Honda CB350 Review: The Latest RE Classic 350 Rival
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Honda CB350 Review: The Latest RE Classic 350 Rival

Reviews by Team Drivio | Nov 25, 2023

Mechanically, the CB350 is unchanged

  • The 348cc engine makes 21.07PS and 30Nm
  • There are disc brakes at both ends with the safety net of ABS
  • At 181kg, it’s a fair bit lighter than the Classic 350 too

A year ago, we rode the Honda H’ness CB350 and found it to be a slightly underwhelming bike, especially when compared to its direct rivals, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Bullet 350. And while it is more powerful, it lacks the character that both the aforementioned bikes have by the plenty. But now that Honda has revamped the bike and made it the CB350, does it make more sense? There’s only one way to find out: 

Honda CB350: Design

The Honda CB350, with its true-blue retro charm, strategically targets Royal Enfield Bullet 350 buyers. The motorcycle features full-length metal fenders at both ends, a straightforward color scheme devoid of extravagant stickering, and notable enhancements compared to the Honda H’ness CB350. 

These include a chromed-out pea-shooter exhaust, split seats with premium seat covers, tank grips, and metal covers for the fork. The exhaust is designed to produce a low-pitched thump, catering to the preferences of Royal Enfield enthusiasts. Noteworthy features include a semi-digital instrument cluster with smartphone connectivity and voice assistance, all-LED lighting, and dual-channel ABS as standard.

Honda CB350: Engine

SpecificationsHonda CB350
Engine348.36cc engine
Maximum power21.07PS
Maximum torque30Nm
Transmission5-speed

The CB350 houses a 349cc counterbalanced air-cooled engine, delivering 21.07PS at 5500rpm and 29.4Nm at 3000rpm. Coupled with a 5-speed gearbox featuring a slip-and-assist clutch, the engine maintains its performance with a distinct exhaust note. That said, most of the performance is still in the higher end of the revs so you will have to rev the bike out to extract the same. 

Honda CB350: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsHonda CB350
Front suspensionTelescopic Fork
Rear suspensionTwin Hydraulic Shocks
Front tyre18-inch wheels
Rear tyre18-inch wheels
Front brake310mm Disc Brake
Rear brake240mm Disc Brake
ABSYes

The CB350 employs a cradle frame, telescopic fork, and twin-hydraulic shock absorber arrangement, in line with modern-classic motorcycles. While not particularly groundbreaking, the setup ensures stable and neutral riding and handling. The ride quality, slightly firmer than rivals at low speeds, maintains consistency as the pace increases. The configuration effectively isolates occasional potholes, offering a well-considered but not overly luxurious ride.

Honda CB350: Dimensions

DimensionsHonda CB350
Length2163mm
Height1107mm
Width789mm
Wheelbase1441mm
Seat height800mm
Ground clearance166mm
Kerb weight181kg
Fuel tank capacity15-litres

Weighing in at 181kg kerb weight, the H’ness CB350 strikes a balance between nimbleness and agility, making it friendly for beginner riders. The motorcycle handles corners adeptly without being overly tippy. The weight compares favorably to chief rivals from Royal Enfield, at least on paper, contributing to its overall approachability and versatility on the road.

The riding posture of the CB350 is characterized by an upright and relaxed stance, aligning with the team's mandate. Seated on the flat and wide perch, riders will appreciate the user-friendly design – the pared-back handlebar is easily reachable without necessitating a stretch, and the foot pegs are positioned neutrally, promoting a comfortable, all-day riding experience. The controls are intuitively placed, ensuring natural accessibility. 

However, a minor drawback is observed in the elevated angle of the heel and toe portion of the gear shifter on both ends, introducing a degree of inconvenience. To mitigate this, users found it more practical to utilize the toe side for seamless shifting in the 5-speed gearbox.

For riders considering a pillion passenger, the CB350 offers a wide and comfortable seat suitable for short to medium-distance rides. While accommodating for brief journeys, the seat may not provide optimal support for extended durations. Planning a full day in the saddle might necessitate periodic breaks to enhance overall comfort.

Honda CB350: Price

Honda CB350Price (Ex-showroom Delhi)
 Rs 1,99,990 

For the first time in a while, Honda has actually managed to price a bike rather well, so much so that it costs nearly Rs 11,000 less than the H’ness CB350’s base variant. The difference only gets higher as you factor in the higher-end variants of the H’ness. That means the CB350 is a fair bit cheaper than the Royal Enfield Classic 350. That said, it’s still quite a lot more expensive than the Bullet 350. 

Verdict

So has the CB350 changed a lot and finally become the Royal Enfield Classic 350? Bullet 350 rival we all wanted? Not really. Given that the CB350 is still the same mechanically, it’s still not half as characterful or enjoyable as we’ve found the Royal Enfield 350s to be. In fact, with just the cosmetic job, the CB350 looks a bit like a Classic 350 ripoff, something we’re not very sure would go down well with prospective owners. 

So if that old-school charming roadster is what you’re looking for in this segment, consider either the Royal Enfields or even the Harley-Davidson X440, instead of the CB350.