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Old 3rd August 2015, 21:30   #1
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Talking Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Background

I have been using a preowned esteem 2007 (CNG) for 4 years now and have covered over 60K kms with odo on 1L kms. Although the running costs have been quite good , maintenance costs have been eating into the savings like anything. Some typical problems I have been regularly facing:

1. Oil leaks from different seals (distributor, head, at times filter etc)
2. Coolant leaks, all hoses changed after facing 3 leaks from different hoses in the cooling system.
3. Wiper links

It runs well, gives a mileage of 18-22 km/kg of CNG and 11-14 km/l of petrol.
But with increasing traffic in NCR resulting in some insane jams and commuting time, I decided to look at 2 wheels. It was just a thought initially with no concrete decision.

I am a complete car guy with no history of motorbikes whatsoever. A few years back I had tried a friends electra and a couple of other bikes like Karizma, pulsars, splendours etc. Immediately I was touched by the way electra runs. It touches your soul and makes you feel 'different' .


Test drive:
I was 100% sure of buying a Royal Enfield, didnt even want to look at anything else. Still just for the heck of checking out stuff, I went through the reviews of some good alternatives like:
-KTM duke 200
-Yamaha R15
-Avenger

All I did was just check out some web pages on them. Mentally I was sure that it has to be a Royal Enfield. A lot of times I had passed Royal Enfield Company showroom next to Select City Walk, Saket, drooling on those test bikes outside and yellow GT visible on the showroom pane.
Took a half day, and decided to do a few test rides.

Ride 1: Classic 350 (with upswept exhaust)
Being extremely new to biking, the sales guy was extremely courteous in ensuring a smooth ride. A half face helmet was given and I was surprised by a nice rev friendly purr (Not thump) of Classic.

Pros:
  • Loved the looks. All vintage and classy.
  • Good torque, good low and mid range, sufficient top end.
  • Handles quite well and is very nimble.
  • Spring seat is actually useful. You wont feel minor bumps and uneven surfaces. And I mean it, you wont feel them at all.
Cons:
  • Vibrated like hell. (Blame it on the test drive vehicle, my new one doesnt vibrate as insanely as the test drive one did.
  • You may take some time to get used to the rear brakes. Front is awesome but rear one requires some effort.
Ride 2:
Electra

Pros:
  • Looks good
  • Seating posture is very relaxed. You sit straight with handlebar closer to you.
  • Had a short bottle silencer. Amazing thump. 19 tires result in good relaxed ride.
Cons:
  • None
  • Rear tire
Thunderbird 350
Stock exhaust.
  • Loved the quiet melodious negligible thump.
  • Huuuuuuge tank, When riding, feels as if you are sitting inside it with handles around , big dials, wide tank.
  • Very good braking
  • Engine feels refined
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING !! Trust me, you will be amazed by how stable it is. Less nimble, YES, but very stable.
  • Feels like a big bike
Cons:
  • Too refined and modern for my liking. I loved vibrating loud vintage classic and electra
  • Rear seat is pathetic. Use a backpack and no one can sit behind you. Very less space.

Decision:
Classic! If you ask me, I will still recommend Thunderbird, but, Thunderbird appeals to head but classic and electra to the soul. Styling will take you to the 60s/70s. Thunderbird is modern. Maybe a very good option for someone who doesnt want to spend 4.5L on a not so big street 750. If you plan to go on a lot of solo rides, handling and 20l tank is worth it.

Booked a classic 350 (Ash), given a waiting of approx 4 months. 1 month later, changed to black, 1 week later, changed to silver. Paid 5K as the booking amount.

Delivery:
Delivered well before promised, (Booked in May, Delivered by June end). Amazing work by the company store, Saket.
A week before tentative delivery, I got a call from the rep asking for loan documents and downpayment. Hassle free, quick processing.


Delivery Day:
All the documents, service manual, service centres well explained.
Delivered in approx 1-2 hours max.

A proper cleaning and waxing given to the bike before delivery.

Initial driving:
Extremely refined with tight gear shifts, very good braking. As per recommendation in service manuals, kept it below 50 kph with correct gear changes. Engine is quite tight initially and doesnt rev freely.
On the very first day, got the leg guards installed. (Cost 600). Had a fall a few days back when it was stationery, leg slipped. Leg guards handled the weight very well.

Handle bar change:
Stock handle bar is low and short, less height then electra . Started having wrist pains on long rides. Improved with time but still quite uncomfortable.
Got a RD handlebar from karol bagh. Stock cables were not changed, but stretched a bit. Now the posture is excellent. You sit straight with arms near you and quite high. Lengthier handlebar translates into less vibrations and stable ride. Even the mirror are quite useful now. Handlebar had the slot for bar end weights.

