The car is probably not gentle and agile, however comes with ample design tweaks and an engine now that oozes character
Growing up, my father would take me for a spin both on his cast-iron Bullet 350 or diesel-powered Taurus, and he would inform me all about what made them particular and the way they felt to trip. Now, 20 years later, it’s my flip to take action, however with Royal Enfield’s all-new Classic 350.
If not for this attractive pink and chrome color scheme, it will be somewhat tough to inform that that is the brand-new Classic from even a few bike lengths away. That is humorous as a result of the reality is that each single panel and floor on this motorbike is new and there aren’t any half carry-overs from the previous Classic.
Manufacturers typically chorus from messing with basic design parts of their most sought-after choices, and to be sincere, are you able to blame Royal Enfield? This is a design that modified the very future of Royal Enfield and extra importantly, it isalready so handsome.
Royal Enfield has used this chance to make a giant enchancment in match and end, and total high quality of elements. The first stuff you discover are the up to date switchgear cubes, levers, balloon-grips and neat bar-ends. The switchgear cubes are equivalent to these on the Meteor 350, they usually appear and feel vastly superior to those they substitute. That stated, we want the pass-light swap was barely simpler to function. They have additionally lastly removed the hideous tail-light and quantity plate meeting and opted for a a lot easier set-up. This has tidied-up the rear of the motorbike. Speaking of tidying-up, for 2021, the bike has a lot neater welds, uniform use of Allen bolts and no uncovered wires.
The 2021 replace additionally sees the 346cc UCE’s departure, and instead comes the ‘J-platform’ 349cc engine. This engine is equivalent to the one which made its debut final yr on the Meteor 350, however Royal Enfield has stated the one on the Classic has its personal ignition timing, exhaust format and fuelling map. Map? That is a phrase my father didn’t use to explain his Royal Enfields.
The previous Classic’s pushrod-valve system is changed by a SOHC two-valve head, and whereas the engine stays air-cooled, there may be a further inside oil circuit inside the cylinder head to help cooling. The new engine has an elevated bore, by 2mm, and a diminished stroke, by 4.2mm, whereas additionally gaining a major balancer shaft. Like with the Meteor 350, these adjustments have been made to extend the usable vary of torque, whereas concurrently stamping out the off-putting high-RPM vibrations, and the outcomes are fairly evident.
Royal Enfield was not after efficiency numbers whereas designing this engine, nevertheless it nonetheless will get the Classic to 60kph in 5.25sec and 100kph in 16.23sec, whereas the outgoing one does it in 6.49sec and a torpid 25sec, respectively. What Royal Enfield fanatics will admire probably the most although is that the engine nonetheless oozes character. Yes, it doesn’t have the loud thump of the older engines, nevertheless it nonetheless has a sweet-sounding exhaust be aware. This can also be the primary Classic that may sit at round 95-100kph with out feeling like it’s coming aside. I’d go as far as to say that this bike performs higher than my previous UCE Classic 500 in each single method. The 5-speed gearbox is easy and works properly with this motor, however the clutch feels heavy, particularly in bumper to bumper site visitors.
The 2021 Classic doesn’t go away the identical long-lasting impression relating to the gasoline effectivity numbers. At 32.7kpl (metropolis) and 36.7kpl (freeway), it delivers comparable outcomes because the older one on the freeway, however a barely decrease determine within the metropolis.
Royal Enfield has additionally made massive enhancements within the chassis division. The greatest change comes within the double-downtube body that replaces the essential single-cradle unit. Like with the Meteor 350, the bottom clearance on the 2021 Classic 350 has climbed by 35mm, to a reasonably substantial 170mm. As a consequence, there’s a massive bump in cornering clearance as properly. While the suspension elements may look the identical as earlier than, Royal Enfield has stated that they don’t seem to be; and the brand new Classic will get a fatter 41mm telescopic fork. Even compared with the Meteor, the Classic will get slightly extra damping, which ends up in a barely firmer trip.
The bike has a comparatively agency really feel to the trip high quality, however it isn’t harsh or too stiff. What has come as a by-product of this suspension set-up is rather more assured dealing with. That being stated, it nonetheless doesn’t really feel as agile and light-weight on its ft because the Meteor 350. The totally different tyre sizes, in addition to the totally different rider ergonomics, are in all probability the explanations for this. It makes use of a 100/90 tyre on the entrance and 120/80 part tyre on the rear. The Ceat tyres it comes outfitted with behaved fairly properly within the rain.
Anchorage comes from a 300mm entrance disc and a 270mm rotor on the rear with dual-channel ABS – though there’s a base mannequin with a rear drum brake and single-channel ABS. Braking efficiency is nice with a heavy pull, however the entrance brake really feel is uninteresting, similar to the Meteor’s. Despite this, the 2021 Classic 350 managed to get from 60-0kph in 16.47m, which isn’t solely higher than the outgoing mannequin, but additionally respectable when you think about its heavy, 195 kg kerb weight.
Classic 350 house owners will now not get ridiculed for not having a gasoline gauge. The newest replace has added a small LCD beneath the analogue speedometer that shows the odometer, two journey metres and the lengthy overdue gasoline gauge.
The top-spec Chrome variant additionally will get the corporate’s Tripper navigation show as an elective additional. Using Google Maps information, this technique works when linked to the Royal Enfield app, and we discovered it to be fairly intuitive and useful. However, it doesn’t offer you any name or SMS associated notifications. It can also be laborious to learn with the solar proper overhead. The firm has stated that it’ll supply Tripper navigation as an elective accent on the lower-spec fashions in a number of months’ time.
When in comparison with the outgoing mannequin, the 2021 Classic 350 has main enhancements to the engine, body, suspension and brakes, however with out compromising on the texture that clients will count on. They have additionally added a few options and improved the match and end, whereas they have been at it. With a beginning value of ₹1.84 lakh the single-channel, ABS-equipped Redditch variant is competitively priced. The Halcyon, Signals, Dark and Classic Chrome variants are progressively dearer. The good factor is that, from the Halcyon onwards, all of the fashions are kind of the identical beneath the pores and skin. As a bundle, the Classic 350 has been modernised and improved in virtually each method. However, RE has additionally managed to retain the virtues that Classic followers have a tendency to like and that makes this motorbike a protected, but worthy successor to the unique.