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Thread: Royal Enfield Classic 350 Owner's Review and Experiences

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    RIO
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    Default Royal Enfield Classic 350 Owner's Review and Experiences

    20 days back I have become a proud owner of a black bull. I would like to share my experience , also with that would like to start a FAQ (Ready Reckoner) forum for Classic 350.

    I request the moderator's to please approve the tread.

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    Moderator Samarth 619's Avatar
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    Ownership experience approved.
    Last edited by sunilg; 10-24-2012 at 12:10 PM.
    ---
    Brotherhood, Rules, Freedom. Xbhp.
    Indian riding = Alertness, Anticipation and Adjustment.

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    Cool Royal Enfield Classic 350cc Ownership Review

    My dear audience, 50 days and 3400kms later I think I am in a better position to give a first cut of what the machine is all about. I would abstain from giving any specifications as you could get that on the RE website. Let me take you through my love story

    Love @ first few sights (Before Booking):
    What a beautiful bike!! ->My expression when I first saw her, it was love at first sight! Then I saw her again and again and became sure about my feelings . This happened in Oct 2011, I delayed the booking with the purpose of owning her at the start of 2012; the greed of new year on registration card lured me in.

    The first date (Booking):
    I realised what a fool I was when I went for booking because there I came to know about the waiting period i.e. 10-12 monthsss! For 350cc and 4-5 monthsss! For 500cc .
    Now the biggest question was which one to book 350 or 500!!

    Got intimate
    - Took test ride (@ Soniya, Thane) of the siblings, ride experiences are as follows;
    500 - it took me by surprise, it just launched me ahead! Raw power!!
    350 - felt much mannered than her elder sister with linear acceleration, ride quality was the same for both – sturdy!
    I booked 350 with the logic that it had the longest waiting period among the two thus should be booked earlier, also the dealer (@ Soniya, Bhandup, Mumbai) gave be the option of later upgrading to 500.

    The dilemma:
    Then started series of internal and external heated debates of which one to buy, after lot of tossing and turning, hours of reading, lots of excel, intense thinking, many brain storming sessions with my mechanic (He supported 350, as he had seen many problems in 500 among social circle), numerous discussion with family and friends, I decided to wait and buy CL 350.
    Where did 500 lose?

    1. Unreliability: heard a lot about faulty switches and tech on 500, read many reviews of faulty low fuel signal (first small tank, second what if you get stranded in middle of nowhere because of faulty low fuel signal), heard stories of 500 pulling to right because of some design mistake.
    2. Average (I don’t want to ride only 390kms on a full tank, 350’s 550 looks assuring).
    3. Fuel injection (I don’t like company service centers after free services are done ).
    4. Rode friend’s 500 for good 40kms..lots of vibrations..


    The wait:

    I had to wait for exactly nine months to get my bike delivered , in the end I had adapted coaxing strategy with the dealer,[ my suggestion - if you would be paying full cash tell your dealer from the start, second if you have a saleable old bike better (I had Honda Unicorn – sonepe suhaga ]
    This time was spent reading, researching, dreaming, planning etc etc. I became the member of xBhp during this time.

    Pre wedding rituals (The week before delivery):
    No commitment until I pay! Then I paid half amount by cheque - was informed that bike is on its way from factory (I was not sure about the delivery even then), middle of the week I got an sms stating the insurance policy details (this time I felt sure about the delivery).

    The wedding day:
    So finally got my bike delivered on 28th Sept 2012, phew!! What a wait it was!! I was on cloud nine!!!!

    The night ( It was afternoon though PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection):
    Bucket list:

    1. Kms run was 28km (It should not be more than 50kms) -was the same on all bikes at the showroom..I wonder how!!
    2. Scratches and paint peel. One on the saree guard - got it painted.
    3. Chrome – No probs.
    4. Mirrors and dials – Felt foggy, got them cleaned –good now.
    5. Checked for oil leak – no leak.
    6. Check the tyre – looked good.
    7. Got the keys and started the bike – started in first instance.
    8. Engine – was idling with consistent beats.
    9. Oil level – prefect.
    10. Kept it for idling for a two min – no probs.
    11. Check all switched and lights – even checked the headlight focus.
    12. Removed the keys tried on other locks – air filter, battery, fuse box – all ok.
    13. Ask for a ride – got one – amazing it felt! No alignment issues.
    14. Got diamond leg guard – others were butterfly and turned one (don’t remember what it is called )
    15. Had asked for telfon coating – did not get it done that day due to manpower shortage.


