The neo-retro motorcycle segment is flourishing in India at a rapid pace. While this category has been largely dominated by Royal Enfield, we now have some great products from other players as well and the TVS Ronin is one of them. We have ridden Royal Enfield’s most affordable offering, the Hunter 350, and the new TVS Ronin extensively on the roads of Delhi-NCR to tell you which one is a better buy considering real-world scenarios.
RE Hunter 350 vs TVS Ronin: Design
Starting with the design, the Hunter 350 brings freshness to Royal Enfield’s stable. It has a unique character and, at the same time, gets signature Royal Enfield elements as well. The motorcycle features a round-shaped halogen headlamp, fork cover gaiters, multi-spoke alloy wheels, a stubby exhaust and an LED taillamp. While the Hunter is quite small by RE standards, the motorcycle will fit most riders well and its riding position is easy to get along with.
The Hunter 350’s compact dimensions would surely appeal to young riders. Royal Enfield is offering this 350cc motorcycle in a total of eight colour schemes. The Metro variant is available in Rebel Black, Rebel Red, Rebel Blue, Dapper Ash, Dapper White and Dapper Grey colour shades. Its base-spec Retro variant, on the other hand, is available in Factory Silver and Factory Black shades only.
The Ronin is unlike any other motorcycle we have seen so far from the house of TVS Motor Company. It looks stylish and grabs eyeballs out on the streets. It gets golden-coloured front forks and an all-LED headlamp with a T-shaped LED DRL. The Ronin even sports LED turn indicators and a slim LED taillamp. This cruiser features a muscular fuel tank and a tan seat on the top-spec variant that lends it a premium appeal.
TVS Ronin is being offered in a total of six colour shades. There are two mono-tone, two dual-tone and two triple-tone colour variants on sale. The single-tone paint schemes are Lightning Black & Magma Red, dual-tone shades include Stargaze Black & Delta Blue while the triple-tone colours are Galactic Grey & Dawn Orange.
RE Hunter 350 vs TVS Ronin: Engine and performance
In terms of engine performance, both these retro cruiser motorcycles are completely different from each other. While their power output is identical, RE’s larger engine produces more torque on paper. These motorcycles even sound and feel very different. Also, it’s worth noting that with a kerb weight of 181 kg, Royal Enfield’s lightest motorcycle, the Hunter 350, is heavier than the Ronin (160 kg) by as much as 21 kg.
The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 gets a new 350cc, single-cylinder, air and oil-cooled, fuel-injected engine that we also get on the Meteor and the Classic 350. This motor develops 20.2 bhp at 6,100 RPM and 27 Nm at 4,000 RPM. Being a long-stroke motor, it has a thumpy sound and while this motorcycle has a sluggish low-end performance, it shines with its mid-range punch.
The TVS Ronin gets a brand new 225.9cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled motor that develops 20.1 bhp at 7,750 RPM and 20 Nm of peak torque at 3,750 RPM. Get on its saddle and the first thing you will notice is that this engine feels very smooth & refined, something one would expect from a new-gen TVS product. Both these motorcycles get a 5-speed manual gearbox.
The Ronin is also quicker off the line, thanks to its peak torque coming up at just 3,750 RPM, which is even lower than the Enfield. Moreover, TVS’ GTT or Glide Through Technology helps it in its initial acceleration and till 80 kmph this motor feels at home, post which it starts struggling.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that the TVS Ronin gets a slip & assist clutch and the clutch pull is pretty light which works in its favour. RE’s Hunter 350, on the other hand, gets a heavy clutch and it becomes quite a task when you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper city traffic. In fact, Hunter’s clutch even feels heavier than the one we get on the Meteor 350 and the new-gen Classic 350.
RE Hunter 350 vs TVS Ronin: Ride and Handling
In terms of hardware, the Ronin takes a modern approach with its golden 41mm USD front forks and a mono-shock absorber at the rear. Whereas, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 gets telescopic front forks and dual spring-loaded shock absorbers at the rear. In terms of handling, both these motorcycles are equally good and quite flickable by this segment’s standards.
When it comes to ride quality, the TVS Ronin is quite comfortable, thanks to its well-calibrated soft suspension that offers a plush ride. The suspension of the Hunter 350 is on the firmer side and on bumpy roads, it might get a little uncomfortable, especially for lighter riders. Talking about comfort levels, while the rider seat is nice and comfy on both motorcycles, the Ronin offers a better pillion seat with well-positioned footpegs and grabrails.
RE Hunter 350 vs TVS Ronin: Features
In terms of features, the TVS Ronin gets an all-LED lighting system and a digital instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity that shows turn-by-turn navigation, call alerts and more. It even gets a voice assist feature and two ABS modes. The Hunter 350 features a semi-digital instrument cluster and a USB charging port. Royal Enfield is also offering its Tripper navigation pod with the Hunter 350 but only as an accessory.
RE Hunter 350 vs TVS Ronin: Price and verdict
Finally, let’s talk about the price and our verdict. The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is offered in two variants – Retro & Metro, which have been spread across three trim levels. Its prices start at Rs 1.50 lakh and they go up to Rs 1.72 lakh, ex-showroom. TVS Ronin is available in three variants and its prices range from Rs 1.49 lakh to Rs 1.69 lakh, ex-showroom.
The Hunter 350 is a great entry point to the Royal Enfield community. It looks good, offers a decent performance & features and doesn’t cost a bomb. Most importantly, it’s an Enfield, so you just can’t go wrong with it. In fact, there is always pride associated with owning a RE-badged motorcycle.
But, when we talk about which one is a better value-for-money package between these two motorcycles, it has to be the TVS Ronin as it offers great performance, ride quality and a whole bunch of features complemented with a striking design at an attractive price point.
Watch Video | Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Review:
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Which retro cruiser motorcycle will you pick, the TVS Ronin or the Royal Enfield Hunter 350? Do let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned with Express Drives for more updates and also, do subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest auto news and reviews.