14 years ago, Royal Enfield (RE) launched what would become their signature motorcycle for the modern era: the Royal Enfield Classic. Simply dubbed as the “Classic” by RE enthusiasts, it was produced in two versions: the Classic 350 and the Classic 500.
Fast-forward to 2022, the Classic 350 is reborn and MotoPinas.com was given the pleasure of having first dibs by our good friend Jimmy Barinaga of Royal Enfield Pilipinas to take the new bike for a spin a week before its January 27, 2022 launch.
It’s pretty common for car and even motorcycle manufacturers to make the most out of their creations by sharing platforms (and components) throughout several of their models.
The new Classic 350 is no exception, sharing its engine with the Meteor 350 that was launched here in the country in early 2021. This newly-developed, 349cc air-cooled thumper from Meteor 350 is also the same powerplant that propels the new Classic 350. To meet current emissions regulations, fuel management is now governed by an EFI system as opposed to a carburetor from the outgoing Classic 350. Power output is 20 Ps and about 27 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.
According to RE engineers, they have installed a new balancer shaft to make this the “smoothest Royal Enfield single-cylinder” in production, while still maintaining its signature Royal Enfield thump.
Design and features
According to Royal Enfield, the overall design of the new Classic 350 remains loyal to the original Classic model that was first introduced in 2008, with minor tweaks to improve the bike’s handling and weight management.
Like the Meteor 350, the new Classic 350 will also come equipped with dual-channel ABS. The Philippine-spec, however, will miss the Tripper GPS Navigation dial located on the lower right of the panel that we saw during the bike’s premiere back in September of last year.
Riding the new Classic 350
Riding the new classic 350 brought a lot of memories for me, as the old 350 version was one of the first Royal Enfield motorcycles I have hopped on to ride. Unlike the “old” Classic 350 which had its “signature” vibration, the new generation Classic 350 had only minimal vibration that your arms wouldn’t feel numb after riding it.
Another improvement versus the old Classic 350 is the smooth gear shifting. On the old version, every shift is like shifting a tractor that is used on a farm and is almost always giving a loud clunk on each gear shift – this was never present on the new Classic 350.
If you are a Royal Enfield enthusiast, do not look for that traditional Classic 350 carbureted thump exhaust note. While RE engineers from both the UK and India tried their very best to keep that signature exhaust note, it just sounds different. Close, but still different.
But that’s understandable since these new bikes are now fuel-injected and have to be tweaked to meet India’s BS6 regulations. It’s safer to ride and more fuel-efficient than the outgoing version.
While it was just a short stroll with the new Classic 350 around the Timog area, I can safely say that the improvements made on this bike will make it a favorite of both old RE enthusiasts and new ones.
It’s easier and less exhausting to ride than the old one, enabling its rider to ride it *takbong pogi only for many miles, all day long. BTW, the new Classic 350’s price starts at only PHP 228,000 – making it a very affordable choice for both beginners and other not-so-beginner motorcycle enthusiasts.
*Takbong pogi = to ride your bike at a relaxed pace so that everyone can see how good-looking you are.