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Old 31st December 2014, 13:40   #1
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Default Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Royal Enfield? It's a Royal Oilfield dude
Bullet? If you ride a bullet it will look like bullet is riding you. Put on some weight
Vibrator le raha hai? (Are you buying a vibrator?)
Don't you have any other bike in mind?
You and 2-wheeler? Huh. What's wrong with you?

These were some of the remarks which I had to hear when I decided to finally buy a RE. They were not entirely wrong, since there is a long known history of REs and their maintenance. Since 2-wheelers were banned at my house, I never uttered a topic of buying a 2-wheeler till now. But in some corner of my heart RE had made its place long back (Buying a RE is entirely heart decision, if you involve brain here, you will never buy a RE). If I ever bought a 2-wheeler it will be either a RE or a superbike. Since my IT majdur salary did not allow me to even visit any superbike showroom, it was RE for now .

Decision and other options considered:

The only fear in my mind about riding a RE was about its weight and how will I handle it. I had ridden other bikes for very short time, but never liked riding them. One fine day at my native my uncle offered me to ride his Classic 350. I denied saying no I may not be able to ride, it's heavy and all. Next time too he forced me saying atleast try. Unless you try how can you decide. So with trembling hands I tried! And that was it. The next 3 minutes were enough for me to decide, yes I am buying it!

And I did consider other options just for the sake of considering it. They were - Honda CBR1000, Harley Davidson Nightrod and a Ducati .

Booking experience

With the decision being made, I headed to the RE brand store at Nerul. No comments about typical RE showroom. Everyone is in their own world. You ask for price list and then wait. Someone will handover a piece of paper to you and disappear. You then ask about booking formalities. Some person will say "pay 5000 get a receipt, booking done". Ok. So I got the price list. Of all the REs around Classic 350 was love at first sight. Sadly the maroon color which I wanted was no longer available. The other colors namely some white and some greyish looked bad. Some blue was the new color introduced but it looked boring and dull. I really wish if they gave marine blue of TB350. That blue is definately smashing. So the only choice left was black. Ofcourse shiny black looks the best!

Enquired about the notorious waiting period and came a shocking number of 6-8 months. I knew if you have reference one might be lucky and get it earlier. Called up a school friend of mine who is an avid bulleteer and told him about my decision. Same remark..."RE? You are buying a 2-wheeler? What on earth is wrong with you!". Yes something is wrong, now get back to topic and help me out. He told me to go ahead with the booking and he will look into it..."Ho jayega". He did call up one person there and told him to help me out. With the booking amount paid the endless wait began. Trust me that was the most painful wait I ever suffered. Every week a common reply "yes sir I will try my best". I knew he will, but you see the impatient petrolheads, a week felt like a month.

3 months went by and one fine day I called up and came in a shocker. The giant was dispatched from factory and I was told to pay up the remaining amount. Very next day I went and paid up the remaining amount. OTR price came around 1.33. The tiring wait was coming to an end finally(?). It did arrive in 3-4 days and I went to have a inspection done, before it went for registration. I wanted a choice number same as my i10. Since the new series had just come up in Vashi RTO I was confident of getting it. Ideally it should have taken max of 2-3 days of registration process, but noo. My patience was put to test once again. My RE papers went to RTO on Friday and showroom guys promised me a delivery date sometime next week. I even applied for leave with my manager happily granting it.lol. But Monday I get the news that the great Vashi RTO has been shutdown for 3 days. Why? To clear the backlogs of pending registrations. Morons didn't understand that closing for 3 days will create another backlog. Rants apart, registration got delayed for long. I did get my choice number at the end though.

Delivery Experience

With the registration fomalities done, delivery day arrived. Reached showroom to find the beauty ready and sparkling. Thankfully no delays in that. Person there handed all the delivery documents and explained each and every details about bike very well. Customary puja done. A generous 1litre petrol was provided initially. Since RE doesn't provide any accessories, I had to fit the crash gaurd at the service center.

The first official ride to home

Frankly I never rode any bikes. Just few short rides here and there maybe, that too never in Mumbai. Only once I had ridden Enfield in my life (that's when decision was made). I had never ridden any 2-wheeler in peak traffic. So there I was standing at showroom getting ready to ride it for the first time. Started it and rode to the service center to fit crash gaurd which was barely a km away. Thankfully got adjusted to the clutch and gear things and it didn't stall anywhere in middle.lol. My friend was there whole time helping with the delivery process. He just said ride slowly and take the highway instead of Palm Beach road while going home. Heck, I did not even ride it out from the packed service center, told my friend to take it out for me.

