Honda H’Ness CB350- Introduction
The 350cc retro-modern motorcycle segment has starting to get really popular. In the past, this segment was majorly influenced by the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 and Classic 350. Afterwards, Mahindra introduced Jawa Classic and 42, which are doing quite well in terms of overall sales. Now, Honda has finally launched its H’Ness CB350 in the Indian market, which directly rivals the likes of Royal Enfield Meteor 350. Recently, we got a chance to experience the all-new 350cc retro-modern motorcycle by Honda. So, here’s our road test review of all-new Honda H’Ness CB350.
Honda H’Ness CB350- Styling and Features
Talking about its design, the H’Ness CB350 has a modern-classic look; at the same time, it looks very premium. At first glance, this motorcycle will definitely remind you of the CB350, which was launched back in 1968. Upfront, the H’ness CB350 gets a classic looking round LED headlamp and LED side blinkers. The turn indicators have an outer ring, which is illuminated all time and works like DRLs. It gets blacked-out multi-spoke 19-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels at the front and rear. The sharp-looking alloy units enhance the overall retro-modern feel of the motorcycle.
On the sides, it gets very retro and stylish looking tank, which has a fuel capacity of 15-litres. The HONDA lettering on the tank compliments the neo-retro silhouette of the bike. It gets a single-piece seat, which can easily accommodate two riders at once, but the seat cushioning could have been better as it is not that comfortable for long trips. To make the H’Ness CB350 look more premium, Honda has added a lot of chrome inserts. For example, on the mudguard at the front and rear, headlamp surrounds, side mirrors, engine and exhaust. At the rear, it gets a LED taillight and LED side blinkers along with a single piece grab rail, which looks quite basic yet purposeful.
It gets a semi-digital instrument console, which consists of an analogue speedometer and the digital display on the right shows all the required information. This includes a fuel gauge, odometer, trip meter, range and so on. Moreover, the top-end model of the motorcycle features Honda Smartphone Voice Control (HSVC), which allows a rider to connect his/her smartphone via the HSVC application. Afterwards, it allows the rider to control smartphone functions like accept/decline phone calls, music controls and turn-by-turn navigation via the handlebar-mounted controls. The system also offers Bluetooth connectivity and can connect to aftermarket speakers or Bluetooth headsets. The Honda H’Ness CB350 is a smart-looking motorcycle, with the overall fit & finish is quite impressive. Moreover, its retro-modern charm is capable to captivate young and experienced buyers alike.
Honda H’Ness CB350- Engine & Performance
One of the most engaging components of the motorcycle is its thumpy 350cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine. The powertrain is capable enough of shredding out 20.8bhp of power at 5,500 rpm and 30 Nm of twisting force at 3,000rpm. The engine comes coupled to a 5-speed gearbox. The engine refinement levels are astonishing. This is the most refined 350cc engine in its segment. The overall engine performance is pretty impressive. The initial power feels quite punchy, but the engine comes into its character in the mid-range. The top-end could have been better as it feels a bit compromised. The motorcycle effortlessly crosses the 100kmph mark and has a top speed of 125kmph.
Honda has done well in controlling the engine’s vibrations. A rider can ride the H’Ness CB350 at its top-speed without feeling unconfident. One can feel the vibrations coming from the footpegs after crossing 70-80kmph mark, but they arrive in a very controlled manner. The 5-speed gearbox also features a slipper and assist clutch for swift gear shifting. The 1st and 2nd gear feels a bit clunky, but the 3rd, 4th and 5th gear are smooth to shift in/out of. Honda H’Ness CB350 is also the first bike in its segment to feature Honda Selectable Toque Control (HSTC). With this feature, the system monitors the spin on the front and rear wheels and cuts power if it detects the rear slipping. The HSTC works well and inspires a lot of confidence while riding on slippery surfaces.
Honda H’Ness CB350- Ride & Handling
The riding dynamics of the Honda H’Ness CB350 are quite sorted. It gets an upright handlebar, which will not stress your arms while riding. The riding posture is pretty comfortable, and one can easily do long trips without stressing out his spine. The handlebar of the motorcycle is not that wide, and it’s quite easy to manoeuvre the Honda H’Ness CB350 in tight city traffic. The compact width on its handlebars also makes H’Ness CB350 a perfect city commuter.
The suspension system comprises of telescopic front forks and spring suspension at the rear. The front suspension is tuned well to counter all the potholes and speed bumps, but the rear suspension could have been on the stiffer side. The soft rear suspension setup is good for daily commutes and long trips with a pillion. However, the same soft setup compromises on stability and handling with just the rider onboard. Braking duties are done by a 310mm disc brake upfront and a 240mm disc brake at the back, which is assisted by a dual-channel ABS. The braking system offers amazing feedback under hard braking. It gets Nissin brake callipers, which are offered with Honda’s litre-class motorcycles. The motorcycle rolls on Ceat tyres, which offers a good amount of grip on the road but can get a but struggle to find traction on gravel and unpaved roads.
Honda H’Ness CB350- Verdict
In our market, Honda offers the H’Ness CB3500 in two different trim levels – DLX and DLX Pro. The entry-level trim is offered at a starting price of INR 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the top-spec variant is retailed at a price tag of INR 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). At this price point, the Honda H’Ness CB350 is a value for money proposition, as it offers a refined and thumpy engine; it also comes loaded with a lot of advanced features and an eye-catching design.