    Only after being fully satisfied, I paid .
    It cost me around 1.32 lac plus 10k for special no i.e. 1.42 lac in total, paid remaining amount in cash.
    (Tip: pls download and read the owner’s manual if you have booked one).

    Baraat-The ride back home:
    Had friends with me on their bikes, I also rode with pillion.
    I drove at 30kmph till my place – it was scary ride, not because of any danger, but because I didn’t want to do anything wrong, so was being extra cautious…

    First Week: (First 500kms)

    I had set my own max speed goals:
    0 - 100kms – 30 kmph
    100 – 200kms – 40kmph
    200 – 500kms – 50kmph.
    The logic is to open the bike slowly but steadily, which would help in good run-in of the bike.
    Got Teflon done after 100kms – Rs 450/-
    First 500kms were quick (in the first week itself); it gave me mileage of 44kmpl.
    Then came the first service

    Parlour: Following things were done in first service:

    1. Oil and oil filter change – while removing the oil the mechanic started the engine – Rs 850/-
    2. Air Filter Cleaning
    3. Electricals checked
    4. Oiling
    5. Oil additive – Rs 300/-
    6. Fuel additive – Rs 300/-
    7. Washing


    Romantic monsoon:
    As there was an extended rain season in Mumbai, I had to ride many times in the rains - no electrical problem, no water entering in the tank and no tyre skids.
    500 - 1500 kms drove max at 60 kmph; mileage 43kmpl.
    Just after 600kms, while washing the bike I found an oil leak from oil filter below the engine. Got it check and rectified, had to change the O ring. Leakage stopped, but now I regularly keep a check.

    Honeymoon:
    I went on a saddle sore to Daman and back (200kms from Mumbai) in single day with only four 15 min breaks. Speed while going towards Daman was 60kmph and while coming back was 70kmph (Completed 1500kms in Daman).
    The road was good and the ride amazing, only thing bad was I got a painful bum! I will surely change the seat. Also felt strain in the back for some time, but it was not permanent, I feel it was more due to difference in ride stance of Classic and Unicorn.
    People asked about the bike wherever I stopped and even truckers gave respect by giving prompt sides. On the way back I had to sudden brake at the speed of 70kmph because of some careless family crossing with no sense of the coming vehicles. The bike stopped like a rock!! The experience and confidence build up was amazing, I rather thanked the family in my mind
    At the end the feel of achievement was awesome; such rides give you a sense of belonging to the riding fraternity.

    1500 -3000kms:
    Faced a problem with front suspension after 1800kms, sounded as if the mud guard is banging on the forks.

    The T was lose, got it corrected, now no probs.

    Got oil changed at 1900kms.

    Max speeds were 70kmph till 2000kms and 80kmph till 3000kms; mileage 42kmpl.

    The bike runs the smoothest @ 70kmph. The rides were mostly in Mumbai City with all the traffic.
    Two short trips were one to Khopoli and one to Khandala.
    While passing Khopoli while on our way to Khandala, we faced a gush of winds followed by heavy rains, the other two bikes were Avenger and Unicorn, Classic and avenger were very stable!

    Classic is a little difficult to ride in the city because of it its size and some vibrations at lower speeds. She starts being very smooth after 55kmph. As I said earlier it is smoothest @ 70..it feels as if riding Unicorn (Unicorn is a very smooth bike, may be that is the reason I am taking time to adjust to the vibrations).

    On the Classic you feel as if you are not riding a bike, she is surely something between a bike and car. The stability and road grip is awesome. I can tilt her sideways far lower than Unicorn while taking high speed turns even though it weigh a 50kg more than Unicorn. At lower speed you can hear the sand getting grinded below the tyre same as in you will hear in a car, awesome sound!
    I rode a ghat while going to Khandala; it climbed with ease, even overtaking while taking turns (with pillion). The confidence at high speed is such that even though you are riding at 80kmph, you feel as if you are riding at safe speed of 50kmph.

