To be based on the existing CB350, new Honda 350cc Cruiser is likely to come with different engine tuning
If there is one brand that is dominating the 350cc segment, it is Royal Enfield. It is at the peak of this segment, enjoying a huge market share of over 85%. Rival manufacturers have tried to eat into this market share, but have not found much success yet. Classic Legends Jawa and Yezdi, Honda CB350 and CB350 RS, Bajaj Dominar are some examples.
That does not mean rivals have given up. Honda for example, is getting ready to launch a new 350cc motorcycle later this year, which is rumoured to be a cruiser that will take on the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. As of now, Meteor 350 is enjoying a niche in this segment. Now, Honda intends to crash Meteor 350’s party by launching a new cruiser based on its CB350.
What To Expect From Upcoming Honda 350cc Cruiser?
A new variant of CB350 by the end of this year was hinted by Honda while revealing its EV roadmap for India. They have not yet confirmed that it will be a cruiser. There was just a new variant mentioned based on CB350, which could be an ADV as well. One to take on Royal Enfield Himalayan. Or it can be an even more trail-worthy CB350 RS based scrambler with wire-spoked wheels, longer travel suspension and A/T tyres.
Rumours in the industry claim that it is more likely to be a cruiser. Because Meteor 350 has more sales volume when compared to Himalayan. For reference, Meteor 350 sales avg about 8k units a month, while Himalayan sales are in the 3k range per month. If trying to cut into an established pie, why not shoot for a larger pie, right?
Recently, Honda announced six custom kits with CB350. Out of these, Tourer custom was a tempting proposition for a cruiser. It had knuckle guards, a windscreen, and a luggage rack behind its pillion seats. But there was a missed opportunity for Honda as it should have offered revised rider geometry to suit that of a cruiser motorcycle.
That is exactly what Honda might be offering with this upcoming variant of CB350. New Honda 350cc cruiser might offer a lower seat height, extended wheelbase, a longer and more relaxed handlebar, front set foot pegs, a larger fuel tank, smaller wheels and more. This would transform CB350 into a cruiser with a lot more appeal. Something inspired by their Rebel range of motorcycles on offer in the international market would be great.
Honda 350cc Cruiser Engine Specs
Honda will very likely retain its 348.36cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine. But, there might be a different engine tune to suit a cruiser’s character by offering more bottom-end torque. Revised gearing and sprockets might be possible too. For reference, on H’ness CB350, this engine makes 20.78 bhp of power and 30 Nm of torque, mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
While at it, we hope Honda throws in a 20L or even 21L fuel tank to get an impeccable tank range. Even Meteor 350 doesn’t get a large fuel tank, which its predecessor Thunderbird 350 did. Other features like LED lighting and retro styling will be retained. Launch will happen by Diwali 2023. Prices of Honda 350cc cruiser will be more that of the existing CB350 range.