Royal Enfield Classic 350 Ownership Review

By | August 1, 2014

Classic 350 Ownership ReviewIt was all about sportbikes I dreamt. Yup!  The design, latest technologies, high-end power, smooth engine, sharp handling, great ergonomics, and tons of features of a sportbike certainly conquer every youngster’s mind to opt none machine other than from this league. The same happened with me too. I just fell in love with one and that is Yamaha’s rockstar, the R15. But, my relationship with the R15 didn’t last long!

Well, I had an opportunity to ride a Royal Enfield Standard 350. Heck! You know what? It’s for the first time I’m gonna make a ‘Royal Drive’, and this machine doesn’t have an electric start either! Many flashbacks about the after effects of kick starting a Bullet came across my mind. Although I was initially frightened to kickstart the motorcycle, I came up with courage later since I had no other choice. What a miracle! I kick-started the machine at the first attempt. That was so cool. 

I really felt the ambiance of the Royal machine, which was very much different than any bikes I had ridden till then. After the ride, I was not even able to describe my first experience with Royal Enfield. In short, I can express it like I couldn’t even compare the Bullet with the R15, because an RE machine is not just a bike, but much more. Hence, I decided to stick with an RE machine which led me to go for the Classic 350. Now, let’s have a detailed look at the most demanded motorcycle in India.

Design

The Classic 350 lives out its name. The machine has a classic look indeed, which makes it unique and even stylish. Split seat, aggressive fuel tank, and cute tail lamp in addition make the Classic 350, the motorcycle with the longest waiting period in the Indian industry. It has got almost the same pack comparing with its siblings powered by 350cc engine. Well, it is just the looks that turns out things for the Classic 350. Of course, the design was the prime factor that made me to buy this one.

The chrome finish certainly gives a royal finish especially to the big names like Harley Davidson, and Triumph. Royal Enfield is never behind to use chrome in its machines. The Classic 350’s rear view mirrors, exhaust, spoke wheels, and handle bar finished in chrome undoubtedly bring a royal ambience to the machine.

Royal Enfield ReviewEngine and performance

RE is not known for its performance or power, but for the unmatched luxury and royalty. Well, the world has changed a lot. Each and every brand is moving accordingly. Seems like RE also has made something interesting to live up to the present generation. Yep! There is some power from the heart. Thanks to engineers who were behind the UC engine. I know the most of RE fans are cursing the new UC engine for it doesn’t thump as it does with the cast iron engine. Alright! RE is known for its thumping sound – dug dug dug. But, on the other hand, the all new UC engine is reliable and economical. You need to spend only a little in maintenance comparatively.

The machine is powered by a 346cc, Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark engine. The heart is capable to deliver a peak power of 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm and some wowful torque of 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm. Meanwhile, the heart is coupled with a 5 speed transmission. The top speed of the bike is 120 kmph. However, you just can’t keep driving at 120 kmph. Because, once the machine clocks beyond 100 kmph, it starts shivering and becomes out of control. Well, it’s not the deal with a Royal Enfield motorcycle, but much more. You know? Bullet is something different. You just can’t explain it. It must be experienced. And you won’t get such experience by riding a superbike or anything. So, I’m least bothered about taking my RE beyond 100 kmph. And my life is not for racing. After all, I use motorcycle just for transportation. Well, when it is made with an RE machine, that becomes much more than that.

Features

Royal Enfield is mocked as the machine with past generation features and with the next generation pricing. All I have to say is don’t expect much when it comes to the features. The machine is limited. You must not curse Royal Enfield for that, but the industry that hasn’t produced an equal opponent yet. So if you love a machine like Bullet, you have no other choice than Royal Enfield and you need to get adjusted with the provided features.

Well, don’t degrade the Classic 350. It has something enough coupled with it.

Riding Experience

This is the stuff where you all fell in love with the machine. Many people, especially those who are the fans of Cast Iron engined Bullet, tell that the new RE machine is nothing but a waste since it doesn’t have the traditional dug-dug thump, and offers an unbearable vibration in rides. Yep! It’s just true. If you’re a fan of cast iron Bullet, I request you not to go for any new RE motorcycles. But, for a guy who has ridden only the UCE powered Bullets, the Classic 350 is simply hot and mesmerizing. For me, the Classic 350 is alright. In fact, it’s not just alright. I just love my machine. The way it vibrates, thumps, races etc., I love them all. On the other hand, I could say that I’m adjusted to it.

The split seat looks stylish. When it comes to the part of pillion rider, he/she needs to struggle in long rides. Because, the rear seat is nowhere near the comfort line. It shakes always and even causes accidents. RE engineers must have a look on that.  Well, the rest of ergonomics is alright. The riding position, where your hands, legs, and back meet, it’s killing man!

What all I altered for better riding experience?

