The retro-cruiser, aimed at expanding the Big Wing portfolio of Honda, positions itself as a very unique offering in a not-so-unique segment.
Here are 5 things that make the H’ness CB350 stand out in a segment where it will compete against the likes of Royal Enfield Classic 350, Jawa Perak and the upcoming Royal Enfield Meteor 350:
1. Timeless and unique looks:
Although the Honda H’ness stands against a number of Royal Enfield and the Jawa motorcycles, it still has a very fresh design language considering the fact that it is a retro-cruiser. The classic Honda CB DNA in the motorcycle’s design is a risk worth taking in a country where Royal Enfield’s styling language has wooed the market for a long time.
The H’ness CB 350’s character stands out with its dominating front facia with handlebars. And the suspension and large wheels add a hint of confidence and command in the style language. The retro yet modern design is complemented heavily by the first-in-segment full LED package too. The chrome-plated dual horn also amplifies the premium and elite look of the motorcycle. The round headlamp, circular dials and tanned leather bench seat signify an ageless design.
2. First-in-segment features:
The cruiser segment has barely had anything exciting to offer in a long time. Honda ups the ante with the H’ness CB350, as the retro-cruiser comes with 9 new patent applications and 5 first-in-segment features. Apart from the full LED package, the cruiser also offers the all-new Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) that helps in maintaining the rear-wheel traction.
The Honda Smartphone Voice Control (HSVC) feature will offer a unique and enjoyable riding experience. The HSVC feature operates via Bluetooth and will be offered as a standard feature in the DLX Pro variant. The Assist and Slipper Clutch also adds to the smooth and comfortable riding experience ensuring lesser fatigue throughout the ride. The advanced digital-analog speedometer presents real-time intelligent information.
3. Tailor-made for Indian roads:
The Honda H’ness CB 350 is specifically designed for Indian roads and that becomes its biggest advantage. The H’ness CB 350 is equipped with a closely set handlebar which gives a good ergonomic posture to the rider, giving full control in any riding condition at the same time. The dual seat with superior cushioning makes sure that the trips are less tiring and the fuel tank capacity of 15 litres ensures that the rider doesn’t have to take a lot of stops on long road trips.
The half-duplex cradle frame in steel pipe provides the rider with soft steering feel and the low-positioned engine lowers the centre of gravity offering exceptional riding feel and maneuverability. A rigid box-section steel tube is used for the swing arm to eliminate distortion and improving the transmission of the torque.
4. Prioritized safety
The dual-channel ABS gives a sense of confidence to the riders. The 310mm front disc and 240mm rear disc provide adequate braking performance ensuring the safety of the rider. The large section front suspension enhances the image of the H’ness CB 350, while giving extra comfort on rough and uneven roads. The pressurized nitrogen-charged rear suspension offers highly responsive damping performance.
The 19-inch front tyre and the 18-inch 130 section rear tyre give the motorcycle its roadster look along with increased stability and a lower stance. The tyres, as claimed, offer improved grip in various kinds of road conditions.
5. Engine with classic CB DNA:
The Honda H’ness is powered by a 350cc, air-cooled, 4 stroke OHC single-cylinder engine equipped with PGM-FI technology. The motorcycle offers a peak torque of 30 Nm and 20.8 PS.
The engine comes with a main shaft coaxial balancer which eliminates primary and secondary vibrations. The offset cylinder position reduces the sliding friction and it ensures minimum energy loss during combustion. The piston cooling jet improves the thermal efficiency of the engine leading to improved fuel efficiency.
Now, the expected price, according to the officials, will be around Rs 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom) and the DLX variant around Rs 20,000 dearer. H’ness CB 350, on paper, looks to break the monotony of RE motorcycles in the market, aiming a pie at the 350-cc cruiser segment. The show-down will begin this festive season.