Bajaj Dominar 250 vs RE Classic 350: Modern Power vs Retro Charm
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Bajaj Dominar 250 vs RE Classic 350: Modern Power vs Retro Charm

Reviews by Team Drivio | Apr 18, 2023

The Classic 350 and the Dominar 250, both make really good cases for themselves in the sub Rs 2 lakh segment. 

  • The Dominar 250’s liquid-cooled, 4-valve engine is more powerful than the Classic’s. 
  • It even has a lot more premium underpinnings to boast of.
  • Where the Classic 350 makes up for lost ground, is with the abundance of torque on offer. 

Assume you have Rs. 2 lakhs and want to buy a motorbike that can be used for both commuting and touring. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Bajaj Dominar 250 are two capable solutions that will meet your requirements and budget. But which one is worthy of your money? We help you select by comparing the specifications of the RE Classic 350 and the Bajaj Dominar 250.

Bajaj Dominar 250 vs Royal Enfield Classic 350: Design & Features

FeaturesBajaj Dominar 250Royal Enfield Classic 350
LED HeadlampYesNo
Fully-digital ConsoleYesNo
LED indicatorsYesNo
Riding modesNoNo
Alloy wheelsYesOptional
Split seatsYesNo
Bluetooth connectivityNoNo

Both motorcycles have designs that are familiar to the Indian market. On the one hand, the RE Classic 350 has stayed virtually unchanged since its introduction, with just minor cosmetic changes. While the design is appropriate for the cruiser market, even die-hard RE fans will agree that the Classic 350 sorely needs a big physical update to compete.

The Bajaj Dominar 250, on the other hand, resembles its elder sibling, the Dominar 400. It's not a new design, but it comes standard with alloys, LED headlamps, LED DRLs, and even LED indicators, making it the more modern of the two. In addition, the Dominar 250 features a larger fuel tank and stylish twin-barrel exhausts. 

However, the Classic 350 comes with a variety of colour schemes and even matte variants, giving it a little advantage over the Dominar 250. People who prefer classic bikes will prefer the Classic 350, while those who prefer modern bikes would prefer the Dominar 250.

The Classic 350 comes standard with an analogue instrument cluster, halogen headlights, and spoke wheels, with certain models additionally getting alloys. Furthermore, the 350 lacks a fuel gauge, which is a huge letdown. 

On the contrary, the Dominar 250 is jam-packed with features. It comes equipped with a fully digital console with a wealth of information, alloy wheels, USD front forks, LED headlamps, tail lights, DRLs, and even LED indicators. If you want more features, the Dominar 250 is the machine for you.

Bajaj Dominar 250 vs Royal Enfield Classic 350: Engine & Gearbox

SpecificationsBajaj Dominar 250Royal Enfield Classic 350
Engine248.77cc liquid-cooled 4-valve DOHC349cc air-cooled 2-valve SOHC
Maximum Power27PS20.2PS
Maximum Torque23.5Nm27Nm
Transmission6-speed5-speed

As you may already know, the Royal Enfield Classic 350's engine is capable of long-distance touring and can readily handle practically everything you throw at it. However, the performance figures are not particularly spectacular. Its engine can, in its latest iteration, maintain triple-digit speeds on the highway effortlessly and munches miles like not many other bikes at this price point. 

But it's the finesse of the Dominar 250’s engine that will really win you over. This powerplant already seemed fluid on the Duke, but because the Dominar 250 has a lower compression ratio of 11.9:1 (versus 12.5:1), it feels even smoother. It reaches 100kmph in 6th gear with the engine revving little above 6000rpm and is absolutely butter smooth at this speed. Even 120 mph feels incredibly smooth, however it takes some time to get there.

While the transmission ratios and sprockets on the Dominar 250 are the same as on the 250 Duke, the Dominar is significantly more usable in the low- to mid-range rpm range. You can sit at as low as about 40kmph in its top cog and the Dominar will pull along with no complaints whatsoever. The shorter gearing also means that the bike feels nice to ride in the city. 

