Royal Enfield is already on a roll. With so many products in the pipeline already declared officially and a new product spied every week, RE seems to have their time cut out. The Classic 350 makes you feel like, RE didn’t work hard, but they did. RE’s brief to the team to keep it simple and not change the winning formula. The team seems to have delivered that on paper and aesthetically, which took a lot of effort says RE. Riding it and staying with it has revealed a lot to us. We did a proper road test of the motorcycle for you to tell everything about the Classic 350. Let’s dig into it to tell you everything about the motorcycle that claims the top spot and aims to retain it in the years to come.
When it comes to design, the headlamp is basic with twin pilot lamps on each side. Illumination and spread of the headlight impressive in pitch-black darkness. The tank is big and muscular with a chrome and red scheme along with the military green that we had made it look very good. The rear tail-lamp is retro too along with the indicators. The wheels are spoke units and the forks are fully covered to give it the retro look. The side panel looks very similar to the old motorcycle. The rear fender is short enough to make it look a tad bit more hip. Grab handle is basic and does its job. The split seats give it a good look. The exhaust also looks befitting but it is new over the previous version. The new crankcase design helps it get a new look while preserving the old classic heritage. Overall, a motorcycle that looks good, proportionate enough, and grabs attention in almost all colors yet maintains the typical Classic layout.
The instrument cluster is basic with new fonts though and a digital layout below it showing a fuel gauge, trip meter, eco-driving manner, service indicators and speedo meter houses all the telltale lights. The tachometer continues to be a miss. The ergonomics are the same as before with the seat positioning being upright. The handlebar is bigger and wider. It is also stretched ahead a bit because the seat and tank make it a bit of a reach. All this does make it easier to live with and spraining your upper back like the previous version.
Footpegs are front set which helps grab the tank rather well. Seat comfort for rider and pillion is above average. Mumbai-Pune runs during our road test did result in derrière aching almost all the time we managed the 300 km run. Switchgear is new but seen first on the Meteor 350 works well with rocker switches instead of the usual buttons. A tripper navigation option is also available with the Classic 350. Mirrors offer a good view of what is behind but could have been bigger for guys who are on the wider side.
Powering the motorcycle is a 349cc engine making 21 PS and 27 Nm of torque from a 2-valve, SOHC, air-cooled engine. The motor is mated to a 5-speed smooth-shifting gearbox that operates with a fairly light clutch action. The refinement is now much higher than the previous generation. You can rev it all the way up and there are negligible vibrations on the handlebar, seats, and footpegs. Low and mid-range torque is where it excels as it does lack punch after 110 km/hr. The cruising speed is still around 80-90 km/hr. However, it does that in a calm, smooth and effortless manner than before.
The top speed is 125 km/hr on the speedo. The soundtrack, be it intake or exhaust note does remind you of RE of the past but albeit with a lower decibel. Throttle response is precise and power delivery is linear as always. Fuel is sorted throughout the rev range and makes it easy to ride in the city at low speeds. We are getting 28 km/l in the city and 34 km/l on the highway. Overall, first impressed in the Meteor 350, the same engine continues to deliver excellent all-around capability in this category.
Dynamically, the front rake and trail are sharper make it easy to chuck into a corner. Composure while cornering is great thanks to a long wheelbase and solid chassis setup. Suspension is stiffer and travel remains the same. Front forks now stand at 41mm and the rear suspension is revised to be 6-step adjustable. Ride quality is good thanks to this beefier setup that helps it glide over potholes with even more authority than before.
100 section tyre at the front and 120 section at the rear complement the suspension. The brakes complement the tyres and suspension and offer reassuring confidence while braking and a good bite at the lever. 300mm disc at the front and 270mm at the back make a lot more sense for sure. High-speed stability is good too with a light or heavy rider, suspension seems adept for more riders from the factory setup itself. Maneuvering at low speed requires less effort than before including at parking speeds. Overall, a big change in the way the chassis feels and behaves translates to a far easier living experience with the Classic 350.
2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Review, Verdict
The Classic 350 did not need much fixing. However, one ride on the Meteor 350 and we realized, this on the Classic format could help RE completely dominate this segment for years to come. RE did, With not much change on the outside, and now the fans should be happy. Also, a ride is all it takes to realize how much easier the motorcycle has become to live with. More fuel economy, more rideability, more features, and a slight price increase justify the new Classic 350 without a doubt in almost everyone’s mind. All this makes it the default choice to get into this segment which suddenly seems very competitive. With much more to come in this segment too, Royal Enfield is clearly ready for a battle royale.
2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Review