RE Classic 350 Signals Edition vs Bajaj Dominar 400 ABS: Spec Comparison

Modified On Aug 29, 2018 By Gaurav Sadanand for Royal Enfield Classic 350

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After finally getting the safety net of ABS, how does Royal Enfield's best-selling motorcycle fare against its main rival on paper?

Royal Enfield has just launched its Classic 350 Signals Edition, which pays tribute to the Signal Corps of the Indian Armed Forces that oversees military communications. The bike is a vintage take on cruiser motorcycles, while the Dominar is a modern take on the same, or as Bajaj calls it - ‘Hyper-riding’. While both are two very different bikes, they do still compete with each other in the touring segment. We compare them against each other on paper to find out which one’s a better bet.

 

Design and features -


RE Classic 350 Signals Edition Bajaj Dominar 400
Instrument console Analogue Full digital
Fuel Tank 13.5ltr approx. 13ltr
Wheels Spoked rims Alloys
Tall windscreen Optional No
Panniers Optional No
Luggage racks Optional No
Sump guard  No Yes
ABS Yes (dual-channel) Yes (dual-channel)
Crash guard Optional Yes
Split Seat No Yes
LED headlights  No Yes
LED tail lights No Yes
DRL's No Yes
USB charger No No

The Classic 350 Signals Edition stays true to its RE Bullet silhouette, however, with a few modern touches. It follows the same classic British styling from the pre and post War era.  Each bike sports a unique number which is stencilled on the tank, making each bike one of a kind. In contrast to the Airborne Blue and Stormrider Sand paint scheme, the bike gets an all-black coat for its mechanicals, including the engine, exhaust and wheel rims. Its single-piece dark tan brown seat looks quite neat too. The full analogue instrument cluster has been carried over from the standard model, however, the smaller pod now has a low-fuel and ABS indicator.

Unlike the Dominar, which mostly gets third-party accessories, the Signals 350 gets a range of accessories. These include military panniers, engine guards, touring seats, a tall windscreen, cast aluminium wheels and rust proof rear luggage racks designed and built by the manufacturer. To add to the overall experience, RE also offers a variety of gear and apparels for its customers.

The Dominar is a different breed of motorcycle, with emphasis on design, performance and build quality rather than just providing an overall riding experience, like the RE. It has a mass-forward design language where the beefy fuel tank, chiselled mudguard, and the machined alloy wheels are the highlights. In contrast to the vintage styled headlight on the Royal Enfield, which barely has any illumination, the Dominar features a full-LED trapezoidal headlight which is really bright. The Dominar also gets a sump guard, LED tail lights, split seats, dual-channel ABS, alloy wheels and an all-digital instrument console, which displays a lot more information compared to the RE.

 

Powertrain -

  RE Classic 350 Signals Edition Bajaj Dominar 400
Engine Single-cylinder Single-cylinder
Displacement 346cc 373.3cc
Fuel-injection No Yes
Liquid-cooled No Yes
Maximum Power 20PS @ 5250 rpm 35PS @ 8000rpm
Maximum Torque 28Nm @ 4000 rpm 35Nm @ 6500rpm
Gearbox 5-Speed 6-speed
Slipper clutch No Yes

The Classic 350 Signals Edition uses the same powertrain available on its standard model and feels quite underpowered compared to the competition. The Dominar 400 makes a whole 15PS more power and 7Nm of torque more than the RE Classic 350 Signals. Also, the power cruiser comes with a sixth gear, which helps you glide at 120kmph effortlessly on the highway, where the Classic 350 feels out of breath. Moreover, the Dominar’s slipper clutch helps you push the bike hard into corners without worrying about wheel hops.

That said, the Dominar has vibrations creeping in through the handlebars and footpegs at high speeds, although, it's not as bad as the Royal Enfield.

 

Underpinnings -


RE Classic 350 Signals Edition Bajaj Dominar 400
Length 2160mm 2156mm
Width 790mm 813mm
Height 1090mm 1112mm
Seat height NA NA
Weight 192kg 157kg
Front suspension Conventional forks Conventional forks
Rear suspension Twin shocks absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload Multi-step adjustable monoshock
Front Brake Disc 280mm Disc 320mm 
Rear Brake Disc 240mm  Disc 230mm 
Front wheel size 19-inch 17-inch
Rear wheel size 18-inch 17-inch

The Classic 350 sits quite low to the ground which is a big plus for short riders, however, weighing in at 192kg, it isn’t the lightest bike out there. However, even though the Dominar looks a lot beefier compared to the RE, it weighs 157kg and feels quite nimble in the corners.

The Dominar also sports a much larger front disc brake which provides good braking power and the ABS isn't too intrusive with good feedback through the levers. Although the front brake sheds speed swiftly, it lacks progression.

Owing to its sporty nature, the suspension setup on the Dominar is relatively stiff when compared to the softly sprung suspension on the RE.

 

Price & verdict -

Ex-showroom price - RE Classic 350 Signals Edition Bajaj Dominar 400

1.61 lakhs (ex-Pune) ABS  1.62 lakh

If you’re looking for an affordable, fast and comfortable highway cruiser that performs well in the city as well, the Dominar 400 is the perfect bike for you. But, if vintage looks and a laid-back riding style tops the list for you, the Classic 350 is the way to go.

Each bike has its pros and cons, but we feel in terms of value for money, the Dominar still has a lot more going for it compared to its competition. That said, you can’t really argue with the cult following Royal Enfield has garnered over the years.

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