Royal Enfield Classic 500 vs Classic 350 – Which is the better motorcycle?
Quite evidently, Royal Enfield motorcycles these days, are selling like 'hot cakes.'. It seems everyone wants to buy one and are okay with the waiting period (which in some cases is about 6 months). Gone are the days of mechanical failures and greasy pants. With the introduction of the new UCE engine, you don’t need to be a mechanic to own a Royal Enfield and this is the main reason for their sales hitting the north pole in the last few years.
The hottest selling model in the Royal Enfield stable is the Classic. Perhaps the most appealing aspect is that it is a modern machine in vintage clothes. The Classic is available in two engine variants the 500 CC and the 350 CC. If you are looking to buy a classic, you would have asked yourself this basic question. Which is a better motorcycle for me. The answer depends on what are you expecting from the motorcycle. To make things simpler, here is a rider’s comparison of the two motorcycles:
The Classic 500 generates a maximum torque of 41 Nm of torque at 27bhp whereas the 350 produces 28 Nm of torque at 19.8 bhp. In layman’s language it means that you get a much more powerful engine. Though considerable, you will hardly get to use this extra bit of power in your daily city commute, but would certainly come handy if you plan to use the motorcycle for touring. A more powerful engine will also be needed if you carry weight along with you on your journeys. Which means if you ride with a pillion, its best to get a 500.
Royal Enfield claims that the top speed of the 500 is 130 kmph, whereas a 350 can touch around 120 kmph, which is not much of a difference. Even if these numbers are true, you are less likely to ride at such speeds. Hence, what you should rather be looking for is how effortlessly the two motorcycles can touch comfortable cruising speeds of 80 – 90 kmph in which the 500cc does slightly better.
Apart from the engine, another major difference between the two motorcycles is the paint options.
The enviable Matt brown paint scheme is available under the moniker Desert Storm. Other than the Desert Storm, all Classic 500s come in dual tone paint. These include Classic Tan, Classic Black and a very elegant Classic Silver paint schemes. If you are bananas over chrome, you could go for the Chrome Black or the Chrome Maroon.
When it comes to the Classic 350, RE has provided five options, two of which stand apart from the 500; the Lagoon Blue and the Ash White. The other schemes, which are Black, Silver and Maroon, are quite similar to the 500cc variant except that they come in single tone paint.
Many riders seem to have taken quite a liking for the Lagoon blue and Ash white paint schemes, and they do set the motorcycle apart. So if blue is your thing, then go for the 350.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to conclude that the 350 cc is cheaper to buy. However it is also cheaper to run. RE claims that 350 can get you 40 kilometers for a liter of fuel as compared to 32 for the 500. Not just that, since the 350 is cheaper to buy, you shell out less on the insurance as well. What do you do with the extra money? Just about anything. You can buy better gear and accessories for your motorcycle. Remember a custom and unique 350 is much better than a stock 500. Alternatively you can also buy a present for your girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse who disapproves of riding. At the risk of being intruding, may we suggest a good helmet and riding jacket to take them out on a spin?
To summarize, here is the conclusion:
You should buy the Classic 500 if:
- You would be using the motorcycle mostly for touring
- You don’t mind spending more money for more power
- You love the Desert Storm Color or Dual Tone Paint
- You have a girlfriend who rides pillion with you
- You have a very heavy workload and you usually carry it home :)
- You are okay with the 350 CC but want a 500 for the snob value
- If you are still not sure which motorcycle to choose: Spend the extra cash. You don’t want to be feeling that you are riding an underpowered motorcycle and deserve something bigger.
You should buy the Classic 350 if
- You would be using the motorcycle for daily commute
- You are practical about costs of running a motorcycle
- You love the environment and want to leave a lesser carbon footprint
- You want to use the extra money that you’ll save on modifications to the motorcycle and make it a masterpiece
- You want to use the extra money to buy a gift for your better half (this is important incase he/she disapproves of motorcycles)
- You prefer the Blue or White Paint Job
- You don’t believe in the old adage, “The Bigger the better.”
Which Royal Enfield do you ride and why. Join the Discussion below