Royal Enfield Hunter 350 (2022 - on) review - a fun, modern take on the firm's smallest platform

Highlights

  • Impressive, nimble handling
  • Plenty of poke for inner-city riding
  • Retro roadster looks on a budget

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £140
Power: 20 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.5 in / 800 mm)
Weight: Medium (399 lbs / 181 kg)

Prices

New £3,899
Used £3,200 - £3,900

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Royal Enfields used to be as British as a drizzly bank holiday in Margate, but these days the Indian manufacturer’s primary focus is on building small retro bikes for emerging markets, particularly the subcontinent and Far East.

Take a look at the new Royal Enfield Hunter 350 (or HNTR as the firm's marketing department have deemed fit to name it), Enfield’s frugal and easy-to-ride new commuter, and you immediately understand the environment for which it has been built to thrive. It’s light, tough, agile and, with faultless fuelling and a tight turning circle, designed to revel in the chaos of urban centres from Madras to Bangkok.

Although the Hunter is propelled by the same unassuming 349cc air-cooled single found in the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Royal Enfield Meteor 350, the chassis is all new and features a sporty new frame and relatively light 17-inch wheels (an Enfield first). The wheelbase is shorter, the head angle steeper and, at 181kg (172kg dry), the Hunter is considerably lighter than its 350 siblings.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 on track at night

Outwardly, it’s a bum-basic 20bhp commuter, but in reality is built to boss the streets of the planet’s largest and most congested cities where the majority of bikes are tiddlers and speeds rarely reach 50mph.

In Bangkok, Thailand, where Enfield based this test, the Hunter was the king of the traffic light GP, surging ahead of the hordes of mopeds and scooters before deploying lively low-speed handling and manoeuvrability to slice between the crawling queues of cars and taxis.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Hunter 350's impressive handling is largely down to new 17-inch rims, which slice a total of 3.1kg of un-sprung mass, while its low centre of mass, stiffer frame down-tubes and more aggressive chassis geometry deliver a responsive ride that’s new to the marque.

The pegs are set slightly higher than those on the Meteor and Classic, too, and while the Hunter’s hardly a sportsbike, it’s as nippy as a litter of Labrador pups.

Learners especially will enjoy its fluency and low-speed balance as well as its cool looks. Less so, the hard-wearing CEAT rubber, which lacks feel and nibbles away at your confidence. Leaning the Hunter too far can land you in trouble, and some quality rubber would be a wise move.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 rear

The pegs touch early when the bike’s ridden aggressively and the ride is a little soft at the front and harsh at the rear (bear in mind that this machine is designed to carry not only a pillion plus heavy luggage but possibly even a second pillion).

The single disc and twin-piston caliper set-up up front is relatively basic but with modest power on tap is just about sufficient. Two-channel ABS comes at standard but it’s not lean sensitive and, when activated, feels more biased towards the rear, which should reassure new and experienced riders. The brake lever isn’t adjustable.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The air-cooled SOHC 349.34cc single is identical to that in the Classic 350 and Meteor 350, making a modest 20.2 bhp @ 6100rpm and 19.9lb.ft of torque at 4000rpm.

Enfield have tuned the fuel injection to give a sharper feel on the throttle, and quote a top speed of 71mph, which is actually achieved in fourth gear and not top (fifth).

There are no riding modes or rider aids to worry about and the fuelling is soft and precise, the gearbox positive, helping the Hunter to pull with more urgency than a 125 to an indicated 62mph.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 front

But if the Enfield is in its element in Bangkok, it’s less clear how it will fare in Brighton or Bristol, especially as the traffic flows a little faster – on a good day, at least! – in the UK.

Certainly, the Hunter will sit at 68mph all day but if you are commuting in and out of the city it’s likely to lack the punch to stay ahead of the traffic. New riders, though, will love its low seat height, easy-going road manners and claimed 102mpg economy; meanwhile its gurgling exhaust and sweet steering will charm the pants of leafy back lanes up and down this country.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The LCD clocks are basic but neat and clear with a useful gear-position indicator. The single-cylinder engine should prove incredibly frugal, too. Enfield quote 102mpg for the Hunter and the other 350 models in the Enfield range regularly average over 100mpg if ridden sensibly so it should be possible. Service costs will be minimal, the build is typically resilient and even a pair of higher-quality tyres should last until the petrol runs out.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 right side

Our Royal Enfield Hunter 350 owners' reviews don't highlight anything particularly concerning regarding reliability. One reader states they're not sure about the quality of the tyres, but we don't think they're as bad as plenty of rival options on similarly cheap bikes.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

It would be all too easy to look down your nose at the new Hunter 350. But you have to remember who this bike is for: mainly the Indian and emerging markets – and you can’t ignore the £3899 starting price. Enfield originally intimated that the Hunter would be the cheapest of the 350 range but with the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 starting at £3879 in the UK, this isn't the case.

