Bike India

Royal Enfield Classic 350

- Spec Talk road test

Price: Rs 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom)

Overall star rating

Wheelbase 1390 mm

Length 2160 mm

DIMENSIONS

Width: 790 mm Kerb Weight: 195 kg Battery: 12V / 12 ah

this engine may be more refined than its Bs4 predecesso­r but is yet to tick the right boxes in terms of refinement. keep the classic in the right gear at the right time (preferably at half-throttle) and the experience is endearing enough to have you riding along without a care in the world. this one’s strong suit is its ability to cruise effortless­ly around town anywhere between 60 and 80 km/h and, on the highway, you can hold up to 110 km/h (indicated) if you are in a hurry. Wander beyond its comfort zone and you will be reminded that your intentions are too ambitious by a bucket-load of vibrations, almost as if the motorcycle is saying, ‘sir, you are asking too much of me.’

When riding around town, the motorcycle is easy to manoeuvre but the clutch-lever pull can be taxing on the wrist in stop-and-go traffic. in terms of ride quality, the classic 350’s manners have remained unchanged. the 35mm telescopic fork at the front and the twin gas-charged shock-absorbers at the rear work well together to return a ride that is pliant and comfortabl­e around town and on poor roads alike. although not fond of corner-carving, the set-up does not make you dread the bendy bits either. dual-channel aBs is the biggest improvemen­t for the classic 350. although you need to grab a handful of the brake lever to reel it in, now it stops quickly and, more importantl­y, safely; we logged 80-0 km/h in 2.76 seconds and 31.48 metres.

at rs 1.70 lakh (ex-showroom), the royal enfield classic 350 is rs 11,000 more expensive than the model it replaces but is still among the more accessible options in its segment. that is something else the classic needs to get used to. it no longer enjoys monopoly because it goes up against the Benelli imperiale 400, the honda h’ness cB 350, and the Jawas and it will take more than history, legacy, and charm to win this battle outright. so, while i absolutely enjoyed my time with the classic 350, i don’t think this old arms manufactur­er has packed enough ammunition to win the upcoming battle in the 350-cc class but, then, they still have a card up their sleeve to play in the form of the new meteor 350 range.

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