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Royal Enfield Hunter 350 vs TVS Ronin - Comparison Test


Distinct yet contrasting, which bike is the right choice for you?


The Indian motorcycle market has grown at a rapid pace over the past few years and one more aspect that has grown at an even more rapid pace is cost. To address this issue manufacturers are focusing their efforts on making their products more accessible and affordable, especially so in the lifestyle segment.

Royal Enfield is the de facto king of this segment and rode in the Hunter 350 last month to make its brand more welcoming to a wider set of customers. TVS, on the other hand, threw its hat in this lucrative segment with the Ronin.


As you can see the attempt and the product positioning by both brands are completely different, but the target audience is the same. So, which one should you pick or rather are they two distinct motorcycles? We tell you the answer.

Reality Check

Specification

TVS Ronin

RE Hunter 350

Engine

225.9cc single-cylinder, air-/oil-cooled, 4-valve

349cc single-cylinder, air-/oil-cooled, 2-valve

Power

20.4PS at 7750rpm

20.2PS @ 6100rpm

Torque

19.93Nm at 3750rpm

27Nm @ 4000rpm

Gearbox

5-speed with slip-and-assist clutch

5-speed

Kerb weight

160kg

181kg


Let’s start with city performance where both motorcycles will be spending the bulk of their journeys. Talking about engines, there is a distinct difference in this department as well. The Ronin is powered by a more modern 4-valve unit and it’s the highest capacity engine designed and built by TVS. The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 adopts the tried-and-tested 350cc engine, the entry-level motor in the brand's modern line-up. 

Acceleration 

TVS Ronin

RE Hunter 350

0-60kmph

4.63s

5.24s

0-80kmph

8.09s

9.16s

0-100kmph

14.59s

16.40s

From the get-go, the TVS Ronin has the advantage as it’s quicker off the line and also feels peppy at commuting speeds of up to 40kmph. Aiding the Ronin further is the superlight clutch action and the slick gearbox that makes commuting a joy on the TVS motorcycle.

The Hunter feels lively by RE standards, but the added bulk slows it down a bit. Also, the heavy clutch results in a tiring commute. But, during overtakes, the wave of torque comes to its aid. In fact, you’re always riding the Hunter a gear lower at similar speeds in comparison to the Ronin.

Apart from a tractable engine, agility is also critical when it comes to tackling the Indian urban jungle. With 17-inch wheels on either end, tight rake and significantly less heft than its siblings, the Hunter 350 is the most nimble RE out there. Direction changes are quick and you can thread through traffic in an effortless manner.

But hop onto the TVS Ronin and things change, you see it’s a massive 21kg lighter and in comparison, the Hunter 350 feels slightly lazy, especially at low speeds.


Comfort Matters

The riding posture of both bikes are different too. The Hunter 350 has flat wide bars and slightly rear-set footpegs, which results in a slightly sporty rider triangle in tune with its streetfighter DNA.

The Ronin, on the other hand, has slightly forward-set footpegs and the handlebar is slightly curved back towards the rider, resulting in a comfortable and upright riding stance. Saddle space also is better on the Ronin and it feels like you’re part of the bike, while on the Hunter it seems as if you’re on top of the motorcycle. Pillion passenger comfort is also better on the TVS bike owing to the larger seat and better positioned footpegs.

Seat height

TVS Ronin

RE Hunter 350

 

795mm

790mm

Another aspect that enhances the comfort quotient of the TVS Ronin is its supple ride quality. Broken roads, undulations and speed breakers are handled in a much sophisticated manner and it clearly has the better ride quality. The Hunter’s telescopic fork does a fine job, but the monoshock is set-up firm and jolts are easily transferred to the rider.


Mile Munching

Out on the highway, the Ronin has the advantage with respect to acceleration and roll-on, although overtakes need to be planned on both bikes at high speeds. While the numbers might point that the TVS Ronin aces it on the highway as well, that isn’t the case in the real world. 

