The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 might be a simple motorcycle for today’s standards, and it does not bring anything revolutionary to the market. However, the fact that it is the most affordable new-age motorcycle from Royal Enfield is a reason sild enough to attract people towards Royal Enfield showrooms. The motorcycle has so far impressed with its agile handling, perky performance and compact dimensions, which make it a great urban hustler.
Seeing this, Kawasaki has launched its most affordable motorcycle in the Indian two-wheeler market, the W175. The new retro motorcycle from Kawasaki is its simplest and most bare-basic offering, and with a starting price of Rs 1.47 lakh, it aims straight in the Hunter 350’s territory. Is the Kawasaki W175 worthy enough to take away all the attention from the Hunter 350? We find out.
Kawasaki has introduced the W175 in two colour options – while the Ebony Black is priced at Rs 1,47,000, the Candy Persimmon Red carries a slight premium at Rs 1,49,000. On the other hand, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is available in two variants. The base-spec Retro variant, available in Factory Black and Factory Silver, is priced at Rs 1,49,900. The more premium Metro variant, available in Dapper Grey, Dapper Ash and Dapper White, is priced at Rs 1,63,900. The Metro variant is also available in three dual-tone colour options – Rebel Red, Rebel Blue and Rebel Black, which is available at Rs 1,68,900.
|Royal Enfield Hunter 350
|Rs 1,47,000 – Rs 1,49,000
|Rs 1,49,900 – Rs 1,68,900
(prices mentioned above are ex-showroom, India)
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Engine and Chassis
In terms of visual appeal and specifications, the Kawasaki W175 rivals the base-spec Retro variant of the Royal Enfield Hunter. The single-cylinder, air-cooled, 177cc engine of the W175 is much smaller than the 349cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine of the Hunter 350. And that reflects in the numbers too – the W175 is almost 7.2 bhp lesser powerful and 14.2 Nm less torquey than the engine of the Hunter 350.
Both the motorcycles get hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and dual-sided hydraulic coil springs at the rear. However, the Hunter features much wider front forks and an additional step in preload adjustment. The front and rear tyres of the Kawasaki W175 are narrower than the tyres of the Retro variant of the Hunter, which themselves are narrower than the tyres of the Metro variant. Also, the brakes of the Hunter 350 Retro are superior than those of the W175.
|Royal Enfield Hunter 350
|Four-stroke, single-cylinder, air-cooled, 177cc
|Four-stroke, air-cooled, single-cylinder, 349cc
|13 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
|20.2 bhp @ 6,100 rpm
|13.2 Nm @ 6,000 rpm
|27 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
|30mm hydraulic telescopic forks
|41mm hydraulic telescopic forks
|Hydraulic spring shock absorbers with 5-way adjustable preload
|Twin-tube emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload
|100/80-17 tube-type (Retro) / 110/70-17 tubeless (Metro)
|120/80-17 tube-type (Retro) / 140/70-17 tubeless (Metro)
|300mm disc (Retro) / 300mm disc (Metro)
|153mm drum (Retro) / 270mm disc (Metro)
|Single-channel ABS (Retro) / Dual-channel ABS (Metro)
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Compared to the Kawasaki W175, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is longer and taller, though it is the W175, which is marginally wider between the two. The W175 also has a lower seat height and higher ground clearance, which makes it more suitable for shorter riders by a small margin.
|Royal Enfield Hunter 350
|Fuel tank capacity
Design and Features
Despite having simple and rounded design languages, there is a stark difference in the way the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 and Kawasaki W175 appeal to the masses. Among the two, it is the Kawasaki W175 which easily looks the more basic and dated, while the Hunter 350 impresses with its modern bits and better quality equipment on board. Yes, a Royal Enfield motorcycle outclasses its rival from Kawasaki in quality!
The Kawasaki W175 is a motorcycle straight from the bygone eras, at far as its design is concerned. The design looks extremely basic, with everything on this motorcycle having a rounded influence, including the headlamp, turn indicators, tail lamp, fuel tank, instrument console and rearview mirrors. The spoke wheels, flat seat and tubular pillion grab rail make sure that the motorcycle continues its retro appeal in a purer form. The instrument console of the Kawasaki W175 is also a simple affair with a part-digital unit comprising of an analogue speedometer and a small LCD panel displaying the fuel gauge, odometer and trip meters.
While the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 also has a rounded influence on all of its body panels and lights, it looks more modern and premium in its overall feel. While the Retro variant of the motorcycle gets spoke wheels, tubular pillion grab rail, previous-generation switchgear and a rear drum brake, the more-premium Metro variant features new-generation rounded switches, rear disc brake, wider tubeless tyres and alloy wheels. Both the variants of the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 offer different part-digital instrument consoles, both of which offer all the information which is displayed by the W175’s unit. However, the console of the Hunter 350 Metro variant offers a few additional pieces of information like the trip computer.
No matter what the specification or aspect is, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 simply outclasses the Kawasaki W175. The Hunter 350 might be the most affordable motorcycle from Royal Enfield, however, it shows no signs of compromise in quality and equipment. It has a much bigger engine, which is more powerful and torquey than the half-sized engine in the Kawasaki W175. Even the base-spec version of the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 feels better to build and equipped motorcycle over the W175, which is available only in a single variant and feels dated in comparison to the Hunter 350. All these reasons make the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 a superior motorcycle over the Kawasaki W175.