Its first escape from the urban jungle has highlighted a lot of positives, and also some chinks in its armour.
Published on Feb 07, 2022 07:00:00 AM
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Halogen reflector headlight is basic but performs excellently.
The thump is still full-bodied and pleasing, even if a bit muted.
With the Classic 350’s still glistening chrome bathed in the fiery light of a setting Sunday sun, I fired her up and set off. Destination? Unknown. The most probable possibility was a jaunt along South Bombay’s coastline, perhaps culminating in a nice, warm cuppa. But finding Marine Drive infested with like-minded wanderers, I proceeded inland.
And in a flagrant case of ‘one thing led to another’, what was supposed to be a quick evening coffee run ended up being a spontaneous night-time blast through the Maharashtra countryside, with the U-turn back home, eventually, only being taken at the gates of Aamby Valley, not before detours to Karjat and Cooper’s Fudge in Lonavala.
With a manic rush to wrap up some important work before the winter holidays, this extemporaneous trip has unfortunately been my only long-distance journey with the extremely likeable Classic so far. But it has left enough of an impression for me to have spent most of my free time over the last few days plotting our travel plans together for once the vacations do eventually kick in.
That impression is down in no small part to the gem of an engine that’s in this new Classic. Equally at ease on the highway as it is in the city, it makes for the perfect companion, rhythmically thumping away underneath you, even if a bit more muted than I’d like. It used its soundtrack to entertain me, its dollops of accessible torque to effortlessly waft me up the Lonavala ghat, and its excellent refinement levels to make the journey a thoroughly soothing affair. But as I’ve said before, this motor’s greatest strength is the way it beguiles you into wilfully forfeiting the shortest route to your destination.
As my surroundings became deeper and deeper drowned in darkness, the Classic’s excellent headlight came into its own. With no fancy LED unit, and not even a projector to focus its faithfully retro halogen bulb, I was justified in having doubts about its performance. But the Classic was quick to dismiss them, with a brilliant and widespread beam from its regal hooded headlight.
But while the view out front was fantastic, the view behind was rather shaky and scant, through the Classic’s stylish but not very functional mirrors. Not only is the field of view rather limited, it’s also quite difficult to place them exactly the way you want. And even once you do complete that toilsome exercise, they tend to shake themselves out of position rather quickly. Another chink in its long-distance armour is the seat, which began to make my backside rather numb on the return journey.
Fortunately, both these issues should be fixed very soon, with our Classic due to receive the accessory touring seats and touring mirrors, as well as a sizeable front windscreen and some neat accessory foot pegs. Now, if only there was a way to make that thump a little stronger.
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|Price when new||Rs 2.15 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)|
|Test economy||33kpl (overall)|
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