The recently launched Honda H’Ness CB350 rivals the likes of Royal Enfield Classic 350, Benelli Imperiale and Jawa Forty-Two
Honda has been able to turn many heads with the recently launched Hness 350. While many of us were eyeing for a design based on the Rebel Cruiser, Honda has pleasantly surprised us by revealing an all-new bike with a classic retro design.
The bike employs a new locally developed 350cc mill and carries design elements that are inspired by earlier larger retro-styled motorcycles. During the unveiling event, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) revealed its plan of expanding its premium retail vertical- Big Wing dealerships across the country by further strengthening its product portfolio.
Honda’s Big Wing Expansion
During the presentation, the Japanese brand also revealed a background art that would possibly suggest some new products in Honda’s Big Wing lineup. While three out of the four body arts could be identified as- CB500F- a naked roadster, CB500R- a fully-faired track bike; and CB500X- an adventure tourer. All three bikes have been in development for a long time now and are expected to be launched within a short space of time next year. All three bikes will employ the same set of powertrains.
However, things get interesting when the fourth bike’s silhouette resembles the recently revealed H’Ness CB350 which makes us believe that there might be another product on the way from the Japanese bike maker. Today, Honda India has officially shared the teaser of this 4th bike, which was first teased during the CB350 launch.
As per the latest teaser, this bike is going to be a cafe racer, based on the CB350. It will be powered by the same engine as the CB350. The H’Ness CB350 is powered by a locally developed 348cc unit single-cylinder, air-cooled unit which produces 21 bhp and 30 Nm of peak torque.
This unit is linked to a 5-speed gearbox. It is priced at Rs 1.86 lakhs ex-sh for the base variant and Rs 1.92 lakhs for the top variant. CB350 Cafe Racer variant will be launched on 16th Feb, and is expected to be priced around the same range as the existing CB350.
An Even Bigger Thump Coming?
At the time of CB350 launch Honda specifically mentioned that a “bigger thump is on the way”. It is possible that they were referring to yet another motorcycle, which will be more powerful than the CB350. In all probability, this bike will employ a 500cc engine. Now, the question arises whether it will be the same 500cc twin-cylinder unit that powers the above trio of bikes or a locally produced 500cc single-cylinder bike.
If this theory indeed holds some ground, we might see a retro-styled design CB500 in a few years. It will be of greater significance since its key rival Royal Enfield has discontinued all its 500cc offerings earlier this year. Therefore, there is an opening in market that has been left vacant and Honda will be aiming to occupy this space.
Even before the launch of CB350, there were murmurs about a bigger displacement bike on the same platform. Although, these are just speculations at the moment and things will hopefully get clearer in future. The CB500 twins are powered by a 471cc parallel-twin engine which kicks out 47 bhp and 43 Nm of peak torque.