Tushar burmanJan 18, 2021 11:24:05 AM IS
“What…?” it was my first response when Honda launched the CB350 “H’Ness” (pronounced Highness, for no matter purpose). I assumed Hero was the king of bizarre, delicate and cuddly names for his or her bikes, however the Honda model group is de facto letting their bizarre flag fly.
Some background: Royal Enfield is the apparent goal right here. I imply, there is a pink dot and all the things. The historic Chennai-based British heritage bike model has been (by default) the king of the ‘premium’ bike phase eternally. ‘Premium’, on the time, was essentially outlined as an engine capability of 350cc or greater, as nobody else was taking part in in that market anyway. The Royal Enfield Bullet and its variants and derivatives dominated the market, and the likes of KTM got here in later to remove some gross sales (however not from the identical buyer). This high-margin premium phase is engaging to producers, even in a quantity market like India.
Honda has an amazing alternative on this area with the CB350. I’ll keep away from utilizing the nickname “H’Ness” any more, out of disgrace. For India, the fundamental 350cc single cylinder thumper is a properly understood, liked and aspired type of bike that has seen little change in 70-something years. And whilst you could also be sorry for missed alternatives by doing one thing greater, higher, sooner, extra trendy, extra engaging, Honda is betting on the traditionalist buyer, who nonetheless needs to purchase a Royal Enfield for that sense of event.
Merely put, that is Honda’s model of a 350cc Bullet, up to date as required by 2020 rules. Honda has a protracted historical past of CB bikes of various displacement, from the tiny 100cc to the monstrous 1000cc. The unique CB350-4 used an inline 4 engine that sang my individuals’s tune, that’s, it made me get up and salute that superb lament. The CB350 we get is kind of completely different. It has a 348cc single-cylinder engine that makes use of an overhead camshaft like most trendy engines do, delivering 21PS and 30Nm of torque at 3000rpm. It is completely on the nostril with the 350cc competitors, however the numbers do not inform the actual story.
As anticipated of a Royal Enfield lunch wanting bike, it is a conventional single down tube body, the gasoline tank takes middle stage, there are diamond formed facet panels, a flat seat and comparatively diameter tires. massive: 19 “within the entrance, and 18 within the rear. My preliminary impressions of the bike, in photos and on steel, have been certainly one of disenchanted resignation. Nevertheless, driving it for a few days, my impressions have modified. I believe which is a pleasant bike and would make an amazing platform for modifications.
Along with the engine, you get trendy conveniences like a totally LED lighting bundle (headlight included) and Bluetooth connectivity to a Honda app that permits you to navigate and management some fundamental capabilities in your Android cellphone, utilizing the D-pad buttons on the handlebar. left. There isn’t any assist for iOS but, which is a mistake, as a result of anecdotally, I perceive that many potential patrons are iPhone customers.
And that is it. All the pieces else is what an eight-year-old would draw in case you requested him to attract you a motorbike. It is easy and it would not mess with the system.
A phrase about expertise
Whereas the Android-based companion app was proven to me, I did not get an opportunity to place it to the take a look at as a result of my day by day controller is an iOS gadget. From what I understood, the companion app is supposed to stay open on the cellphone and will be navigated utilizing the buttons close to the left handlebar grip, as soon as paired with the bike’s Bluetooth receiver. You are able to do issues like name preset numbers and navigate to preset locations or current POIs. Honda would not appear to have an appropriate mounting bracket out there for the bike but, so that you’re alone in case you actually wish to use these options. Based mostly on what I’ve seen, I do not count on an iOS app to be launched anytime quickly, and if it does, will probably be considerably completely different from the Android expertise.
The Bluetooth-based app and pairing function is out there on the “DLX Professional” variant of the CB350 which additionally has a two-tone paint job. The remaining remains to be frequent.
On the transfer: wow!
That is actually the primary phrase that comes out of a rider’s mouth, like mine, wow! The CB350 leaves you with the buttery smoothness of driving. The motor appears to have little or no vibration, and what’s there’s tactile and nice. The 5-speed gearbox is an ideal match and simply as easy. I did not have a missed shift in three days of driving, whether or not I take advantage of the heel or toe to shift.
Being a fuel-injected BS6 engine, one would possibly count on a lean, tough, or considerably anemic engine, however none of those are confirmed. The engine pulls onerous it doesn’t matter what you throw at it. The utmost torque of 30Nm is clearly distributed properly and flat throughout your entire rev vary, permitting you to push the engine up a gear if you wish to hear that stunning thump. The gear is tall, permitting you to essentially pull the motor for what it is value earlier than snapping into the following gear. Nevertheless, the pair means that you can get round city with out an excessive amount of clinging. It truly is a beautiful engine.