Bajaj Dominar 250 vs Royal Enfield Classic 350: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsBajaj Dominar 250Royal Enfield Classic 350
Front suspension37mm Inverted Fork41mm Telescopic Fork
Rear suspensionPreload-adjustable MonoshockTwin Shocks
Front tyre100/80-17100/90-19
Rear tyre130/70-17120/80-18
Front brake300mm Disc300mm Disc
Rear brake230mm Disc270mm Disc/ 153mm Drum
ABSDual-channel Dual-channel is optional

Where the Dominar, once again, pulls ahead of the Classic is with its premium hardware. Bajaj’s tie up with KTM has given it access to a lot of resources that you otherwise might not see on Bajaj bikes. The Dominar 250 not only gets a more premium inverted fork, but also a preload-adjustable monoshock. The 17-inch rims mean that it should be a lot more fun in the twisties, which it actually is too! And lastly, with disc brakes at both ends as standard, the braking feedback is obviously a lot better on the Dominar than the Classic. The dual-channel ABS will also keep your mind at peace. 

The Classic, on the other hand, makes do with a telescopic fork and twin shocks. The 19- and 18-inch wheel setup is also more commuter-oriented and the drum brake at the rear along with the single-channel ABS is a testament to the cost cutting done by Royal Enfield. 

Bajaj Dominar 250 vs Royal Enfield Classic 350: Dimensions

DimensionsBajaj Dominar 250Royal Enfield Classic 350
Length2156mm2145mm
Width836mm785mm
Height1112mm1090mm
Wheelbase1453mm1390mm
Ground clearance157mm170mm
Kerb weight180kg195kg
Fuel tank capacity13-litres13-litres
Seat height800mm805mm

Both motorcycles are big and on the heavier side and there’s no denying it. While the Classic 350 has always been a heavy motorcycle, the Dominar 250 gives it a run for its money, with the quarter-litre bike tipping the scales at a massive 180kg, more than most of the other 250cc bikes in India. While it’s not a bother when the speeds are high, you’ll definitely feel the bike’s weight at lower speeds, especially when moving the bike around in parking lots. 

Furthermore, the RE will be slightly less expensive on the road because it is more fuel-efficient and has a longer range. That said, the fuel tank capacities of both the bikes stand at the same 13-litres. 

The riding triangle of the Dominar is also upright, but because it is a sports tourer, the footpegs are situated somewhat backward, making the RE more comfortable overall. However, the Classic 350 has significantly more vibrations than the Dominar 250. Furthermore, the Classic 350 is 15 kg heavier than the Dominar 250. The Dominar also has more ground clearance (157 mm) than the Classic 350 (135 mm).

Bajaj Dominar 250 vs Royal Enfield Classic 350: Price

PriceBajaj Dominar 250Royal Enfield Classic 350
Ex-showroom DelhiRs 1,81,850 Rs 1,92,890 onwards

Like Bajaj always does, the brand has priced the Dominar 250 very attractively too, with the power cruiser carrying a Rs 1.82 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) price tag. The Classic 350, on the other hand, has been priced at Rs 1.93 lakh. It’s not only a lot more, but what further hurts the Classic is that this is only its introductory price. 

The sticker price further increases as you go up the variants’ scale, and the dual-channel ABS trims will have you shell more than Rs 2 lakh out of your pocket, something that the Dominar already gives as standard at a much lower price. 

Verdict

So, should you invest in the Classic 350? Sure, if you want a motorbike that is comfortable and looks old-school, and if you don't mind not knowing how much fuel is left in the tank. However, if you want a motorcycle with amenities like LED lights, a digital speedometer, sleek appearance, and greater performance and handling, the Bajaj Dominar 250 is the one for you. While the Classic 350 is a capable motorbike that continues to sell like a red rose on Valentine's Day, we prefer the Bajaj Dominar 250 since it offers more for a lower price.