Once again, Royal Enfield is showing off its new Classic 350 ahead of its North American debut sometime in 2022. This time, we get a chat with the development team, and that in itself says a lot about where Royal Enfield is headed as a company.
First, watch the promo below:
Now: Did you notice anything about the development team? This appears straight from the company’s UK R&D facility. Looks like Royal Enfield is trying to move past its dodgy-bike-built-in-India reputation, and play in the Euro league.
Chances are, Royal Enfield’s Indian designers likely had considerable say on this bike’s design, even if Royal Enfield doesn’t interview them, and the bike is certainly built in India, not Great Britain. Don’t be fooled. However, it’s true that India is currently picking up the pieces of the UK’s moto-manufacturing industry, and hiring visual designers and chassis tuners is going to pay off for Royal Enfield in the long run. Remember, Royal Enfield bought up famed frame-maker Harris Performance in early 2020, and has collaborated with the company for its latest 650 twins, and no doubt this new 350 as well.
The new Classic 350 debuted in India at the start of September, and it’s got big shoes to fill. For decades, the original Classic 350 was an entry point into Royal Enfield’s brand, roughly analogous to the Harley-Davidson Sportster in that market. It runs the same engine as Royal Enfield’s new Meteor, an air/oil-cooled 350 single that makes about 20 horsepower at the crank. Modest output indeed, but the counterbalancer and EFI should make for a significant upgrade over the previous model.
Royal Enfield’s new onboard GPS system will be available as an option, along with a whole list of other farkles—RE’s bigwigs love those add-on sales at the dealership, and you can order some of their new bikes with the accessories installed from the factory.