All done, I started for home. Though a bit nervous, rode it confidently till home. Victory!

Initial riding impressions, Likes/Dislikes:
  • Rock solid! Now I may not be an expert when it comes to 2-wheelers, but this beast is definately very stable on roads. It just screams to rocket forward at the slightest input of throttle.
  • Doesn't move a bit and no scary shaking when giants like trucks and buses zoom past by. Heavy weight advantage maybe.
  • Best for cruising type of rides. Cannot zoom cris cross like other bikes, maybe it's difficult or maybe I don't know how to do. Anyways I don't like the way people ride haphazardly sneaking into gaps etc.
  • Found the riding position to be just perfect for my posture. I may be the only person to find seating on CL350 better than TB350.lol.
  • Definately a looker. People do glance.
  • I don't know about other bikes, but gear shifting is not smooth. Maybe because it's new? Does it smoothen out later? Makes a scary khat khat noise while down shifting.
  • Putting in neutral was great pain initially, it simply refused to go into neutral. Though after 450kms of riding, it's no longer an issue. But the known issue of false neutral exists.
  • Low beam is exceptionally very good. High beam is bad.
  • Factory fitted dual horns are excellent. No need of any upgrade.
  • The traditional thump is absent. As is the case with all newer Enfields.
  • Pilot lamps look awesome. Always loved this feature on Enfields.
  • Rear brake travel is quite a bit. Though this can be adjusted, I did feel lack of bite. Front discs are quite good.
  • Biggest dislike for me is the absense of fuel guage. What will I do staring at the ammeter gauge which is provided?
  • Fuel tank capacity is approx 13 litres. Should have been more. With FE hovering around 30, touring range gets limited.
  • Seats are decent as of now. Maybe after riding for few months, the feel for upgrade might come. Have not rode with a pillion, so can't really comment on the pillion seat comfort.
  • Traffic police give a loooong stare when riding with jacket. It's a rare sight to see a biker with proper riding gear. Though I haven't been stopped unnecessarily.

Time for some photos. Have not done a proper photo shoot. All photos from my humble mobile cam:

New logo

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-img_20141208_134738762_hdr.jpg

The day beast arrive at home

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-img_20141208_134730947.jpg

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-img_20141208_134459635.jpg

Love these tail lights

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-img_20141208_134508983.jpg

One Sunday went for a solo longish ride for about 91kms. Basically circumnavigated Mumbai. Since engine run-in period restricts speed of 40, took around 2.5 hours.

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-img_20150104_091853035.jpg

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-img_20150104_091815290.jpg

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-img_20150104_024855.jpg

Special thanks to D-Bhpian SDP for clicking this shot.

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Basic review of riding gear:

Riding Jacket: Rynox Tornado (Cost: INR 6200)

After going through various forums and threads, I had shortlisted DSG for riding jackets. Particularly liked the DSG Genesis variant. Alpinestars was going out of budget and negative reviews about Cramster kept me away. So dropped in by a2z motorcyle superstore at Bhandup to try them out. Sadly to my shock, none of the DSG jackets fit me well. XL too loose and L too tight. Plus the elbow gaurds felt like sliding downwards towards forearms.

The owner of the shop who is also an experienced rider himself, told me to try out Rynox. I had not done any research on this brand, but listening to the first hand reviews from the owner, I tried them. DSG and Rynox both are made in India brands and similar in quality. Luckily Rynox Tornado was a perfect fit. All gaurds at their proper places. Tried with and without inner liner, and it was certainly miles ahead in comfort and fit as compared to DSG (Strictly my reviews)

Positives:
  • Excellent ventilation without liner.
  • Dual liner worked well in early morning chill. Though yet to try out in proper cold weather.
  • zippers feel sturdy

Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!-rynoxtornadoredfront.jpg

Image source

Riding Gloves: Rynox Kombat (Cost: INR 2700)
  • Leather gloves with decent ventilation.
  • Carbon fibre knuckle protection.
  • Excellent grip.

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Helmet: LS2 FF322 (Cost: INR 4600)
  • Added advantage of dual visor.
  • Ventilation is good.
  • A bit negative part is the wind noise.

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Image source

Last edited by Dodge_Viper : 5th January 2015 at 18:23.
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Old 6th January 2015, 19:26   #2
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 6th January 2015, 20:13   #3
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Congrats on your new ride,Hope you have many kilometers of happy riding.

