A Clash of Eras: New Royal Enfield Bullet 350 vs Old Bullet 350

Comparison between new Royal Enfield Bullet 350 vs old Bullet 350
29 March 2024

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Long story short: There has been a lot of discussion and debate after the launch of the new Royal Enfield Bullet 350 about whether the new or discontinued Royal Enfield Bullet 350 are better. Let’s settle the dust regarding this.

Hello to all, myself Hiran Narayanan, the owner and the chief content writer in Bikeleague India. It has been a long time since I planned to write an article for the editorial section, which was bereft of ideas. Suddenly, a eureka moment came to my mind as I had purchased a new Royal Enfield Bullet 350 a month back. Earlier, I owned a Royal Enfield Bullet 350 ES for more than 6 years and have ridden it for around 60,000 km. Since I have ridden both models, why should I not contribute to my website? So, I decided to share my experience owning both generations of Bullet 350. Here, I will dissect every aspect of the motorcycle of both generations in detail.

Comparison between New Royal Enfield Bullet 350 vs old Bullet 350

Engine of old & new Royal Enfield Bullet 350

Engine of old & new Royal Enfield bullet 350
Engine of old & new Royal Enfield bullet 350

The most substantial change lies in the heart of the motorcycle, i.e., the engine. The new Royal Enfield Bullet 350 ditches the old 346cc Unit Construction Engine (UCE) for a more refined 349cc J-platform engine.

This engine, shared with the Meteor 350 and Classic 350, offers a slight bump in the power of 20.2 bhp (New) vs 19.1 bhp (old) and retains similar torque (27Nm). Hence, the result is the smoother performance and reduced vibrations plaguing older Bullets.

The new Bullet 350 is butter-smooth and almost does not feel like a cruiser. The rugged feel of a cruiser is virtually absent in the new Royal Enfield Bullet 350. This is what purists will surely hate. Another great thing about the new Bullet 350 is the excellent amount of power in the higher rev range, especially after the 60km/h mark, which the old Bullet 350 lacks.

Fit & Finish

Fit & Finish of old & new
Fit & Finish of old & new Royal Enfield Bullet 350

The fit and finish of the new Bullet 350 point towards a noticeable upgrade in fit and finish. Parts, switches, footrests, etc, feel more solidly built, with tighter gaps and less misalignment. The paint job is considered more consistent and chip-resistant than older models with many colour options. There are many options to add company accessories to the model, which is a real boon.

The fit and finish in older Bullet could be hit-or-miss, with some users reporting loose panels, uneven gaps, and paint quality issues. However, this “rough around the edges” feel also contributes to the old-school charm that some riders appreciate. There are only limited accessory options from the company; hence, we need to rely on
aftermarket ones.

Electrical System

Electrical System of old & new
Electrical System of old & latest Royal Enfield Bullet 350

The old Bullet used a magneto to generate a spark, and minimal lighting and kickstart are required to start the engine. The new Bullet 350 utilizes a battery and alternator for reliable power generation and features like an electric start. Kickstart is completely avoided in all the new Bullet 350 models.

The semi-digital instrument cluster offers a combination of analogue & digital display details for better information. This includes speed, fuel level, odometer, tipmeter, clock, ABS, battery indicator, etc. USB charging port allows mobile devices to be charged conveniently on the go. In the older generations, only a speedometer and odometer, which were analogue, and even a basic fuel indicator needed to be included.

The headlamp, tail lamp, and turn signal lamp are halogen instead of LED, which is not that future-friendly in the latest Bullet 350. However, the battery is now maintenance-free, a significant improvement, but it is standard among all new generation models.


The discontinued Bullet utilized a single downtube frame, which affects handling at higher speeds and is less rigid. The double downtube frame of the new Bullet 350 has a stiffer design. This provides better handling and stability when cornering, carrying loads and at higher speeds. Higher speeds were an achilles heel for the older generations of Bullet, which is nicely sorted out in the new one.

Suspension of old & new Royal Enfield Bullet 350

Front Suspension of discontinued & new
Front Suspension of discontinued & new Royal Enfield Bullet 350

In the old Bullet, simpler telescopic forks have less stiffness and control, especially on uneven roads. The shock absorbers have less adjustability, offering a less compliant ride and potentially bottoming out more quickly. These oil-filled shocks are generally less effective at handling bumps and rebounds than gas-filled options.

In the latest Bullet, thicker telescopic forks provide increased rigidity and better control over the front wheel, especially during braking and cornering. It allows for preload adjustment on the rear shocks, enabling riders to fine-tune the suspension based on weight or riding style. This can significantly improve comfort and handling. Gas-filled shocks of the new Bullet 350 are generally superior to oil-filled shocks. Gas-filled shocks offer better damping and a more comfortable ride by absorbing bumps and rebound more effectively.

