm pretty sure Himalayan has only two valves.  Here's a picture:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attachments/motorbikes/1528145d1468336415-royal-enfield-himalayan-comprehensive-review-desi-adventure-tourer-rocker-shaft-replacement-12072016_6.jpg

The 650s have 4 per cylinder.  Here's a picture:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attachments/superbikes-imports/1825098d1543997518-royal-enfield-interceptor-continental-650-edit-launched-rs-2-50-2-65-lakhs-alternator-clutch.jpeg

The CAD images of the 350 "J" show again, 2 valves per cylinder:
https://youtu.be/87sJdeNLsa0?t=487


AzCal Retred

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Reply #21 on: November 23, 2020, 07:23:58 pm
Ace and Bullet Whisperer certainly don't seem to have much issue with making real world power with a two-valve motor. If the design happens to be a high revving short stroke multi, then more & smaller valves give the opportunity to increase total valve perimeter and reduce valve weight, all playing into a high RPM "wide" oversquare cylinder design. Light valves wear less at normal road speeds, mostly an advantage for the factory by avoiding valve issues to the feckless owner crowd. In the wayback the "new" 10,000 RPM 5-valve Yamaha motor valve adjustment interval was a stupefying 20,000 miles. That's 4-8 years for the "average" rider, and essentially a "lifetime" as the normal bike changes hands every 3-5 years.  The Meteor isn't that motor. Even if opened up to 500cc it's still nearly "square". High RPM isn't really a forte for undersquare motors, they are all about torque & fuel efficiency. Two valves on a Meteor or Himalayan have zero real world effect aside from making valve adjustment time go by faster. 2<4, eh?

As far as the Indian reviewer's "not enough valves" comment, Kawasaki & Yamaha apparently sell a full product line. (https://kawasaki-india.com/) https://www.yamaha-motor-india.com/) No shortage of highly developed 4-valve & 5-valve machines there. Royal Enfield has a nice market segment, the last thing you want to do is start a horsepower war with the Big 4.
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derottone

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Reply #22 on: November 23, 2020, 07:38:30 pm
What's a horsepower war? Most hp/cc? A rc model engine beats them all...

C.Capacity : 3,49 cc
Power: 2.90HP R.P.M. 40.100 Rpm
Bore : 16,26 mm
Stroke : 16,80 mm
Ports : 9
Crankshaft :  14,0 mm Turbo Tuned
carburettor :  9mm metal + reducer
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Main Bearing : Ceramic
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #23 on: November 23, 2020, 08:11:46 pm
From the ancient Hailwood Honda 250/6, 125/5 & 50cc twin to the current crop of 170 MPH out-of-the-crate Suzuki Hayabusa, Kawasaki ZX12(14?) & ??, Japan has built a long string of "affordable" giant killers. Folks still buy BMW's, Triumphs, Moto Guzzi's, Ducati's, Royal Enfields, but not for their absolute asphalt shredding prowess. I've posted pics of motorcycles equipped with aircraft radials here, but those are curiosities, not track (or street, really) worthy. India mostly buys motorcycles for practical reasons - fuel economy, longevity, ease of maintenance. Enfield has a formula that fits that model well. If it changes, then they will have to start out-Japanese-ing the Japanese. The H'ness is a shot across Enfields bow from Honda.
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derottone

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Reply #24 on: November 23, 2020, 08:33:25 pm
High RPM isn't really a forte for undersquare motors, they are all about torque & fuel efficiency. Two valves on a Meteor or Himalayan have zero real world effect aside from making valve adjustment time go by faster. 2<4, eh?

So you saying they went with ohc instead of the reliable pushrods with self adjusting lifters mainly to improve the business performance of their certified dealers?   ;)
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Reply #25 on: November 23, 2020, 09:14:10 pm
My 2002 Yamaha FZ1 has a 5 valve head. The valve check interval is 27K miles. I checked mine at 24K and they were all within spec.  Good thing too as I would never want to try to adjust the fifth little tiny valve. What a project that would be. It was so tiny I could barely see it.   ::)

The fellow who complained that the Meteor only had two valves thought the engine would make more power with four valves and he also thought that Royal Enfield was just trying to save money by building an engine with just two valves.  Sounds like a real RE expert to me.  ;)
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Reply #26 on: November 24, 2020, 01:38:09 pm
Many consumers are influenced by buzzwords. They read something in a magazine which is a feature on a superbike, and then think it should be on anything/everything.

