The Royal Enfield Classic 350 is a perfect amalgamation of retro charm and modern day muscle. This old-school motorcycle carries all the classic aura which a vintage motorcycle carries throughout its silhouette. The overall design and riding feel take you back to the mid-decades of the 20th century, with its appeal and stance. This motorcycle is a perfect example that a dated design can still taste good even now.
To be more specific, the Royal Enfield Classic carries the design of the early '40s of the past century, in a more enhanced manner. The body parts, while still resembling the original Bullets, are still in symphony with the overall stance. The chrome finished rounded headlight in front along with body coloured suspension bits and front mudguard clearly signify you that this motorcycle is down to its business of being a retro machine. The fuel tank is rounded and gels well with the overall design. The rear and side body panels are minimalistic with battery covers finished in body colour. The rear sports a tail light and the licence plate fitted together in a single black unit.
The instrument console follows a simplistic approach with an analogue speedometer, odometer and battery indicator. Seating options of a single seat as well as double seats are given for the individuality of the rider. The absence of a fuel gauge reminds you back to its old-gold appeal, but then, it should have been given for modern day functionality. The build and fit and finish is average with few niggles here and there.
Royal Enfield engines are known for their famous 'dug-dug' exhaust note, and the Classic does fit the shoes of its ancestors in this aspect. The engine is a large single-cylinder, 346cc unit, which makes out a meagre 20PS of power and 28Nm of torque. The specifications may not sound that great as the exhaust sound, but thanks to the availability of that torque at a lower rpm, the drivability of the engine is fantastic. Power delivery is smooth, though the 5-speed gearbox is notchy, and you may end stuck in wrong gears sometimes. The refinement word is what this motorcycle hates, and may sound too harsh at high revolutions.
The ride quality of the Royal Enfields has always been outstanding, with the Classic 350 taking the benchmark even higher. The suspension setup of front telescopic forks and rear gas charged shocks may seem too simple and dated, but it does work wonders on this motorcycle. The Classic 350 takes all the bumps and potholes with ease. And being a bulky motorcycle, the handling of this motorcycle is pretty good. The brakes, front disc and rear drum, though lack bite, and feel rubbery at times. Overall, this motorcycle is an ideal tool for long highway cruising, while city commuting takes a bit more sweat out your glands due to its weight.
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 is just not a motorcycle. It’s a legend and it acts so. The way it looks and rides, gives it a commanding feel that none other bike below 500cc can do. You get instant respect by passers-by and vehicles once you take this imposing machine on the roads. Sure, the Classic 350 isn't for everyone, but it's for those who respect the aura of old era of motorcycles and loves and respects a motorcycle despite of its flaws.
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