2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 – Test Ride Review


First things first, the Classic 350 was introduced a decade ago as an export-only model. Later, it played a key role in the middle-weight segment by being the best-selling model of the brand. Royal Enfield has sold over 3 million of its units worldwide. And now after 13 years, the Classic 350 has received a huge overhaul which is good in all ways. So, sit back, relax, and read everything about the new-gen Royal Enfield Classic 350 below.

Price of 2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 — Rs. 1.84 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom, Pune)

Its Styling: At first glance, you will barely be able to say if the design is new or not, but upon a closer look, you will be able to notice the difference. The overall silhouette of the Classic is the same, the designers had to make the new Classic look classic but also make it look modern. All the parts, panels, and surfaces on this Classic 350 are new, none of the parts or design elements are carried over from the old Classic. What compliments its design is its 11 colourways, out of which the chrome paint job tops our liking chart with our test bike’s colour — Signals Marsh grey, which looks more like a green, takes the second place. The headlight now features a multi-reflector clear lens unit with a new nacelle with tiger eyes on the top, while the indicators and taillight are carried over from the Meteor 350, none of them are LED units. The badging — Classic 350 is new along with the tank, side panels and fenders. Apart from such subtle changes, this new Classic 350 retains the iconic ’50s British styling.

Its Switchgear and Instrument Cluster: The previous generation’s analogue meter has been replaced by a semi-digital unit. The primary dial, is an analogue speedo, below which, an LCD sits. It shows an odometer, two trip meters, an Eco mode indicator, time and for the first time on a Classic — a digital fuel gauge. But it misses out on the gear position indicator and distance to empty indicator. RE’s patented Tripper navigation system which debuted on the Meteor 350 has also been added to the new Classic 350 but is only available on the top chrome variants. RE says it will be offered as an option on the other variants soon. Another first on this motorcycle is the ignition integrated handle lock, which used to be on the side. The switchgear of this motorcycle has been borrowed from the Meter 350 which features rotary-style chicken head knobs. On the right, is the engine start/off switch and a hazard switch, another new addition to the motorcycle. And on the left, are the headlight low beam/high beam/pass switch, indicator switch, horn button, and an info switch facing the other side which lets you scroll through various digital cluster indicators.

Its Ergonomics: Like other bits, the chassis of the new Classic 350 has also been borrowed from the Meteor 350. Since this is a standard motorcycle and not a cruiser, the ergonomics and footpegs positioning are different compared to the Meteor but are more or less similar to the previous generation Classic 350. The riding posture remains to be the same, upright. The kick-start has been removed to make the engine compact, and that resulted in freedom of positioning the footpegs, which are now a bit rear set. The handlebar is wider now and has been moved forward and is also lowered by a very less margin. The seats on the other hand are new and have thicker cushioning. Along with the chassis, the handlebar grips, brake and clutch levers, footpegs and foot controls have also been carried over from the Meteor and these additions have drastically upped the Classic’s premium look. All the changes result in a very comfortable riding position and the rider’s seat feels the right place to be in.

Its Engine & Performance: Similar to the Meteor 350, the new Classic 350 is also based on RE’s new J platform and like the frame, the engine is also sourced from the Meteor 350. But, RE has fine-tuned the throttle response. The motor is a 349cc, single-cylinder, air-oil cooled, 4-stroke engine which complies with the BS6 emission norms. It produces 20.2 BHP of maximum power @ 6100 rpm and a maximum torque of 27 Nm @ 4000 rpm. This motor is mated to a 5-speed constant mesh gearbox.

The electric starter cranks the engine to life with a pleasant thump. Please see, the old-school thump is no longer loud, and you start noticing the engine’s refinement level since then. Once you twist the throttle, you will notice how comfortably the motorcycle pulls off. The gear ratios are revised and hence you don’t need to shift gears always. You can easily manoeuvre through city traffics in third gear, and the motorcycle also rides happily at 45-50 km/h in fifth gear. The low and mid-range are the most lovable spots and cruising at 100 km/h won’t be a difficult task too. I was happily cruising in fifth gear at 100 km/h, and I still couldn’t feel any vibrations. Oh, wait for a second, I forgot to mention earlier, there are no vibrations. Yes, you read it right, the new engine and fine-tuning of the throttle response and the use of a primary balancer shaft has made the vibrations disappear. The motorcycle now feels quick, and you can easily overtake too, and to compliment the whole riding experience, the iconic not-so-loud thump plays like a melody to your ears.

Its Riding Dynamics: The new-gen Classic 350 is now built on a Twin Downtube spine frame that replaces the basic single-cradle frame. The swingarm and brakes have also been taken from the Meteor 350. The new Classic 350 is equipped with fatter 41mm telescopic front forks, and the rear suspension travel has been increased by 10mm. The motorcycle runs on a 19-inch front and an 18-inch rear wheel set-up with Ceat 100/90 and 120/80 section tyres, respectively. The braking power comes from 300mm front and 270mm rear disc brakes with dual-channel ABS. The base model gets a 153mm rear drum brake instead of a disc and comes with a single-channel ABS only. The ground clearance has also gone up to 170mm by 35mm. These specs result in very comfortable ride quality, and you can easily do 200+ km in one go. Also, conquering those Himalayan roads won’t be much difficult because of the increased ground clearance and better power delivery. The motorcycle stayed planted on bad roads and remained stable through potholes. With all the additions and improvements, the brand has been able to retain the Classic 350’s same kerb weight of 195 kg as its outgoing model. The overall ride quality is very impressive and the motorcycle corners with a lot of confidence now, thanks to its stiffer suspensions.

Its Verdict: I was pretty impressed to notice the absence of vibrations, and I must say that the brand has a clear winner on its hands. The Classic 350’s overhaul has gone beyond the expectation levels. It may look similar to its predecessor, but it is all-new in all terms. The new Classic 350 is fresher, faster, smoother, quicker, quieter, and relaxed. The brand seems to have taken their customer feedback seriously, which has resulted in a motorcycle that is better in all terms now and has been put together cleverly. Despite its ‘50s British styling, the fit and finish are top-notch. It doesn’t feel like an old-school motorcycle anymore and feels more like a Royal Enfield now with improved riding dynamics and modern features.

2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Technical Data:

* Engine: 349cc, air-oil cooled, single-cylinder

* Power: 20.2 BHP @ 6100 rpm

* Torque: 27 Nm @ 4000 rpm

* Transmission: 5-speed

* Fuel Consumption: 34 km/l

* Top Speed: 150+ km/h

* Fuel Type: Petrol

* Frame: Twin Downtube Spine Frame

* Suspension: Telescopic, 41mm forks, 130mm travel (Front), Twin tube emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload (Rear)

* Tyres: 100/90 R19 – 57P (Spoke / Alloy) (Front), 120/80 R18 – 62P (Spoke / Alloy) (Rear), Ceat (both)

* Brakes: 300 mm disc, twin-piston floating caliper (Front), 270 mm disc, single-piston floating caliper/153 mm drum (Rear), Single & Dual-channel ABS (standard)

2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Dimensions: 

* Length: 2145mm

* Width: 785mm (without mirrors)

* Height: 1090mm (without mirrors)

* Wheelbase: 1390mm

* Seat Height: 805mm

* Fuel Tank Capacity: 13 litres

* Kerb weight: 195 kg

See More – 2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 – Picture Gallery

Rider – Viraj David | Photographer – Pranav Ithape