Regarding combustion chamber depth for efficiency, that is largely determined by valve angle, not valve count.

Rev limit is largely determined by piston stroke length in this case, not valve count.

He is accurate that 2-valve layout is less costly than 4-valve.
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Warwick

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Reply #27 on: November 24, 2020, 08:08:58 pm
The engine layout is likely built to satisfy the Indian market which likes the 'thump'. Although it may not have the power for international markets, i doubt whether international markets were at the front of the design brief, I give RE credit for designing and building a bike that stays true to the requirements of their primary customers i.e. domestics Indians. In addition, the bullet is historically a 350.
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dcolak

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Reply #28 on: December 13, 2020, 06:06:55 pm
In an anticipatory thread for the RE Meteor, I marveled on how close its specs seems to be to the new Honda H'ness 350.

         RE Meteor J 350                       Honda H'ness CB350
               349 cc, single-cylinder           348.36 cc, single-cylinder,
               20.2 PS                                21.0 PS
               72 mm x 85.8                       70.3 x 90
               air / oil cooled                       air cooled
               counterbalance shaft             counterbalance shaft
               5 speed trans                         5 speed trans

Here the two are in some friendly competition, comparing roll-on acceleration in every gear.  These two look very well matched to me, with the Honda having the advantage in 1-3, while its taller gearing in 4th and 5th seem to place it at somewhat of a disadvantage in the high gears.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FBzOyt9wjw

I don't see much advantage to the existence of another ratio in these bikes.  They both seem to run out of steam above around 100kph and top out about 120 - 125 kph, and taking quite some time to get there.  With the torque band, starting low and continuing rather flatly right up until the limiter kicks in that I recall seeing, the presence of another, intermediate ratio wouldn't seem to serve much purpose.  I wonder if it might not be possible to reach the power-limited top speed in 4th gear, without hitting the rev. limiter?  I look forward to publication of the ratios, and illustrations and videos of the engine innards.

US riders would likely find this performance lacking, as the bulk of our expressway traffic in some areas will be traveling 120kph or faster.  It does however, appear to be quite adequate for Indian highways.  I cringe every time I see a U-tube video like this, with riders lingering stationary on the side of a highway, in what for americans would be the fast lane, or performing a "speed test" on a road with pedestrians and animals.  On the other hand, I can't argue with what appears to be a lot of personal freedom.  Do the police in India even have patrol cars?

My friend would like to buy the meteor 350 but, now I read it runs out of steam at 120 km/h. I had a Kymco Venox 250 that run at 140 km/h without problems. How come metor with 350cc is worse than Kymco Venox with 250cc?
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Nitrowing

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Reply #29 on: December 13, 2020, 06:53:11 pm
Define 'competition'...
'Under 400cc bikes with old styling'?
'350cc bikes that cost $4k'?
'Old styled bikes under $4k'?

As a direct competitor, the Honda wins hands down. Reliability, every day of the week.
Historically, the 2 or 4 valve argument is easily solved by looking at the track...
2 valve GS engines were always favoured over the 4 valve GSX on the drag strip where torque is king. Of course, as technology marched on, the 'out of the box' performance of the 1200 Bandit, then the 'busa pushed the old 2 valves to the back of the shed.

Back on the highway, a little 350cc would probably be best with 4 valves and a 6 speed box (unless you're a sunny Sunday backroad blapper). Look at something like the Suzuki 350 Goose (a bike I adore and the first standard roadbike to enable a rider to get their elbow down!).
The Goose is an old bike, not a pretend old like the H'ness or Meteor - so the new pair should be able to trounce a Goose in every situation; acceleration, top speed, handling, braking, mpg, service intervals, everything.