    The looks are killer!! Place it next to any other bike..it will stand out!!

    Parlour again: (Second Service-Last week)
    The services done were same as first service, but this time the supervisor and the mechanic both test rode the bike, after the rides both complimented on the condition of the bike as if it is a new showroom bike JJJ.

    Bike is smoother now, touched 90kmph, not much vibration yet.

    Insight!
    Like with any love, there would be pro and cons, all you do is love the pros more and shove away the cons .
    Pros:

    1. Awesome Ride Experience.
    2. Great Stability
    3. Great Braking
    4. Good Fuel Economy for such powerful bike.
    5. Headlight illumination is at par with cars.
    6. Ride Stance is good, not cramped.
    7. Good Center of Gravity.
    8. The Beats!!!! They make your heart go..dhak dhak dhak dhak..


    Cons:

    1. Vibration at lower speeds, specially 1st and 3rd gear.
    2. Rider seat is very hard with no back support which is necessary for long rides.
    3. Poor paint quality.
    4. Rusting of nuts.
    5. Difficult oil checking technique.
    6. No tachometer.
    7. No Fuel Gauge.
    8. Small tank, only 13.5 liters does no justice.


    Questions for the experts: (I hope they read my amateur review).

    1. Can one increase the power by changing the carb.
    2. Should one change the oil to fully synthetic, if yes, when?
    3. How can we decrease vibrations on the handle bar?
    4. What max speed could be achieved?



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    "while removing the oil the mechanic started the engine", what do you mean by this statement?
    I'm not an expert but you can reduce handle bar vibes by adding effective(read heavy) bar end weights...
    I have used all 3 (mineral,semi and synthetic) types of oil, 3-4 brands and finally settled on mineral because i personally didnt find any big differences, i go for oil change + service every 2-2.5k kms, which i feel is better than having synthetic oil for longer periods of time...
    Apache 180

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    Great experience shared...loved reading it.
    Ride Hard !!! Ride Safe!!! Enjoy every moment on your machine !!! Cheers....

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    RIO
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    @ saipranav -"while removing the oil the mechanic started the engine" - this is what happened- he opened the engine oil nut -> engine oil began pouring into the oil tray and then he started the engine..he said this helps in removing more amount of oil..i dont know how true this is..
    The handle bar already has end weights, would getting a broader handle help??

    @daredemon - thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIO View Post
    @ saipranav -"while removing the oil the mechanic started the engine" - this is what happened- he opened the engine oil nut -> engine oil began pouring into the oil tray and then he started the engine..he said this helps in removing more amount of oil..i dont know how true this is..
    I am still a noob biker, but AFAIK, the Above procedure is not right. It is recommended to make the engine hot BEFORE removing the oil, so that the oil becomes less vicious, and thus will easily drain off..
    But starting the engine (even if for a brief moment) without the engine oil, is certainly not correct..
    My advise, change ur mechanic!!

    Relationships change, evolve, and it goes deep.
    Only thing I can say - "The storm is coming"

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    Amazingly nice narration..!! Wish you many more fun filled & safe miles ahead..!!

    ..»».. I will rather ride my Bike thinking about God, then sitting in a Temple thinking about my Bike.. »»..

    Mumbai - Leh - Mumbai June '09 :On xBHP: Ride With me to Leh

    Blog : Mumbai - Leh - Mumbai : 21 Days, 6500kms. Journey to Heaven..June'09

    GreatIndianRide - West India on a 110cc for over a month

    Mumbai-Leh-Mumbai - A Sequel : July'11 (Blog coming soon)

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    Hello everyone,i got my black bull aka classic350 delivered yesterday evening.Having a very good time with it.Planning to go for a trip very soon.Will keep updating about my bull here.
    Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride. -John F. Kennedy

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    RIO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shibadip View Post
    I am still a noob biker, but AFAIK, the Above procedure is not right. It is recommended to make the engine hot BEFORE removing the oil, so that the oil becomes less vicious, and thus will easily drain off..
    But starting the engine (even if for a brief moment) without the engine oil, is certainly not correct..
    My advise, change ur mechanic!!
    @shibadip - i have changed oil thrice now each time by different mechanic, all are following this technique on RE bikes, and all three are exclusive bullet mechanics..

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