Despite rumors that Royal Enfield was planning to ditch its Classic 350 and similar models, that isn’t the case. Instead, Royal Enfield’s updating the machine, to allow continued sales under India’s new anti-pollution laws.
India’s motorcycle industry, the strongest in the world, has been thrown on its ear by unexpectedly-tightened emissions regulations passed by its government. Enacted to battle the country’s urban smog problem, the new laws caught manufacturers by surprise, stalling sales of current models and causing a scramble as the OEMs re-engineer motorcycles to meet the new requirements.
This is especially hard for larger single-cylinder engines, as the increased deformation of the piston rings results in more blowby, which is just what the regulators are trying to stop. With that in mind, some onlookers suggested Royal Enfield’s singles might be cancelled. Turns out it’s just the opposite—the Classic 350 is the brand’s first bike to meet the new BS-VI regulations.
Generally speaking, though, the new Classic 350 is much the same as the outgoing model, with retro looks but up-to-date components such as dual-channel ABS (currently, the 350 has single-channel ABS) and electronic fuel injection. For 2020, the Indian market will get the Classic 350 in a wide variety of paint schemes, including a couple of new colors. Royal Enfield is also promising improved performance on the new model, but is keeping exact horsepower, torque and other numbers to itself at this point.
Pricing in India is Rs. 165,025, working out to approximately $2,300 US. Although Royal Enfield will have to either update the rest of its line to meet emissions regs, or introduce new models, there’s been no official word as to the company’s plans yet.