Royal Enfield has kept its promise to the motorcycling world that we would be seeing more new models from the Indian-owned brand in 2021 with the unveiling of the fully revamped Classic 350 line.
Dating back to 1948, Royal Enfield's Classics were possibly the truest examples of the name within the entire motorcycling world. The most recent example of the Classic 350 debuted alongside the Classic 500 in 2008 and together have sold over 3 million units worldwide. Not bad for small capacity bikes.
After the launch earlier this year of the new (and rather cool in our opinion) Meteor 350 which features a new air-cooled single-cylinder engine, it seemed only a matter of time before Royal Enfield brought new life to its Classic 350 with the same new heart.
That's now been confirmed with the reveal of the new Classic 350 which is expected in New Zealand and Australian dealers later this year. Pricing is yet to be confirmed but we expect them to be priced around the same price-point as the Meteor 350 which retails from $7,490 here in New Zealand.
Visually the new Classic 350 leans heavily on the Royal Enfield's past with a design that looks like it's been plucked right out of 1948. It continues the same design principles we're familiar with from the old Classic 350, but the new engine gives the central mass a lot more visual girth than the old bike.
The new 350 also uses Royal Enfield’s signature style of the teardrop shaped tank, casquette and houses a new headlight to complete the look.
Going by the press photos, the new Classic 350 will be offered with either the classic spoked wheel design or modern alloy wheels in a black finish, plus a range of great looking colour options for the bodywork.
While full specifications have yet to be released by local Royal Enfield distributor Urban Moto Imports, we do know that the new Classic 350 is putting down the same power as the Meteor (20.2hp at 6100rpm backed by 27Nm of torque from 4000rpm) since both utilise the same counterbalanced J-series engine.
This is backed by a 5-speed gearbox which Royal Enfield says has been geared to ensure strong in-city acceleration, as well as a relaxed ride at cruising speed.
Ergonomics look good with the classic retaining a similar rider triangle to the old models. The new Classic has new, wider seats with soft-foam cushion padding. The handlebars are also new with Royal Enfield saying that the riding position has been subtly tweaked to further improve comfort whilst maintaining that familiar Classic feeling.
Like the Meteor, the Classic 350 utilises modern technology when it comes to its electrics.
The guages are now a new set of digi-analog instruments which houses an LCD info panel. A USB charging point will be mounted below the handlebar for the convenience of quick charging on the go, while the very cool turn-by-turn Tripper navigation pod which debuted on the Metoer will be available for the top spec Classic 350 Chrome variant as an accessory.
"The Classic 350 launched in 2008, was a modern and capable motorcycle that symbolized the timeless post-war styling from the heydays of the British motorcycle industry," says Managing Director of Eicher Motors (Royal Enfield's parent company), Siddhartha Lal.
"The all-new Classic 350 beautifully combines this quintessential, timeless design with an absolutely modern and refined ride experience. Built ground-up, on our modern J-series engine, with an all-new chassis, the Classic 350 offers a tremendously refined and impeccable ride experience that almost feels like riding again for the first time," he said.
"We’ve paid great attention to every aspect of the motorcycle, right from its stunning look, to the perfection in parts and the touchpoints, to its impeccable riding performance. The supremely well calibrated engine is super smooth, intuitively responsive and engaging, and has that gorgeous growl on acceleration. The all-new chassis inspires enormous confidence while handling and is especially well-mannered in tight traffic situations and around twisty corners. The Classic is by far the most comfortable motorcycle to ride, with plush seating and suspension, and great ergonomics. The motorcycle is, without a doubt, class-leading, and feels incredibly refined and enjoyable to ride. We are confident that the incredibly refined all-new Classic 350 will once again redefine the mid-size motorcycle space globally.”