Royal Enfield has dominated the sub-400 cc retro segment for several years with bestsellers such as Classic 350. However, things could change dramatically in this space in the coming months with availability of new products such as Jawa and Honda H’ness (CB350). There are talks that Bajaj will also be entering this space with launch of a cruiser named ‘Neuron‘. However, this hasn’t been officially confirmed by Bajaj.
Even though Royal Enfield has updated Classic 350 to BS6, it won’t be enough to match offerings of rival motorcycles. This is why the company had planned to launch next-gen Classic 350 during the festive season. However, this did not happen due to corona virus, supply chain bottlenecks and production constraints – all have been cited as reasons for the delay in launch of Classic 350.
But it seems that Royal Enfield is getting ready to launch the new gen Classic 350 in the coming weeks as an undisguised production-ready variant has now been spied on public road. Caught on camera by automotive enthusiast Krishna, it looks like 2021 Classic 350 is nearer than one would expect.
As revealed in spy shots, next-gen Classic 350 continues with the core design of its predecessor. Similarities with the current model include features like round headlamp, chrome rear view mirrors, teardrop-shaped turn indicators, broad rear fenders, and chrome plated exhaust. Talking about the wheels, it is not certain if production variant will have spoke wheels or alloy wheels.
Although the test mules have been spotted with new body panels, it is expected that production variant will continue to focus on retro styling that RE fans prefer. However, to keep the motorcycle relevant to evolving market trends, next-gen Classic 350 will come with features such as LED DRL, semi-digital instrument console and new paint options. Just like Meteor 350, even the Classic 350 will not get LED headlamp.
Next-gen Classic 350 has been built on the new modular J platform. This platform will be used for several other next-gen products that Royal Enfield will launch in the near future. It is expected that the new platform will be better in terms of handling, manoeuvrability and comfort. It could also be lighter, something that will improve power to weight ratio. This could make next-gen Classic 350 more agile in city conditions.
Powering next-gen Classic 350 will be an all-new 350 cc engine that will have the advanced SOHC setup. In comparison, the current 350 cc engine utilizes the archaic tappet-valve (push rod) system. It is expected that the new engine will fare better in terms of responsiveness and acceleration. Vibrations are also likely to be reduced. The new engine is capable of generating 20.2 bhp of max power at 6100 rpm and 27 Nm of max torque at 4000 rpm. This is mated to a 5-speed transmission.
In terms of tech upgrades, next-gen Classic 350 could get Bluetooth connectivity. It will allow users to access a range of features via their smartphone. Rest of the equipment such as suspension, disk brakes and dual-channel ABS will be the same as the current model. Next-gen Classic 350 is expected to be offered in the price range of Rs 1.6 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.