One cannot deny that amidst the sea of motorcycles that are aimed at being the most practical and rational, the grounded superiority of retro classics will remain untouched and at the top of that food chain is Royal Enfield. So, on that same note, we got our hands on the new Classic 350 in its new BS-VI avatar to see if the new iteration is a leap from its predecessor and if it makes sense in a market where competition is getting stiffer by the day.
With no difference in design except for a few new colour options in the palette, let’s dive into the changes that the company has given in the riding department. In the new version, RE has promised a smoother Classic 350 with better brakes. If you have to compare the new one with its predecessors, the ride indeed has become smoother by a big leap. However, it wasn’t smooth enough as vibrations still crept in higher in the rev range. However, we figured that the promise in the braking department holds true. The new braking apparatus on the Classic 350 has more bite to it and is progressive, inspiring more confidence to the rider.
In its new avatar, Royal Enfield has added a new catalytic converter that adds a kilo more in its already substantial 194kg kerb weight, which on the bright side isn’t that noticeable. At its heart, the new Classic 350 carries the same 350cc single-cylinder engine and Royal Enfield managed to bring about a marginal change in power figures with the new one rated at 19.8bhp and 28Nm of torque. Now for the aficionados, it should be mentioned that while the thump is less prominent than before, the charm it carries remains the same. The motorcycle finds its sweet spot with minimal vibrations at 70 to 75kmph and this is the perfect range to cruise.
Transmission and Ride Quality
As with most of the cycle parts, the new Classic 350 gets the same suspension apparatus like before that is set up on a slightly stiffer side. While it managed to iron out most small bumps, a slightly deep pothole will communicate with your back. However, this is not a dealbreaker as the motorcycle still feels perfect for an ideal urban commute.
Speaking of transmission, the first three gears are much shorter than before, making the motorcycle feel a bit quicker. Shifting gear was smooth. But there were a few occasions where the motorcycle had a difficult time slotting into the required cog.
Now before we sum it up, I have plenty ridden this one's predecessors in the past admittedly none of it quite resonated with me, which was one among the reasons of why I was eager to get my hands on to see if the story has changed. And the story remains pretty much unchanged. Now I am not talking about what the Classic 350 is deficient of, but looking at the competition which is coming with iterations with much more to offer, the Classic 350 might soon have a difficult time to explain its relevance in the upcoming climate.