18 years old & buying my first bike: Hunter 350 v/s X440 v/s Speed 400

Royal Enfield or should I take the risk and get the Triumph or Harley?

BHPian PetrolHead2272 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear all,

I am about to turn 18 and plan on getting my first bike soon. Having considered various options within the 2-3 lakh price range I have narrowed it down to 3 final options:

  1. Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Doesn't look like a typical Royal Enfield but the bike in isolation looks pleasing to the eye. After spending time with it I realised it would make for an excellent first bike since it is easy to ride.
  2. Triumph Speed 400: Looks hot and feels built to last. The engine is fun too however my only issue is the big question mark about servicing and availability of spares should something go wrong.
  3. Harley Davidson X440: Looks amazing in red and packs in a competent engine. The only reason for doubt is the same as that of the speed 400.

Should I go ahead with the safe option of Hunter or should I take the risk and get the Triumph or the Harley and if yes then which?


Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

You are 18, man. If you don't take risks now, when will you?

Based on the reviews, I'd say go for the Triumph Speed 400. Looks hot, a great engine! Arrive in college in style & get ready for those dates. Enjoy the college years buddy, they will be one of the best of your life.

To hell with practicality in college, I used to drive to mine in a Mahindra Classic 4x4, open-top half the year. Before that, a Yamaha RX100.

Here's what BHPian bravo82in had to say on the matter:

For a college student, particularly around 18, choosing Royal Enfield (RE) seems like the most secure option. It's easy to service anywhere in the country, has readily available parts, and is modification-friendly, supported by a robust aftermarket.

In contrast, Triumph is known for its subpar service experience and extended waiting periods for spare parts. Although the Speed 400 is an appealing product, navigating these challenges might be less desirable.

Harley-Davidson (HD) may offer improved part support, but it still doesn't quite measure up to the reliability and accessibility of Royal Enfield. The additional concern lies in the higher service and spare parts costs associated with both Triumph and HD. Opting for Royal Enfield not only fits within the same budget but also allows for servicing and modifications.

Here's what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

Amongst these three I'd put my money on the Speed 400. It's not intimidating for a newbie rider and yet will provide enough thrills as your skills progress.

It's got the BEST build quality by a distance among those three. Maintenance costs are promised to be segment competitive and Chandigarh (is that where you're going to college) has a pretty good Triumph dealer (I've interacted with them once briefly - very customer friendly).

Looks are subjective but I do think the Speed looks very nice - its diminutive stance being the only thing some may disapprove of - especially when compared to the Harley's street presence.

If you're of the more adventurous sort (also given you're close to the mountains of Himachal) and would like to perhaps explore adventure riding in the holidays, then please do give the brand new Himalayan (450) also due consideration. It's very capable and yet very beginner-friendly. Probably the best bike RE has released to date from what I've seen online.

Here's what BHPian ebonho had to say on the matter:

I'll buck the trend here. It all depends on your prior riding experience. If none, or next to none, unless you have been racing on the track or off-road competitively on a race license (not applicable for the road) I would opine that a 40 bhp bike is not a healthy buy for you and others on the road you will be sharing space with. It would be best to start on a smaller 160-200 cc bike. And work your way up after the customary bumps falls crashes and scrapes. More often than not it's not about reflexes or physical skills or senses but simply maturity experience and judgment.

These 40 bhp bikes are starter bikes in the West. But those starters get formal training before being let on to the road on them.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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