Comparing a 350cc bike with a 155cc bike for straight-out performance might border on blasphemy, but the Intruder FI surprised us. The sprint to 60kmph from a standstill is accomplished in 5.2 seconds, which makes it 1.7 seconds quicker than the Classic 350.
The Classic 350 is best ridden between 50kmph and 70kmph, and is left gasping for breath post 80kmph. By this time, the Intruder FI is just getting warmed up. You can cruise at 100kmph without putting stress on the engine, and with enough power in the reserve for a quick overtake. Overtaking on the Classic 350 usually necessitates a downshift or two.
When it is out of its comfort zone, you get lot of vibrations through Classic 350’s handlebar, tank, footpegs and the mirrors which discourage you from revving the engine too hard. It is especially a pain when you are touring on open highways. The Intruder on the other hand, feels stress free and composed all the time. There are hardly any vibrations to speak off apart from a slight buzz on the footpegs, and it feels in its element even when cruising at 100kmph.
The metal components might give a solid build quality, but they are not immune to rust or wear-and-tear. In the long run, the vibrations take a toll on the fit-and-finish, and replacing the components costs a bomb. A paid service for the Classic 350 will set you back by anywhere around Rs 2,000. The Intruder, thanks to the plastic components, is relatively lighter on the pocket. A service will cost you around Rs 1,000.
Lack of features
Complementing the Intruder FI’s modern styling is the fully-digital display. It integrates a host of functions like a tachometer, fuel gauge, dual trip meters, gear position indicator, clock, shift light and service due indicator.
Why do I bother mentioning these run-of-the-mill features? Well, because the Classic 350 doesn’t get any of these. The round clocks might look attractive in their own right, but are too basic. Even otherwise, the Classic 350 gets nothing that can be termed as a creature comfort; this isn’t something that you would expect from such an expensive motorcycle. The Intruder FI feels lavish in comparison, thanks to the LED position lamp and tail lamp and preload-adjustable monoshock.