Honda has entered into the flourishing mid-size modern-classic segment in India with the H’ness CB 350. It will mainly compete against the highly popular Royal Enfield Classic 350 in the country. While the H’ness is yet to go up on sale, all the details about the bike have already been revealed. In that case, we pitch it against the current segment leader Classic 350 in this on paper comparison.
The vintage design of the Classic 350 has remained unchanged for years but it still continues to be desirable amongst the consumers. However, the CB 350 feels like a breath of fresh air with a styling inspired by the larger CB 1100 EX. While it sports old-school elements like a round headlamp and chrome-finished components, there are certain things which give it a modern appeal such as a blacked-out handlebar, grab rail, engine cover and alloy wheels.
Despite belonging to the classic genre, the H’ness CB 350 has a host of modern features such as full-LED lighting and a data-extensive, semi-digital display with Bluetooth connectivity. Honda has also equipped it with a side stand engine inhibitor and a hazard light switch. Another safety aid which is a segment-first is the traction control system. As for the Classic 350, it is profoundly basic in this area with a conventional lighting setup and analogue clocks.
The H’ness CB 350’s engine here is a more powerful 348.36cc, air-cooled unit which churns out 20.8bhp at 5,500rpm and 30Nm at 3,000rpm. Whereas, the Classic 350 runs a 346cc mill which makes 19.1bhp at 5,250rpm and 28Nm at 4,000rpm. Although both bikes feature a five-speed gearbox, the Honda is benefitted by an assist and slipper clutch. The lighter 181kg kerb weight of the CB should also make it quicker than the Classic which tips the scales at 195kg.
What’s common in both bikes are the wheels which include a 19-18-inch combo. However, the Classic is underpinned by a single down tube chassis and the CB 350 is based on a double cradle frame which is meant to be stronger. The latter also sports a larger 310mm disc up front, as opposed to the former’s 280mm disc. Meanwhile, the rear disc size is identical at 240mm. As for the ABS setup, Honda offers a dual-channel unit as standard in the CB whereas the Classic is available with a single and dual ABS both.
Honda has not revealed the exact price of the H’ness CB 350 but has affirmed that it will cost around Rs 1.90 lakh. Considering the overall package that the CB is, the pricing sounds quite enticing. On the other hand, the prices of the Royal Enfield Classic 350 start at Rs 1.62 lakh and go up to Rs 1.86 lakh, depending on the colour variant.
(All prices are ex-showroom)