2020 Royal Enfield Classic 350 BS6 First Ride Review

05 August 2020, 05:09 PM Pratheek Kunder

Introduction

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

Say hello to BikeWale’s most researched motorcycle – the Royal Enfield Classic 350. In fact, this bike is so popular that it has been the top researched bike on BikeWale not just for months, but years. The combination of modern retro styling and seating comfort makes its quite aspirational. Plus, the lack of competition makes it easy for Royal Enfield to continue maintain its hold on this highly profitable segment. Over the last few months, there was a drop in sales, blame the slowing economy and the recently pandemic lockdowns. But the company is hoping to set the sales chart on fire once again, and for that, there’s an updated BS6 Classic 350 in the market. We rode it for a week and this is what we think about it.

The Visuals

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

But first, let us talk about the visuals because that is what makes the Classic 350 the king of the segment. The modern retro styling hasn’t changed in years. But for 2020, the bike gets a new paint scheme and some subtle design additions like the numbering on the fuel tank. Plus, the round headlamp, the bulky fuel tank, the big side covers and the spoke wheels set the Classic 350 apart from other motorcycles in the market. And the single seat setup gives out a sense of freedom to the rider.

Royal Enfield Classic 350

Royal Enfield Classic 350

  • Displacement346 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)19.1 bhp
  • Kerb Weight195 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,61,560

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

Then there’re the aftermarket accessories that the company is offering with this bike. Here, you can see the headlight grill, the saddle bags, pillion seat and the premium engine protection guard. These additions have taken the design aspiration to a whole new level. 

The Package

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

The 346cc single-cylinder engine is now fuel-injected. It makes around 19.1bhp and 28Nm of peak torque. The five-speed gearbox is the same unit. There have been no changes in the gearbox ratios at all. The frame is the same single-downtube which uses the engine as a stressed member. That’s why the bike still tips the scale at 195kgs. The bike continues to ride on telescopic forks at the front and a five-step adjustable twin gas monoshock at the rear.  

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

The Classic 350 rides on 19-inch front and 18-inch spoke wheels which are shod with tube type tyres. The braking system is new as it now is a dual-channel ABS system. There’s a 280mm disc upfront with dual-piston and 240mm disc at the rear with single-piston calipers.  

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

In terms of features, the bike doesn’t get any new ones though. The instrumentation is the same old. Lots of analogue bits. The only addition for this variant is the ABS light. There’s still no LED lighting. No fancy components and no signs of latest tech like Bluetooth integration either. 

The Ride

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

One of the best aspects of the Classic 350 in our opinion is its seating comfort. The seat height is accessible for most Indians and once on the seat, the wide handlebar and the center-set foot pegs make you feel at home. The seat too, which by the way, has a lot of space to move around, is extremely comfortable. This seating triangle also allows you to filter through traffic quite easily. And for the long hauls too, the Classic 350 always had a good reputation and it still does. And if you do choose to get yourself the optional pillion seat, get the touring one because it is comfortable.  

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

The BS6 motor on the Classic 350 feels more refined and smooth. The traditional character is still there but the engine feels so much better now. The flat torque delivery means the Classic 350 allows you to overtake vehicles in a jiffy. The throttle response is crisp and it feels nice every time you twist that throttle.  The five-speed gearbox isn’t the best, but it manages some decent shifts. The bike can stay at 80kmph all day long, but as you try to cross the 70kmph mark, vibrations creep up on the handlebar and the fuel tank. As a result, there’s an increase in rider fatigue especially during long rides. And this is something anyone would want to avoid.  

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

The ride quality of the Classic 350 continues to be on the softer side. This setup provides a good amount of comfort over broken and unpaved roads. But this experience is limited to slow speed rides only. At high speeds, the back takes some beating but it is still negligible. The Classic 350 was never a great handler. It can be attributed to the age-old chassis, high kerb weight and durable tyres. As a result, one needs to be careful on corners, especially if it’s a tight one. But in the city, the Classic 350 does a decent job. 

Our Take

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Exterior

The Classic 350 has a huge fan following in India. It has a rich heritage too. And this is possible only because the product has kept enticing the buyers for many years. The BS6 Classic 350 will continue to do the same. But this time around, we think the brand will attract a younger audience, thanks to the cool new colours and the ability to personalise the bike. Plus, the bike runs well, commutes decently and does long distance comfortably. The torquey engine which still has some vibrations is fun to use.  

So if you are in the market for a motorcycle that has a history, road presence and good riding experience, then go for the BS6 Classic 350. For everything else, there’s the Bajaj Dominar 400.  

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

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