Honda has just launched the CB350 RS which is a scrambler variant of the H’ness CB350 which has been quite successful and has been appreciated. It has been able to clock more than 10,000 sales till now in a segment that is dominated mostly by Royal Enfield. The Scrambler version should help in gathering more attention from the market because they are a more attractive design than the regular retro-looking motorcycle. Honda has priced the CB350 RS at Rs. 1.96 lakhs ex-showroom and the new motorcycle will be exclusively sold through Honda’s BigWing network of dealerships which sells riding gears, accessories and hosts community rides.
There are no mechanical changes to the motorcycle so the CB350 RS is also powered by the same 348.36 cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine that produces 20.5 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 30 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox with assist and slip clutch. The engine is known for its smoothness and grunty exhaust note. The changes are mostly cosmetic and the motorcycle does look sharper than the H’ness.
So, the rear of the motorcycle is cleaner than the H’ness CB350. It comes with a slim LED tail lamp that is integrated into the rear of the seat, whereas on the H’ness it is circular and protrudes a bit. We can also see the up-swept blacked-out exhaust that looks more modern and a chrome heat shield placed on the middle part of the exhaust. The rear grab handle is neatly integrated with the seat so it does not mess up the clean aesthetics of the motorcycle.
The seat is also a single-piece with tuck and roll design and is much shorter than the one on H’ness. Then there is the different tyre setup. It comes with a 150-section fatter tyre at the rear for added bulk whereas the H’ness comes with a 130-section rear tyre. The riding triangle of the rider has also been changed and is more aggressive where the H’ness CB350 offered a relaxed riding position. Honda is also using less chrome which makes the new motorcycle look more modern. It comes with a circular LED headlamp with sleek LED turn indicators, factory installed skid plate and fork gaiters.
The instrument cluster has been borrowed from the H’ness CB350. So, it comes with a small digital screen with analogue speedometer. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity with turn by turn navigation, distance to empty, real-time fuel economy, gear position indicator, average fuel economy and battery voltage meter. Honda is also offering Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) which is basically a traction control system that suppresses the torque output as soon as it detects rear wheel slipping.
Braking duties are done by a 310 mm disc brake in the front and at the rear there is a 240 mm disc. Honda is offering dual-channel ABS as standard. Suspension duties are carried by telescopic front forks and twin shock absorbers at the rear. Honda is offering a single tone colour and a dual-tone colour option with the CB350 RS. Overall, the blacked-out profile of the CB350 RS will attract the younger generation as it is a bit more contemporary design, whereas, the H’ness CB350 is for people who like old-school retro motorcycles.