The new Honda CB350 is a textbook retro classic motorcycle with timeless design traits that should achieve some disruption in Classic 350’s sales
Classic motorcycles are currently all the rage in 300 to 500cc segment. This segment operates in the price bracket of Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh (ex-sh). Royal Enfield currently aces this segment with over 85% market share. Honda has sharpened the blades of its CB350 platform to rival Royal Enfield’s dominance in this segment. Say namaste to Honda CB350.
Honda CB350 Launched
If you are wondering where the prefixes or suffixes went, there aren’t any. This is Honda CB350, and that’s it. No H’ness or RS. Just the CB350. Not confusing at all. The company is offering Honda CB350 in two trim levels – DLX and DLX Pro, priced at Rs. 1,99,900 and Rs. 2,17,800 respectively. New Honda CB350 is sold via Big Wing dealerships only.
For context, Royal Enfield Classic 350 prices range between Rs. 1,93,080 and Rs. 2,24,755. Up until now, Honda rivaled RE’s slew of 350cc motorcycles with CB350 H’ness and CB350 RS. But couldn’t directly take on them because Royal Enfield was still heavy on timeless Classic-ness.
Honda has figured this out, this time around, and is launching its biggest strike on Classic 350 with new CB350. We should say, this is by far the best-looking Royal Enfield rival and is highly likely to draw more customers away from Classic 350. Honda has achieved this feat by offering similar classic timeless design traits that were drawing buyers towards Classic 350.
The new timeless design is in the form of a new fuel tank, new side body panels, tank grips, new classic split seats with contrasting piping, classic grab rail, retro-looking mudguards at both ends that are larger than on H’ness or RS, shrouded RSU telescopic front forks, and a new retro exhaust. If you can’t bear Classic 350 sales, it looks like one does the trick.
More features than a Royal Enfield Classic 350
With retro classics, colours can either break or make the product. New classic CB350 gets a total of five colours – Precious Red Metallic, Pearl Igneous Black, Matte Crust Metallic, Matte Marshal Green Metallic and Matte Dune Brown. Despite Honda going back in time where design is concerned, CB350 is still ahead where features are concerned.
Top-spec DLX Pro comes equipped with all the bells and whistles including Honda Smartphone Voice Control System (HSVCS) with Bluetooth support, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC, which is basically Traction Control), Dual-channel ABS, 18-inch wheels, LED lighting, semi-digital instrumentation, double layer exhaust pipe preventing discolouration are notable features.
Power is derived from a 348.36cc single-cylinder engine that generates 20.8 bhp of peak power at 5500 RPM and 29.4 Nm of peak torque at 3000 RPM. There is a 5-speed gearbox along with a slip and assist clutch on offer too. The bold and low-pitched thumping sound should evoke a lot of nostalgia as well.
Words from the manufacturer
Introducing Honda’s latest premium BigWing motorcycle, Mr. Tsutsumu Otani, Managing Director, President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to expand our mid-size 350cc motorcycle line-up with the launch of All-New CB350. It proudly takes forward the rich legacy of Honda’s CB DNA and will provide the joy of riding to our customers. We are confident that the launch of this retro classic motorcycle will excite new buyers to join the ever-growing CB family.”
Commenting on the debut of All-New CB350, Mr. Yogesh Mathur, Director, Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said, “The introduction of All-New CB350 marks yet another significant milestone for our flourishing premium motorcycle business vertical. Ever since their launch, Honda’s middle-weight 350cc motorcycles have delighted customers across various markets. Together with our widespread network of premium BigWing dealerships, we are confident that the new CB350 will offer an exhilarating experience to buyers. Bookings are now open and deliveries will begin soon.”
Source: Bike - rushlane.com