Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 first ride review

Hunting traffic lights

from ₹ 1,49,900

Royal Enfield has been stirring up more headlines in the past few years than any of its rivals. The company has always had a cult following, but now it has the engineering and the business smarts to push ahead of its 100+ year old legacy… on two wheels of course. One glance at the website and you’ll be reminded that the Royal Enfield catalogue is only getting bigger. 

The Royal Enfield badge that was once synonymous with the iconic Bullet and Classic silhouette now comes plastered to motorcycles of all shapes and sizes. Some that are outlandishly different like the Himalayan, yet charmingly Enfield. The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is one such two-wheeler that we planted our rears on, and although it looks like a roadster, it has the heart of a Classic 350.


Mechanically, the Hunter 350 is very similar to the other successful J-Series engine motorcycles — The Meteor and the Classic 350, but Royal Enfield hasn’t simply stuck a J-Series engine in the Hunter 350 and called it day. No, sir. This motorcycle right here may have the oomph of the Classic’s engine, but it has the agility and urgency of a much smaller and compact motorcycle.

That’s essentially what the Hunter 350 embodies. It is a small, nimble and lightweight motorcycle from Royal Enfield for people who don’t want the hulking mass of a Classic. And all of that is achieved by adjusting a few knobs and screws here and there. By traditional RE standards, the Hunter 350 feels deceptively nimble and that’s because Royal Enfield has played around with the chassis, steering angle, weight, wheel size and wheelbase. All of it is either shorter, smaller and/or lighter resulting in a 350 that is quick to cut through traffic.

I bought the latest Classic 350 and in terms of handling, the Hunter 350 is quicker to execute your command. Want to avoid any and all incoming potholes on a Mumbai road that has more holes than the surface of a sponge? The Hunter 350 is far more agile in letting you do so. It is 14kgs lighter than the Classic 350 and has a shorter wheelbase, comes with 17in wheels (first on an RE) and a tighter steering angle. So it’s not rocket science that the same J-Series 349cc engine that is on the Classic 350 feels different on the Hunter 350. It’s clever engineering.

The Hunter 350 has a slightly changed fuel mapping which makes it a little different but the overall engine is identical. It’s still a low-end torque engine that enjoys cruising at 60kmph or so. So even if the geometry has changed, the tools of trade remain the same. In heavy traffic, the heavy clutch and front brake can sap the life out of your mitts. Meanwhile, the engine has no urgency for reaching triple digits while slicing through traffic.


Now the retro roadster design template is barely fiddled with here. If Royal Enfield tried to make a concoction of design that ranges from modern to retro like the TVS Ronin then the Hunter 350 would be a far cry from the Royal Enfield ethos. Thankfully, this still looks and handles very much like a Royal Enfield.

Even though this sapling doesn’t have any roots, it can very well be the starting point. The teardrop-shaped fuel tank has a recessed area for your knees to plonk and the footpegs are slightly raised and pushed back for a sportier (still comfortable) riding position. It makes you more connected to the motorcycle and in return, you can ride the Hunter 350 with a bit more confidence. 

Both Retro and Metro variants have amazing build quality with metal parts and minimal plastics. The Hunter is refined and has quality materials that stay faithful to the other RE motorcycles.


We rode the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Metro variant which has alloy wheels, fatter tubeless tyres, dual-tone colour schemes, LED tail lights, a digi-analog instrument cluster and the same tactile and modern switchgear as the Classic and Meteor 350. And yes, dual-channel ABS for modern age-stopping power.

The Retro variant gets spoked wheels, thinner tubed tyres, halogen taillights, an analogue instrument cluster, not-so-modern switchgear, squared-off indicator lights and a drum brake for the rear. And yes, better colour scheme than the Metro variant in our opinion.

The Hunter 350 Retro variant looks a wee bit more delightful and charming in our opinion. It is also the starting point for Hunter 350’s pricing so we think it’s not a bad deal. Having a digi-analog instrument cluster has its advantages, and tubeless tyres are a lot better but other than that, the Retro is a stunner.

You also get an optional tripper similar to the one on the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Meteor 350 along with a bunch of accessories from RE for the Hunter 350. The flat bench seat which is an optional accessory really adds a fitting retro flavour to the motorcycle. You also get a USB Type-A port for charging on both models.


The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is the most accessible and most affordable motorcycle from Royal Enfield. Dropping the weight to 181kgs, the Hunter 350 can easily be handled by anyone who’s not The Great Khali and it feels genuinely nimble and lighter than that 181 figure. It’s all thanks to smart engineering that makes this a more compact motorcycle without shelling R&D costs on a new engine. 

That said, it is still very much a Royal Enfield and it doesn’t have the quality of life features you would find on a modern roadster like the TVS Ronin. This motorcycle is meant for city commute without the urgency to make it to the morning office roll call. In snail-paced traffic, the heavy clutch and brake can really annoy you. If you’re someone who spends two hours a day staring at car exhausts and traffic lights, the TVS Ronin is a far easier riding experience. If you want to enjoy the thump of a Royal Enfield and follow along with its low torque engine, the Hunter 350 is convincing enough for non-RE traditionalists. If you must have the best RE experience, the Classic 350 is still the purest of the lot.

Stuff Says

The Hunter 350 is a welcome letter to anyone who avoided an RE for its weight and size
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Smooth engine

  1. Lightweight for RE standards

  1. Aggressive pricing

  1. Planted and comfortable

  1. Sounds delightful

  1. Heavy clutch

  1. Metro colour schemes are overly modern

Capacity: 349
Type Single cylinder: 4 stroke
Cooling: Air-Oil cooled
Power (BHP): 20.2
Clutch Type: Wet multiplate
Gears: 5
Fuel Capacity: 13L
Wheelbase: 1370mm
Tyre: Front Alloy wheel - 110/70 -17in (tubeless tyre), Rear Alloy Wheel - 140/70 - 17in (tubeless tyre)
Suspension: Front Telescopic 41mm forks, Rear Twin tube Emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload
ABS Type: Dual Channel