The new Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is a great platform for new riders to step into the world of big singles, as it offers a laid-back power delivery, perfect for someone to learn before owing the larger 650s, or other motorcycles. Royal Enfield has got many things right with the motorcycle, while also missing the mark on a few.
We take a look at some of the hits and misses of the new Royal Enfield Hunter 350 that make it a great motorcycle and some that could have been better.
Also Read: Royal Enfield Hunter 350 First Ride Review
Royal Enfield Hunter 350 – Hits
The new Hunter 350 is the most affordable motorcycle in the Royal Enfield lineup and the Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer has got the pricing right. Costing Rs 1.49 lakh (ex-showroom), the new Hunter 350 is accessible by many who want a new-age Enfield.
|Hunter 350 Variant||Price (ex-showroom)|
|Retro Hunter Factory Series||Rs 1.49 lakh|
|Metro Hunter Dapper Series||Rs 1.63 lakh|
|Metro Hunter Rebel Series||Rs 1.68 lakh|
The new J-Series engine is smooth and reliable. We say so because, with the new J-Series engine, Royal Enfield has managed to eliminate several components that usually fail with REs. Moreover, the engine makes 20 bhp and 27 Nm of torque, making it more than adequate for mere commutes.
|Specifications||RE Hunter 350|
17-inch alloy wheels
The 17-inch alloy wheels add to the modern motorcycle charm, as most manufacturers offer this size, and there is a wide selection of tyres. Also, the black ally wheels are wrapped in fat 110/70-17 front and 140/70-17 rear tubeless tyres.
The colour schemes offered with the new Royal Enfield Hunter 350 are eye-catching, yet subtle, complimenting the new motorcycle extremely well. The colour options are appealing to younger riders and reflect the motorcycle’s attitude very well.
Although the Hunter is RE’s entry-level offering, Royal Enfield has paid attention to offering a host of accessories to customise the Hunter 350. The new Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is the first motorcycle to get a tail tidy from the company, and apart from this, Royal Enfield offers several aesthetic, luggage, and protection accessories for the Hunter 350.
Royal Enfield Hunter 350 – Misses
The spoke wheels offered on the base Retro variants are also 17-inch ones, wrapped in 110/80-17 and 120/80-17 tyres. Royal Enfield could have offered a 19-inch front and an 18-inch rear set-up to cater to customers who want to take it off-road. This might put it directly in the line of the Himalayan and the Scram 411 but still won’t pose a threat to sales. At the least, RE should have offered 18-inch spoke wheels at both ends.
The instrument cluster on the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Retro looks like a last-minute add-on. Instead, Royal Enfield should have offered a simple analogue speedo with a white dial, something like what was offered with the older AVL Machismo 350s.
Cost cutting was primary with the new Hunter motorcycles, however, Royal Enfield should have offered LED headlights with the Metro variants. This would have given the motorcycle a modern touch, especially considering that its closest competitors, the Honda CB 350 RS and the TVS Ronin both get LED headlights.
This is another major miss for Royal Enfield as the motorcycle maker should have given the Metro and Retro versions disc brakes at both ends with a dual-channel ABS. Currently, the Hunter 350 Metro variant gets disc brakes front and rear, while the more affordable Retro gets a drum brake at the rear.
What Royal Enfield has done with the new Hunter 350 is give the market a new motorcycle, turning a new page in terms of how a new customer would look at the company. In that terms, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350, especially the Metro variants do not disappoint. It offers the modern, urban motorcycle one wants with an iconic name.
However, the Retro version seems like it’s put together to keep the motorcycle affordable, skipping out on a rear disc brake, an instrument cluster from the parts bin, and spoke wheels that offer no practical use.
Instead, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Retro version should have been equipped with 18-inch spoke wheels (at least), knobbly tyres, disc brakes front and rear, a simple analogue speedo, and an exhaust routed through the side like the Enfield Woodsman to take on a retro scrambler look — worthy of the ‘Hunter’ name.