Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Review (Baujahr 2023)
What can the new and cheap naked bike from India do?
The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is already the third new machine of the Indian manufacturer with the 349 cc single cylinder. Markus and Dietmar found out how the naked bike compares to the Meteor 350 and Classic 350 during a rather cold test ride.
Naked bike with 20 hp The Hunter 350 is a very affordable machine. It costs 4,500 euros and is available in six very attractive colors. The list of accessories for the Hunter is manageable: There is, for example, an oil pan protection, engine protection bar, a backrest for the front passenger, a tinted windscreen and LED turn signals as well as a case for the right side. The complete list of accessories can be viewed on the Royal Enfield website. A bit strange: On all pictures and advertising materials the HNTR 350 can be seen with the additional instrument for the turn by turn navigation, but on our test machine this feature is missing as well as in the accessories list. However, it may also be that our press bike did not quite correspond to the series, if necessary just contact the RE dealer.
Visually, we like the Hunter 350 very much. It is not as retro as the Classic 350, but still looks wonderfully classic with its bellows, round headlights and stereo struts.
The seat test holds the first positive surprise. With a rather smaller machine, we would have expected less space, especially for the co-driver, but both Markus and Dietmar felt very comfortable both at the front and rear. There are reasonable handles for the pillion passenger and also the seat is neatly wide and comfortably padded. Of course, you should not expect the space of an adventure bike, but for the tour to the Baltic Sea it is enough.
Dimensions and seat ergonomics: This is how it sits on the Royal Enfield Hunter 350
360 degree tour around the Royal Enfield Hunter 350
Technology: Simple equipment
The low price of the Hunter 350 is particularly noticeable in the equipment. Apart from the 2-channel ABS, there are no technical helpers. In the cockpit, however, we discover a hazard warning lights, an on-board computer with gear indicator and a USB charging socket on the clutch. So you can easily mount your mobile phone on the medium-wide handlebars and charge it while riding – wonderful.
Brake and clutch levers are not adjustable in range, we find a cable clutch as well as classic round mirrors, which allow a rather mediocre view to the rear. The lighting also comes classically simple without LED technology. The tubular steel frame with the double base is attached to the engine.
The conventional 41 mm telescopic fork is not adjustable, but the stereo struts are at least in the preload. The spring travel is rather short with 130mm front and 105mm rear. The brakes are also on the simple side: front and rear we find a single disc with Bybre calipers.
This is how it drives itself
Already on the first few meters it becomes clear what makes the Hunter 350 special: it is light as a feather. It feels even lighter while driving than the data sheet would suggest. This is very reminiscent of a 125cc bike, at least more than an A2 bike. If you climb from a big bike to the Hunter 350, you first have to get used to the mokick-like steering behavior.
Manoeuvring is also easy, so the Hunter 350 is also suitable for smaller and not so strong people. The low seat height fits in with this – so you don't have to have long legs to have a secure footing on this bike.
The sound of the Royal Enfield is similar to the other two 350s wonderfully mockery. Sonorously, the single-cylinder rumbles and sounds more like 500 cc than 350. The machine is not so loud: Only 89 dbA are in the vehicle registration – the neighbors are happy.
The biggest compromise of the HNTR driver is certainly performance. Whereby: Who really wants to drive such a bike?! The machine has only 20 hp and 27 Nm of torque and that's exactly how it feels. Of course, lively overtaking manoeuvres or Porsche traffic light starts are not possible – but that doesn't matter. What is always in it is pure motorcycling in chill mode. And this even without refueling stops over very long distances, thanks to the low consumption, the range is almost 500 kilometers. The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is therefore not only cheap in terms of purchase price, but also in maintenance!
Another advantage of the low performance is the resulting low demands on brakes and chassis. The braking performance is not very great, which is not really necessary with this light bike that is slow with a top speed of 114 km/h. Nor do we need traction or wheelie control. The machine will neither go up at the front nor will the rear wheel spin – not even at full throttle! And also the chassis does not have to perform at its best on this bike, so it is also manageable that you can hardly adjust anything here. Nevertheless, the Hunter 350 feels very coherent and even a bit firmer than we expected. It drives just as "grown-up" as the Classic 350, which is really fun!
Conclusion - what sticks The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is a motorcycle like a good friend. It exudes extreme serenity and is easier to ride than almost any other bike. Due to its low weight and ergonomics, it fits every biker, no matter which statue. Of course, you can't expect miracles from her, especially in terms of performance, but nobody who is considering a purchase will do that either. It is beautiful and simple and much can not break on this machine. Purchase price, taxes, insurance, fuel and workshop costs should be kept to a minimum. You can hardly be cheaper and more stylish on the road – if at all, perhaps with the Classic 350.
Competitors of the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 are (in addition to the already mentioned 350s from our own company) the Mash Five Hundred, Benelli Imperiale 400, Mondial HPS 300i and the Brixton Felsberg 250. Many thanks to KSR for the test of the Hunter 350.
Price/availability/colours/years of construction
- Price: 4.499 Euro
- Availability: from 11/2022
- Colours: red, blue, grey, white, black, silver
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