American motorcycle buyers are pretty touchy when it comes to cruisers. They tend to view the recipe as fairly fixed, which is largely why we continue to see big, heavy baggers with massive, torque-heavy, low-revving engines and stratospheric price tags from the likes of Harley-Davidson or Indian. This resistance to change could make life difficult for a company like Royal Enfield -- which is known for its small-displacement, affordable motorcycles -- to break into the cruiser market. That isn't going to stop Enfield from trying, though, which brings me to the 2021 Meteor 350.
The Meteor 350 is an odd little motorcycle. It has many hallmarks of the cruiser segment that fans of old-school American models will find familiar, like a heel shifter, pillion backrest or an available tall windscreen. But it doesn't look like a prototypical American cruiser. Instead, it brings a lot of British-standard bike vibes (think Triumph Bonneville). It's kind of a confusing mashup, but weirdly, it works.