Ron  Betist
Ron Betist

Purring around the Provence on the Royal Enfield Classic 350

1 maart 2022

Royal Enfield has a great sense of timing.

While Northern European countries were being terrorised by the winter storm ‘Eunice’, a group of motorcycle journalists from the Netherlands, Belgium and France were whisking around in the sun and 20° degrees centigrade on the new 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350. While enjoying this magnificent weather and the all new Classic 350, it was hard to imagine the roofs flying off buildings 1000 kilometres away.

I was among the lucky ones who were able to focus on this new bike rather than seeing my bike shed being tortured by heavy winds (it survived fortunately).

The Royal Enfield Classic 350; a true classic

The Indian manufacturer has managed to create a lovely little Royal which is much better than a € 6.000 motorcycle has any right to be. It possesses everything to melt your heart at first glance. It is the exact blend of modest power, perfect quality and retro styling harking back to the glory days of British motorcycle manufacturing.

As with its predecessor, the Classic 500, the 350 series are magnificent backroad companions that will offer you the exact same ‘Zen’ feeling while chugging away miles of country roads below 100 km/h.

Forget massive torque

The absence of the tremendous power a lot of other motorcycles have on offer will not take away any pleasure whatsoever form the experience of riding the Royal Enfield Classic 350. You have only 20bhp output at your disposal in combination with a five-speed gearbox. This will provide riders with a top speed just slightly over any national limit. This by itself will give you peace of mind. No real need for apps on your devices that alert you for radar or police operated laser guns.

The relaxing sound of the single 350cc engine will send you back in time and will have lookers smile at you rather than lifting their middle finger showing their dismay at the noise of your machine. This is 50’s nostalgia in its purest form. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 has all elements on board to enhance that feeling. Besides the purring engine it comes with a properly styled metal tank, chunky mudguards, spoked wheels, a single clock in the very traditionally styled dashboard. I am pretty sure riders will be answering questions about the age of the bike, any time they park the Classic 350.

The Royal Enfield Classic 350: frame, suspension and braking

The Classic 350 is fitted out with non-adjustable 41mm forks and six-stage preload adjustable twin shocks. In combination with the spongey, spring fitted rider’s seat, you will have sufficient damping to take care of most potholes in the road. A few days before the trip to France I strained my back and it really hurt when traveling all the way to Avignon. I had my doubts on riding the country roads, but truth be told; I had no problems whatsoever! I think the Royal Enfield technicians deserve a big compliment from me and my aching back!

The Classic 350 is endowed with a brand new frame. It was specially designed for this new motorcycle. As with the suspension, the R&D department have done an excellent job. It feels incredibly well built. Just have a good look and take in the sight of the glistening tank, polished mudguards and fancy panels, and you’ll find almost no plastic. Instead, it’s a mixture of chrome (except for the ‘blacked-out version’ – which is kind of nice with its red stripes) and gloss, with chunky metal bracketry and a solid finish. Observing all little details you will notice the quality. No gaps in between panels, crooked mounted elements or shady welds. The bike even comes with a centre stand for easy maintenance.

All hunky dory

I am a sucker for vintage and retro, so it is easy to charm me with a bike like this. With the price tag being what it is, you get a tremendous amount of value for your money. Is there no room for improvement? Of course there is. But not a lot.

Even though the Roygal Enfield Classic 350 comes with ABS as a standard, the Bybre brakes are not phenomenal. But they do what they need to do. A little bit of ‘oomph’ might help you feel a bit more confident when you are on the highway. But that’s about it really.

My suggestion; don’t focus on those minor issues, just enjoy the motorcycle in its natural habitat. This might be zooming in an urban environment or chugging on a country road. If you want a mischievous grin and the adrenaline pumping, go for something larger. If you want to smile and have time to take in the beauty of the world around you, this is your ‘go-to’ motorcycle.

Tech specs of the Royal Enfield Classic 350


  • 350 cc, 4 stroke, air-oil cooled engine. Spark ignition, single cylinder (similar to the Meteor 350)
  • 20,21 bhp @ 6100 rpm
  • 27 Nm @ 4000 rpm
  • 5-speed gearbox

Tank: 13 liter + 4 liter reserve

Fuel consumption: 41,55 km/l (Good news in these expensive times!)

Chassis: All new designed steel twin downtube spine frame

Weight: 195 kg (wet weight)

Suspension: Non-adjustable 41 mm forks and six-stage preload adjustable twin shocks

Wheels: Spoked rims. Optional; alloy rims

Tyres: Tubeless tyres. Front: 100/90 - 19, Rear: 120/80 - 18


  • Bybre brakes
  • Front: a 300 mm single disc and two-piston floating caliper
  • Rear: 270 mm rotor and one-pot caliper
  • Twin channel ABS

Top speed of the Royal Enfield Classic 350: 110 - 115 km/h, depending on the conditions. Sweet spot is around 90 km/h, where you are treated to the nice purring sound.

Colour schemes:

  • Chrome Red
  • Chrome Bronze
  • Dark Stealth Black
  • Dark Gunmetal Grey
  • Halcyon Green
  • Halcyon Grey
  • Halcyon Black

Rent a Royal Enfield

MotoShare currently has one location in the Netherlands where you can rent Royal Enfield for an extensive test. The collection and coffee is ready at Star Twin Motors. Check out Star Twin for availability. Besides enjoying the beautiful collection of Royal Enfield's you can also enjoy their impressive Ducati collection. And since Star Twin is the oldest Ducati dealer in the Netherlands, they can tell you all about it.

If you are satisfied with a traditional short trial ride, you can find the complete collection at the following dealers:

  • Lowlands Bikerstore, Zwolle
  • Gebr. van Doorn Motoren, Ammerzoden
  • Motor Service Hoofddorp, Hoofddorp
  • Joppen Motoren CV, Leende
  • Axel's Bike Shop, Heerhugowaard
  • Motor Centrum Roosendaal, Roosendaal
  • Dipi Moto, Gilze
  • Motorcity Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  • MVM Motoren, Utrecht

Photo credits: Florian Meuret & Rodolphe Herpet

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