The more premium Hunter colours cost £3979, which is cheaper than the two-tone paint version of the Meteor at £4039, though.

In terms of direct competition, there's not much to go at outside of Royal Enfield themselves. The recently released BSA Gold Star is more powerful and expensive than the Hunter, and we expect Triumph's small capacity bikes to cost even more than that when they arrive.

The Chinese import Herald Classic 400 is a pretty close comparison but is slightly more expensive than the Hunter is expected to be and lacks the kudos of the Royal Enfield badge, too.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 turning left on track

If you wanted something more authentically classic-looking then the shinier Royal Enfield Classic 350 would be the way to go.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

The switchgear is ugly and the clocks are basic, but these are relatively minor criticisms of a bike that costs less than half the price of a season ticket between Nottingham and London.

You do get an analogue-style LCD dash complete with Enfield's sub screen that's compatible with turn-by-turn navigation (but only as an option), dual channel ABS and a long list of factory accessories to choose from.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 front quarter

There are six colours on offer, with three available at the base £3899 price and a trio costing £3979.

There are loads of optional extras available, including seats, crash protection, bike covers, mirrors and indicators. Royal Enfield expects many bikes will be personalised.

Specs

Engine size 349cc
Engine type Single cylinder, 4 stroke
Frame type Twin Downtube Spine Frame
Fuel capacity 13 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 181kg
Front suspension Telescopic, 41mm forks non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin tube Emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload
Front brake 300 mm fixed disc with twin piston floating caliper ABS
Rear brake 270 mm disc, single piston floating caliper ABS
Front tyre size 110/70-17
Rear tyre size 140/70 - 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 102 mpg
Annual road tax £55
Annual service cost £140
New price £3,899
Used price £3,200 - £3,900
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 20 bhp
Max torque 19.9 ft-lb
Top speed 71 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 292 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2022: Royal Enfield Hunter 350 launched

Other versions

Royal Enfield’s Classic and Meteor are built on the same J-Series platform. The Classic is a polished machine with the look of a genuine classic whereas the Meteor is a cruiser-style variant.

Owners' reviews for the ENFIELD HUNTER 350 (2022 - on)

8 owners have reviewed their ENFIELD HUNTER 350 (2022 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your ENFIELD HUNTER 350 (2022 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £140
3 out of 5 Could be better
19 February 2024 by Steven B

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £180

Best feature is the purchase price. Worst feature is longevity of parts which aged very quickly. Maybe I just a Friday afternoon special. While I know the bike was cheap, there were parts I just found sub-standard regardless of cost, eg stainless bolts, exhaust and engine casing showing corrosion despite careful treatment and cleaning.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Nice comfy ride. 2 hours on the seat with no complaints at all. Nice riding position. Good fuel economy. Bought it as a 2nd bike/commuter with the plan for the odd day out. Payload is good so a small pillion can be carried ok if needed. Suspension was ok for me.

Engine 4 out of 5

Nice engine and powerful enough to enjoy riding around country lanes. The engine ran much smoother after I adjusted the valves correctly and completed the oil change. It progressively felt smoother the more miles I did and it felt like 60mph was a peace of cake 65mph cruising is no problem. Never ran it on a motorway. 5 miles on a dual carriageway was all I experienced but I never felt like I was out of place. It coped well.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Initially the bike is well put together and almost belies its price tag. During my 700 miles of use it never let me down and provided good fuel economy. I'm very attentive when it comes to my bikes and treated the Hunter carefully with ACF-50 and cleaned it properly after each ride and kept it garaged. Toothbrush out and getting into every nook and cranny. However, a few of the engine bolts still showed signs of significant corrosion and also the instrument pod started to have some ingress of air/water and caused it to appear rainbow coloured despite using a flyscreen. It didn't appear to have any gaps showing so why did that happen?

