Will Royal Enfield’s Built-in Bike Navigation Come To the US?

Courtesy of models like the Himalayan, Royal Enfield is gaining steam as a purveyor of affordable motorcycles. But not all of its bikes are offered in the US, nor are all of its accessories. At least, not yet. Recently, Royal Enfield unveiled a new bike, the Meteor 350. And said bike comes with an interesting feature: built-in navigation.

The 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is the brand’s first bike with built-in navigation

A blue and a yellow 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 on center stands
2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 | Royal Enfield

The 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is the Indian brand’s answer to Jawa’s bikes and the new Honda CB350, RideApart explains. In short, it’s an affordable, small-capacity retro bike with modern tech.

Like the previous-gen Continental GT, the Meteor 350 is a single-cylinder motorcycle. It has a 349cc engine rated at 20 hp and 20 lb-ft, linked to a 5-speed transmission. Royal Enfield offers the Meteor 350 in three trims: Fireball, Stellar, and Supernova, Autocar India reports. The trims mainly differ in terms of available color schemes, amount of chrome, and wheel finishes.

A rider on a blue 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350
2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 side | Royal Enfield

All three Royal Enfield Meteor 350 trims have disc brakes with ABS, though, and offer plenty of optional accessories. However, arguably the biggest news is that every Meteor 350 comes standard with Royal Enfield’s new ‘Tripper’ navigation system, RideApart reports.

The system is comprised of two parts: a smartphone app and a bike-mounted TFT screen, separate from the Meteor’s main gauge. Riders enter their destination into the app, which uses Google Maps to plot the route. The directions are then displayed on the Royal Enfield Meteor 350’s navigation screen via Bluetooth, VisorDown explains.

The Royal Enfield Tripper navigation pod displays directions via arrows that fill in as the next turn approaches. The app also allows the rider to enter up to 20 waypoints along the route, so they’ll still have directions even in low-signal areas. Plus, the pod comes with a built-in USB charging port.

Is built-in GPS an unusual motorcycle feature?

The 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special's infotainment screen with phone, music, and navigation functions
2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special infotainment screen | Harley-Davidson

GPS navigation for motorcycles isn’t a new technology. However, it’s usually only found on higher-end adventure and touring bikes. The Harley-Davidson Street Glide offers navigation, for example, as does the Honda Gold Wing via Android Auto. It’s also optional on the 2021 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure, Cycle World reports.

The difference is that these are significantly more expensive than the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. In India, the Meteor 350 starts at the equivalent of $2360, Autocar India reports. In comparison, the Street Glide starts at $21,999.

Gunmetal gray Beeline Moto mounted on Triumph Bonneville T120's handlebars
Beeline Moto mounted on Triumph Bonneville T120 | Beeline

Admittedly, riders can always add GPS systems or phone mounts to their bikes. Royal Enfield’s navigation system somewhat resembles the Beeline Moto, with its pod, directional arrows, and smartphone app. The Moto, though, doesn’t have a color display and has a separate ‘miles to turn’ display, rather than a fill-in function. However, it’s a universal device that starts at just $200.

Is Royal Enfield planning on offering its navigation system to US customers?

As of this writing, Royal Enfield hasn’t confirmed if the Meteor 350 or its navigation system is coming to the US. It’s also unclear if the brand plans to offer the Tripper system on its other models, too. However, the Indian brand will offer the Meteor 350 in European markets, RideApart reports.

There is a strong incentive for Royal Enfield to offer the Tripper navigation system here, though. Firstly, it’s an accessory that many other motorcycle brands already offer. And it’s an in-house design, rather than from an outside brand. Plus, the ability to map waypoints is very beneficial to off-road riders, such as those on Himalayans.

The 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350's main gauge and navigation pod
2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 navigation gauge close-up | Royal Enfield via YouTube

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There’s also the brand’s upcoming cruiser to consider. Even if they don’t have touring luggage installed, cruisers are based around long-distance riding. And having an easy-to-understand GPS system when you’re touring unfamiliar roads is very reassuring. Cruiser owners also typically accessorize their bikes extensively—which, again, for an in-house navigation system, means more money for Royal Enfield.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the company decides.

[UPDATE 11/12/2020 6:37 PM CST: Royal Enfield of North America has confirmed the Meteor 350, with its navigation system, is coming to the US, RideApart reports.]

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