Royal Enfield Hunter 350 long-term review, 9,000km report

    Final report: This accessible Royal Enfield is ideal for cafe-hopping, but is it worthy of being draped in prayer flags?

    Published on Oct 09, 2023 02:00:00 PM

    34,346 Views

    Royal Enfield Hunter price, quality levels, mileage, comfort.

    The odometer reads almost 9,000 kilometres, yet the paint quality remains top-notch, no parts have fallen off, there are no rattles, and it does not mark its own territory like the Royal Enfields of yore. When it comes to surviving India, the Hunter 350 has taken the game to the next level, bettering even its much revered, twin-cylinder brethren. Take the paint quality, for example. Every time you take it out for a wash, the silver tank glows like a jewel. The retro switchgear reeks of quality, although it’s not very friendly to use. There are fasteners to hold the dangling cables, à la expensive Italian superbikes. There’s clearly a reason why Royal Enfield’s Hunter 350 is a smash hit, having sold more than 2 lakh units already.

    Fasteners for the cables are neat. Very European!

    I have had the opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time with the original game changer – the Interceptor 650. Obviously, the bar has been set really high, however, after having clocked over 3,000km riding around various cities, highways, B-roads and trails, I can stick my neck out and say that the Hunter has exceeded expectations. Despite the fat front tyre, it’s supremely agile and that makes it fun to sneak around traffic.

    Stock mirrors have started to rattle; offer a rather limited view.

    For me, the Hunter has been the ferry to voyage between Mumbai and Pune on the weekends, and highway comfort isn’t its best friend. Royal Enfield wants you to spend money on their GMA accessories, which is why both the stock seat and the mirrors aren’t suitable for long journeys. The retro-ish mirrors are pleasing to the eyes, but the view is rather limited, especially if you have a large frame like mine (84kg, 5ft 11in). Then there’s the soft seat. Thankfully, it isn’t as soft as the Interceptor’s, but it could definitely do with some additional cushioning. 

    Open-ended grab rails not ideal for mounting luggage.

    Another grouse is the fuel gauge that has a mind of its own. Take a long right-hander and the fuel levels go up by two notches. Park the Hunter on its side stand and suddenly it’s in reserve. 

    The mildly canted forward riding position isn’t ideal for long journeys either. Couple that with the seat and suspension and you’re in for that elusive appointment with the chiropractor. Previous reports have already lamented on the suspension, so I won’t elaborate further, except to say that it’s well-suited for European roads. 

    Brighter than sunshine halogens make night rides enjoyable.

    It isn’t all gloomy though. Take the transmission, for example. False neutrals are zilch and the feel is properly tactile. Another feather in its cap is that gem of a motor that allows it to cruise effortlessly at 90-100kph. The beauty of the engine lies in the delivery though. It is not about getting quickly to 100kph, but cruising at those speeds is where the Hunter excels at. Smooth. Effortless. And you wouldn’t really miss the tachometer as well.

    Lastly, everything that ‘dug-dugs’ must head to Leh, right? Is the Hunter the best choice to do it? While it will be able to scale the mountains, it won’t be comfortable. Rider Mania? That’s more up the Hunter’s alley. 

    Also See:

    Royal Enfield Hunter 350 long term review, first report

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

    Royal Enfield Hunter 350 long term review, 5000km report

    Fact FilePetrol
    Distance covered8932KM
    Price when newRs 1.70 lakh
    Test economy30kpl
    Maintenance costsRs 2,828 (third service)
    FaultsNone
    Previous ReportJuly 2023

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