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I completed my own servicing as it was so easy. My local dealer also did not feel me with confidence when I asked about servicing as they said the valve check can be done a couple of hours after riding and that it would be 'cool enough to do the work'. Well...maybe...but I didn't want to take a punt and chance it so just did it myself on a properly cold engine. Its super easy as is the oil change. Make sure you take the calipers off and grease the sliding pins and also both levers as well as lubing the side/centre stands. These things are not done out of the factory. Parts/oil is cheap.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Sparse equipment. Two trip meters, fuel gauge and gear position indicator. Back to basics riding.

Buying experience: Sycamore Royal Enfield. Good experience. Sales Exec was very good. Helpful. Free delivery. Bought used, 8 months old with just 36 miles on the clock.

5 out of 5 Great little bike, excellent city commuter
11 October 2023 by Timo

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £100

Bought mine in March 2023 as replacement for my SV650 k4 (ULEZ) as I use my bike for all things (don't have a car) and I'm impressed.Obviously if you want speed, it's not for you as after all it's a single 2 valve 350cc.For what it is, I'm very happy. However I have now done some upgrades DNA air filter (I think this is a must), Fuelx lite, 16T front sprocket, sump guard & tinted screen.On my commute to work due to it's excellent turning circle it's just so easy to get through traffic, it's 'faster' than my my old SV650.I'm getting 90mpg basically whatever I do, I'm really enjoying it.I've done 2900 miles, oil change next week - I now do all my own servicing. Build quality, zero faults so far.My service costs is just an estimate.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The front brake is more than capable for such a light bike.

Engine 4 out of 5

20.2 bhp is some what low, get a DNA air filter & a fuelx lite for a better experience

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

It's easy to service yourself.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Pretty minimal, which suits me.

5 out of 5 Nice and perky
04 October 2023 by Jasper parrot

Version: Rebel blue

Year: 2023

Bought this to replace my honda.cb300r.i honestly cannot fault this bike.royal enfield seem to have livened up this version of the j series engine.it seems a lot livelier than my old classic.or maybe the loss of weight from the other models in the range

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Ride quality is fine front forks are very good rear shocks a bit harsh but they are adjustable. I have ridden it for over a hour with no major issues

Engine 5 out of 5

Very smooth power delivery .has decent torque midrange.not suited for motorway work really.but I didn't but it for that.plus there aren't any where I live 😉

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Seems to be very well finished.the frame paint is thick and lustrous. The powder coated parts look very good.the wiring under the side panel is a bit messy other than that looks OK.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Very good on fuel .servicing costs very reasonable. Its only a small single so it doesn't need a lot.couple of filters and a drop of oil one plug and you are good to go.all the major stuff is easy to get including the battery.plus you get a center stand result

Equipment 5 out of 5

Has everything I need.including a USB port.i have added a small rack.the enfield sump guard. And bar end mirrors. The standard ones show too much elbow

Buying experience: Paid standard retail price from colchester kawasaki.came with a free helmet plus they fitted a extra f.o.c

5 out of 5 Refreshing pure motorcycling as it should be
04 October 2023 by Rick

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £100

Excellent little bike after 3000 miles can't fault it. Sounds great, very comfortable and economical. Handles well and brakes more than adequate for the job. Simple to work on ,build quality for price is outstanding.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Excellent brakes, superb handling and very comfortable seat for both rider and pillion. Standard tyres are fine wet or dry contrary to most media reviews. It's not a track day machine ! It's a solid commuter/weekend fun bike.

Engine 5 out of 5

Very flexible little motor with lots of torque just keeps on pulling. Very smooth power delivery. Remember it's only a 350 and tuned to give good even power and fuel economy. It's brilliant for what it is.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality and overall price unbeatable. I will be riding through the winter and will review again in the spring.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Self service is a doddle. Getting around 90mpg only had the bike for a couple of months so will review again in the spring.

Equipment 5 out of 5

It has a centre stand it has mudguards as standard Wake up you other greedy manufacturers !! It has ABS it has a fuel gauge, a clock what more do you need. Just a nice simple bike that will teach you how to ride and appreciate motorcycling.

Buying experience: From dealership no px under 4k cash buy one you won't be disappointed

5 out of 5 Small but big-hearted
24 July 2023 by Samizdat

Version: Dapper White

Year: 2023

With these J 350s you give up the buzz (and occasional convenience) of acceleration and high speeds, but you gain so many other things. After a while you just tune into it and go with the rhythms of the pumping single and nimble handling - which are wonderful and grin-worthy on UK classic B and small A roads. There's a great enthusiastic and knowledgeable online and actual community of J 350 owners, continually coming up with new fettles and mods. And people always want to talk about the bike when it's parked up.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Suspension is harsh on the softest setting. Some people say it softens with higher mileage. I hope so. CEAT tyres have a tendency to follow lines in the road surface which can mean a little extra concentration required on pitted roads or resurfaced strips. But it corners really well. I'm not sure about the small 17 inch front wheel. Would like to try it with a 19. Brakes are excellent - best I've had for a while. Clutch is nice. Gear change smooth and accurate - and no clunk when selecting first at the lights!