Mileage before 1st service: 43 km/l
Mileage after 1st service: 45 km/l
Mileage after 1800 kms: 46 km/l

Niggles:
None till now. Not even one.

1st Service: 500 kms
Washup and service. Cost: 1220/-
Engine oil change : Motul 15W50
Oil additive
Fuel additive
Chain lube

Post Service: Gearshifts are smoother, way more smoother. Engine has slowly opened up a bit. Clutch play feels better.

Recommendation to new buyers: Check out bullet 500 also, its an amazing bike.

Some stats:
Performance: Lazy acceleration, try to twist the throttle, all you will get are vibrations, but gracefully ride it, you will love the torque in the low -med rpm.

Mileage: Irrespective of riding, expect 40-47 km/l

Braking: Good enough, Use rear brakes as well. Front tends to lock up if road has loose gravel/ dirt. Rear tire provides excellent grip, you cant lock it up easily.

Handling: Good for cruising, stable at high speeds, a bit heavy for stop and go traffic.

Misc: Use chain lube regularly, spray some WD40 around nuts and screws, may get rusted. I am using 3M chain lube and cleaner.

Mods: A mobile holder, lock

Mods planned: Maybe an exhaust for meatier thump, a USB charger if I go out frequently.

Feel free to ask anything.


And please , you dont need a fuel gauge ! It has good range ! Enjoy the "information free" experience. Amp meter is quite useful.

My feedback: you will love it, dont treat it as a mode of transportation. Treat it as a companion, you will be rewarded. Its a beautiful thing to own.


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Old 4th August 2015, 09:42   #2
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Default re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeep11787 View Post
I was 100% sure of buying a Royal Enfield, didnt even want to look at anything else. Mentally I was sure that it has to be a Royal Enfield.
sudeep11787 mate first of all congratulations on buying the RE Classic 350. Welcome to the RE fraternity. Good that you listened to your heart. That's what RE does to you. Ride Hard Ride Safe.

Quote:
Thunderbird 350
Stock exhaust.
  • Loved the quiet melodious negligible thump.
  • Huuuuuuge tank, When riding, feels as if you are sitting inside it with handles around , big dials, wide tank.
  • Very good braking
  • Engine feels refined
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING !! Trust me, you will be amazed by how stable it is. Less nimble, YES, but very stable.
  • Feels like a big bike
You're bang on right about the new Tbird. I ride the Tbird500 and agree to all your points mentioned above.

Quote:
Classic! If you ask me, I will still recommend Thunderbird, but, Thunderbird appeals to head but classic and electra to the soul.
Listen to your heart and you will never go wrong mate. Ask me I have been there done it. Also I have come across very few riders who acknowledge the RE Bullet Electra's prowess right from the day it was launched way back in 2004. You are one among those few riders who acknowledges RE Bullet Electra's prowess in its existing form. I could make out by reading your posts.

You will come across people exclaiming the RE Classic is not a "Real Bullet", well my advice to you is to plainly IGNORE them and enjoy your ride. Your silver Classic 350 is a beauty, I love that color over every other color on the Classic series. Ride Safe
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Old 4th August 2015, 09:46   #3
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Default re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeep11787 View Post
Thunderbird 350
  • Loved the quiet melodious negligible thump.
  • Huuuuuuge tank, When riding, feels as if you are sitting inside it with handles around , big dials, wide tank.
  • Very good braking
  • Engine feels refined
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING
  • EXCELLENT HANDLING !! Trust me, you will be amazed by how stable it is. Less nimble, YES, but very stable.

Decision:
Classic! If you ask me, I will still recommend Thunderbird, but, Thunderbird appeals to head but classic and electra to the soul. Styling will take you to the 60s/70s. Thunderbird is modern.
RE offered us a free (we had to bear only the fuel expenses) corporate ride last year from Hyderabad to SriSailam and back (500+ kms). We got to ride all their bikes including Thunderbird 350, 500, GT, etc., After that ride, I came away impressed with Thunderbird 500's ride and handling. Its ride was supremely refined, comfortable and STABLE, even while doing insane speeds, and in corners.
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Old 4th August 2015, 12:57   #4
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Congratulations on the new ride and welcome to the family!

Quote:
the sales guy was extremely courteous in ensuring a smooth ride.

Delivery:
Delivered well before promised, (Booked in May, Delivered by June end). Amazing work by the company store, Saket.
A week before tentative delivery, I got a call from the rep asking for loan documents and downpayment. Hassle free, quick processing.


Delivery Day:
All the documents, service manual, service centres well explained.
Impressive! My sales experience was a joke in comparison. There was no clarity on the delivery date, the bike had to get its tank replaced because it was damaged, and the sales persons didn't explain a thing. Hope your experience isn't a one off and RE has actually changed for the better.