Ride quality & refinement

The discontinued Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is mainly comfortable at low speeds. The plush suspension could soak up bumps well on gentle rides. The single downtube frame and limited suspension adjustability resulted in a less stable feel, especially during cornering and higher speeds. The main drawback is the characteristic engine vibrations, especially at higher RPMs, which could be tiring for riders on longer journeys.

The latest Bullet 350 is comfortable at all speeds. The stiffer double downtube frame and improved suspension with adjustability offer a more planted and comfortable ride, even on uneven roads. The new engine design and rubber mounts minimize vibrations significantly, leading to a smoother ride experience.

Handling old & new Royal Enfield Bullet 350

The old Bullet 350 is lighter and more manoeuvrable at slow speeds. The narrower tyres and simpler chassis might have felt more straightforward to manage in tight spaces. The flex in the frame and suspension could make handling less precise, especially when cornering or encountering bumps. The stiffer chassis and upgraded suspension in the latest Bullet 350 provide better control and inspire more confidence when cornering or manoeuvring, even at higher speeds.

While the discontinued Bullet 350 offered a certain charm with its softer ride for cruising, especially on highways. The latest Bullet 350 delivers a more balanced, confidence-inspiring riding experience, from cruising to navigating cities.


Rear brake in old and modern
Rear brake in old and modern Royal Enfield Bullet 350

Braking in old Bullet relied on a disc brake on the front wheel and a drum brake at the rear, limiting stopping power. Rear drum brakes produced sounds and needed regular maintenance, which burdened the customer. ABS option was available but limited to single-channel ABS, which lacked the brake performance of Dual Channel ABS.

Another significant upgrade in the new Bullet includes disc brakes on both wheels. Additionally, ABS is standard on the new Bullet, with both Single & Dual channel options available among different variants. The outcome of this is more options for customers to choose from.

Maintenance & Service

In the discontinued Bullet 350, the periodic adjustment of valve clearances in the engine is required due to wear and tear. Regular adjustments might be needed to maintain an optimal air-fuel mixture for smooth running and fuel efficiency. More frequent attention is required for the chain. Easier access to specific mechanical components due to a less complex design. Parts might be more readily available and potentially cheaper. The more straightforward design might be more approachable for riders comfortable with essential mechanical work.

The new Bullet 350 automatically adjusts valve clearances, reducing the need for manual intervention. Fuel injection (EFI) manages air-fuel mixture, offering a more consistent and hassle-free experience. Sealed chain design requires less frequent lubrication and adjustment. Modern features like fuel injection might need specialized tools or expertise for repairs. With more complex systems, relying on trained professionals at authorized service centres might be more important for proper maintenance.

Discontinued Bullet 350 requires frequent adjustments but might be more accessible for DIY maintenance due to a more straightforward design. Due to the more complex systems, less frequent adjustments in the new Bullet might require relying on service centres for specific maintenance tasks.


The colour variants are now precisely 7 with chrome options in all six colours, and while in the most premium variant, Black Gold, there is no chrome at all. Single-channel ABS is a standard option in all variants. At the same time, Standard Black, Standard Maroon, and Black Gold dual-channel ABS are standard. The Madras line on the fuel tank is unavailable on military black and military red colour options.

In the old generation, colour options were minimal. There was no dual-channel ABS at all in any colour variants. Only single-channel ABS came as a standard option in all variants.

My opinion

The discontinued Royal Enfield Bullet 350 embodied a raw, classic riding experience with the trademark “thump.” While charming, comfort and refinement were not its primary focus. The new Royal Enfield Bullet 350 prioritizes comfort and a smoother ride while retaining the iconic silhouette. Stricter emission regulations might slightly subdue the “thump.” Still, the overall experience caters to a broader range of riders who value heritage and modern features. The ease of repairs and DIY in older bullets is not passed on to the new generation bullet. Also, the new Bullet technology is sophisticated, which might affect long hauls in case of a breakdown.

Final Verdict

Generation Z & Alpha might be more inclined towards the new Bullet as they are very different from millennials, Generation X and baby boomers. The company has many loyal fans from earlier generations who might not like the new generation. I am also in that category. However, one thing is for sure: features, comfort, accessories and performance cannot hold me back from buying a new Bullet 350. There is a compromise of the thump from the engines and the vintage cruiser feel from older generation bullets. In a broader sense, the company has to accommodate new generations, grow, and expand. Also, competitors offer several state-of-the-art features in their models, and Royal Enfield cannot miss out on the race.

If you have any other doubts or queries, email us at bikeleague2017@gmail.com. We are always eager to help and assist you. Also, here are several social media platforms of Bikeleague India to raise your suspicions.