Owning a Bullet is obviously a dream of every average rider and buying the same is unmistakably a dream come true. Just like all average Indian, I also feed the same story. The day I bought the Royal machine still remains unbelievable and one of the best days in my life considering myself a moto journalist at Bikes4Sale family.
Until riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle, all my mind was blown away by Honda CBR 150R and Yamaha YZF R15. The moment I rode the RE machine for the first time in my life, I decided "If I'm buying a motorbike that will be from Royal Enfield family". Yup! I believe that I made the right choice since I chose one of the most prestigious two-wheeler brands in the world. Still, it's not over with a selection. Hurdles were only getting onto the track since I went to my nearest dealership to book the Classic 350, my first bike. I paid Rs.5000 as booking payment and the dealer told me that I had to wait ridiculous 5 months. I even thought whether the RE Classic 350 was a Ferrari stuff. Gone the 5 months and I didn't get delivered my baby. I waited, because I was supposed to. Six months, 7, 8, and finally in 9th month I got the call. Oops! In fact I kept calling them since the 5th month. You know, these guys are really insincere and irresponsible. So if you have booked, remember it's your bike. So you make sure that you frequently get in touch with them.
Things to care while getting delivered the bike
At the time when the bike gets delivered to you, you should keenly check out the bike. Sometimes, the bike may have scratches. Even for the minute scar, you must ask for replacement. They may say that they will replace the spare parts next time and all. But, that will be a burden for you. So, it is always better to get best piece.
Well, I checked the bike thoroughly and added crash guard, ladies handle, and buzzer as extra fittings to my machine. After getting cleared with all papers, I rolled out the Classic 350, the most demanding motorcycle in India, out of the showroom.
While getting delivered the bike, I was instructed by one of the executives in the store. He told me that the first 2000 kms was the running period of the Classic 350 and to ride between 60-70 kmph speed. We really need to take care of the bike in its running period. First of all ride yourself. Don't let anyone to ride it. Because, each rider has each style of riding. So, it's always better to ride the bike yourself in its running period. Meanwhile, braking and gear shifting must be gentle. You shouldn't go rude. The bike itself need to be set.
Check tyre pressure in regular interval of times. The front tyre has 20 psi and rear tyre has 30 psi for solo ride. With pillion rider, the tyres must have 22 psi and 32 psi respectively. Do service the bike at the mentioned time. The first 4 services are absolutely free. That means you need not pay any labour charge, but need to pay for the products only. Service can be done from any authorized service center of Royal Enfield across the country.
Following are the time period of free services
1st service - 500 km or 30 days (Whichever is earlier)
2nd service - 3000 km or 3 months
3rd service - 6000 km or 6 months
4th service - 9000 km or 9 months
Here you need to change oil once in two services. So, it is required to change oil in the first and is not required in the second service. Then, oil change should be done in the third and shouldn't be in the fourth. That's it.
You need to have extra care when it is monsoon. Getting rained will cause rusting of the bike. Since the plated parts don't have warranty on rusting, you should always try to keep your bike out of rain. Some anti-rusting sprays are available in automotive stores. Spraying it will secure the body parts from rusting.
Riding and Performance
Until the completion of running period, it was hard for me to ride the bike. Because, I was not supposed to go beyond 70 kmph. Sudden braking and rude gear shifting must not be done. So I had to drive it very carefully. Still, I managed to ride the bike quiet enjoyably under the standard conditions. It's so superb to ride a Royal Enfield machine. It has great ergonomics. Mine is a 2013 model. So, my Classic 350 is equipped with a short handle. Still, it doesn't compromise any comfort level. Its split seat is one of the most impressive features of it. The rider is further equipped with a shock absorber. And a well placed foot rest at both sides help the rider to enjoy the ride to its fullest.
We really love to make long journey rather than running small distances with the Classic 350. Don't underestimate the bike through city traffics as well. Though it's not gone going as a naked sports bike, it can make pretty cool movement. Once we are used with the machine, we can ride the bike just as an ordinary. But, we Royal riders never do it. Because, it's a Bull. It has its own way, its own style, and its own beat. So we ride in a traditional way. However, it's hardly possible to ride as slow as we could make it with the old cast ironed engine. The new UC Engine gets smoother only beyond 55 kmph. Well, the old cast iron engine is known for its slow ride at 20 kmph in the second gear. Here, I have to say is that never compare the old bullet with the new one. Because, both are two genre. While, the new RE machines are known for speed, the cast iron engined RE bi-wheelers stand for refreshing beat and slow speed.
