HomeLifestyleHunter 350: welcome to the newcomers

Hunter 350: welcome to the newcomers

This J-series model comes with 349cc making for a smoother ride, courtesy a better fuel efficiency as compared to Classic and Meteor

This J-series model comes with 349cc making for a smoother ride, courtesy a better fuel efficiency as compared to Classic and Meteor

Royal Enfield has a lot behind the Hunter 350 to broaden the brand’s customer base and attract a wider audience. The Hunter 350 sports a classic British roadster design and is available in multiple color schemes. It is powered by RE’s sleek and torquey 350cc J-Series engine and comes with a starting price of ₹ 1.50 Lakh (ex-showroom). On paper it looks compelling enough, but only a complete road test will determine what the Hunter 350 is all about.

The Hunter 350 has been styled to look like your typical retro roadster and features a round halogen headlamp, teardrop-shaped fuel tank, a flat seat, a small side panel with Hunter 350 branding and a round tail-lamp. It also has a neat tail section. The model we tested was the High Metro version in the dapper ash color scheme, which we think suits this motorcycle particularly well. There is also an entry-level retro variant on offer, which gets a simple paint scheme and wire spoke wheels. In terms of quality, we found the paint finish and switchgear to be particularly good on the Hunter, considering the price point.

One area where the Hunter falls a bit short is the equipment level, as something like the TVS Ronin is better equipped for the same price. The Metro variant gets 17-inch alloys, a USB charging port, two trip meters, dual-channel ABS, an optional tripper navigation pod, hazard lights and an LED tail-lamp. The base Retro variant is even less equipped, with a simpler instrument cluster, single-channel ABS with rear drum brake, slimmer tyres, a halogen tail-light, rectangular indicators and a tubular grab rail.

As is the case with the modern Royal Enfield, there are a number of accessories to choose from for the Hunter 350. Buyers can customize their Hunter 350 as per their wish with the accessories catalogue including bar-end mirrors, LED indicators, passenger backrest. The windscreen, engine guard, luggage, seats and even a tidy look, which is a first for the brand.

The new Hunter 350 seat pegs are set slightly rear and there is little access to the handlebars. Overall, it can be described as a comfortable riding position with a hint of sportiness. Tall riders will find it quite spacious, but the relatively short 790mm seat also means it will comfortably fit shorter riders. However, it’s not as comfortable for those in the rear, as the seat isn’t particularly large.

On the go, the Hunter 350 feels lighter on its feet, which is no surprise, considering that it has dropped 14kg over the Classic 350 with which it shares its platform. In addition, the RE changes made to the chassis also play a part, given that the Hunter is still not exactly light, at 181kg. A 20mm shorter wheelbase, 17-inch wheels and wider handlebars than the Classic, all help the Hunter 350 feel like an agile machine. As such, the Hunter 350 feels completely at home in the city limits. The Hunter is also quite enjoyable around turns, as it turns quickly without much effort and has good grip. Moreover, the motorcycle is predictable and stable in the corners, which will inspire confidence for new riders in this segment.

However, the ride quality of the Hunter 350 is mixed. Suspension duties on the motorcycles are handled by 41mm telescopic forks up front and preload-adjustable twin shocks at the rear, but it’s not the hardware that’s the issue, it’s the set-up. While the front end feels nice and absorbent, the rear feels unusually stiff. It can be quite uncomfortable to go over broken stretches of road and uneven expansion joints, be it at a slow or a high speed.

In terms of brakes, there is enough stopping power in the discs and dual-channel ABS at both ends of the Hunter 350 Metro, but it could have felt a bit more on the lever. In our testing, the Hunter managed to come to a dead stop in 16.18m from 60kph. The Hunter 350’s ground clearance of 150mm also feels low, but we didn’t face any issues with belly scraping on speed bumps.

Being a J-series model, the Hunter 350 gets the same 349cc, single-cylinder engine that powers the Classic and Meteor 350s. It makes 20hp and 27Nm, which is enough for a bike of this size, and comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox. RE says that it has tweaked the mapping of the engine to better suit the Hunter’s features and thus makes it feel a bit more responsive than the other two. The engine itself is a smooth and torquey unit and has a nice low-end pull, it rarely feels stressed and there is a nice lush tone on this Hunter.

The Hunter 350 accelerates to 0-60kph in 4.95 seconds, which is faster than the Meteor and Classic, and it’s even quicker in gear, but that’s not really the case. The Hunter likes to ride comfortably and feels comfortable at triple-digit speeds. The clutch lever feels a lot heavier, even heavier, than the Classic and Meteor, and can be painful when it comes to peak hour traffic.

In our fuel-efficiency test, the Hunter 350 returned 30.61kpl in the city, which is actually slightly less than the figures we got from its J-platform siblings. However, the Hunter Highway compensates for this by being better in terms of fuel efficiency, which is 39.84kpl and higher than both the Classic and Meteor.

Some current RE owners may still prefer the bigger and slower Classic and Meteor, but the Hunter 350 is for buyers who want to enter the Royal Enfield fold and don’t want a motorcycle that is intimidating or cumbersome to ride .

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 price ranges between ₹ 1.50 Lakh and ₹ 1.69 Lakh, significantly lower than Honda CB 350 RS and equal to the 225 cc, TVS Ronin. RE wanted to create an attractive and affordable motorcycle that would be able to attract a wider audience to the brand, and Hunter does exactly that.

Hello Friends, My Name is Raushan Kumar. I am a Part-Time Blogger and Student. I am author of https://searchnews.in . We're dedicated to providing you the best of News, with a focus on Business, Health, Lifestyle, World, Tech, India, Gadget.


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