If the 'competition' is smashed by a 30 year old Suzuki, I'm not remotely interested in getting my wallet out.
No wonder we no longer have a motor industry


AzCal Retred

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Reply #30 on: December 13, 2020, 07:25:33 pm
Thanks for that! Never saw a "Goose" in the USA. Too practical I think for our crazy market segment... :(
https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/suzu/suzuki_goose_350.htm

This may be the closest similar US available "old" machine today, about $4500. 5 speed, 25ish HP, 350 pounds.
https://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/genuine/2019-genuine-g400c-review.html

The Yamaha R3 is about $5K with 36 HP, 370 pounds and a 6 speed.
https://www.cycleworld.com/story/buyers-guide/2020-yamaha-yzf-r3/

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Nitrowing

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Reply #31 on: December 13, 2020, 09:13:07 pm
Although it's a twin (stop spitting  ;D ) the MT-03 https://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2021-Yamaha-MT-03-5014786294 is one I seriously considered along with my most recommended beginners bike, the SV650.
I also considered the Kwak W650 (the 800 is too expensive and big) but if pushed, I'd go for the KTM RC390 - it's small, lightweight, single cylinder and has a modicum of performance.

If the H'ness arrives in the UK in large numbers, I'd probably swap put my Electra-X for a decent used one.

That G400 does look cool though!
No wonder we no longer have a motor industry


axman88

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Reply #32 on: January 24, 2021, 08:54:01 pm
This article directly compares December 2020 sales of the H'ness CB350 to the various Royal Enfield 350cc models:

https://www.rushlane.com/350cc-motorcycle-sales-dec-2020-12390920.html

Honda CB350     1564 units
RE Meteor 350    8569
RE Classic 350  39,321
RE Bullet 350   10,480
RE Electra 350    3490

Those who said that the more advanced H'Ness and/or Meteor, will crush the older, pushrod engine equipped models in sales, will have to be patient.   It appears that the India market is a very conservative one.

I do find it interesting that the Classic outsells the Bullet by an increasing margin.  The Bullet is priced almost 25% lower.  If the relatively sales of UCE 350 vs H'ness and Meteor  were to be motivated solely by price, one would expect the Bullet to outsell the Classic.  I'm having difficulty finding sales vs model breakdowns from years past, but I seem to recall the Bullet / Classic sales numbers being much closer when I first started looking at these figures a few years ago.

The one place that the Honda H'ness is outselling the RE 350s is in the export market, but these numbers are quite small, compared to RE's domestic sales:

Honda H'ness 350     510 units
RE Classic + Meteor  332


axman88

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Reply #33 on: April 11, 2021, 05:06:29 am
The 290 to 400cc market segment has a lot of players in India.  Here are some of the major alternatives that a RE Meteor 350 buyer can consider before they buy:

   Make                              CC    Power   Torque     Weight    Wheelbase   Price
Royal Enfield Meteor           349   20.1 hp  19.9 ft-lb  420.2 lb  55.1 inch  1.84 lahk
Royal Enfield UCE Classic    346    19.1       20.6         429         54.7        1.72
Honda H'ness CB350          348    20.7       22.1         399         56.7        1.86
Jawa 42                            293    26.9       19.9         378         53.9        1.84
Benelli Imperiale 400         374    20.7       21.4         410         56.7        1.89

These are only the classic, or retro styled bikes in the segment, there are many more in the same power/ capacity range if one considers more modern styles like the KTM Duke 250, and the Yamaha YZF R15.

All the machines in the list above have single cylinder engines.  All except the Jawa have long strokes and 5 speed transmissions.  All have ABS brakes.

Another thing almost every one of these bikes share in common, are that they are not sold in the USA.  As it enters, the RE Meteor will find itself in a market segment with very few contenders.


Rick Dangerous

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Reply #34 on: April 15, 2021, 06:34:20 pm
Uh.....I'll take the Honda.  That thing is glorious looking, plus it's a Honda!  Probably has much smaller maintenance intervals, etc. etc.

I'm sure Royal Enfield is hoping they don't bring that to the US; and i'm sure Honda is keeping an eye on the Meteor to see how it sells.

I was checking the Honda website; not really much in the "classics" category that they sell, like nothing; which is their loss because their certainly is a market in the US.   A couple of scooters with the retro look but no real motorcycles in the classic/standard category.  Just a few ugly cruisers.
Past Bikes: Ducati, Kawasaki's, Triumph's  Current: 2020 Royal Enfield INT650 Baker Express


AzCal Retred

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Reply #35 on: April 15, 2021, 11:20:54 pm
CB500X - a little Buck Rogers, but a nice "adventure bike" effort at 430 pounds and 50 HP. A mere $7000...

https://www.hondaprokevin.com/2021-honda-cb500x-abs-review-specs
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.