After having a successful history with its ‘Bullet’ range of retro roadsters, Royal Enfield launched the ‘Classic’ range of motorcycles in the Indian market. The ‘Classic’ sub-brand was introduced so as to allure more and more youth customers towards the brand, which was attracting only the typical ‘Royal Enfield Bullet’ fans towards itself.
The ‘Classic’ range kicked off in India with the Classic 350 going on sale almost half a decade ago. Basically, the Classic 350 shares its soul with the Bullet 350, but the former comes with a huge number of changes which make it a much more contemporary machine than the latter. For making it a motorcycle of today’s day and age, Royal Enfield equipped the motorcycle with front disc brake, fuel injection, contemporary switch gear with engine kill switch and many more.
All the modern day features were equipped in the Classic 350 so as to make a motorcycle which feels retro and modern at the same time. The motorcycle was recently given a small makeover with new color options and minute cosmetic and mechanical changes. Here’s a quick look on the new Royal Enfield Classic 350.
The overall design and silhouette of the Classic 350 is not much different from the motorcycles of ‘Bullet’ series which have been made till date. The motorcycle retains the classic stance of the Bullet, which makes it a much more special and timeless motorcycle, even after being modern by every angle of perception.
Starting from the front, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 has the familiar round headlamp with a chrome surround, giving it a face of a motorcycle from bygone eras. Above the headlamp sits a small chrome cap, giving it a sense of distinction from other motorcycles of Royal Enfield. Unlike the Bullet 350, the Classic 350 comes with a body colored front fender.
The main elements of the side profile of the Classic 350 constitute of the curvy fuel tank with black colored side tank padding, ovular side body cowls and triangular side storage compartments. The engine as well as long exhaust pipe are finished in chrome, whereas the motorcycle comes with spoke wheels and split seats as standard.
The rear profile of the motorcycle has been imparted a simple design, with the black colored tail lamp housing mounted on the round body colored rear fender. The housing at the rear incorporates a round tail lamp. The round turn indicators at both the ends are finished in chrome.
The Classic 350 shares its instrument console with the Bullet 350, which is archaic but looks cool on the motorcycle of this demeanor. The unit includes an analog speedometer, odometer and battery level indicator. The switch gear of the motorcycle is modern and includes self starter button and engine kill switch. The overall fit and finish has shown drastic levels of improvement when compared with the Bullets of previous decades. The new logo of Royal Enfield can be seen imprinted on various parts such as engine, fuel tank and instrument console.
The Classic 350 shares its four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, twinspark, 346cc engine with the Bullet 350. Though unlike the latter, the engine on the Classic 350 is fuel injected, which makes it a lot more responsive, eager and refined than the one on the Bullet 350. This fuel injected 346cc engine puts out 19.8 bhp of power and 28 Nm of torque, and comes mated to a five speed gearbox.
Like the engines on all the Royal Enfield motorcycles, the engine on the Classic 350 serves you with impressive amount of torque down the lower end of the rev range as well as in the mid range. The motorcycle pulls off nicely, with a linear power delivery throughout the rev range. The engine feels more refined than before, and the vibrations in the lower speeds have almost gone. It is only when you reach the higher end of the rev range, when you begin to feel the vibrations creeping out of the engine. The 5-speed gearbox is a bit notchy in feel, as far as gearshifts and false neutrals are taken into concern.
The ride quality of a Royal Enfield motorcycle is nothing to doubt about, given the fact that people have covered millions of explored as well as unexplored territories on them in all these years. And the same can be said about the Classic 350, as it is one of the most comfortable motorcycles to ride in today’s age.
Sitting on a simple single downtube frame, the Classic 350 comes with a simple suspension setup of 35mm hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and gas charged 5-step adjustable hydraulic coil springs at the rear. The ride quality is a bit firm when compared to other Royal Enfield motorcycles, but composed enough to tackle all the undulations and potholes of the uneven surfaces.
The motorcycle comes with a large 280mm disc brake at front and a 153mm drum brake at the rear, though it would have been a welcome move if Royal Enfield introduces a rear disc brake on this motorcycle. The brakes though lack bite, and can lack bite at times. The Classic 350 also comes with a wider set of tyres than the Bullet 350, which provides more grip than the ones on the latter.
The Classic 350 sits above the Bullet 350 and Bullet Electra in the Royal Enfield’s product portfolio. Having more features and better engineering prowess than both of the aforementioned latter motorcycles, the Classic 350 comes at a price point of Rs. 1.24 lakh.
The Classic 350 is available in an all new range of colors which include Lagoon, Ash, Black, Silver and Maroon.
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 doesn’t have a direct competition in the Indian two wheeler market for the time being. Though down the price range, the Bajaj Avenger gives a fight to the Classic 350’s credentials.
Compared to Classic 350, the Bajaj Avenger has a true cruiser stance – long stretched body, high set handlebar and a much lower seat height. Both the motorcycles look distinctive with nothing like them near their respective price points. In terms of features, both the motorcycles offer almost identical list of features, with the Avenger offering a fuel gauge instead of battery range indicator on the Classic 350.
The Bajaj Avenger comes with a four stroke, single cylinder, oil cooled, 220cc DTS-i engine which is much smaller than the engine of the Royal Enfield Classic 350. Though the peak power of both the motorcycles is purely identical at 19.8 bhp, the Classic 350 offers much more torque throughout the rev range. The vibrations at high speeds can be felt in both the engines. Both the motorcycles feel comfortable, whatever the speeds and terrains on which they ride are.
Ever since its launch, the Classic 350 has been the most popular and highest selling model of Royal Enfield in India. And it deserves to be, as it offers the old world charm of Royal Enfield motorcycles without compromising on modern day bits like fuel injection, twin spark engine, front disc brake and many more. The Classic 350 has always been a very attractive and distinctive looking motorcycle, and in the new paint shades on offer, it looks even more distinctive than before.
The engine may be the same old 346cc archaic powerhouse, but on the Classic 350, it is way more refined, fuel efficient and powerful than before. The vibrations are much under control than before, but at high speeds, the vibrations can be felt. The ride quality of the motorcycle is excellent, which makes it a favorite among the long distance touring aficionados. At this price point, there is clearly no other thing which can match the aura and pleasure of the Classic 350. If only Royal Enfield can reduce the notorious long waiting periods of this motorcycle - a testimony of how popular the Classic 350 is!