Save the drama for your Jawa.
Royal Enfield doesn’t like Jawa Motorcycles, plain and simple. For years, the brand enjoyed an unchallenged position in India’s retro segment until Jawa caused waves by re-entering the Indian motorcycle market in November 2018. The ripple effect of Jawa’s initial success even prompted Royal Enfield’s CEO to release some pointed comments about the new competitor. This past week, the rivalry rekindled with Jawa’s introduction of the Perak. Threatened by prospects of Jawa’s blacked-out bobber, Royal Enfield just unveiled its “Make Your Own” custom program featuring a single-seat variant of the Classic 350—in all black, of course.
Royal Enfield’s customization program will only be available to customers that purchase the single-seat version of the Classic 350. While the program is only available at 141 dealerships in the Indian cities of Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderabad, the brand plans to expand the project to more dealers and models in the future.
The Classic 350 single-seat will retail for ₹1.45 lakh ($2,017 USD), undercutting the Jawa Perak at ₹1.94 lakh ($2,708 USD) by more than twenty percent. Of course, additional accessories from the “Make Your Own” collection would increase the MSRP of the model. From leather seat covers and tank decals/stickers to panniers and alloy wheels, Royal Enfield’s program will offer an assortment of bolt-on parts to personalize one’s Classic 350.
Gallery: 2020 Royal Enfield Classic 350
Royal Enfield plans to offer the new single-seat variant in Mercury Silver and Pure Black paint options. Once customers choose their color and accessories, service centers will fit the parts to comply with government standards. Along with dealer installation, all “Make Your Own” add-ons include the peace of mind of a 2-year warranty.
Aside from the snazzy custom options, the Classic 350 retains the same 346cc air-cooled single. Churning out around 20 horsepower and 21 ft-lb of torque, the Classic 350 doesn’t stand up to the 30 horsepower of the Jawa Perak’s liquid-cooled mill.
While Royal Enfield plays to the competition with the release of the single-seat Classic 350, its build-your-own approach certainly leans into the custom culture of retro motorcycles. We’ll have to see if Jawa’s factory-custom or Royal Enfield’s “Make Your Own” program wrangles more customers in the end, but it looks like a new exciting chapter in a budding rivalry.