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Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India (HMSI) recently unveiled their all-new H'Ness CB 350 motorcycle in the Indian market. The new Honda H'Ness CB 350 marks the brand's entry into India's modern-classic motorcycle segment.
The Honda H'Ness CB 350 comes with a sub Rs 2 lakh, ex-showroom price range, which makes it an extremely attractive offering. However, with the segment already dominated by another ‘Royal', how will the H'Ness fair in comparison? We recently spent some time with the Honda H'Ness CB 350 at the brand's premium Big Wing dealership in Bengaluru and here is what we found out.
Design & Styling
The Honda H'Ness CB 350 comes with a classic retro design theme, with simple lines and minimalistic graphics, creases and body panels. Honda looks extremely attractive and the company has managed to take inspiration from their old 'CB' motorcycles.
Starting with the front, the Honda H'Ness CB 350 comes with a round headlamp unit with LED lights. This is flanked on either end by ring-type winkers, which are a segment first. Keeping in mind the retro theme, Honda has added a bunch of chrome elements on the H'Ness CB 350. This starts off with the forks and the fender at the front and is present all around the motorcycle.
The side panel also continues to carry forward the simplistic design language. The H'Ness CB 350 motorcycle comes with a large 15-litre fuel tank with the old heritage-inspired ‘HONDA' badging on either side. The H'Ness CB 350 badging is finished on the side panels, below the seats.
Talking about the seats, the motorcycle carries forward a single-piece seat, The seat itself is sufficiently large, which offers a good amount of comfort for both the rider and the pillion. The riding position is also relaxed with the footpegs and the handlebars set neutrally.
The side profile can also be seen with a lot of chrome, this includes on the engine covers and the exhaust pipe. The motorcycle to contrast the added chrome comes with 19-inch front and 18-inch rear alloy wheels, finished in black.
The rear profile yet again features a chrome fender, along with LED taillights flanked on either side by segment-first ring-type turn indicators.
Variants & Features
The Honda H'Ness CB 350 is offered in a range of two variants: DLX and DLX PRO. Both variants share most of the equipment, although there are a few features available exclusively on the DLX PRO, signifying its ‘top-spec' tag.
Talking about the features on offer, the Honda H'Ness CB 350 comes with a host of equipment. This includes the circular analogue instrument cluster with a small digital display. The small screen on the console offers a host of additional information such as real-time mileage, average fuel efficiency, distance-to-empty, gear position indicator; among others.
The instrument cluster also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, which offers additional functionalities such as turn-by-turn navigation, call and message alerts, music controls and many more. These features can be controlled via the brand's in-house developed HSVC (Honda Smartphone Voice Control) System.
Among other technical and mechanical features on offer is the HSTC (Honda Selectable Torque Control) system. This calculates the slip ratio from the difference in speed between the front and rear wheels and adjusts engine torque accordingly. The H'Ness CB 350 also comes with Assist and Slipper-Clutch, dual-channel ABS and side-stand indicator with engine cut-off.
Engine, Suspension & Braking
While we haven't gotten around to actually riding the motorcycle yet, the power and torque figures from the engine do look promising. The Honda H'Ness CB 350 comes powered by a new 348.36cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine. It produces 20.8bhp at 5500rpm and 30Nm of peak torque at 3000rpm, paired with a five-speed gearbox.
While this might not seem much for a 350cc motorcycle, Honda claims that the H'Ness offers a good amount of low-end torque, while also providing sufficient power in the mid and high-rev range.
The motorcycle is also lighter (181kg) than its main rival, which also offers similar power and torque figures, which should translate to better performance. Honda also claims that the half-duplex cradle frame allows the engine to be mounted low, which lowers the centre of gravity; offering a more nimble ride and handling and good stability at high speeds.
The suspension on the motorcycle is via telescopic forks at the front and a pair of shock absorbers at the rear. Braking is via 310mm discs up front and a 240mm disc at the rear, supported by dual-channel ABS.
Colours, Pricing & Competitors
The Honda H'Ness CB 350 comes with a total of six colour options. This includes three single-tone paint schemes on the DLX variant: Precious Red Metallic, Matte Marshal Green Metallic and Pearl Night Star Black.
There are also three dual-tone colours on offer, however, these are available only with the top-spec DLX PRO variant. This includes Matte Steel Black Metallic/Matte Massive Grey Metallic, Athletic Blue Metallic/Virtuous White and Pearl Night Star Black/Spear Silver Metallic.
Honda just launched the H'Ness CB 350 in the Indian market. The motorcycle is offered with a starting introductory price of Rs 1.85 lakh, ex-showroom (Gurugram).
This price range should definitely help the Honda H'Ness 350 take on its rivals in the segment, which include the likes of the Royal Enfield, Jawa Standard and the Benelli Imperiale 400.
Thoughts On The All-New Honda H'Ness CB 350
The Honda H'Ness CB 350 is the newest modern-classic entrant in the Indian market, a segment dominated by Royal Enfield. The H'Ness CB 350 definitely seems to have the charm, which could help it take on its rivals. However, it all depends on how it performs out on the roads, for which we will have to wait a little bit longer.