The drama of buying & owning a Royal Enfield Bullet 350ES Electra

Maintenance has been such an easy affair for me. I would service it at either 10k kms or 1 year interval. I don't use fancy engine oil or additives and stick to what the owner's manual says.

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My motorcycle turned 6 years old today and has covered exactly 32,504.8 kms till date. It has been a very pleasant experience and I will try to share certain key points about my motorcycle and keep the article as short as possible.

So, let us begin with the negatives.


1. Weak 35/35W headlamp.

2. Lacks the finesse of a modern machine.

3. Stock 3.25 × 19 rear tyre looks weedy and spoils the look from rear.

4. Stock 15T front sprocket hampered highway usability. It affected highway fuel economy and also cruising speeds ( had to be kept within 80 kmph) which are crucial aspects especially on those long highway rides.

5. Braking is one sore point. It feels like a drum brake inspite of sporting a disc brake at front. However, one gets used to it as time passes by but still not it's strength.

And, now the positives.


1. That evergreen and timeless Bullet design never gets old. Simple and understated look of the ES350 (Electra 350) suited me the best. It was just right. The Magic Black colour also needs a mention here. It looks like a black from distance but actually a very deep shade of green if observed closely. 

2. It suited me much better ergonomically than the other RE 350's of that time. It was neither cramped like that of the Classic's nor overtly laidback like that of T-Bird's. The tall seating and slightly raised handle bars ( as compared to the Classic 350) puts one into a very commanding riding position. 

3. It has sorted dynamic abilities for a chassis that is almost unchanged since it's introduction in the 1950's. It is stable in the straight line ,in the heavy crosswinds on the open roads, maintains good cornering stability (within it's limits) and mid corner bumps does not affect it much. It is a really planted motorcycle.

4. Ride quality (comfort) is one of it's strengths. The chassis (was meant for trail riding) alongwith it's suspension set up is absolutely spot on for our less than perfect Indian roads. At it's stock preload setting, the ride quality is slightly firm at slow speeds but becomes absolutely sublime when it picks up speed. It will flatten even the worst of the Indian roads with ease. There has been instances where it has surprised popular 'Adv' motorcycles with it's ability to smother bad roads.

5. Bullet 350 is extremely manoevrable inspite of it's portly kerb weight of 187 kilos due to it's extremely tight turning circle. It's turning circle is smaller than many popular 150 cc commuters. Hard to believe but true.

6. That long stroke pushrod operated single is one characterful unit. Off the idle tractor like torque is one of it's highlights. It produces most of it's power lower down and never breaks into a sweat when in the low to mid revs when in a slightly higher gear. It will just keep on chugging and eat up distances easily (albeit at slow pace). 

7. Bullet 350 has never been about acceleration or topspeed. But i would like to share few numbers that i observed during my ownership. The top speed has been 120+ kmph on speedo and 114 kmph on Ulysse gps speedometer app. Although, it's happiest @ 60 to 80 kmph in top gear. It is very easy to ride during the traffic infested commutes due to it's abundant low end torque. It will pull from as low as 25 kmph in 3rd without clutch slip.

8. Fuel economy is just amazing. I have been able to clock as high as 54+ kmpl (when i really hypermiled) by tankful to tankful method. But, it delivers 37 to 40 kmpl easily on regular basis (city 30% + highway 70%). Only commutes will fetch me 35 to 37 kmpl and pure highways rides would deliver 40 to 45 kmpl ( if ridden sanely @ 70 kmph). It is so fuel efficient that it puts 150 cc motorcycles to shame.

9. Maintenance has been such an easy affair for me. I would service it at either 10k kms or 1 year interval. I don't use fancy engine oil or additives and stick to what the owner's manual says. RE Bullet 350 UCE is no high strung race bike that needs top grade oil but a very simple and rugged machine with no complex mechanicals. Getting it serviced on time is all it requires.

Few mods over the years:

1. Carberry Vibration Reduction plate - It's a blessing for all the RE UCE onwers. It has transformed my motorcycle. It has cut down the vibes at cruising speeds (50 to 80 kmph in top gear) noticeably. 

2. Front Rubber gaitors from RE Himalayan - I had fixed them after my first fork oil seals started leaking within a year of purchase. After fixing it my fork oil seal has been working well inspite of riding my motorcycle mostly in less than ideal conditions for almost 5 years now.

3. Classic 350's (16/38) sprocket set - Once my stock sprocket set (15/38) was on it's last legs at around 30k kms. I decided to go for the ones found in the Classic 350 UCE. It has noticeably improved my highway usability and increased the highway fuel efficiency (by 3 kmpl atleast). I can easily cruise at 90 kmph in top gear without feeling very vibey. Cruising at 90 kmph now feels like 80 kmph with the previous sprocket set. 

4. Upgraded to a slightly wider 3.5× 19 rear tyre- It has not only improved the look but also it's stability.

Breakdowns so far:

Couple of punctures, fused bulbs, rocker cover gasket leakage (once) and a flat battery (once).

Few other points:

Still running on stock accelerator & clutch cable and clutch assy.

In the end i would like to thank you all for going through my article with patience. Kindly excuse if i had made any mistakes. Regards!

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