Royal Enfield Classic Review

In the south, things are moving at their own pace. When it’s not stuffy, the warm, humid breeze that gently blows through the southern holm oaks strewn with Spanish moss relaxes in a way that you would hardly find anywhere else. It puts you in a southern state of mind – a state where slowing down and living in the moment seems to be the right thing to do. The new Classic 350 from Royal Enfield is the perfect combination for such a place. A historical framework for a historical machine.

Royal Enfield Classic 350 2022

Classic historical style 350 with just enough modernity to make it easy.

+ Tops

  • Liquid engine and gearbox
  • Beautiful appearance with attention to detail
  • Accessible size

– Sigh

  • Questionable manufacturing decisions
  • Not fast enough for the fastest U.S. highways
  • I need more time sitting

This new model is based on the same platform that was first introduced a year ago as the Meteor 350 and shares many of the same components. We didn’t have a chance to test this bike, so the classic would be MO’s first chance to put a leg up on enfield’s modern air/oil cooled 349 single. With the success of the recent Royal Enfield models: the Himalaya and the international and continental GTS with two engines, I was curious to see if this new platform follows this example. From what Royal Enfield North America president Krishnan Ramaswamy has told me, we will be even more excited, even with a handful of new models that will be launched in the next 18 months or so (not all of which will be variants of existing platforms).

This is how Ramaswamy described the Classic 350. What you see is what you get with the classic. Sure, it has ABS, fuel injection and electric start, but that pretty much covers the technology inside. But this does not mean that the 349cc Thumper is not an example of modern technology. Brought to life with the twist of a retro start/stop switch, the single produces a satisfying punch from its single Pea Shot exhaust pipe.

You can feel the impulses of the engine at a standstill, but the moment you press the accelerator pedal, the vibrations leave room for a smooth ride thanks to its balancing shaft. It also delivers a bit more momentum from a stop than I thought. Royal Enfield claims 20.2 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 19.9 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. “It’s just about a few,” says Ramaswamy. This is true. For a bike that is supposed to spend a large part of its time in the city and on secondary roads, which are mainly for recreational purposes, but should continue to perform its daily tasks, it makes sense to focus on the lower end.

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