New Yamaha FZ-X vs Used Royal Enfield Bullet 350: Which One To Buy?
Want to go retro but confused between the new Yamaha FZ-X and a used Bullet 350? We weigh the pros and cons
Yamaha kicked off its retro innings in India with the new Yamaha FZ-X. Priced between Rs 1.16 lakh and Rs 1.19 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi), the FZ-X is a bit on the expensive side. But if you have that kind of budget and are confused between the Japanese retro and a used Royal Enfield Bullet 350, you’ve come to the right place.
Pros And Cons Of Buying The New Yamaha FZ-X:
The Yamaha FZ-X’s Japanese engineering means reliability will be the last thing you’ll have to bother about. Moreover, since it’s based on the already proven Yamaha FZ-S Fi and the Yamaha FZ Fi platform, the FZ-X is pretty solid when it comes to the chassis and powertrain quality. The motorcycle is also much lighter than the Royal Enfield, tipping the scales at 139kg (in sharp contrast to the Bullet 350’s 191kg kerb).
Additionally, the Yamaha FZ-X comes with handy smartphone connectivity, ensuring the rider gets all the relevant information in addition to a few practical features. Finally, the generous 165mm ground clearance and block pattern tubeless tyres should make short work of mild trails should you choose to go off the road (or on bad roads, for that matter).
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The flip side is that the 149cc engine with its 5-speed transmission isn’t really powerful enough for spirited highway runs. And at 10 litres, the fuel tank capacity is a whole 3 litres less than its streetfighter sibling. So you’ll have to carry extra fuel in case you're planning to do long-distance rides.
Pros And Cons Of Buying A Used Royal Enfield Bullet 350:
Buying a new Yamaha FZ-X will set you back by around Rs 1.39 lakh (on-road, Delhi). For around this price, you could easily get a well-maintained Royal Enfield Bullet 350 that’s a year or two old. Models older than this are available for even lower prices -- around Rs 1-1.15 lakh. The Royal Enfield Bullet 350’s iconic thump and comfortable riding position are hard to match. Its 346cc single-cylinder air-cooled UCE engine is perfect for cruising down the highway lazily at around 70-80kmph.
Moreover, owning a Bullet also comes with the prospect of being a part of the Royal Enfield community. The brand organises several riding events (both small breakfast rides and long-distance trips). Royal Enfield sells not just motorcycles but an idea of lifestyle motorcycling.
Refinement is one of the biggest concerns of the Royal Enfield Bullet 350. The motor isn’t really meant for spirited riding. Even though it is comfortable, the vibey engine will cause fatigue if ridden for longer periods of time. Sure, At 800mm, the seat is 10mm lower than the FZ. Still, the motorcycle is pretty heavy. This, coupled with the low 135mm ground clearance and tubed tyres, may not be an ideal combination for going off-road or riding on bad roads.
It also comes with a basic instrument cluster that shows just the speed, odometer readings, and Amp meter (depending on the model year). Royal Enfield should’ve provided at least a proper fuel gauge.
All in all, the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is the more hardcore bike compared to the Yamaha FZ-X. However, it comes with its own set of quirks. If you’re willing to live with them, then the Bullet is a good choice. Otherwise, stick to the FZ-X.