Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Five ways Royal Enfield's new Classic 350 is special

The five editions of the Royal Enfield Classic 350.
Royal Enfield's new Classic 350 is not one motorcycle: it's five motorcycles. 

Royal Enfield announced that its all-new Classic 350 motorcycle will come in a wide array of color schemes

Why so many? The reason appears to be that the new Classic 350 is not one new model of motorcycle but actually five "unique and exciting editions." 

In effect, there are five different Classic 350s, each with multiple color options. Each will carry different standard equipment and different price tag to serve a wide range of customers. 

This actually is pretty amazing. It's unknown whether we will get all five different models when the Classic 350 comes to American in 2022. Choice is good, but I don't think we'd need or even want them all. 

Judge for yourself: here, from least to most expensive, are the five Classic 350 "editions."

The Redditch series is the price leader and comes with single-channel ABS while the other Classic 350 lines feature standard dual-channel ABS. Could this model be intended for fleet sales? Sales to racers or customizers who don't care about ABS? The heritage of the "Redditch" name might appeal to the international customers of tour or rental operators.

The Halcyon Classic 350s reflect the look and feel of the 1950s, celebrating nostalgia for those happy days. Maybe the 1950s weren't so great, considered on their own merits, but the motorcycles of the time were worth celebrating. Those were the motorcycles of my youth and, even though I couldn't afford them at the time, they still summon fond memories. Based on photos, the Halcyon Classic 350s are among my personal favorites.

The Signals Classic 350s pay tribute to Royal Enfield's long association with the armed forces of India, Britain and other nations. Royal Enfield's previous military-look motorcycles have been very popular in the U.S. and these are bound to be in demand. The Signals Classic 350s report for duty with stenciled and unique numbers on each motorcycle.

The Dark Classic 350s are meant to be a youthful series, with the appeal of customized motorcycles. They offer tubeless tires and alloy wheels. No doubt they will be very popular but I feel blacked-out-everything is overdone these days. Modernizing a frankly "retro" motorcycle with alloys abandons the flashing wire wheels that are part of Royal Enfield's special appeal. But that's just me.  

Classic Chrome is the premium series with badges and graphics that create a unique retro look. Here Royal Enfield is speaking my language.

Royal Enfield has set itself a formidable task. The Classic, a huge seller in India and known at least to some degree in 75 other countries around the world, needed no introduction. So, instead, Royal Enfield has decided to introduce five different Classic 350s!

There are complaints, in India, from customers who have waited months for delivery of the Royal Enfields they ordered. That's a phenomenon of Royal Enfield's immense home market. Presumably the company will not have any problem meeting the far more modest demands of export markets.

1 comment:

  1. I'd opt for a Redditch in that nice green...and swap my spoked wheels with someone with a Dark for their cast ones. I've had all the spoked wheels and tubed tires I care to have, thank you...


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