Don’t look now, but the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is about to engage in a sibling rivalry. The 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 has just been released in India and, as a Royal Enfield insider tells us, “Yes, it will be coming to the Americas.” The source didn’t say when, though we expect sooner rather than later, and it will be a ’22 model. Let’s go over what we know about the new Classic 350.
- The 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 is based on the Meteor 350 introduced this year, while paying homage to the long-running Classic 500. Royal Enfield is no longer importing the models with the truly old-school Royal Enfield 500 motor. On the one hand, that’s a loss; on the other, it’s time to move on.
- Managing Director of Eicher Motors Siddhartha Lal explains the link between the new Classic 350 and the outgoing Classic 500: “We’ve paid great attention to every aspect of the motorcycle, right from its stunning look, to the perfection in parts and the touchpoints, to its impeccable riding performance. The engine is super smooth, intuitively responsive and engaging, and has that gorgeous growl on acceleration. The all-new chassis lends enormous confidence while riding, with surefooted handling and agile braking. The motorcycle feels in control and well-mannered around tight corners. The motorcycle is, without a doubt, class-leading, and feels incredibly refined and enjoyable to ride.”
- The Classic 350 shares its air-cooled vertical-single SOHC two-valve powerplant with the Meteor 350, though they are finished differently. Peak power production is identical—20 horses at 6100 rpm and 20 ft-lbs of torque at 4000 rpm. The motor has electric start and a five-speed transmission.
- The frame and suspension look to be the same. The non-adjustable fork has the same 5.1 inches of travel, and the twin-shock setup is described identically—twin-tube emulsion units with spring-preload adjustability.
- There are a few differences, including the wheelbase, seat height, fuel capacity, and curb weight. The Classic tightens up the wheelbase by 0.4 inches, while raising the seat height 1.6 inches—remember, the Classic is a retro motorcycle and not in the Meteor’s cruiser genre. The Classic gets a more svelte fuel tank that holds a half-gallon less than the Meteor. The Classic is carrying around nine more pounds than the Meteor.
- When we tested the 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350, we were impressed and liked it, so we expect a similar experience on the 2022 Classic 350.
- Lal has high hopes for the new Classic: “Throughout our history, we have been consistent in our pursuit to build timeless, beautiful motorcycles that are great fun to ride, and the new Classic 350 does just that. The all-new Classic 350 combines this quintessential retro design with a modern and refined ride experience. We are confident that the all-new Classic 350 will once again redefine the midsize motorcycle space globally.”
- In India, the Classic 350 will come in 11 colorways. We don’t anticipate getting them all, but Royal Enfield North America is usually generous regarding color choices.
- Manufactured in Chennai, Indian, the 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 is at home, starting at the equivalent of $2945. The Meteor 350 has an MSRP that starts at $4395. We expect the Classic to sell in the United States for a similar price.
2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Specs
- Type: Vertical single
- Displacement: 349cc
- Bore x stroke: 72 x 85.8mm
- Maximum power: 20 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
- Maximum torque: 20 ft-lbs @ 4000 rpm
- Valvetrain: SOHC; 2 valves
- Fueling: EFI
- Cooling: Air
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Final drive: Chain
- Frame: Twin downtube spine
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 5.1 inches
- Rear suspension: Spring-preload adjustable twin-tube emulsion shocks
- Wheels: 10-spoke aluminum
- Front tire: 100/90 x 19
- Rear tire: 120/80 x 18
- Front brake: 300mm disc w/ 2-piston floating ByBre caliper
- Rear brake: 270mm disc w/ single-piston floating caliper
- ABS: Dual-channel standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 54.7 inches
- Seat height: 31.7 inches
- Fuel capacity: 3.4 gallons
- Curb weight: 430 pounds
- Dark Stealth Black
- Dark Gunmetal Grey
- Signals Marsh Grey
- Signals Desert Sand
- Halcyon Green
- Halcyon Black
- Halcyon Grey
- Redditch Sage Green
- Redditch Grey
2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Price: from ₹215,118 ($2945 at publication)