‘Nice bike, mate. How old is it?’ is a common phrase you’ll hear when parking up the Royal Enfield Classic 350. It exudes elegance and style, and for a motorcycle you can pick up for £4,500, it’s absolutely brilliant.
We had the Classic 350 in for a couple of weeks alongside the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 (or HNTR 350), both built around the same J-Series single-cylinder that’ll convince you to take the scenic route home.
It’s typical Royal Enfield in every way – stylish, accessible, cheap to buy, and ultimately hugely fun to ride. It’s not the perfect motorcycle, but it sure was a huge amount of fun to ride around on!
2023 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Price and Availability
The purchase price for a brand-new Royal Enfield Classic 350 starts at £4,459 for the Halcyon Black, Grey, and Green (as ridden) painted models, going up to £4,539 for the Signals Marsh Grey and Sand, and Dark Gunmetal Grey and Dark Stealth Black. The premium-looking Chrome Red or Chrome Bronze editions are £4,619.
That’s an excellent price for a bike that looks like this. The design is spot on for me, and the more you look at it, the more interesting the bike becomes. Whether opting for a single or twin seat, the overall design is beautiful – with a favourite being the analogue dial with an inset LCD display for trip and odometer, plus the fuel gauge.
Rivals for the Classic 350 are few and far between, with in-house options being the closest comparisons (the Meteor and Hunter 350), with the 300cc segment being a tad under-served for classically styled cruisers. The only alternative is to buy an old model without the luxuries of fuel injection and ABS if you want this classic style!
Engine | Single thumper!
With the same J-Series motor as seen in the Meteor 350 & Hunter 350, this air-oil-cooled single has peak figures of 20 bhp and 27 Nm (20-ish lb-ft) of torque for you to play with. Not huge numbers, but enough to have a laugh on, and more than enough for riding around town and exploring country lanes.
It’s a seriously easy-going ride, with smooth low-end torque delivery to get you up to speed. Acceleration to 30 is rapid, to 60 is okay, and to 70 (or the limited top speed of 71) takes a while. Once at maximum speed in top gear (fifth), you’ll be puttering away unable to go any faster as the bike is limited by the manufacturer – so overtaking at speed is often out of the question.
But, that’s not what this bike is for. You’ll find the true fun begins when you point your nose off the beaten path – though, I suppose the same can be said with all motorcycles!
That smooth low-end torque delivery is paired beautifully with some top riding character and a wicked bassy exhaust note, the bike feels nimble and direct in the corners, and I’d confidently say any rider will have a great time riding one of these – whether jumping straight from a 125cc or down from a litre sports bike. There are no rider modes or electronics to worry about, it’s just simple pure unwavering fun.
However, that 71mph speed (which indicates closer to 75~mph on the dash) is itself a limiting factor. You can’t spend too much time on faster motorways, as it just begins feeling overwhelming for the poor thing. A side advantage to this, in a way, is the frugality of running a single at a peak 71 mph.
Plus, your licence is very likely to stay firmly in your pocket!
Ride Character | Frame, Suspension, Brakes
As already mentioned, the twin downtube spine frame makes for excellent riding character. You have 170mm of ground clearance, an 805mm saddle, and a longer 1390mm wheelbase that gives it great stability on the road.
Wheel size is 19” up front, with an 18” rear wheel. On those wheels, you’ll find a 300mm disc with a twin-piston floating caliper at the front, and a 270mm disc with single floating caliper at the rear.
Braking performance is soft and gentle from the ByBre system, capable of brushing off speed when the going gets quick, but is guilty of the dual-channel ABS kicking in if you really stomp your foot down.
Braking power is plenty fine for this bike, though. Nobody is going to need sharp precision braking on one of these – it’s enough to stop the 195kg Classic comfortably, and gives inexperienced riders a break if pulling on the brakes mid-corner.
Suspension is equally as comfortable to use and covers all bases for all manner of riders and uses. The front is a tad unsettled at the sight of frequent pot holes, the rear a tad hard, but it’s great on the road. Again, no complaints when really pushing on, everything stays planted and reacts exactly how you’d think it should.
You can adjust the rear preload, though it’s not an easy task.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 - a Charming Cruiser
If looking at one of these, the charm of the cruiser is certainly enough o win anyone over. Having recently ventured to Two Wheel Tuesday in Old Buckenham (if you get a chance to go, it’s well worth it – 1200 bikers usually arrive from all over, all in a small Norfolk village!) I spotted a few Classics in the crowd!
That charm extends to what you can use this Classic 350 for; frugal commutes (as long as you’re not doing distance on a motorway, anyway), Sunday spins and café runs.
Accessory options are abundant, in true Enfield style, with panniers and luggage sets, screens, crash bars, the lot.
Town riding is effortless on this, and low-speed control is right up there to make filtering and dodging between traffic incredibly light work.
With the 13-litre tank, you will comfortably get over 200 miles of range per fill-up, and depending on your riding that could stretch to around 230 miles. Royal Enfield do state a hopeful 300+ mile range per tank, which could be possible depending on how sensibly you ride.
For a bike priced so well, there’s plenty of budget leftover for your flair to extend onto the canvas of the Classic 350. Perhaps even getting into the engine to unlock some more power, replacing the brake pads, cutting some weight (like removing the centre stand), and seeing what you end up with. You feel more able to get chopping when the money on the line is £4,500.
Well, sort of.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 Pros and Cons
- Classic charm.
- Easy to ride.
- No overtaking.
- No gear indicator.
- No rev indicator!
2023 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Verdict
It’s easy to look at the spec of a bike on paper and wrongly assess that it’s going to be a bit naff – it’s bikes like this that perfectly show that charm can be found with a bike that can get all the basics bang on, and for a seriously good price.
Full of charm, stunning to look at, and brilliant fun to ride. Royal Enfield’s Classic 350 is the kind of bike you’d love to get in your stable to fill a gap that’s difficult to fill – one that looks good, is more than happy to go for a dance down your favourite country lane, and cheap on the wallet to run and buy.
If you’re after an insurance quote on a Royal Enfield Classic 350, give Lexham a try.
Cheers to Royal Enfield, check out more on the bike on their website.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 Specs
|Engine||349cc, air-oil-cooled, 4-stroke, Single-cylinder, 20 BHP, 27 Nm|
|Brakes||Front 300mm Disc and Rear 270mm disc|
|Suspension||Front 41mm telescopic Forks, Rear twin-shock (6-step preload adjust)|