The new Classic 350 comes with a short handle. You can chop off a good amount of vibration by replacing a wide or bar handle. The next thing is exhaust. I had been ridding the Classic 350 with the stock exhaust for more than a year. The thing is that you will lose the warranty when you replace the silencer. So, I had to wait for the completion of the warranty period. Later, I replaced the silencer with Goldstar con stuff. It cost only Rs. 1200. Oh my goodness! Then I realized the beauty of my beast. My machine started roaring like a real royal king on road. At the same time, the exhaust delivers a sexy tug-tug burned noised after successful tuning. Thanks to my mechanic. Still, I get an awesome mileage of 45 kmpl in highways. That means you don’t lose any figure when compared with the factory fitted silencer. Isn’t that more than awesome?

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Ownership ReviewThings an RE owner should take care of

Periodical service is the prime thing you should take care of your Royal brother. Never miss even a single service. And also don’t give an opportunity to any local mechanic to study on your machine. Spend a little more and give it in Royal Enfield authorised service centres. The first 4 services are free. The rest you need pay from your wallet. So, after the free services I approached a local workshop guy, and he converted my machine into a non-royal stuff within 6 months. He replaced the wrong sprocket and chain, when the stock things were done. I lost the riding tempo and mileage dropped to 40 even below. Later, I had to regret on it. Better late than never, I approached one of my friends working in RE authorized service centre. And he helped me to sort out the issue. Meantime, I had to replace the wrong chain with the original RE one. So, from I experience, I request every RE owners to go for only original RE spare parts, and to approach only authorise service centres. Please do remember that periodical maintenance includes check-up in every 500 kms and oil change in every 6000 kms.

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Ownership Review: Verdict

Still, many people use to compare the Classic 350 with other sportbikes like R15, Duke 200, CBR250R, Pulsar 200NS etc. You know what? It doesn’t make sense at all. Because, an RE bi-wheeler is unique and is a kind of its own. If you need power and to turn roads into tracks, just opt for any superbike. Why should you compare it with the Classic 350 or any other RE product? For heaven sake, do understand that RE is something cult and is the oldest motorcycle company in the world which is still in continuous production. Hope you guys got how respectful the brand Royal Enfield is (to the ones who don’t know).

For me, my Classic 350 is my life. The machine has brought many changes into my life. It’s indeed my fortune. I have made many trips with my machine. In fact, my Classic 350 clocked 24,000 kms in just one year, which wouldn’t have possible to me with any sportbike mentioned above. In short – I’m not getting bored with my Classic for it gives me new riding experiences and exposures each day. And my day starts thinking, “Oh! I can ride my Classic 350 today invading the new depth of subways.”

  • Ameen kalpaka

    Hey friends… I want to purchase new bike … Can u suggest which one is the best … My budget is 2.5 lack

    • Ameen kalpaka

      Now my plan is continental gt… How is it …

      • Akhil Kalsh

        Continental GT is a piece of shit. In 2.5 buy Duke 390.

  • Dushyant Lakhanpal

    @Jose Gonsalo: liked your post, I have also booked a classic 350 silver in April.
    Can you post an updated review of your Bull? like it has been 2yrs, I want to know how is it working and all. Thankyou!

  • Math Genius

    Royal Enfield has been milking the “Cult Motorcycle” status for quite sometime now.

  • Danger Dude

    24000 km in one year on a bullet? You are great.. I was fed up after 5 km on a bullet.
    Anyway, I prefer sports bikes. I clocked 32000km in my RC390 in a year.

  • VMADHUSUDEN

    Am reviewing each and every blog/discussion in every forum I research in Google about the beast……just so honest points given. I booked my classic lagoon last week. Waiting to get, can’t resist…….have also registered in few rider clubs like bulletizers etc……

  • Meghala

    Hi, this is meghala.. I want to buy a royal Enfield black classic 350. But I am little short.. I am very fond of riding bullet.I am not sure whether my legs would reach.. is there any other way to make any changes for the same.please suggest me

    • Akhil Kalsh

      How short? Thunderbird has a lower seat, and in my opinion a more comfortable one than the Classic. You can also get custom seats made for a price, and for an even bigger price you can completely modify how high you sit on the bike.

      I would also recommending trying out the new Bajaj Avenger, much lower seat.

      • Meghala

        Thanks a lot for your suggestion akhil.

  • Ashish Vishen

    Everyone got their own road
    Everyone write their own story
    So
    Drive d machine you want
    Live d way ….you want
    Dont question …
    Dont frown over what other want
    Be cool .
    Be a rider.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Be cool.

  • Harish Kumar

    Nice honest write up man! Every rider to his own. No judgements should be made for someone’s choice. The problem is only when RE fanboys don’t accept the flaws and make comments like legendary or macho machine and what not. And the company also does not take up any initiative to provide better quality of parts and service training. If a person doesn’t understand the different needs of owning an RE, he/she should stay away from RE. Sadly RE markets their bikes well and a lot of people fall for it without knowing the quirks and perks of owning an RE. And no, I am not an RE fan. I ride a Jap 🙂

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Japs rock!

