Royal Enfield Classic 350 2021: real fuel economy tested

We put the 2021 Classic 350 through our real-world fuel efficiency tests, and here are our conclusions.

  • Single cylinder injection engine
  • Produces 20.2 hp and 27 Nm
  • Mated to a 5-speed gearbox

The 2021 Classic 350 may look almost identical to its predecessor, but in reality almost every component on the updated bike is brand new. At the heart of it all is the 349cc J-platform engine, which is more modern and sophisticated than the UCE engine it replaces. As a result of all of this, the Classic 350 became a bit more expensive to buy than before. But thanks to more modern bases, can it compensate for this by being more affordable to operate? To find out, we put the 2021 Classic 350 through our real-world fuel efficiency tests.

In terms of horsepower, the Classic 350 now produces a bit more horsepower than before, but is lower in torque. Nevertheless, the differences are quite marginal, and the output remains in the same stage as the old model. It is also very similar to its predecessor in terms of curb weight.

So, as you might expect, fuel efficiency has also remained quite similar. In the city, the Classic 350 2021 manages 32.7 kpl, while on the highway, it returns 36.7 kpl. For reference, the older Classic 350 BS6 handled slightly higher figures of 34.33 kpl and 38.33 kpl respectively.

There are a few possible explanations why the older bike offered slightly better fuel efficiency. The UCE engine was never designed with BS6 emission standards in mind, but Royal Enfield managed to get them through the engine, adding a fuel injection system and an additional catalytic converter. But to achieve this, it most likely had to be tuned to the engine to run rather poorly, which offers better fuel efficiency, at the cost of a small compromise in the smoothness of the throttle.

The J-platform engine was designed with BS6 standards from the start, which is why it probably has cleaner combustion and can afford to run a bit richer, providing a smoother throttle response more appropriate to this motorcycle. However, this comes at the expense of energy efficiency.

Then there’s also the fact that the new engine has a counterweight that significantly reduces vibrations at high revs, allowing you to use the full extent of the rev range. The crippling high-revving vibrations of the UCE engine seriously limited how often you could explore its top of the line, so it was naturally conducive to a more fuel-efficient driving style with early gear changes.

And of course, part of the difference in fuel consumption can also be attributed to the different weather and road conditions on the two different days these bikes were tested.

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About Alma Ackerman

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