2023 Royal Enfield Bullet 350: Bullet Meri Jaan
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2023 Royal Enfield Bullet 350: Bullet Meri Jaan

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By JeffWare - 12 September 2023

Test: Jeff Ware Photography: Royal Enfield

Pulling out of the hotel driveway onto the open road of Chennai for my first riding experience in India, I could not have been on a more suitable motorcycle.

The pinstriping is still done by hand. These guys don’t drink any caffeine or alcohol, ever!

As crazy as the Indian traffic appears from the outside, now that I’m immersed in it, caught up in the current, I find it is much easier than anticipated. I find myself quickly at one with the Bullet and making good use of the horn!

The five colours are Black Gold, Standard Black, Standard Maroon, Military Black, Military Red

The narrow build, commanding ride position, powerful rear brake, nimble low speed steering and super tight steering lock make so much sense to me as I work my way through the chaos. Short shifting the slick gearbox and taking advantage of the 350 torque works wonders.

300mm fixed front disc does the job.
270mm fixed rear rotor is powerful. 

The Bullet is almost vibe free, with some mirror blurring in the upper rev range and only very slight vibes through the handlebars and footpegs. The engine is a gem, just don’t rush it, let the torque come to you and ride the long, broad curve. The ratios are spot on in the slick shifting heel/toe gearbox, with top gear a tall overdrive but one, I’m discovering, that the 350cc engine has no problem pulling at all.

 On board the new Bullet 350 in Chennai, India.

I need to remind myself that although here in India that fifth gear overdrive and 115-120km/h top speed is sufficient, when I tested the Meteor back in Australia I was looking for a sixth gear within half an hour testing, and I think the J Series would pull another gear, too.

Heel-Toe shifting suits the bike. 

I am getting the hang of warning people I am coming through, and I somehow know when I’m been warned, too. It’s a survival battle out here on the roads of Chennai but the trusty Gold Black Bullet 350 seems to be working with me as one to safely get me through.

The top speed is just 120km/h maxed out.

What I am noticing is the super comfort of the seat and the compliance of the suspension. The Bullet is not bottoming out on any of these extreme bumps and both ends are balanced and well damped too.

The steering is sharp, nimble yet stable and geometry is overall sensible and sweet handling, just as intended for its purpose. The brakes are predictable with low initial bite, perfect for slippery roads (and new riders), but stopping power is there. The rear is the go-to, it offers strong power and a late locking up point. The ABS works well.

Standard Black has some chrome highlights.

The suspension is a strong point and above that of the category and competition. Overall handling is quite good for the weight and style. Styling I will leave to you. Personally, I love the look of the new Bullet 350 and would have a Black Gold in my garage any day of the week.

The Bullet will make you smile and that is something that can’t be engineered into a motorcycle. It comes from passion, history and in this case, an incredible 91 years of development…

Inside the Vallam Factory on the J Series engine line. 

BULLET 350 SPECIFICATIONS

Price & Availability: N/A

Warranty: N/A

Colours: Black Gold, Standard Black, Standard Maroon, Military Black, Military Red.

Claimed Power: 20.2hp@6100rpm

Claimed Torque: 27Nm@4000rpm

ENGINE

J Series single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-oil cooled, 349cc

CHASSIS

Frame Type; Twin Downtube Spine Frame

Front suspension: Telescopic, 41mm forks Rear suspension: Twin tube Emulsion shock absorbers

Wheels & Tyres: Spoked 100/90 – 19in, 120/80 – 18in(r) tubed.

Brakes: Front 300mm rotor with twin piston ­floating caliper, rear 270mm rotor, single piston ­floating caliper, ABS both ends.

DIMENSIONS

Seat Height: 805mm

Kerb Weight: 195kg

Fuel Capacity: 13L

ELECTRONICS: Analogue and LCD display, ABS, Electric Start.

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