I don't think the weight matters all that much when it comes to riding,I mean once you get riding it doesn't matter does it.Only when trying to push it up a slope does it come into play.I once got myself stuck in a pothole,in front the girls hostel while I was in college.Embarassing

The choppy gearshifts should sort itself out in time.I think.The thump is overrated.You can easily get a different exhaust that suits your taste after your run in period is over.Is it just me or are the new logos not all that good looking?Also didn't you remove the protective sticker over the royal enfield emblem on the rear mudguard?

Nice gear you got there.I myself am thinkin of replacing my Cramster gear.Will look into Rynox.I hope you get one(or more) of those superbikes mentioned soon

Regards

BOV

Last edited by B O V : 6th January 2015 at 20:14.
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Old 6th January 2015, 20:22   #4
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
Originally Posted by B O V View Post
Congrats on your new ride,Hope you have many kilometers of happy riding.

I don't think the weight matters all that much when it comes to riding,I mean once you get riding it doesn't matter does it.Only when trying to push it up a slope does it come into play.I once got myself stuck in a pothole,in front the girls hostel while I was in college.Embarassing

The choppy gearshifts should sort itself out in time.I think.The thump is overrated.You can easily get a different exhaust that suits your taste after your run in period is over.Is it just me or are the new logos not all that good looking?Also didn't you remove the protective sticker over the royal enfield emblem on the rear mudguard?

Nice gear you got there.I myself am thinkin of replacing my Cramster gear.Will look into Rynox.I hope you get one(or more) of those superbikes mentioned soon

Regards

BOV
Thanks BOV.

Yup, rightly said. Weight doesn't really matter, that was just my mind playing.

Regarding that sticker, not sure, it's just a plain sticker. Or did they remove that emblem from newer productions.Let me try removing that.

Last edited by Dodge_Viper : 6th January 2015 at 20:24.
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Old 7th January 2015, 00:09   #5
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
[i]

And I did consider other options just for the sake of considering it. They were - Honda CBR1000, Harley Davidson Nightrod and a Ducati .

Best for cruising type of rides. Cannot zoom cris cross like other bikes, maybe it's difficult or maybe I don't know how to do. Anyways I don't like the way people ride haphazardly sneaking into gaps etc.

What will I do staring at the ammeter gauge which is provided?

Since engine run-in period restricts speed of 40, took around 2.5 hours.
reviews)

Congrats on the bullet , no other bike like it in this segment for calm headed riding


Out of curiosity , are Ducati bikes still sold out of dealership here or pre worshiped options ?

Cris crossing as majority 2 wheeler traffic here do is very dangerous , don't be influenced by Indian traffic as a significant percentage , often majority have a complete lack of foresight and common sense while driving/riding .

Your own observation makes me think too , why indeed have they retained the ammeter on the new bikes ? Is it to complete the old school instrument cluster or it actually serves some purpose asides from letting you know your battery is being charged or not (I assume that should not be a concern in the new models , even in the cast iron bikes , the ammeter is only useful to the beginners to indicate compression ) .

40kmph restriction for first 1000km ? that is surprisingly low . What is the approx. rpm of the engine while doing 60 in the top gear ?
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Old 7th January 2015, 08:50   #6
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Congrats Dodge_Viper and welcome to the club!!

Each bull has a character of its own. Its more like wife or girlfriend and more you know your bull, the better it will serve you. Anyways hearty congratulations once again, keep revving
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Old 7th January 2015, 11:05   #7
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post

Sadly the maroon color which I wanted was no longer available. The other colors namely some white and some greyish looked bad. Some blue was the new color introduced but it looked boring and dull.
In fact I too loved the Maroon colour and booked the same in month Jan'14 and come May, I got a call from RE and told me that Maroon is no more under production and I can change my colour preference, So I went ahead and booked Lagoon which they promised to deliver it fast and they delivered me the first Lagoon CL350 bike which they got in their showroom on 2-July-14. But in Bangalore they donít allow to do PDI of the vehicle, in fact I saw my vehicle only on day of delivery, but who cares as long as I can get my RE faster .
PS: CL350 FE is much better than 30, I usually get 40+ when I drive sedately i.e within 70kmph and 36+ when I drive above that speed and in Bangalore traffic.

