Royal Enfield Hunter 350: The Perfect Jawa Rival?
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Royal Enfield Hunter 350: The Perfect Jawa Rival?

News by Team Drivio | Mar 31, 2023

We’ve been riding the RE Hunter 350 for a couple of days over different types of terrain. Let’s see what this retro roadster has to offer: 

  • Its 349cc engine makes 20.2PS and 27Nm. 
  • The same is mated to a five-speed transmission. 
  • Braking is taken care of by a disc at the front along with optional dual channel ABS. 

Have you ever considered a Royal Enfield as a starter bike? Or as a motorbike on which you would advise someone to learn to ride? Or should they buy their first bike? The majority of us, most of the time, would say no. The romantics would argue that these highway-loving, mountain-mastering, heavy-duty machines require a seasoned hand, and that said hand is best seasoned on lighter, more forgiving motorcycles.

REs, according to the pragmatic, are simply too big, too heavy, too expensive, and too inconvenient for the inexperienced motorcyclist. As a result, Royal Enfields have served as the traditional riders' coming-of-age motorcycles. 

RE, on the other hand, wants to accelerate things and get more, younger, and less scarred (and scared) bums into the Chennai-made saddles. The Hunter 350 is the right tool for the job.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Design & Features

The retro-roadster styling of the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 includes a circular headlight, rear-view mirrors, taillight, and turn indicators. In addition, the teardrop-shaped fuel tank with knee recesses looks old-school and quite sporty.

The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 gets a semi-digital instrument cluster based on the Royal Enfield Scram 411 and an optional Tripper navigation pod. The instrument cluster displays standard information as well as a clock, gear position indicator, and Eco mode indicator. However, it lacks a real-time efficiency gauge and a distance-to-empty meter.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Engine & Specs

SpecificationsRoyal Enfield Hunter 350
Engine349cc engine
Maximum power20.2PS
Maximum torque27Nm
Transmission5-speed

Is the Hunter more than just the most approachable RE? Is it also the most youthful and enjoyable RE? The answer is straightforward: yes! Is it a truly contemporary experience? Yes. And, no. The engine is causing the stuttering. Sure, it has the same hardware, power, and torque figures as the Meteor and Classic, both of which we admired. Furthermore, it has been slightly tuned to better suit this lighter motorbike.

However, the Hunter's youthful attitude, combined with the chassis's ability and willingness, makes the mild massaging of the engine appear woefully inadequate. This long-stroke engine, like those found in other J platform vehicles, dislikes being revved, but it feels completely out of place on this motorcycle. You can try to hustle the Hunter, but it isn't exactly eager.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Chassis

SpecificationsRoyal Enfield Hunter 350
Front suspensionTelescopic fork
Rear suspensionDual shocks
Front tyre100/80-17
Rear tyre120/80-17
Front brakeDisc brake
Rear brakeOptional disc brake
ABSOptional dual channel

The Hunter also encourages you to ride hard because the seating position exudes commitment. The slightly rear-set footpegs and wide bars tip the rider forward slightly. This encourages you to ride harder, and at higher speeds, the Hunter can appear a little frisky when rushing around corners. Overall, this RE comes across as engaging and eager to ride.

The widest tyres available on a RE today, a 120-section front and a 140-section rear, make the ride more reassuring. The braking hardware is familiar, as are our observations; there is enough bite, but the feel is spongy, and there is no immediacy.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Dimensions

DimensionsRoyal Enfield Hunter 350
Length2055mm
Height1055mm
Width800mm
Wheelbase1370mm
Seat height790mm
Ground clearance150mm
Kerb weight177kg
Fuel tank capacity13-litres

The Hunter, is, in no way or shape an intimidatingly large motorcycle and its specs say so too. What stands out though, is its 177kg kerb weight, something that you definitely feel at lower speeds.

You cannot shake off the bike’s top-heavy feeling, something that’ll constantly play on your mind, especially if you’re going through a rough patch of roads. 

Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Variants & Price

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 VariantPrice (ex-showroom Delhi)
RetroRs 1,48,900 
Metro DapperRs 1,63,900
Metro RebelRs 1,68,900

The Hunter 350 is on sale in a total of 3 variants: Retro, Dapper and Rebel and in typical RE fashion, all three are priced extremely competitively. The Hunter 350 goes up against the likes of the Jawa 42, Honda CB350RS and the TVS Ronin, while being a lot better priced than all three of them. 

Conclusion

As you can see, the Retro makes a strong case for itself, especially with its lower Rs 1,49,900 price tag. It's trendy, has its advantages, and is as much a Hunter at heart as the Retro. However, it simply overlooks areas where a motorbike is truly accessible.

As a result, because this is intended to be an accessible motorcycle for even novice riders, the Metro's safety net of better brakes, dual channel ABS, and the convenience of tubeless alloy wheels cannot be overlooked, making it the better pick between the two.

So the choice is between the Metro Dapper and the Metro Rebel. The Metro Rebel is Rs 19,000 more expensive than the Retro. While that is a significant investment, the Metro Dapper is Rs 5,000 less expensive than the Rebel and includes all of the same features as standard. Don't worry; you're not missing out on much.