It would seem that the wait is over as the new 2023 Bullet 350 is here to own its rightful place as the jewel in Royal Enfield’s crown.
Many will agree that there is no other motorcycle like the Bullet. Whilst I have never had the opportunity to ride one myself, I am well aware that the bike remains true to its heritage and ongoing updates make it relevant for each new generation of rider. The brand believes that now is the time for the world to see the Bullet with new eyes; once more to engage with this authentic symbol of understated style and timeless resilience.
As a result, the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 continues its legendary legacy in a new avatar as the global leader in the mid-size (250cc-750cc) motorcycle segment announces the launch of the 2023 Bullet 350. Introduced on Royal Enfield’s proven, super-refined and smooth J-series engine platform, this iconic motorcycle, with over nine decades of heritage, proudly continues to be a fusion of resilient aesthetics and craftsmanship, the vibrant culture it has catalysed over the last nine decades, and the community and characters it represents.
Reminiscing about his memories with the Bullet at this significant juncture of its journey, here’s what Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director, Eicher Motors Ltd., had to say: “The summer of 94 was when I rode solo across Europe, fearless and adventurous, on a Bullet 500. Many before me, and many after me, have perhaps traversed the same journey, literally and figuratively, but it was my most memorable experience. Undoubtedly, while the Bullet has been a definitive towering symbol of what we call pure motorcycling for generations of riders, it has also been a crucial part of Royal Enfield’s history. From being a resilient, undiluted character of the communities that have adopted this iconic machine, the Bullet has become a beloved badge of honour and identity for many riders and automotive enthusiasts. Today, as the Bullet rides ahead in a new avatar, we are truly honoured to be able to play a key role in taking its legacy forward.”
If ever there was a motorcycle that has stood the test of time, it is the legendary Bullet. When unveiled in 1932, its advanced features were at the forefront of motorcycle design. Radically updated in 1948, its groundbreaking swinging arm rear suspension took the motorcycling world by storm and all other motorcycle manufacturers quickly followed suit.
Its prowess over the toughest terrain, success in service with the Indian armed forces and subsequent move to production in Madras in 1955, kickstarted its stellar rise to become, for decades, the king of India’s roads. Its 2010 reinvention, with Royal Enfield’s seminal UCE engine, ensured it continued to be aspirational, as both a motorcycling and a cultural icon.
Over its remarkable lifespan, Bullets have undertaken almost every task imaginable including championing in trials and International Six Days Trials competitions; setting lap records on the Isle of Man; conquering the highest mountain passes; being a trusted companion on every kind of trip, from weekend getaways to round-the-world adventures; employed as a dependable commuter and hardy workhorse; being used as a versatile platform for customisation; going into battle; and being a loyal partner to more than a million passionate riders around the globe.
Not only is the Bullet the longest-running motorcycle model in production anywhere in the world, but it has also become a part of India’s social fabric, an heirloom handed down from one generation to the next and has spawned more than 1000 riders’ clubs. For these loyal enthusiasts, Bullet Meri Jaan (‘Bullet Is My Life’) is not just a grainy video and catchy song, but embodies a powerful symbolism that represents authenticity, stoicism, dependability and individuality.
And now this most practical, all-purpose motorcycle takes its unique heritage, majestic stance, rock-solid handling, torquey engine with a thumping heartbeat and simple, uncluttered looks, into an exciting new epoch.
The 2023 Bullet 350 is powered by the modern 349cc air-oil cooled single cylinder engine that also powers the Meteor, Classic and Hunter. Fuel-injected, it produces 20.2bhp at 6100rpm and 27Nm of torque at 4000rpm resulting in strong, low-end grunt, super-smooth linear power delivery and a ride that’s both refined and invigorating. With a primary balancer shaft to cut down vibration, it feels responsive and refined while its gear shifting is crisp and smooth thanks to an optimised 5-speed gearbox, ensuring an excellent ride experience. At the front are 41mm forks, a 100/90 -19 tyre and a 300mm disc brake. The rear sports a wider 120/80 -18 tyre and 270mm disc brake. Comfort is ensured by a new take on the single bench seat with careful attention paid to both ergonomics and quality materials.
The 2023 Bullet 350 for Europe is released in two distinct editions, all handcrafted with a premium finish. The Bullet Standard, available in Black or Maroon colourways at £4629, is fitted with dual channel ABS and rear disc, finished with elegant hand-pinstriped body-coloured tanks and components as well as chrome and gold badges. The Bullet Black Gold is a premium variant finished with a striking combination of matt and gloss black tank, copper and gold 3D badge, copper pinstriping and on-trend, blacked-out engine and components, and comes with dual channel ABS and rear disc brakes, available at £4,709.
Both European editions are built with a distinctive 13-litre, teardrop tank and the traditional Royal Enfield casquette that houses a new headlamp along with the signature ‘tiger eyes’ – pilot lights – an enduring feature on Royal Enfield motorcycles since 1954. More contemporary touches include the new digi-analog instrument cluster that houses an LCD information panel and a USB charging point mounted below the handlebar. The rider’s controls have received special focus to ensure that the design, fit and finish are top class with beautifully styled rotary switch cubes that combine ease of use with eye-catching retro appeal.
The bike will be supported by an ecosystem of 28 genuine motorcycle accessories, including nine designed and developed specifically for the Bullet. These include comfortable touring and low-rise seats and touring handlebars. There is also a selection of quality riding gear, including helmets and apparel with detailing that echo the Bullet’s legendary pinstriping.