Royal Enfield’s newest roadster enters the turbocharged fleet
Royal Enfield has been making fantastic lifestyle motorcycles. My last stint was with the Scram 411 and boy did it look fantastic in the red and white colour scheme. Same is the case with the Hunter 350. My longtermer is the top-spec Metro variant which features a minimalistic paintjob (there is even a brilliant two-tone blue colour scheme on offer). It goes well with the minimal stickering and blacked-out panels, engine and wheels. Overall, the styling reminds me of the Triumph Street Twin and that is one good-looking motorcycle. It’s quite compact, something you don’t associate with Royal Enfields. The downsized dimensions make it quite easy to ride and quite the city bike. Add to that the torquey motor from the Meteor and Classic 350 and the smaller 17- inch wheels and you have a Royal Enfield that’s surprisingly quick in traffic. It is easy to dart in and out of traffic while the wave of torque ensures you stay ahead of traffic. In fact, the Hunter 350 is the quickest Royal Enfield I have commuted on, even quicker than the more powerful Scram 411 and Interceptor 650.
The Hunter 350 is growing on me. I admit that the first time I took the Hunter 350 out for a spin, I was underwhelmed. The motor didn’t feel as peppy at low revs as the Meteor 350 and the front end felt overtly light, something I did not expect on a Royal Enfield. However, you do learn to trust the suspension and tyres and that’s where the fun starts. The Hunter feels surprisingly agile and is quick to turn direction. The Ceat tyres do their job well and offer fantastic grip even in the wet, giving me the confidence to push the motorcycle in pouring rain and less than perfect road conditions. Even the brakes workwell, offering good bite and feedback. While I love the compact nature of the Hunter 350, I am keen to see how it fares in terms of comfort especially on longer rides. For, now my commutes in the city have been comfortable and the low seat feels plush. Also, pillion seat comfort is an important factor and I will be testing that by taking the wife pillion on one of my long rides. I am not too happy with the lack of saddle mounts on the Hunter, which was never an issue on both the Meteor and Classic 350. I plan to rectify that by testing out a few luggage solutions. I also plan to get the tripper pod fitted. It is available as an accessory and having tried that on the Meteor and Scram, I have found it to be quite the useful tool for navigation. Hunting days have come.