With the launch of CB350 line by Honda, the Japanese bike maker aimed to get a piece of Royal Enfield’s massive pie. No matter how Honda positioned it, sales reports within 200cc to 500cc show that there is no beating Royal Enfield. Honda barely managed to push over 1,000 units in January 2023.
2023 Honda CB350 and CB350RS Launched
At the same time, Royal Enfield pushed out over 64,000 units of 350cc motorcycles. To expand the envelope of its products in India, HMIL has come up with a new strategy. Fruits of which are four custom kits offered with H’ness 350 and two custom kits offered with CB350 RS. Apart from these custom kits, Honda has also updated the CB350 for meeting BS6 Phase 2 norms. Prices start from Rs 2.1 lakh for the CB350 and Rs 2.15 lakh for the CB350RS.
A total of 3 variants are on offer with CB350 and CB350RS. These are DLX, DLX Pro and DLX Pro Chrome. Prices for the CB350 range from Rs 2.1 lakh to Rs 2.15 lakh, while that of the CB350RS ranges from Rs 2.15 lakh to Rs 2.18 lakh. All prices are ex-sh.
Custom Kits Based on CB350 RS
Honda CB350 RS was Scrambler-ish in its design. While Honda H’ness CB350 was a classic retro cruiser. CB350 RS got a different rear subframe, fork gaiters, and sporty colours contrasting black finish on engine and exhaust. Adding more drama to this offering are SUV Custom and Cafe Racer.
CB350 RS SUV Custom kit is priced at Rs 7,00. It gets a small windscreen at front, knuckle guards, engine crash guards, rear pannier mounts and colour-matching pinstriping on black alloy wheels. If ORVMs were blackened, it would look much more cohesive. CB350 RS Cafe Racer gets a unique headlight cowl and a single-seater option. Pillion seat is replaced with a sporty cowl and pin striping. This kit is priced at Rs 17,500.
H’ness CB350 Custom Kits
With H’ness CB350, Honda is offering four custom kits. They are Comfort Custom, Solo Carrier, Tourer Custom, and a Cafe Racer. H’ness CB350 Comfort Custom as the name suggests is oriented towards comfort. Rider gets a tall windscreen, knuckle guards, crash guards. Pillion gets a backrest and Honda has bundled a pannier mount and front fork gaiters like seen with SUV Custom. Comfort Custom is the only one to lack pinstriping. Price of this kit is Rs 16,500.
Out of all the custom kits, Solo Carrier allows maximum luggage carrying capacity. The pillion seat is replaced with a luggage carrier. Chrome applique on side panel, fork gaiter and a tiny windscreen are offered too. Oddly, Solo Carrier misses out on pannier mounts, which could have added more luggage-carrying options. This kit is priced at Rs 16,200.
Taking a look at the Cafe Racer with H’ness CB350, it looks exactly like the Cafe Racer kit with CB350 RS, sans blackened finishes. With H’ness CB350, we get chrome treatment. With both Cafe Racers, Honda should have offered low-set clip-on handlebars. Maybe lowered headlight unit to be in line with the fuel tank’s height. And remove engine crash guards. It is priced at Rs 22,200.
Lastly, we have H’ness CB350 Tourer Custom. On the surface, it is similar to Comfort Custom. Tourer Custom gets a rear luggage rack behind pillion seat instead of backrest. Also, it gets pinstriping and chrome applique on side panels. It is priced from Rs 17,600.
Specs & Features
Honda CB350 comes equipped with a 348.36 cc single-cylinder engine developing 15.5 kW of power (20.78 bhp) and 30 Nm. This engine is equipped with a 5-speed gearbox. Honda should have offered revised rider geometry with each custom kit with different handlebars and different foot peg positions. Instead, Honda has offered these “custom” kits like one size fits all.
Mr. Atsushi Ogata, Managing Director, President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India said, “Ahead of the government’s deadline, HMSI has been aggressively working on upgrading the product line up with latest norms. Today, we launch the new OBD2B compliant 2023 H’ness CB350 and CB350RS which are future ready. Since inception, the CB350s have received tremendous response not only in India but globally. We are also very positive that the specially curated custom kits under the new customization section ‘My CB, My Way’ will further delight our new as well as existing CB350 customers.”
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