  • E. RAJESH

    High vibration, very slow

  • E. RAJESH

    I can’t read it. Its too much…

  • sachin

    ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 350 REVIEW

    This review
    is from a amateur who just got his first Royal Enfield bike and rode
    for 4000kms. Royal Enfield as a brand has a high value in indian market
    as being the oldest bike

    manufacturer in india as well as people living here have great emotional connection towards this brand.

    But I never expected to own one in my life
    as I prefered sports bike over cruisers as they are more live and fun.
    Although I own Pulsar 135LS, I have ridden Cbr 250, karizma zmr,

    duke 200, pulsar 200 NS, fz v1 and gixxer a couple of times thanks to
    my kind hearted friends. I got my eyes on Royal Enfield when the subject
    Touring came to my mind. As you

    know, sports bike have
    harder seats and tight suspensions which makes them poor for long
    rides. I needed something which was under my budget and which goes on
    and on

    without having engine out of breath.

    When I spoke to my dad about taking a new bike such as avenger and
    karizma, he just ignored by saying’ u already have a bike, why do u need
    a new one. Take a car(am having

    job)’. But am a biker . so I researched and came into conclusion of
    buying a royal enfield. When I informed my dad about, to my surprise the
    response I got from was the most

    heart warming .’Royal
    enfield!. Thats very good.’ . my dad worked(currently retired) as
    Circle inspector and has a history with Royal Enfield Bikes. Infact, he
    was more excited

    to buy the bike than I was.

    We visited the showroom and decided to buy classic 350 as its style was
    more appealing. We paid an advance of Rs.5000 to Prince motors,
    palakkad, kerala to book silver classic

    350 and the
    bike got delivered within 3 months waiting period. Oh man what a site it
    was to see royal enfield’the king of the roads’ standing in my house.

    The first 500kms is very crucial for any new bikes as its the time
    where the engines get set. Also if there is any complaint with bike we
    have to inform it in start itself else in

    future its
    going to be costly. Me and dad tamed the beast to run under 50 although
    the manual says we can go on 60kmph and after crossing 500 we went upto
    70 as per manual.

    But after first service
    tappet noise started to arise when I gave more acceleration. This
    really hurted me as new bike giving problems at the starting can cause
    to anyone. When

    inquired with showroom, this was their
    reply’the new engines come with hydraulic tappets which cannot be
    adjusted by us and is strictly prohibited by company. It will be

    automatically corrected when you ride the bike continously’. I hope it
    does! because Royal Enfield is not a brand that stands for technology

    After second service the bike returned a mileage of 33kmpl which was
    way below the company claimed one although I rode at 70kmph. The biggest
    thing I liked about the bike

    was its engine
    performance, the more distance it covered more smoother it became. Self
    start even though was present became useless as it works only
    occassionally . it felt like

    the battery dosent have
    enough juice to start 350cc engine. Headlights have powerful beam which
    is good for night driving. The rider seats have springs which acts as
    extra shock

    absorbers and thus provide more comfort.
    The pillion seats though is narrow and will definitely cause pain after
    50 to 60kms. The new UCE engine is light and entire bike has

    reduced weight and its very easy to navigate in traffic. I didnt like
    the fit and finish though since the nuts and bolts started to come off
    due to vibration and you might never know

    when something is missing. In my place, the silencer nut and chain guard nut was lost after a long ride. The paint quality is also another issue as one little scratch will peel off the

    paint.

    On Dec 20th and 21st 2014 I made a chennai to Bangalore and reverse in
    my bull covering almost 800kms in two days and the bike performed well.
    But I was not happy as

    although the engine was 350cc I
    could only cruise the bike at speed of 80kmph and after that vibration
    was in excess. Comon. a wide open 6lane straight road and you still move

    like a turtoise. I envyed the CBR250 and KTM Guys who
    flew past me through these open roads. And the biggest problem was a
    heart breaker. The rim got bent when I ran

    through a
    huge pot hole and bike began to wobble like anything. thanks to chennai
    road.(I have run my pulsar like anything but it didnt give it a
    scratch.! this is the quality of steel RE guys give? I have my pulsar
    135 to bangalore through

    same highway and there was no
    problem at all). Another thing that iritated me was tappet noise, after
    70 tappet noise will become high.

    As one good rider
    once said. Take a royal enfield with heart and not mind. And thats truly
    said as this bike is not perfect in any means . it got problems which
    makes many buyers

    to back away but once you ride on it
    the whole world will envy upon on you. The sound of beats will become
    music to your ears. Clutch and brakes like the strings of a guitar. Its

    upto you whether you wanna play hard metal or melody.