Gear shifting might be irritating. I get insulted with it. If we don't transmit gear in proper speed ratio, shifting may not be possible. It hurts the engine and the gear box. So more fuel gets burned. So riding the RE motorbike after riding an ordinary bike, you may automatically try to change the gear softly. Well, it won't work here. You need to put more pressure at your left foot. Here is how I shift gears in different speeds. Neutral - while starting, then shifted to 1St gear, 2nd - at 15-20 kmph, 3rd - 30 kmph, 4th - 40 kmph, and 5th - at 55-60 kmph.
Well, I was issued the license to move beyond 60 kmph after completing the running period of 2000 km. Still, I restricted myself and I gradually clocked each numbers step by step. That is, first I picked 70-80 kmph, then I made it 80 up, then I felt over 90 was possible, and eventually just over 100 kmph. Never be rude to your bike. Don't clock top speed within no time you get delivered the bike. Pull down the speed mark one by one and keep up the smartness of the machine.
Now, I have completed 4000 kms. Now, I really wanna make a long drive to some off-roading places. I have heard the Bullet is the finest to make off-roading. Turns, humps, mud, and terrains are good so far with the Classic 350. And I'm anticipated to check out the pleasure being delivered while off-roading.
Braking is awesome with the Classic 350. Even when taking your bike to a peak speed, you need not to worry about its stability. It has got a bigger 90/90 X 19 inch - 52 P front tyre and a 90/90 X 18 inch - 61 P rear tyre. And along with a powerful hydraulic 280 mm ventilated front disc, you can rapidly shut down the movement of the Classic from any top speed without loosing maneuverability.
Vibration is the most insulting thing with the new RE bikes. The Classic 350 is no different. It produces vibration below 60 kmph. At or above 60 kmph, the vibration gets reduced and we feel the bike is smooth. I have also felt vibration around 100 kmph. For those who are used with the old cast iron engined bullets, this vibration will definitely be unbearable. But for me, since I haven't ridden the old bike, I don't feel much irritated, and I'm get used with it. Even for an old RE bike user, it can be get used after few drives. But, this vibration becomes a real killer sometimes. Due to the vibration we can't see anything clearly by looking at the rear view mirror. We need to make an extra stare to calculate what is at the rear. It's certainly a big issue with it.
No one considers mileage if he opts an RE machine. Because, we all know Bullets are not known for their mileage. But, in these days, when petroleum products' prices are jetting, we become forced to check out the mileage of our vehicle at least for once. I'm no different from today's men. I have checked out the mileage. Not once, but several times. The highest mileage I had calculated was 49.9 kmpl!!! Shocking? Yup! It's a fact. Unfortunately that was only for once. Then I got around 44 kmpl several times. The least number I got was 33 kmpl. Then I assumed that riding at 60-65 kmph could deliver the best mileage for the Classic 350. Riding at that speed on highway can easily win 45+ kmpl for sure. But, clocking 100 kmph and drizzling through cities can give us only 35 kmpl.
Once you're used with the Classic 350, it would be hard for you to find pleasure in riding a motorcycle other than that of Royal Enfield. Considering the price tag of the Classic 350, I can say that this is the best bike available in this price bracket. Even there is no right enemy for the bike. It's a total monopoly of Royal Enfield. Though, Honda CBR 150R, and Yamaha YZF R15 come almost around the same pricing, we never consider these bi-wheelers as a competent. Because, these bikes belongs to sports class, while the Classic 350 has a long story of hereditary, pride, and comfort.
I can say that one must choose this for comfort and long ride. You will never be tired. In highways and straight roads it's king, or off-roading it's a cracker, and for tripping it's an explorer. It has great looks. So if you consider a 350cc RE, opt it over the Electra, Standard, and the Thunderbird 350.
Easier electric and kick start
Rusting while rainy season
Gear shifting problem
Vibration below 60 kmph
Unbearable rear view mirror shivering doesn't allow the rider to clearly see what is backward.
Here is the 4000 km user review of Royal Enfield Classic 350.
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