Engine 5 out of 5

RE have engineered something special here. The low mid to upper mid-range bubbles away and tugs like a baby bulldog pulling on the leash. Higher up it all smooths out to a lovely sewing-machine-like hum - not the like the singles from the old days! So you somehow get the best of both worlds - low-mid character and a smooth top. There's a tiny bit more torque in the upper mids which makes it worth down-shifting on hills. 5th gear is a gentle overdrive, so you don't normally hit it until 45-50, but it is strangely satisfying when you do. Engine braking is sweet and great for cruising bendy roads without using the actual brakes much. It is sufficiently firm when down-shifting into the mid-range and results in a cuddly bark from the excellent stock exhaust. Altogether the J 350 is much more characterful than the 411 Himi/Scram engine.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

It's basic but it's good quality. Everything functions pretty much as it should (apart from the insanely jittery fuel gauge). Not sure about the quality of the tyres, but they'll do for now. A lot of the cabling, particularly under the side panel and seat is taped up in what looks like a bit of a hurry. It's messy and cheap looking, which is a shame.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Too early for me to say at 1000 miles. Depends if you do your servicing yourself. But either way it will be one of the lowest annual servicing costs out there.

Equipment 5 out of 5

In standard spec it's a four out of five. But it's so easy to upgrade that this makes it a five. I'm six two and lanky, so swapped for the bench seat which lets me move back a bit and stay comfortable. Added bar risers for £20, sump-guard £70 and rubber knee pads £20. Have also bought the after-market cam and other performance bits, but actually I'm in no hurry to fit them, as the original set up feels really well sorted.

Buying experience: GV Bikes Taunton. Vast RE knowledge, friendly, patient and efficient family-run business. Highly recommended.

4 out of 5 Hunter 350 the perfect commuter.
19 June 2023 by Jimbotrucker

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £180

Bought as a commuter bike to get to work. It's lightweight and nippy, ideal for filtering through traffic, very good on fuel. It does feel like it is struggling flat out around 70. So doing a distance run could be hard work.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Suspension would be a good upgrade especially if you carry a pillian.

Engine 5 out of 5

Seems quite a reliable and proven engine as it has been used in other models.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

It is an ideal platform to alter to your own taste, I don't think it will be long before the aftermarket parts are freely available.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

First service was 180.

Equipment 5 out of 5

It's simplicity make's you smile every time you ride it.

Buying experience: Bought from my local dealer in Stoke, and is the third Enfield I have owned.

5 out of 5 Royal Enfield Hunter
30 May 2023 by Alan

Year: 2023

Interesting, enjoyable bike to ride. No worst features, very manouverable. Picks it's feet up but don't expect sports bike performance, but then again it's not meant for track days. just enjoyable layed back riding.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes are fine, Dependng on where you are riding depends on when you want to take a break, but it's comfortable for most journeys.

Engine 5 out of 5

Don't expect go fast sports bike performance, but it isn't designed as a sports bike. Power delivery is fine and adequate and it picks its feet up well enough.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Equipment is basic, but functional

Buying experience: Bought from KD Motorcycles in Accrington. First class service.

4 out of 5 Enfield hunter 350
27 March 2023 by Jimbotrucker

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £150

A fun commuter bike, perfect for the run to work, very nimble and easy to filter between traffic. Cheap enough to use as a platform to design your personal bike. The only downside I can find is as the bike is a new model, their aren't too many add one yet. But I am sure that will change soon.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Very nimble and very small to throw around. Brakes are good enough. I feel that better tyres would be a good upgrade.

Engine 5 out of 5

Fuel efficient and capable of reaching the speed limit, you do have to plan overtaking though.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

So far no problems, but I do winter prepare the bike.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

First service is at 300 miles at a cost of around £150. Running costs are brilliant, if you ride sensible you will get around 90 to 100 per gallon. I can get work and back for a fortnight on a tank full.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The tyres are good but there are better to choose as a replacement.

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