And I think this is first CL350 review in TBhp.
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Old 7th January 2015, 12:38   #8
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
Royal Enfield? It's a Royal Oilfield dude
Bullet? If you ride a bullet it will look like bullet is riding you. Put on some weight
Vibrator le raha hai? (Are you buying a vibrator?)
Don't you have any other bike in mind?
You and 2-wheeler? Huh. What's wrong with you?

Since 2-wheelers were banned at my house, I never uttered a topic of buying a 2-wheeler till now.
Your opening post made me wonder if you were me in a parallel universe. Faced so many of the same comments. The two wheeler thing was never a problem with my family until I got into an accident that got me two screws in my knee. I saved up for my TB 350 since I was a kid, so I got worried I wouldn't be able to get her. Fortunately, my dad was supportive and I got my ride in 2010. Despite all the problems she gives me, I always stare at my bike after parking up (No better proof that you made the right purchase decision ).

Quote:
(Buying a RE is entirely heart decision, if you involve brain here, you will never buy a RE).
Perfectly worded. A line I use in many RE debates.

Quote:
I don't know about other bikes, but gear shifting is not smooth. Maybe because it's new? Does it smoothen out later? Makes a scary khat khat noise while down shifting.
Nope, doesn't go away. It does get a little smoother and you get used to it anyway. Just beware of false neutrals, especially with spirited shifting.

Quote:
Rear brake travel is quite a bit. Though this can be adjusted, I did feel lack of bite. Front discs are quite good.

Biggest dislike for me is the absense of fuel guage. What will I do staring at the ammeter gauge which is provided?

Traffic police give a loooong stare when riding with jacket. It's a rare sight to see a biker with proper riding gear. Though I haven't been stopped unnecessarily.
-The brake is strong, but falls loose very easily. You can use the tommy bar like tool that loosens/tightens the spark plug, to tighten the brake. Liners will mostly need a replacement every 1500-1800 kms or so.

-Even the fuel gauge on the TB is terribly inaccurate, so you'll develop a "fuel sense" for when you have to tank up .

-I too ride with full gear and just about everyone stares at you. It's general curiosity and it actually feels good. Hope more people follow the example.

Welcome to the RE family and please don't hesitate do get in touch if you need any advise/help.
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Old 7th January 2015, 13:02   #9
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
Originally Posted by B O V View Post
The thump is overrated.You can easily get a different exhaust that suits your taste after your run in period is over.
I want a deeper thump with bass. Not that phat phat kind of tump. One question though, do we get custom silencers officially from Enfield? I fear about warranty if fitting from outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Congrats on the bullet , no other bike like it in this segment for calm headed riding

Out of curiosity , are Ducati bikes still sold out of dealership here or pre worshiped options ?

Your own observation makes me think too , why indeed have they retained the ammeter on the new bikes ?

40kmph restriction for first 1000km ? that is surprisingly low . What is the approx. rpm of the engine while doing 60 in the top gear ?
Thanks basuroy!

No idea about Ducati. Never bothered to check.
Regarding the ammeter thing, It's not that everyday I need to check the battery status. I don't think unless you put on some heavy electrics like horns, aux lights etc battery will suffer. Hence I mostly feel its kinda useless.

As per manual, first 500kms officially speed restrictions in 5th gear is about 60 and then till 2k kms its 70. But my friendly SA advised me to keep it in range of 40 till 500kms. Anyways first service is up @ 500kms. So will check with few more. 60~70 wouldn't be an issue though after 500kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soarer View Post
So I went ahead and booked Lagoon which they promised to deliver it fast and they delivered me the first Lagoon CL350 bike which they got in their showroom on 2-July-14.

PS: CL350 FE is much better than 30, I usually get 40+ when I drive sedately i.e within 70kmph and 36+ when I drive above that speed and in Bangalore traffic.

And I think this is first CL350 review in TBhp.
Thanks soarer!

And please no offence on my views about blue color which I mentioned in my post. That's only my personal opinion.

I have not calculated FE. Good to hear that FE figures though. How did you measure? Pardon my lame question, but while filling up, does the fuel pump auto cutoff when full? Like in cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
Nope, doesn't go away. It does get a little smoother and you get used to it anyway. Just beware of false neutrals, especially with spirited shifting.

-The brake is strong, but falls loose very easily. You can use the tommy bar like tool that loosens/tightens the spark plug, to tighten the brake. Liners will mostly need a replacement every 1500-1800 kms or so.

-Even the fuel gauge on the TB is terribly inaccurate, so you'll develop a "fuel sense" for when you have to tank up .

