Upcoming CB350 cafe racer has a truly unique profile, even though it borrows much of the hardware from Honda H’ness CB350
Honda CB350 had ambitious plans against popular 350cc bikes from Royal Enfield. However, with REs with their cult following and immense fan base, CB350 hasn’t been able to make any major impact despite the recent variations of CB350. CB350 RS was also introduced later, but sales numbers are nowhere close to RE bikes like Bullet 350 and Classic 350.
Honda CB350 is taking a more Classic route?
Further complicating the situation for CB350 is Hunter 350 which has emerged as one of the bestselling bikes in 350cc segment. When we analyse 300cc to 500cc bike sales, CB350 YoY and MoM sales have dipped in recent months, which seems a worrying trend. To boost its prospects in 350cc segment, Honda is readying a new classic motorcycle based on CB350.
As of now, Honda CB350 is a neo-retro motorcycle. This neo-retro appeal is further amplified in CB350 RS. But customer reception and buying trends seem to be favouring more “Classic” appeal, something which Royal Enfield excels at. Now, Honda is bringing more “Classic-ness” to CB350 lineup as teased on social media handles.
This is by far Honda’s most significant dig at Royal Enfield Classic 350. This time around, Honda seems to be business, as it is tackling rivals with their ethos. In this case, “Classic-ness”. There is one word that Honda has thrown frequently in this teaser is BABT, which should abbreviate to something.
As seen in the company’s teaser, Honda CB350 BABT is taking the Classic route. We can see the same Nissin callipers, alloy wheel designs and other components as CB350. But there are changes. The front telescopic forks now get a silver finish. Along with that, Honda is offering a fork cover like Royal Enfield does. The new split seat design and tan seat covers are new too.
What does BABT stand for?
The front mudguard now gets two connecting spokes that emerge from the bottom of the front fork. This is a signature classic bike design trait that was missing in CB350. From what little Honda has teased, Honda CB350 BABT version has a lot more classic appeal than regular CB350 and CB350 RS.
If striking a Classic appeal was the agenda, chrome spoked wheels would have helped a lot in that regard. But that is not the case. Honda’s teaser mentions “Coming Soon”. Caption for this post read, “Brace yourself for the rise of a legend with fearless voice. Get ready to take on the open roads.”
Honda CB350 BABT performance
Powering CB350 cafe racer will be the 348.36cc, 4 Stroke engine churning out 21 PS of max power and 30 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Most of the hi-tech features will be borrowed from CB350. It will include Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS), all-LED lights, assist and slipper clutch, side stand with engine inhibitor and gear position indicator.
Primary rival is likely to be the slew of 350cc Royal Enfield motorcycles along with offerings from Jawa and Yezdi. Launch is likely to be in the coming days, as this is just a variation of an already existing motorcycle.
Source: Bike - rushlane.com