Quote:
Mods planned: Maybe an exhaust for meatier thump,
Yep, definitely go for that, but be careful and steer clear of the free-flows.
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Old 4th August 2015, 13:50   #5
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Congratulations on the new ride. May you have years and miles of hassle free ownership with your Bullet.
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Old 4th August 2015, 14:11   #6
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Quote:
You're bang on right about the new Tbird. I ride the Tbird500 and agree to all your points mentioned above.


You will come across people exclaiming the RE Classic is not a "Real Bullet", well my advice to you is to plainly IGNORE them and enjoy your ride. Your silver Classic 350 is a beauty, I love that color over every other color on the Classic series. Ride Safe
And btw maroon is back on classic. Tbird 500 I am sure is a pleasure to ride. All that refinement with huge tank and a 500 cc engine. Do you use it for commuting as well or just weekend rides? BTW I noticed the difference in the rear tire of classic and tb, Is it the increased width, dia or sidewall? I guess its 120/80 on tb and 110/90 on c3?
When I test rode it, it gave me so much confidence that I wanted to take out my cell and capture a shot, but logic kicked in and refrained to do so. It keeps on going straight in a line as if some invisible force is holding it tight in its line.


Quote:
RE offered us a free (we had to bear only the fuel expenses) corporate ride last year from Hyderabad to SriSailam and back (500+ kms).
How was the ride on continental GT? Is it more rev friendly or a lot of low end torque?

Quote:
Impressive! My sales experience was a joke in comparison.
Yep, definitely go for that, but be careful and steer clear of the free-flows.
Definitely, I extremely hate the hollow sound of free flow. As of now I love the muted thump of stock, but rarely there is a tappet noise when engine is quite heated, and I wanted something to drown it with.
I like wild boar and short bottle. Even upswept is good, but not sure about tire removal convenience with it.

I guess its a company store thats why very well managed. I got a really bad vibe when I visited the showroom in Gurgaon, they have a "take it or leave it, we dont care, the next guy will get it quicker" attitude.

Saket company store is extremely well managed. Very good staff, very very transparent. And doesn't give you a retail kind of experience. No additional stuff being forced upon you for money making. Saket company store definitely recommended !!!

I hope your bike is good now? How much have you covered till date?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post
Congratulations on the new ride. May you have years and miles of hassle free ownership with your Bullet.
Thanks. Even I hope so ! Keeping it stock and riding it with a lot of love !
But if himalayan comes out as it is being shown in the spy pics, I definitely want that as well !

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 5th August 2015 at 08:53. Reason: Back to back posts merged. Please edit your post within the 30 minute edit window to add/edit your posts.
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Old 4th August 2015, 17:43   #7
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Congratulations on your new ride and very encouraging to see you buy the riding jacket as well.

Wish you miles of smiles on your new ride.
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Old 4th August 2015, 21:18   #8
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Quote:
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Congratulations on your new ride and very encouraging to see you buy the riding jacket as well.

Wish you miles of smiles on your new ride.
Yeah.. Got it from Royal Enfield showroom in Khan Market. Approx 7K. With a removable inner lining, 3M reflective stripes, and some armor on shoulders, back, elbow etc.
Ventilation is good enough but still unable to use it in the usual Delhi summer.

Helmets also I prefer Full face only, makes me feel safe, protects from pollution to a good extent, flying insects and no wind blast.

Initially I wanted a LS2, but could not find a XL (62ish) online. Studds Shifter is quite good and fits really well. I am planning to get knee protectors also. Do you think they are worth it?
I got some very very usual "probiker" gloves but hated the grip. Felt as if I am not holding handles at all, got rid of them.

Next purchase: Some good black boots which wont attract attention at workplace.
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Old 4th August 2015, 21:57   #9
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Congrats on your new ride and welcome to the RE club. I own a Silver CL350 too and its been 8 months of blissful association

My bike is completely stock as of now but changing the stock handle bar has been on my mind for quite some time. The handle bar you have opted for looks to be a practical option keeping long rides comfort in mind.

I had changed the exhaust to the up swept one from RE but hated it due to excessive vibrations so switched back to the stock exhaust again. Planning to go for Goldstar with Glasswool by Sans Classic as I have read some very good reviews about it.

Ride Safe
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Old 5th August 2015, 06:38   #10
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZinFluent View Post
Congrats on your new ride and welcome to the RE club. I own a Silver CL350 too and its been 8 months of blissful association

My bike is completely stock as of now but changing the stock handle bar has been on my mind for quite some time. The handle bar you have opted for looks to be a practical option keeping long rides comfort in mind.

I had changed the exhaust to the up swept one from RE but hated it due to excessive vibrations so switched back to the stock exhaust again. Planning to go for Goldstar with Glasswool by Sans Classic as I have read some very good reviews about it.