    Yes, there are more better bikes such as CBR, Pulsar, R15, Avenger etc
    for this price and if you are not a big fan of RE, then surely you must
    not take it. This bike has more cons

    than pros no matter how mad a RE fan suggest you to buy.

    Ride safe . Ride long.

    Sachin P

    An Enfield Rider

    Royal Enfield Classic 350 Silver(2014 model)

    • WHY?

      • Sachin P

        Well Akhil,

        everyone says we should not compare Royal Enfield with other brands?
        why?
        because they have more power? No.
        Because they have good built quality? No
        Because they are Complete Cruiser? No
        Because they have Latest Technology? No
        Because they have smooth engine? No
        because they are more Expensive? Yes

        Yes, In Past Royal Enfield made a fortune making us believe its a cruiser bike . by cruising around 80-90kmph

        In India , things have drastically changed… KTM Duke, CBR, Pulsar 200NS /SS, etc.. are now in market. they can also cruise around at speeds of 100 or 120 smoothly without much vibrations.

        In an open road , i faced this situation when i was cruising around 80kmph and these sports bikers flew past me. and here i am thumping.
        i made a wrong choice of taking this bike now. its suited only for city as we dont need that much speed. but in open highway, its too slow . now Pulsar 200 ss is even offering ABS at a price bracket of 1.30lakhs and its seating position can be used both for sports and touring. and it also has fuel injection and good brakes and loads of other features.

        Royal enfield still uses engine construction which 100years old.

        harley is very soon going to capitalize on this issues of royal enfield and is already going to release street 500cc bike this year. that will be a game changer. and i rode harley street 750 and i was wondered . that machine reached 100kmph without me knowing. that much butter smooth was the engine.

        royal enfield should change their game otherwise its done for.
        the cult is the only thing it has . the feel when one rides it , yes i knw that .. but its not enough… this is my view… hope u understand.

        • E. RAJESH

          Good review

  • pavan r h

    nice review man…..i have already booked 350cc…just looking forward for the beast to arrive….

  • I own a RE classic 350 too bought 1 month back done 6k kms on that… and also electra bought 2 yrs back done 25k kms on that. Just wanted to njoy single seat experience so went for classic. I owned Yamaha fazer before that and thunderbird the first model when it was launched. Iam a 6ft 3inch tall guy nd weigh over 100kgs. My thunderbird was sold because if my accident i was just 18that time. So i got yamaha fazer. I even went to ladakh on that.i tried to do everything with that bike which i was supposed to do with a RE. My dad relized what i was upto.i tried everything on that bike daytona kit ngk sprockets nd what not one day he said ‘Beta ghadey ko jitna marzi sja lo ghoda nhi ban skta’ means dress up donkey as much as you want it will not became a horse. Next day called up RE with good conections i got my Electra the next afternoon. Don’t be jelous who have waited for months to buy one. After 1 n half yrs we had three bikes at home now. My dad kawasaki caliber, yamaha fazer and electra.As half of the yr i stay abroad. He used to ride my electra. He fell in so much love with that.when i came back he sold his caliber and used to ride only electra. So i sold my fazer and called up RE again nd got my classic 350 on 4th day

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  • RE Bibhas

    chalo something nice on RE

  • Very well written, Jose; though I don’t entirely agree with you on the RE not to be compared to anything else. Nevertheless, it’s the motorcycling in the end that counts!

    • I don’t agree with him at all! Really hard to let this article be on my website 🙂

      • Jaideep

        Aha! Found you comment! It really sticks out like a sore thumb(the “review”) amidst the sea of posts(read biased. not really jk) here really. I know this is late but just saying.

        Case closed. Now one of you wankers should finish that LOST travelogue. It’s been left incomplete like an open ended mystery. WAAAAI U DO DIS??.

        • Akhil Kalsh

          Hehe, all the interesting stuff is done in that travelogue mate.

          • Jaideep

            But but… Where is my closure? You’d be disgruntled too if you were to find that the last chapter of this book you put your time into was missing, however entertaining a time reading it was. Come on man.

            Even though the book did not do justice to its character introduction or properly transitioned between narration from different character perspectives. Well, you could(would) argue that it tried to give the reader an organic and active experience in the way of finding out who is narrating when and where through the course of their “cumbersome” read. No. Totally not reviewing the travelogue. Just bored. 😛

            Also, was it you who curated and edited the travelogue? Just curious. Also, didn’t you make any more trips after that?

          • Akhil Kalsh

            We all did a few posts each. There have been plenty of trips afterwards, but nothing of that scale, at least not for me.

          • Jaideep

            I see. Life does have a way of catching up to you and lull you back into domestication. 😛 Here’s to hoping you can do more interesting trips and regale us all with better organized travelogues and videos edited with great prowess in the not so distant future.