Long before Royal Enfield gained global popularity thanks to its 650 Twins, it was already one of the most dominant motorcycle manufacturers in India. This was largely due to one particular motorcyce—the Classic 350. Although the Classic 350 had since been discontinued in neighboring countries since the launch of the Meteor 350, it continues to be RE's best-selling model in India.
Now, naturally, given the major updates on the platform present on the new Meteor, it was just a matter of time until Royal Enfield was to update its most popular model to reflect said updates. Since the start of the year, several spy photos emerged, giving Royal Enfield aficionados a glimpse of what was to come from the next generation Classic 350. Well, it would appear that the wait could very soon be over, as our colleagues from Indian motoring publication, GaadiWaadi, recently shared photos of an undisguised, seemingly production-ready Royal Enfield Classic 350.
At a glance, it's clear to see that this bike has undergone a major refresh. However, it continues to sport unmistakable Classic 350 styling. As opposed to the Meteor 350, it seems that the Classic bears a more upright, standard stance, as opposed to the former's cruiser ergonomics. It features the same mid-mounted controls and mid-rise handlebar—features which have made this bike such an approachable machine for all sorts of riders. It's clear to see, however, that Royal Enfield has elevated the bike's fit and finish by redesigning the tail section to feature a more compact appearance. The tank gets a new Royal Enfield emblem, too.
The bigger changes come in the form of revisions to the chassis and engine. As opposed to the outgoing Classic 350, the next generation model features a twin-downtube frame which has been engineered to provide better rigidity ultimately resulting in a more compliant and engaging ride. The engine, too, has clearly been revised, and now looks a lot sleeker and well-finished, just like that of the Meteor 350. We're almost certain that the Classic 350 will feature the same engine as that of the Meteor—a 349cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder motor mated to a five-speed transmission.
Since Royal Enfield launched the Meteor 350 in the U.S. market, it isn't a far-fetched notion that the upcoming Classic 350 could make its way stateside, too. It'll surely make for a decent contender, particularly for those looking to start out their motorcycling journeys on a retro-style machine, or those looking for a stylish commuter for around-town duty.