My 2023 Royal Enfield Classic 350 in Chrome Red: Ownership Review

This 13L teardrop-shaped fuel tank is really a ‘piece of art’ about which odes can be written.

BHPian dkaile recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Is it the LAST of the Timeless Classic?

Someone said somewhere that this is THE BEST motorcycle in the world.

That THIS is all the motorcycle you will ever need?? Huh!!!

When I watched and read some reviews, which state the above facts, about this motorcycle, I really scratched my head!! I (DISCLAIMER – arguably) own the “BEST” motorcycle in the world i.e. the BMW R1250 GS Adventure. I also own one of the (if not THE) “BEST” Classic CRUISER motorcycles in the world i.e. the HARLEY DAVIDSON Heritage Softail Classic (which has CLASSIC written even in its name). Then why would someone like me to be inclined towards such tall claims about our familiar, Made in India, grassroots bike like the “BULT” (as they call it in Punjab… Lolz).

Long story short, I owned the first Bullet 500 of Northern India in the early 90’s when it was relaunched. Sold it in less than 2 years due to lack of finesse or quality and its failure to startup in the winter even after literally breaking my leg on its kick starter. But it always had a charm, a connection in my mind. The other day I was riding my local transport – my 2004 Karizma, which had done just 12k kms in 19 years and was literally still maintained by me as good as new. And I was stopped by the cops who informed me that the RC of my Karizma had expired 4 years back… lolz, and that I could not longer get the RC extended as I stayed in the NCR and it had become an END OF LIFE vehicle in their books and could be impounded… unbelievable. This policy of the NCT really does not make any sense for low mileage, well-maintained and non-polluting vehicles like mine, but then when did we ever consider many of our policies to be running on logical lines? They could easily get a full fitness test conducted, with a full emissions checkup and let the vehicle plying on the roads like abroad. But then… So they stopped short of seizing my vehicle and told me to junk it up ASAP and get a new vehicle.

So, survival without a ‘small’ 2-wheeler in a congested city like Meerut is just not possible. So the seeds to get a new 2-wheeler were sown! And what better choice than to return back to the “Timeless Classic” that was still plying on our roads in its modern ‘avatar’?

I was a sucker for the extremely good looks of the Classic 350 so it was really a no-brainer to go for it compared to the Meteor or other bikes in the RE stable. I also owned the Himalayan in 2016 from the RE stable, as some of you would remember, which I used primarily to do my bucket list solo 20 days sojourn of Leh Ladakh and subsequently sold it off. Budget was not a constraint but the ‘Super Meteor 650’ was too big for my needs in the city and I also did not find it as comfortable as the 350. Its short test ride had my lower back strained.

The next decision was the colour. I had only 2 in mind, the top-of-the-line Chrome Red or the Halcyon Green which nearly matched my old Bullet 500 (Green) in looks. RE was charging nearly 22k premium for the Chrome parts but after discussing with my dealer friend I went for the Chrome because RE does really spend some extra on the hard Chrome process. The build quality and fit and finish have come a long… read REALLY long, long way from the Bullet that I remember from 30 years back. And this new J series ENGINE is just a GEM. More on it later.

So it was booked on the 22nd of March’2023 through the Make it Yours (MIY) app at my friend’s dealership in Meerut. I customised the bike as I needed it in Alloy Wheels for peace of mind. Some may argue that the “Classic” quotient of the bike decreases without the spoked rims, and I do agree to an extent, but then practicality is also important. And it does look quite good in those machined alloy wheels from the factory with tubeless tyres. It was built in the factory the very same day i.e. the 22nd of March and it was delivered to me on the 6th of April 2023, still very much factory fresh.

So the cost breakup comes as follows – It was Rs. 2,30,135/- ex-showroom (with company-fitted alloy wheels and tubeless tyres). For context, the ex-showroom price of the bike with spoked wheels and tubed tyres is Rs. 2,21,297/-, so the company-fitted alloys and tubeless tyres cost me Rs. 8,838/- extra. Their MRP at the dealership is Rs. 14,000/- but they do come with a 10% discount, so let’s say 12,600/-, but then conversion to Tubeless tyres would have been another issue, but then you do get to keep the original spoked wheels too. So overall, I feel it was a good deal. And in comparison, the Halcyon Green costs 1,98,971/- ex-showroom. So the Chrome version is charging a premium of Rs. 22,326/-. Still worth it in my books. RTO was 24014, Comprehensive Insurance with zero dep and return to the invoice was 13155 with 1 year full and further 4 years 3rd party, total 5 years insurance. I installed original genuine accessories from the dealership worth 11,150/- on which I got a 1,115/- discount which included – Silver Airfly Evo Engine Guard in SS 4250/-, Silver Aluminum Sump Guard 3100/-, Passenger Backrest with fittings 2700/- and a Bike Cover for 1100/- (which was later given to me complimentary). So the total on-road cost with accessories and the little discount was 2,76,019/-. Add to it the original Tripper Navigation I added a little while back for Rs. 5500/- (after discount for 3 components, details later. Factory-fitted Tripper is now available in all variants of the Classic 350 from April’23 manufacturing onward for Rs. 5000/-; Sadly it was out of stock when I configured my bike online) and the On ride price of the bike goes up to Rs. 2,81,019/-

More to follow…

The Delivery

The bike was delivered on the 06th of April but there were some hiccups along the way…

I was there when the bike reached the dealership from their local stockyard

But there were 2 transportation damages to the bike.

I got both these parts replaced from a brand new stock bike which was standing in their godown, thanks to the pro-activeness of my dealer friend. He will get these parts replaced from the RE factory and subsequently replace them on his own bike, so the new owner too gets a fresh bike with undamaged parts.

The Engine # and Chassis # (VIN) were checked and found to be manufactured in March 2023. The 9th digit in the VIN is the month of manufacture which in my case was ‘C’ which corresponds to ‘March’, and the 10th digit is the year of manufacture which in my case was ‘P’ which corresponds to ‘2023’

The bike needed a thorough PDI and washup and everything else was found to be in order

The final invoice

The Bike, ready for delivery

Continue reading BHPian dkaile’s Classic 350 review for more insights and information.

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