Honda unveiled the H’ness CB350 for the Indian market a few days back. The motorcycle from the Japanese automotive maker takes ahead the iconic and legendry CB badge ahead that dates back to the early 70s. The H’ness CB350 being a classic retro motorcycle takes on the likes of the segment leader Royal Enfield Classic 350, Jawa range and the Benelli Imperiale 400 in its class. We visited Mumbai Big Wing outlet from where the motorcycle will be sold to have a first look at Hondas very first classic offering.
Honda has priced the H’ness CB350 Deluxe at Rs. 1.85 Lakh while the H’ness Deluxe Pro is priced at Rs. 1.90 Lakh ex showroom.
In terms of design the Honda H’ness 350 is inspired by the classic CB series that still has lots of die hard fans. The motorcycle upfront has tons of classic retro charm to it. The round headlamp comes with dual LED DRL and also white LED glow. The front mudguard comes in all chrome finish to go with the overall retro theme while the telescopic front suspension gets neat looking matt black finish. The round turn indicators come with white glass and in neat matt black housing with LED bulbs in them. The front tyre is an 19 inch MRF Zapper with 100/90 spec mounted on black multi spoke alloys. The motorcycle gets front and rear disc brakes as standard along with dual channel ABS.
The handle bar gets chrome finish on it and is wide in design. The control switches have a nice premium feel while the grip too is of good quality. Rearview mirrors come in round shape and also come with chrome housing going with the retro feel. Speaking of the Instrument cluster this is a analogue cum digital unit with a neatly integrated TFT screen display that reads out the twin trip meters, DTD, battery charge, odometer, fuel efficiency, clock etc. The other half of the cluster gets a panel which has backlight indicators for the tell-tale warnings which include the side stand indicator, high beam, turn light, traction control indicator etc.
The 15 liters fuel tank is in classic shape with two character lines that flow on it. The fuel filler gets a hinge opening mechanism that should make filling petrol at the pump easier unlike its rival the Royal Enfield on which the entire fuel lid comes off and has to be held by the rider during fueling up. The Deluxe model gets single tone paint while the Deluxe Pro gets dial tone paint color option on it.
Going back the seat on the CB 350 is nicely cushioned and feels pretty comfortable. Also included is a neat little backrest finished in glossy black finish. The side boxes on the motorcycle is made of metal going on with the classic feel. The side box also get the H’ness 350 badging on it in bright red. The rear suspension is a twin gas charged 5-step adjust unit with silver and chrome finish on it.
Like the front mud guard the rear also gets a chrome finish and is designed in a way there is a good amount of gap between the tyre and the mudguard giving a nice classic sporty look to the tail. The stop light also comes in a classic design with all LED glow in it. The rear tyre is an 18 inch MRF Zapper of 90/100 spec mounted on matt black alloys. The front disc brake is a 310mm disc while the rear gets a 240mm disc.
The engine housing gets neat glossy black finish with a stylish looking round chrome panel that sports Honda branding on it. The engine block also comes in matt black finish while the fuel injection module get chrome covers on them. The CB350 Pro model gets duel horns with chrome grill while the Deluxe model comes with a single horn without the grille.
The quality of the foot-pegs is pretty impressive with the rear foot-peg having a satisfying click sound to it. The upswept design classic shape silencer gets all chrome finish to complete the overall classic retro feel here.
The Honda H’ness CB350 is powered by the single cylinder 350cc 4-stroke OHC engine with PGM FI fuel injection system. This engine makes 21PS of power and 30Nm of peak torque. This unit gets mated to a 5-speed transmission.
We have not yet ridden the Honda H’ness CB350 as the media rides happen soon but for now we could only start the motorcycle to check its exhaust note. The CB350 has a very refined thump and we didn’t see any vibrations or shakes on any body part with the engine at idle or even when it was revved which speaks of its high refinement levels.
In terms of features the one that stands out is the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) which is seen on Honda’s superbikes, This system supports the rider to mitigate rear wheel slip caused by abrupt throttle grip operations providing the rider a sense of security while riding in different conditions. You also get segment first Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS) which allows riders to connect their smartphone with the motorcycle via Bluetooth through HSVCS application and toggle between the features such as navigation, music playback, phone calls, incoming messages and weather updates using buttons on the left side of the handlebar. Honda recommends the use of an helmet headset speaker to facilitate complete concentration on riding while using this feature. You also have the assist and slipper clutch on the CB350 that makes gear shifting smoother and clutch usage less tiring.
The Honda H’Ness 350 Deluxe is available in Precious Red Metallic, Pearl Night Star Black, Matte Marshal Green Metallic options. While the H’ness CB350 Deluxe Pro comes in dual tone paint options namely – Athletic Blue Metallic with Virtuous White, Pearl Night Star Black with Spear Silver Metallic and Matte Steel Black Metallic with Matte Massive Grey Metallic.
First impression verdict
The Honda H’ness CB350 is the very first attempt from Honda at the classic retro motorcycle segment and they have done a wonderful job on it. The motorcycle looks very trendy and has that classic feel to it reminding of its CB lineage. The quality fit finish is excellent and so is the engine refinement along with the deep refined thump note that it puts out. The CB350 also has the modern touch on it in terms of dual channel ABS, Disc brakes, digital instrumentation, Honda selectable torque control etc.
Stay tuned to MotorWorldIndia as we get you the first ride review of the Honda H’ness CB350 real soon.
Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar