Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Review: Performance, Features, Design & More
Article by Drivio | 27th Apr 23
The Royal Enfield Hunter 359 promises to do something no Royal Enfield bike ever has: be sporty and a lot of fun for the enthusiast:
- It’s the first Royal Enfield bike to roll on 17-inch alloys.
- The 349cc air-cooled engine is tuned to make 20.2PS and 27Nm.
- But at 177kg, it’s no featherweight.
The new Royal Enfield J platform of 350cc motorbikes has been on the market for over two years, and the company claims to have sold over 500,000 of them. Existing consumers have clearly welcomed the J platform bikes, but the new Classic 350 and Meteor 350 are very much 'Royal Enfield' type bikes. With the new Hunter 350, the firm is attempting to reach a fresh, broader customer base.
The overall goal is to make this bike more accessible to non-RE enthusiasts and newer riders in general. In essence, this is a smaller, lighter, simpler, and more modern Royal Enfield than we're used to seeing.
Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Design & Features
The Hunter is a fun bike to ride, and it looks good too. The difficulty with the traditional modern vintage roadster design is that you can't alter much with the overall profile and you have to have the standard items like a round headlamp, teardrop shaped tank, and small side panel. However, Royal Enfield has managed to give this bike its unique individuality without doing anything strange or forceful. That is evident in the strangely curved knee recesses, the unique side panels, and the nicely finished back. There are numerous well-designed accessories, and the flat seat and optional tail tidy assist improve its design.
Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Engine & Gearbox
|Specifications||Royal Enfield Hunter 350|
Overall, the Hunter 350’s is agile and lively, but you can’t really call it a sporty motorcycle - it's fun, but not sporty. The key reason for this is the engine, which is nearly identical to that found in the Classic and Meteor.
While the power and torque ratings are the same (20.2PS and 27Nm), RE claims that the engine has been programmed somewhat differently. By doing so, they've already managed to differentiate the Classic and Meteor engines, and the Hunter will be no different. This motor seems more responsive, and the sound from the shorter exhaust is raspier.
Nonetheless, this is a very similar riding experience, and RE claims similar performance as well as fuel efficiency (a claimed 36.2kpl).
Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Chassis
|Specifications||Royal Enfield Hunter 350|
|Front suspension||Telescopic fork|
|Rear suspension||Dual shocks|
|Front brake||Disc brake|
|Rear brake||Optional disc brake|
|ABS||Optional dual channel|
The Hunter has a redesigned front master cylinder, which gives it more feel and progression, but the rest of the braking system is the same as the Classic and Meteor. For emergency stops, these brakes, like their siblings, need a firm pull on the lever. The top Hunter Metro model we're riding comes standard with twin channel ABS.
This suspension is definitely firmer than the Classic or the Meteor, especially in the back. According to our observations, this bike will be firmer than its siblings, but not excessively so.
Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Dimensions
|Dimensions||Royal Enfield Hunter 350|
|Fuel tank capacity||13-litres|
With all these things, there's the weight, and at 177kg, this bike is 14 kilos lighter than the Classic 350 - but only on paper, and it seems much lighter when you ride it. That's because the Hunter's chassis has undergone some considerable alterations. This is the first modern RE with 17-inch wheels on both ends, which adds a lot of manoeuvrability. Furthermore, the wheelbase is 20mm shorter than on the Classic, and the steering rake angle has been increased to 25 degrees, which is pretty sporty for a 350cc Royal Enfield.
Royal Enfield Hunter 350: Variants & Price
|Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Variant||Price (ex-showroom Delhi)|
|Metro Dapper||Rs 1,63,900|
|Metro Rebel||Rs 1,68,900|
The Hunter is available in two models, each with distinct features. The base Retro edition has spoked wheels (with tube-type tyres), rear drum brakes (single-channel ABS), a simple semi-digital panel, boxy indicators, a halogen tail lamp, and traditional-looking pillion grab-rails.
The more expensive Metro model comes in six colours and has cast-alloy wheels (with tubeless tyres), rear-disc (dual-channel ABS) circular indicators, a more information-packed analogue-digital instrument dashboard, an LED tail lamp, and modern-looking split grab-rails.
To summarise, the Hunter 350 is not for Royal Enfield purists, who will likely prefer the larger, heavier, and slower-responding Classic and Meteor. But that's the goal, and if you like the notion of the spectacular new-age Royal Enfields but haven't been able to gel with the existing bikes, or simply think they're too daunting, this motorcycle might change your opinion.