We have to spend a while speaking concerning the sound the CB350 produces. There’s a variety of speak concerning the ‘punch’ of Royal Enfield’s massive 350/500cc engines, and so they took nice care to retain a lot of that within the just lately launched Meteor 350. And as a lot as I just like the Meteor, I have to confess that so far as the escape notice is anxious, the CB350 knocks it out of the stadium thus far that the ball has landed a substantial distance offshore and would require divers to the Navy get it again. It has a complicated bass punch with no noise, hiss, or harshness. Only one regular, strong punch that ensures the Honda will get you dwelling. I’ve by no means been a very enthusiastic fan of the hit of a giant single, however the Honda CB350 received me ‘getting it’.
Roughly 80 km / h is the candy spot for the CB350, which is on par with the sector. The distinction is that the Honda stays easy and presumably will get smoother at greater speeds. I noticed the speedometer needle go over 120 km / h on one part (personal monitor, after all) and the bike made no complaints. I would not wish to go 100 km / h on this bike just because there is not sufficient grunt left to make quick overtaking. However you’ll be able to undoubtedly do it if you would like. Within the metropolis, the torque and silky smoothness make you trip the large Honda like a a lot smaller bike.
Actually, I could not perceive the truth that this can be a full-size 350cc bike. It feels loads smaller whereas driving it, and even transferring it across the parking area. The 800mm seat peak ought to be low sufficient for these of common stature, and the bike belies its 181kg of weight. I discover it harder to maneuver my KTM 390 Journey, which is way lighter.
Suspension and brakes actually spherical out this bundle. The brakes aren’t the sharpest to chunk into, however they’re very simple and progressive, making them comfy to modulate and cease the bike safely. Twin channel ABS is normal and our journey into city did not throw up something that wanted it to kick in. The Honda CB350 has delicate springs. A good friend described it as a “magic carpet trip”, and I agree. The consolation within the metropolis is a few of the greatest I’ve ever skilled and if it have been a distinct bike format I might be completely happy to leap over speedbumps as a substitute of slowing down. It is a wonderful and comfy bike for commuting to work. I might dare to say I might use one as a substitute of an Activa scooter for family chores; Actually, I did a grocery run with a backpack, and it was very handy and manageable.
I did not push this within the corners in any respect, as a result of I could not discover confidence within the MRF tires. Aggressive riders will even discover the suspension too delicate for sporty driving, so in case you’re that sort, purchase one other bike.
However can you are taking a tour?
Ergonomically, the CB350 feels sufficient for commuting round city and maybe freeway journey. You sit on high of the bike, with an upright posture, your palms prolonged in the direction of a slim handlebar. Very similar to a basic Bullet, really. It is comfy and presents nice visibility, however it may be bushy in case you come throughout an unmarked speedbump or surprising crater; It tends to bounce off the seat, regardless of the delicate springs. The flat seat is delicate, however that tends to trigger sizzling spots on longer rides. I might like to trip the CB350, however I might most likely make some adjustments to the seat and a few changes for the bags and wind safety. However these are all low cost and properly understood mods.
The CB350 comes with a beneficiant 15 liter gasoline tank, and our mates at Overdrive discovered it to ship an effectivity of 40 km / l mixed, with virtually 49 km / l on the freeway! It is a simple 400 km earlier than reaching the reserve, if no more. That is manner higher than any of the competitors.
So the quick reply is: sure, you’ll be able to tour on the CB350 with a couple of modifications. You get a silky easy trip, nice mileage, and legendary Honda reliability (or so we hope).
Purchase this bike
I used to be deeply impressed by the Honda CB350. The graceful and straightforward trip is mixed as a fascinating and rewarding trip. you sensation as in case you are working in your endorphins, when in actuality you’re working alone sufficient for them. The engine, the glossy gearbox, the great brakes, the comfy suspension, and that stunning punch all come collectively to make a motorcycle that I might like to personal. I by no means thought I might say that of a 350cc single, however right here I’m, unabashedly admitting that I really like the Bullet, however the one made by Honda.
The Honda CB350 H’Ness begins at Rs 1.86,500 for the DLX and Rs 1.92,500 for the Professional, ex-showroom, Mumbai. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to solely buy the bike from Honda’s premium “Huge Wing” shops.
+ Easy motor, gearbox
+ Snug suspension
+ Nice sound
– A lot smaller supplier community than different Honda