Royal Enfield Hunter 350 price, mileage, ownership experience – Introduction

Besides the long road trips, the Hunter was also used for more mundane tasks like grocery shopping.

Given that I’m not a hardcore biker, I’m not usually in the bike section, but I do ride and the Hunter has been at the centre of my attention for a long time now. It oozes a cool retro charm, a design theme I love, and the bike seems like the right size for casual riding, which is what my usage is all about. So this was one bike I was planning to take home and around and about my neighbourhood.

Super cool retro charm makes you want to forgive the suspension.

Getting it there, however, meant a ride all along the length of Mumbai, from our Byculla office to home at the Dahisar toll plaza. Those familiar with Mumbai will know this involves traversing the length of the Western Express Highway whose surface is anything but highway-like. There are a few potholes, loads of uneven surfaces with extra tarmac lumps and exposed expansion joints on the flyovers, and, so riding on the Hunter was disappointing on the ride home.

Firm clutch lever does not spring back fully, needs adjustment.

Over the highway’s bad patches, I noticed there’s a certain hierarchy with speed. Larger-tyred motorbikes form a faster stream while smaller-rimmed scooters make up the slow stream. With the Hunter, I found myself dropping to scooter pace. In our review, we had already called out the suspension, but while my iron-butted biker colleagues found it unusually stiff, to my car-cooled-seat pampered tush, this was very hard and brittle.

The ride at the rear is too hard over uneven, broken surfaces.

In all other aspects, however, I absolutely loved the bike. Using it for my errands and casual rides, I found the handling very nimble and the Hunter felt really light on its feet, making easy work of manoeuvring in and out of slow-moving traffic. And while the engine is not peppy, I found that I really liked it as it has enough power to pull you through without that sharp jumpy throttle response. It does not have that boy racer attitude, but has a more measured, confident feel which I really like.

Power delivery is measured, but it’s confident and strong.

Its footprint is also small so parking in tight spaces, like at markets where bikes are crammed together, wasn’t a hassle. I have a Vespa for my local shopping rides and I found I was quite happy taking the Hunter on these runs too. Fruits and vegetables had to travel in a backpack though. So yes, while Rishabh did the typical biker thing and rode the Hunter to Goa and Abhishek has also been swapping it with me for his weekend trips to Pune, I simply used it in and around my neighbourhood, and I was happy with how easy an everyday commuter it is. Now to only hope an update fixes that ride.

Also See:
Royal Enfield Hunter 350 long-term review, 3,800km report

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 long term review, first report

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