Hyderabad: Modern classics have come and modern classics have gone… but there is one name in the middleweight segment that I have constantly heard of since 2009- ‘Royal Enfield Classic’.
After 12 years and a few upgrades later, the bike is still a favourite choice for enthusiasts and new riders alike. The easy riding stance, that much loved thump and the build quality have made sure that more and more riders chose the Classic over other modern classics.
Now, the Classic gets a new makeover and trust me when I say it, the best it has seen so far. Royal Enfield has a great knack for taking customer feedback and turning it into reality. They have done the same with the new launch – 2021 Classic 350. Let’s get into the details
Striking new changes
One of the first things you will notice at a glance apart from the new colour schemes, is the new instrument cluster which is a good amalgamation of analog and digital meters. While the speedometer remains analog the odometer goes digital with tripmeter in addition. One of the biggest concerns of the riders has now been addressed as the digital meter comes with a fuel gauge. Calmly waiting to be noticed, is the Google integrated turn-by-turn Bluetooth navigator which was first seen on the Meteor 350.
The swanky new switches, taken from the Meteor 350 will also grab your attention soon after you are done exploring the instrument cluster. The spring seats are now replaced with new ones which are way more comfortable to ride on. Another striking new change is the missing kick rod. Yes, the Classic 350 now comes without a kick start!
Not just cosmetic
The new upgrade is more than what meets the eye. The heart of the motorcycle, its engine, has been replaced with 349cc air-oil cooled single cylinder engine, seen on the Meteor. The new engine, which is very refined is mated to a 5 speed gear box and generates a power of 20.2 bhp at 6100 rpm and a torque of 27Nm at 4000rpm, resulting in a strong low-end grunt and super smooth linear power delivery.
Ride and feel
While the numbers speak for themselves, the engine is just as powerful and typical RE as it gets Though I have not had enough time with the motorcycle to go riding on tougher roads, I’m certain the SOHC engine that I have experienced on the Meteor 350, eliminates the occasional chugging as complained by some of the riders earlier.
Designed to be stiffer, the chassis gives more confidence at higher cornering speeds, and feels planted and stable on straight roads. Both the front and the rear suspensions have been worked on really well to help riders spend more time on the saddle.
Gear shifting is smooth and weight distribution is perfect, making the in-city maneuverability quite simple. What I like the most is the responsive and agile dual channel ABS which gives a confident braking experience even at higher speeds on wet monsoon roads.
The seats, both rider and pillion, are just so no-nonsense that they are extremely comfortable throughout the ride.
Thump! The thumpy note of the Classic 350 is what an enthusiast like you and I would not want to compromise on. Again, like I said earlier, the RE listens. Much to my delight, the thumpy exhaust note of this Classic 350 is still music to my ears, despite the refinement in engine and stricter emission norms.
With 5 new variants (Redditch series, the Halcyon series, the Classic Signals, the Dark series and the Classic Chrome) and 11 different colour schemes, the bike becomes a head turner with its strong road presence. Overall, the new Classic 350 is a motorcycle that is rearing to take to places, clocking miles over miles no sweat.
But remember – keep the rubber side down!
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