Riding Dynamics – The dynamics of both the motorcycles are very different as the Dominar uses a perimeter frame while the Classic comes with a single downtube type frame. The frame on the Royal Enfield is rigid but the Dominar weighs less and stays more flickable. The total weight difference is only 10 kgs but putting the Dominar around corners is an easier task, yet the Royal Enfield has better straight-line stability. Although the seat height is the same, the Royal Enfield has a lower set of handlebars making it more prone to wind blast. But the level of comfort on the Classic is much better than the Dominar. The riding triangle is also on the comfortable side. The suspension setup on the Dominar is slightly on the stiffer side as compared to the Classic but the USD and monoshock setup makes it more feedback rich.
The Dominar is sharp and flickable while the Classic is practical and comfortable
Both the bikes have disc brakes at the front as well as the rear. The Classic, however, here does not have ABS. Braking feedback from the Dominar is way better but it is not a switchable unit. While the Dominar gets 17-inch alloy wheels with MRF rubber, the Classic also gets MRF but the front wheel is a 19-incher while the rear is an 18-inch spoke wheel. Tyres on the Royal Enfield are also thinner but provide enough grip while the tyres on the Bajaj are wider but more suited to road riding. Dominar also has an advantage with a higher ground clearance than the Classic making it more suitable for Indian road conditions. However, the Royal Enfield Classic fares to be more comfortable and practical.
Verdict – The Bajaj Dominar 400 when compared to the Royal Enfield Classic 500 seems value for money. All the bikes that come in this category have lost the VFM tag but the Dominar stays pretty close. It now offers more power, has a fresh look and feels up to date. However, the Classic 500 has that retro charm and the ruggedness of a Royal Enfield. But as the pricing has shot up, the Classic with ABS costs close to Rs. 2.5 lakhs which is not far away from the 650 twins. The Bajaj Dominar 400 has been made more touring friendly and with all the enhancements that this facelift gets, our pick out of these two motorcycles would be the Dominar.