Ride Safe
I love the handlebar but its so wide and high that now I sit at the end of the seat. Also all the pressure is now on the back as you sit straight. It dampens the vibrations well. How about the handlebar from STD ? It wont be radically high. Will try that and post soon.
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Old 5th August 2015, 07:11   #11
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Congratulations with the new bike! I believe the RE shop at Saket as well as the one at Khan market are part of Manzil Motors in Gurgaon. I own an old restored bullet and Manzil has always given me very good service. If you 're interested they also organise the occasional rides. And of course there are plenty of other RE clubs in Delhi too. Royal Mavericks probably the best and most active one too. I'm a member too. Even if you're not into clubs, there is one event you might want to consider since you are riding a Classic:

The Distinguished Gentleman's ride:

https://www.facebook.com/events/783495975103037/

Enjoy!

Jeroen
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Old 5th August 2015, 09:12   #12
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Congratulations with the new bike! I believe the RE shop at Saket as well as the one at Khan market are part of Manzil Motors in Gurgaon. I own an old restored bullet and Manzil has always given me very good service. If you 're interested they also organise the occasional rides. And of course there are plenty of other RE clubs in Delhi too. Royal Mavericks probably the best and most active one too. I'm a member too. Even if you're not into clubs, there is one event you might want to consider since you are riding a Classic:

The Distinguished Gentleman's ride:

https://www.facebook.com/events/783495975103037/

Enjoy!

Jeroen
Thanks Jeroen. As of now I have attended a breakfast ride and have an upcoming ride to HP in August with Urban Nomads. A small but active group.
Yeah I have heard a lot about Royal Mavericks. I am following their FB page.
And regarding gurgaon, yeah it was just an initial impression coz I went there only once. I live a km away from Saket store, so thought of going with it.

I checked out your 'garage', you have some seriously good collection of classics !
Which RE do you ride?
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Old 5th August 2015, 10:25   #13
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Classic 350 - It's here, finally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeep11787 View Post
And btw maroon is back on classic.
That's another of my favourite colors mate. Good that RE has brought it back. This gives me a feeling that maybe they are listening to the customer feedback.

Quote:
Tbird 500 I am sure is a pleasure to ride. All that refinement with huge tank and a 500 cc engine. Do you use it for commuting as well or just weekend rides?
Yes you are right the Tbird500 is a delight to ride and its smooth engine with mellow thump is a bliss for long highway rides. That huge tank gives me a 500-600 kms range. I somehow love its refine engine that gives a muted thump known as "sewing machine" in the RE circuit . I already have 5 RE's including the Tbird500. I primarily use it for long highway rides but also use it for city commuting. It doesn't disappoint me on both fronts, it is as homely in the city and it is on the highways. Contrary to most people's beliefs a Tbird especially the new Tbird is surprisingly easy to ride in the city. I also own a 2004 AVL 350 Thunderbird which prompted me to buy the new Tbird500 as I had a wonderful experience riding the AVL Tbird 350 both in city as well as highways.

Quote:
BTW I noticed the difference in the rear tire of classic and tb, Is it the increased width, dia or sidewall? I guess its 120/80 on tb and 110/90 on c3?
When I test rode it, it gave me so much confidence that I wanted to take out my cell and capture a shot, but logic kicked in and refrained to do so. It keeps on going straight in a line as if some invisible force is holding it tight in its line.
You are right about the tyre specifications the Tbird has a slightly fatter rubber at the rear compared to CL. You are also correct about the straight line stability of the Tbird. Well this is a phenomenon carried forward from the AVL Tbird 350 as I have experienced the same straight line stability on that model as well although it uses the usual 19 inch wheels coupled with MRF Nylogrip 3.50 tyres. Coming back to the new Tbird I am not sure if the additional weight of 5 kgs over CL makes a difference or maybe the fatter 41mm front forks and a redesigned box swing arm makes a difference. But your observation is spot on and I agree.

Coming to your other query about riding gears. Mate invest in good quality riding gears as they will save you, your skin and your wallet from hospital bills. I follow this thumb rule of investing at least 10-15% of your motorcycle cost on good quality protective riding gears. Since you've already bought the riding jacket, you can now look at buying either a riding pant(preferably mesh for our tropical climate) or knee guards along with riding boots/shoes. There are many local and international brands to choose from. The beauty of TeamBHP is you will find everything under one roof. There's a wonderful thread on riding gears on TeamBHP. You can go through it and make your choice.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 5th August 2015 at 10:27.
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Old 5th August 2015, 20:44   #14
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Originally Posted by sudeep11787 View Post

I checked out your 'garage', you have some seriously good collection of classics !
Which RE do you ride?

Thanks. Mine is a fully restored 1975 Bullet, 350cc. If you google, Jeroen India new hobby, you will find my personal website with photographs and some more info.

Jeroen
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