-I too ride with full gear and just about everyone stares at you. It's general curiosity and it actually feels good. Hope more people follow the example.

Welcome to the RE family and please don't hesitate do get in touch if you need any advise/help.
Thanks Tushar for the important tips.
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Old 7th January 2015, 13:22   #10
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
One question though, do we get custom silencers officially from Enfield
I don't think they have any factory exhausts other than the upswept.Interestingly enough I hear that the A.S.S guys themselves encourage owners to change their exhausts.From your description the Goldstar and Short bottle might be too loud and shrill.The Wild Boar(I think there are 2 types)sounds amazing I feel.Got a really sweet note.I dunno anything about the warranty getting voided,best to check with your A.S.S.I don't think it should be an issue though.

Regarding the ammeter still being on the bikes without apparent function.Well,On the Classic 500 it has a reserve light in amber built into it.Apart from that I'm quite sure that its retained due to the fact that the headlamp nacelles for all the models except the thunderbird remain the same.Hence it would be not worth the extra trouble at the factory level to close em up.Plus it looks kinda cool.I'm sure if it were not there it would look quite off.I've found it helpful for trouble shooting electrical problems on my motorcycle too('83 CI).Since the ammeter shows a deflection when the brakelights or indicators are switched on.

Regards

BOV
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Old 7th January 2015, 18:49   #11
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Congrats on your new purchase and welcome to RE club

I can very well relate to some of your observations about the bike as I took delivery of my Silver CL350 last month. I agree that the lack of a fuel indicator is probably the only sore point in an other wise very competent ride.

I got its first free service done last week and the gear shift has been butter smooth since then so yes, I guess the ride quality and gear shift will get smoother as you go along munching miles and with timely service intervals.

For now I am planning to stick with stock exhaust for at least the first 2k kms and then get a Wildboar. Have couple of friends using Wildboar on their respective rides and its thump is just what you maybe looking for, not very loud and not too tame either.
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Old 7th January 2015, 19:51   #12
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
Originally Posted by B O V View Post
Regarding the ammeter still being on the bikes without apparent function.Well,On the Classic 500 it has a reserve light in amber built into it.
Ah, I wish they retained that reserve amber light or atleast some kind of indication of fuel reaching the reserve mark. The only way to know its hitting the reserve is when it stops .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZinFluent View Post
Congrats on your new purchase and welcome to RE club

I got its first free service done last week and the gear shift has been butter smooth since then so yes, I guess the ride quality and gear shift will get smoother as you go along munching miles and with timely service intervals.

For now I am planning to stick with stock exhaust for at least the first 2k kms and then get a Wildboar. Have couple of friends using Wildboar on their respective rides and its thump is just what you maybe looking for, not very loud and not too tame either.
Thanks Zinfluent. My first service is due this Saturday. Hopefully should improve. What were the speeds which you maintained before/after first service?
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Old 8th January 2015, 15:42   #13
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
Ah, I wish they retained that reserve amber light or atleast some kind of indication of fuel reaching the reserve mark. The only way to know its hitting the reserve is when it stops .



Thanks Zinfluent. My first service is due this Saturday. Hopefully should improve. What were the speeds which you maintained before/after first service?
Congrats on your new purchase buddy!!

40kmph indeed sounds very low, it might lug at that speeds in 5th gear. I had the 500cc one and used to maintain speeds of ~55 kmph for the first 500 and then ~65 kmph after that till 2k kms. Gradually topped it to 110 kmph by running it in over the next 200 kms.

Happy riding!!!

Cheers,
Nitin....
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Old 8th January 2015, 17:06   #14
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

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Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
Thanks Zinfluent. My first service is due this Saturday. Hopefully should improve. What were the speeds which you maintained before/after first service?
For the first 500 Kms, I maintained speeds of up to 50 kmph in 5th gear. After the first service, I now go up to 60 kmph in the 5th gear and as prescribed in the manual, I intend to follow this practice until 2k kms.

Even after being very careful with the speeds during run in period, the fuel efficiency hasn't been something to boast about. I haven't calculated it very accurately but my estimation is between 33-35 kmpl.

I am guessing it will improve gradually
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Old 8th January 2015, 21:44   #15
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Default Re: Hercules: My Royal Enfield Classic 350!

The manual says not to exceed 60 Kms the first 500 KMs and 70 KMs until 3000 Kms.I got mine in Nov 2014.
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