Roll-ons

TVS Ronin

RE Hunter 350

30-70kmph in 3rd gear

5.39s

6.47s


Vibrations start creeping in at 80kmph and follow you like a shadow as you gather more momentum. Both bikes can cruise at around 100-110kmph, but owing to the buzzy nature of the Ronin, you feel more relaxed on the Hunter 350 and this is where its displacement advantage shines through. So if you plan those weekend getaways, the Hunter 350 is a better choice.

But, if you encounter winding mountain roads, the TVS DNA and its lightweight nature shines through as the Ronin feels composed and confident tackling high speed sweepers. The Hunter 350’s chassis is communicative, but is let down by the tyres which are a nervous wreck on wet roads and my suggestion will be to replace them as soon as you get the bike delivered.

Mileage Check 

 

TVS Ronin

RE Hunter 350

City fuel efficiency

42.95kmpl

40.19kmpl

Highway fuel efficiency

40.77kmpl

35.97kmpl

Fuel tank capacity

14 litres

12 litres


The larger displacement of the Hunter means that it has a larger appetite for Dinosaur juice. What enhances the Ronin’s commuter proposition is its healthy fuel efficiency score and a larger fuel tank. It is 3kmpl more fuel-efficient than the Hunter in our city test and that’s another boon considering the astronomical value of liquid gold.


The state continues on the highway too as the Hunter returned 3kmpl less than the Ronin. This dents the roadster’s case slightly, though, as highway stints will ideally end up being longer on the TVS.

Gen Z ready?


Both motorcycles are targeted towards the younger audience and in this case the TVS Ronin has a distinctive advantage. Talking about features, the Ronin gets an all-digital instrument console that’s loaded with details such as turn-by-turn navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, call and SMS alerts, distance to empty, ABS modes and much more.


On the Hunter 350, you get a semi-digital instrument console with basic data. While Royal Enfield has made the Tripper navigation pod an optional extra, the Hunter gets a USB charger as standard.

Style is a personal choice and in this regard both motorcycles are very different from each other. The Ronin takes styling inspiration from various genres of bikes and it looks a bit confused.

On the other hand, the Hunter 350 has a lot of Triumph Street Twin vibes and looks more traditional and pleasing on the eyes. While the Ronin is quirky, the Hunter 350 is classy.


Quality levels of the TVS Ronin are a bit disappointing as one can see a lot of exposed wires near the headstock and our test bike’s fuse blew twice. TVS as a brand is renowned for its quality and it was a bit disheartening to experience such issues on the Ronin. With the J-platform, RE has made tremendous improvements with respect to quality and the Hunter 350 carries forward that momentum.

Final Call

Price (ex-showroom Delhi)

TVS Ronin

RE Hunter 350

Base

SS: Rs 1,49,000

Retro: Rs 1,49,900

Mid

DS: Rs 1,56,000

Metro Dapper: Rs 1,63,900

Top

TD: Rs 1,68,750

Metro Rebel: Rs 1,68,900


With respect to pricing as well both bikes are very close to each other and are offered in various variants. As I mentioned before, both take a different approach to achieve the same end goal and are quite similar, yet distinct.

The TVS Ronin is a better commuter and is more suited for an urban rider. So, if you’re looking for a feature-rich, comfortable motorcycle with enjoyable handling and don’t mind its quirky looks, the TVS Ronin makes for a very good option.


The Hunter 350 isn’t a perfect motorcycle, but feels a tad more versatile than the Ronin. So, if you want a friendly and easy-to-ride Royal Enfield that doesn’t burn a big hole in your bank balance, it’s a great option to start your journey with team RE.


Having said that, both these motorcycles are lifestyle products and here brand value plays a crucial role. Royal Enfield has a much higher brand recall and also one can upgrade from a Hunter 350 to a much bigger and interesting motorcycle within the RE ecosystem which isn't the case with TVS.

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