Let me reiterate that the Honda H’ness CB350
was launched in October 2020 and comes in two variants DLX and DLX Pro. We rode
the DLX Pro which costs roughly around Rs 2.26 lakh on-road in Delhi.
The motorcycle has a length of 2163mm, a
width of 800mm and a height of 1107mm. It has a wheelbase of 1441mm and a
ground clearance of 166mm. The bike has a kerb weight of 181kg and a seat
height of 800mm.
The impression that I got when I had a first
look at this Honda roadster was--”well this one is surely going to give the
Royal Enfield 350 bikes a lot of tough competition”. This one has got a macho
look, a great sound and some great features. The thumpy exhaust note does sound
commanding. The sound incidentally comes out from the specially designed
exhaust system that comes with a large tailpipe of 45mm. The exhaust pipes are
double skinned to prevent heat discoloration.
The bike has a very classic old-world charm
kind of look. This Pro model has a dual-tone fuel tank. The Pro has exclusive
features like the dual tone, the chrome plated double horn units and HSVCS or
Honda smartphone voice control system. We shall come to the latter feature
The good part of this motorcycle is that it
is equipped with Y shaped alloy wheels. In front you have 100/90-19 tubeless
tyre, while at the rear the bike comes with 130/70-18 tubeless tyre. It is
equipped with dual channel ABS with a 310mm large disc brake in front and a 240mm
disc brake in rear.
The bike has round shaped LED headlamp and
taillamp with fire ring type LED winkers. It is a full LED setup in front & back.
The motorcycle gets a segment first engine start/stop switch and segment first hazard switch.
These are on the right side of the
handlebar. Near the speedometer is the mobile charging slot which is type
C. On the left side of the handlebar you
get buttons to change settings (settings can also be changed by pressing the
top button on the side of the round dial). The other buttons on the handlebar
include those for the high beam, low beam, horn and indicator. The pass lever
switch is behind this cluster.
The motorcycle is built on a half duplex
cradle frame in steel pipe. The company says that the load allocated to the
front is optimised by mounting the engine at low position to lower the centre
of gravity, which immensely impacts the overall riding feel and maneuverability
/ handling of the motorcycle.
The side stand comes with an engine
inhibitor. You really do not have to look down to see if the side stand is
still engaged, you can simply glance at the meter. The side stand sign is quite
clear. In case you try moving to the first gear, the engine will be cut off.
That’s a good safety feature. The bike has a fuel tank capacity of 15 litres.
Now let’s come to the large classic round
shaped speedometer. It is basically a
Digital-Analogue Speedometer. The speed is conveyed through an analogue
meter and within the round space you get a small yet bright TFT screen which
gives you digital information on average mileage, real time mileage, battery
voltage meter, gear position indicator, distance to empty, etc. Incidentally,
if the fuel goes below a certain level, the low fuel indicator bulb starts
blinking. At that time, you can also note the distance to empty. You have
roughly around one litre of petrol left in the tank and it is advisable to fill
up the tank immediately.
Outside the round dial, on the right of the
instrument cluster, you get to see small tiny lights which indicate the Honda
Selectable Torque Control or HSTC whether it is enabled or disabled. Other
lights are for headlamp, side indicator whether on or off, Neutral position ‘N’
and ABS. And if you are more of a non
aggressive rider, you will get to see more of the ECO sign pop up as you ride
along. This means you are riding efficiently, conserving fuel all along.
The CB 350 gets a Honda Smartphone Voice
Control System (HSVCS). Now in order to get this going you need to download the
Honda RoadSync app into your smartphone which will keep you connected to the
You need to simply keep the smartphone in
your pocket and connect the wire to the type C slot in the motorcycle
handlebar. HSVCS offers riding interface
installed on your smartphone which supports major features such as navigation,
phone calls, incoming messages, music playback, weather information and volume
adjustments. Riders can toggle through the information using buttons on the
left side of the handlebar as per the feature accessed and the information will
be communicated through the headset which is embedded in your helmet. Please
remember, nothing is really displayed on the TFT screen, except for the
Bluetooth sign if it is activated or if you in navigation mode, an arrow will
be displayed etc. It is here that the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 scores where it
has a dedicated navigation dial with constant arrow displays, navigating you to
your destination. Here in order to make full use of the HSVCS features, you
need a helmet with an inbuilt headphone and mic. Though this feature may sound
very exciting, one must be careful that any distraction of such nature can have
very dangerous consequences, leading to accidents. Use of mobile phones while riding
is a safety risk. Visual displays are far better than audio interface. The dual
seat comes with good cushioning.
The 348.36cc, 4 stroke SI engine produces
around 20.79 hp @ 5500rpm and a peak torque of 30Nm@3000rpm. The engine is
mated to a five speed gearbox. This
motorcycle is ideal for both daily commute as well as long rides. An Enfield
motorcycle could tire you a bit with its heavy weight, but the Honda CB 350 at
181 kg is a lot easy to maneuver even in crowded traffic situations.
Before I go any further, l have a question
for Honda, why is the gear shifter so broad? This type of shifter with a toe
and heel application needs to be short in length so that both your toe and heel
can operate with ease while downshifting and upshifting. I found this a bit out
Coming back to performance, the second and
third gears in particular have long legs and you can really get a lot of juice
here to move the bike well past the 70kmph speed. Peak torque too is attained
at a relatively low rpm.
But on highways or uninterrupted traffic,
this bike has the ability to cross the 100kmph mark very easily. The only thing
that can stop you from revving up further is the wind blast that hits you at
that speed, or unless you have a speed camera lurking in the vicinity. But
since this bike is not a race bike but a roadster, meant for the hard tarmac,
it’s a perfect vehicle
Also, learning from its off road experience,
the company has safety features like the Honda selectable torque control or
HSTC in the CB350. This is a segment first feature. The job of the HSTC system is to sense any imminent loss of
rear wheel traction so as to reduce the torque to allow the rear tyre to grip.
Honda’s off roading bike African Twin comes with an advanced Selectable Torque
But if you want to deactivate this feature,
all you have to do is to switch on the ignition and press the lower button on
the side of the round dial. Next to the round dial on the right side you will
see the sign of a T with a slash across it. This indicates that the HSTC system
is disengaged. You can do this if you want some fun out of your bike while
HSTC system is always on when you switch on the ignition every time. When the
ignition switch is turned on, the torque control setting always resets to the
default value. This mode assures safe riding by suppressing rear wheel slip
during acceleration, even on wet cobblestone streets or other slippery road
The bike has a rather decent suspension, the
front comprising telescopic while the rear having twin hydraulics. With dual
channel ABS, braking is precise and confident. Dual channel ABS prevents wheels
from locking when brakes are applied in emergency or when operated on slippery
The motorcycle also comes with a slipper clutch which
in essence reduces the effects of engine braking, preventing sudden forces to
damage the transmission hence improving its longevity while downshifting.
All in all, the Honda H’ness
CB 350 is one of the most refreshing motorcycles to hit the 350cc roadster
motorcycle segment in India for a long, long time. By its looks and its
performance, the Honda H’ness is definitely a Royal Challenger to its nearest
x width x height
x 800mm x 1107mm
4 stroke SI engine
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