The TVS Ronin does have a reason to worry about with the launch of the RE Hunter.
BHPian AtheK recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
So got to spend sometime with Hunter today, here is are my observations.
The bike was brand new and had 90 km on the ODO. I was in fact the first customer to test ride the bike, as it was only ridden by Service Center staff till then and was still on TC number.
The first impression you get after you sit on the bike is that it is TINY, specially for a RE, I had just hopped on to it from my Interceptor and this looked like it’s kid. I could easy flat foot as the seat height is low, now I am 5-10, so I am able to flat foot on Interceptor also, but this was another level.
Next big surprise and pleasant one at that was the weight of the bike, it felt so light and was so flickable in city traffic, another revelation from RE stable. Sitting back on Interceptor after riding this for sometime I really felt that wish Interceptor was this weight, what a bike Interceptor will turn out to be.
Looks are subjective but I think it’s a decent looking bike which will not excite or offend anyone, stance is good and paint quality is also good. Fit and finish is actually much better then Interceptor, the wires are tucked in properly and have sleeves to hold them together. The attention to detail is better then any previous RE product I have inspected before.
The bike has a single side speedometer and shows quite a bit of information like, date, gear indicator, trip, fuel gauge and also has a fuel low level indicator. Twins miss out pretty much everything, I will happily swap this speedometer with one side of my interceptor. One gripe which I have is the font used for denoting speed, looks a bit cheaper, this looks better on the interceptor.
I see in RE app under MiY that there is an option to add the Tripper, though shows out of stock now. If you add that it will make the front look more proportioned and also add the added functionality.
Build quality overall is acceptable, and the paint used atleast on the red bike looks premium, the test ride bike in black and gunmental looked average.
Switch knobs are standard run of the mill RE stuff which is shared across models. I think Classic 350 gets the same, could be a tinge better.
The rear look, back rest though is not standard and needs to be purchased separately.
The Exhaust has grown short in size, but sound much better, good job RE.
The seat is well contoured and i found myself sitting happily on it, of the short 10-11 Kms i rode it, I did not find anything bad to report, the rear seat is wide and pillion should feel comfortable, rest we will need to see long ride review, as Interceptor seat was not great for long rides at all.
Notice the Royal Enfield branding at the rear, looks premium.
The indicators look decent, and I like the tail light. Goes well with the overall design of the bike.
One thing that is still baffling is use of halogen bulbs in the headlight, the world has moved on to LED, time RE embraces that too.
Move the starter button towards right and bike comes to life witha nice bassy exhaust sound, exhasut note is something that will grab your attention quickly and is a very good balance of bass and pleasing sound. No where it gets loud but at the same time gives you a very good aural experience from a 350CC bike, RE engineers have really done a great job on this. For me benchmark was CB 350RS exhaust note in this segment, but I will rate the exhaust note in Hunter 350 a little better.
The vibrations though not felt on the feet are visible by the vibrating mirror, the rear view mirrors are one of the sore thumb in the bike as they are of flimsy quality and vibrate more due to quality then due to engine vibrations. This should be the first upgrade plan if any one decides to buy this bike, you can get bar end and touring mirrors from MiY app which are of very good quality.
Slot the first gear and bike moves ahead without any drama, the pickup is linear and the new engine that RE is using is very refined. The gear shifts are butter smooth and since this bike is new I did not expect anything less. You can work your way up the gears quickly and have fun while at it. The clutch is also light and would be a boon in city traffic, Interceptor clutch in compariosn is much harder. The nice exhaust note compels you to keep the gears low, something I am guilty of in Interceptor too, this will eventually make sure that your mileage suffers.
I took it in city traffic and the bike behaved beautifully, it was easy to manouver and flickable around in traffic and overall behaved exactly I would want a bike to behave in city. Braking is adequate and bike stopped without much of a drama. Again this was in peak bangalore traffic hours so no way was I able to push the bike and the fastest I could go was around 70, I tested the brakes on those speeds and they worked as expected. Bike builds up speed nicely and I don’t think you will ever feel short of power within the city traffic. The new age RE engines are very refined and actaully takes away some of the pleasure and character from old school RE bikes. I am not complaining, but few might feel disappointed.
I was impressed with what I saw in short period of time I spent with the bike, Achilles heel of RE bikes is the electricals and we will have to see in long term how this bike fares, but the start is promising. Overall I think RE has another winner in his hands, the accessories are already up for sale, it’s priced well starting from 1.9 to 2.1 lacs On road in bangalore, this bike will sell in good numbers.
TVS you should be worried about the Ronin.
Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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