Upcoming Honda H'Ness CB350 Retro Bike: What To Expect?
Honda is set to launch a new motorcycle on September 30. Here’s what you could expect from the bikemaker
[UPDATE: Honda has launched the CB350 H'Ness (Highness) in India. Head here for the price and other details regarding the launch.]
Honda recently released a teaser and sent out invites for the launch of its upcoming motorcycle. The new motorcycle will be sold via Honda’s BigWing dealerships reserved for its premium bikes. Here’s what you can expect from the upcoming motorcycle:
It will rival the Royal Enfield Classic 350:
Honda has its sights set on the 300cc to 400cc segment for a while now. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 has been dominating this segment by a huge margin for a long time. Honda could be looking to cash in on the Classic 350’s popularity by launching the H'Ness CB350 (Honda Highness) in the 300cc to 400cc space.
It features a single-cylinder motor:
Honda recently shared an audio clip containing the upcoming motorcycle’s exhaust note. It sounds like a mid-capacity, long stroke motor which is similar to the Classic 350 and also the upcoming Meteor 350. We would bet on the upcoming Honda to feature a 350cc to 400cc air-cooled motor.
It could feature a retro roadster styling:
A while back, Minoru Kato, the then head of Honda’s two-wheeler operation in India, spoke about how the Indian audience classifies the Classic 350 as a cruiser when in reality, it is a retro roadster. We feel that the upcoming Honda would feature retro lines similar to the Classic 350 and Benelli Imperiale. For inspiration, it could look at its CB 1100 EX retro roadster. Expect the new motorcycle to be low on features to keep price in check. That could mean a halogen headlamp and analogue instrument console.
It could feature simple underpinnings:
Other than features, we expect the upcoming Honda CB350 Highness to feature simple underpinnings to keep pricing low. Expect a downtube frame, telescopic forks and dual shock absorbers. For braking it could get disc brakes on both wheels with dual-channel ABS as it is the norm for the segment. Like the Classic 350 and Imperiale, it could feature spoke wheels and tube tyres.
It will be made in India:
If Honda wanted to get a retro Honda motorcycle to India via the CKD route, they would have brought the Rebel 300 to India with the CB300R. To compete with Royal Enfield, the Japanese bikemaker will have to launch their Classic 350 rival at a similar price point. That would mean manufacturing the motorcycle in India. We expect the new Honda to be locally manufactured like their recently launched Hornet 2.0.
Pricing could be under Rs 2 lakh:
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 is priced between Rs 1.59 lakh to Rs 1.84 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). We expect Honda’s upcoming H'Ness CB350 to be priced at a slight premium, between Rs 1.85 lakh and Rs 1.95 lakh (ex-showroom).
What do you think Honda’s new motorcycle will be like? Let us know in the comments below.
Images of the Honda CB100 EX used for representation
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