New Royal Enfield Hunter 350: how it goes, strengths and weaknesses

Just get on board, even while standing still, to understand that the The new Hunter 350 is a friendly motorcycle. The saddle that is actually a few feet off the ground (790mm) helps in maneuvering from a standstill. And do not be scared by the weight of almost two quintals in running order. The center of gravity, in fact, is practically at ground level and moving the Hunter is within everyone’s reach, even for those who have just approached the world of two wheels.

The habitability is more than good. for pilots close to 180 cm tall, but the taller ones, like the writer (190 cm) will find themselves traveling with their legs a bit cramped. The seat is very well padded., but smooth to perfection and doesn’t tire the rear end even after hours in the saddle. Two moles, both of which affect the exhaust system: the first is that when you ride with your toes on the footpegs, your right heel rests against the terminal, the second is the low exhaust manifold which, although protected by a metal screen, when you put your feet on the ground that is very close to your right ankle. No problem if you ride in boots, but be careful if you wear flat shoes (not recommended).

the engine is that the same single cylinder that we have already enjoyed in the Meteor 350 and Classic 350: with its 20 HP it doesn’t alarm even novices, the delivery is sweet, progressive and in its sweet way. Also good elasticity., although at the first opening of the throttle with a high gear, the single cylinder is a bit lazy to turn. Instead, it blends lively into the mids, where it displays a pleasing verve. It’s more, the sound is pleasantly loud and murmuring, which adds even more character to the already fascinating Hunter. In addition, the vibrations are so contained that they almost do not exist. They are only slightly noticeable on the footrests at higher revs, but… who looks for those revs on a bike like this? He loves to take you for a walk, without running, pampered by the whisper of the wind in the hull. The gearbox is a five-speed, with well-spaced ratios and fluid clutches both up and down: it hardly has a slight jam between first and second if you don’t give the lever a firm blow. The clutch convinces and, although the lever is not very smooth to operate, is of exemplary sweetness and modularity. In addition, it will prove to be resistant to stresses.

The suspension is very good in the city.: The fork digests each hole and disconnection without problems, slightly drier, but still comfortable, the response of the rear shocks. However, despite the fork’s fairly smooth adjustment, thanks to the bike’s lowered frame, there are no significant load transfers under braking. By the way, this is it well modulated, but it does not shine for power, especially in the front. You have to press hard on the handlebar control to achieve decisive decelerations. The downside is that, pulling hard, the lever practically reaches the throttle grip. The positive side, however, is that ABS is rarely questioned, the intervention of which is in any case gentle and never invasive. Although not very modular, the rear brake power is good.

moving is practical, easy and immediate changes of directionwithout ever being nervous. Between curves the new Hunter 350 does not lose much stability compared to its sisters, but it certainly gains in agility. He dances from side to side with extreme lightness, keeping a fairly rounded guide, without ever getting nervous. It’s reassuring even if you’re looking for a bit of panache. This is also thanks to the original equipment Ceat Zoom tires which, while not conspicuous for grip, have a progressive ride and a pleasingly round profile. Defects? Aside from the right ankle-warming manifold discussed above, the instrument panel, with analog speedometer and multifunction LCD, shows some glare in bright light and the characters are really small to read easily at first glance. We also reported a slight discomfort due to the heat of the engine, which is perceived in the ankle area, especially on the left side of the bike when it is in motion. But actually we are talking about the so-called nit.

In conclusion, we can say that the Hunter 350 was created to bring as many people as possible closer to motorcycling and it does so by focusing on lines you like, versatility and accessibility. Reminiscent of a bicycle from another time, which makes you want to enjoy driving, no hurries. She loves to run relaxed and likes to dance between curves. Royal Enfield’s intention to make a bike that is as affordable in price as it is in riding has been completely focused.

You’ll find the full test of the new Royal Enfield Hunter 350, with interviews and analysis, on Motorcycling in September.

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