Few motorcycles elicit as much adoration—if not love—as the Royal Enfield Classic. Neither sporty nor technologically advanced, the legacy of the Classic dates back to 1948 with the Model 52, a simple and robust machine with the then-groundbreaking feature of a swingarm rear suspension.
When Royal Enfield unveiled the Classic 500 and the Classic 350 in 2008, it was like a blast from the past with its simple yet elegant styling, tractor-like engine, and unpretentious charm. But 12 years and more than 3,000,000 motorcycles later, it is time to revitalize the nameplate and bring it into the modern era without killing the old-world charm that made it so lovable in the first place.
Talking about the bike’s success through the years, Vimal Sumbly, business head for Royal Enfield’s APAC markets, said: “The Classic has been a huge catalyst in growing and expanding the middleweight segment across the globe, while also being instrumental in unlocking a thriving sub-culture of leisure riding among young and experienced riders across the world. In the Philippines, we have over 2,000 proud Royal Enfield owners and an extremely loyal community. The all-new Classic 350 carries forward this legacy, and is built to reflect the familiar timeless design language, with a completely modern and reimagined ride experience.”
Stylistically, the design team took great pains to keep the bike faithful to its predecessor. Design elements like the headlamp nacelle, the almond-shaped fuel tank, the triangular side panels, and the single peashooter-type exhaust have been retained. The chassis is all-new and uses Royal Enfield’s J Platform, which first debuted in the Meteor 350 cruiser launched last year. Designed to be stiffer than the old unit, the chassis encourages more confidence at higher cornering speeds. The front RSU fork uses 41mm legs with 130mm of travel, while the rear shock absorbers have six steps of adjustable preload.
Similarly, the new engine is a 349cc, air- and oil-cooled single-cylinder engine, now BS6-compliant (India’s stringent emissions standard) and generating 20.2hp at 6,500rpm and 27Nm at 4,000rpm. A primary balancer shaft cuts down on the vibrations for a smoother ride. A five-speed gearbox is optimized for strong acceleration in typical urban situations, while also delivering a relaxed ride at cruising speed. The exhaust note is said to retain Royal Enfield’s distinctive “thump.”
Depending on the variant, single or dual-channel ABS is standard. The Classic’s minimalist approach does not give you much in terms of tech toys, but its instrument cluster is an analog/digital combo, while a “Tripper” pod provides turn-by-turn GPS navigation. An 805mm seat height makes it accessible for most riders.
Pricing starts at P228,000, with four variants: Halcyon, Classic Signals, Dark, and Classic Chrome. We bet this handsome new bike will be quickly snapped up by collectors and riders who just want a good-looking bike to explore and ride all day.