Japanese two-wheeler brand Honda is planning to explore other segments based on H’Nness CB350’s newly developed platform
Honda made inroads into the premium cruiser segment of motorcycles with the launch of H’Ness CB350 last month. Priced at Rs 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom), this retro motorcycle has mostly received positive reviews from all quarters and is being pitched as a worthy rival to Royal Enfield and Jawa prodigies.
While we can agree in unison that a retro classic body suits H’Ness CB350 in the best manner. However, Honda has spent hundreds of crores in development of this platform from scratch and would be looking to utilize it in other designs as well. Reports suggest, the Japanese automaker is planning to develop a cafe-racer based on this same architecture.
Alteration in design – CB350 Cafe Racer
A design render of CB350 turned into a modern cafe-racer has been doing rounds on the internet. Rendered by SRK Designs, the design artist only had to make slight alterations to make this look like a proper cafe racer.
The overall stance of the bike in the rendering has become much sportier thanks to the clip-on handlebars which provides a more aggressive forward-biased riding position typical of a cafe-racer. However, it is doesn’t seem to be overly demanding since footpegs remain in their original position.
The handlebar gets classic silver bar-end mirrors on either side and blacked-out shock absorbers. The fuel tank has been redesigned which can incorporate the rider’s legs in a forward set riding position. New body graphics on the fuel tank also enhance the cafe-racer looks and go well with the motorcycle’s character. The major update can be noticed in the seat where the designer has replaced the stock seat with a cafe racer-style single-piece one which features a seat cowl.
At rear, the grab handles have been removed, although that might not be the case in the production-spec model where it is mandatory to install grab handles for the pillion. Side panels sport ‘Cafe-Racer’ decals which enhances the sportiness of the retro motorcycle.
It continues to receive classic designing elements such as round headlamps, round taillamps, round LED turn indicators, chrome-finished front and rear fender and engine with chrome garnish and exhaust. Other notable finish visual highlights include semi-digital instrument cluster and alloy wheels with tubeless tyres.
H’Ness CB350 is based on a new half-duplex architecture which has been specifically developed for the Indian market. This frame also provides versatility to incorporate it in many other forms and a cafe-racer seems to be the appropriate match. CB350 is powered by a new single-cylinder, air-cooled, fuel-injected motor which generates 20.8 bhp and 30 Nm of peak torque. This unit is paired with a 5-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch and assist.
If this proposed render does go into production it will be positioned as an entry-level cafe-racer and an affordable alternative to Royal Enfield Continental GT 650. It is expected to be pegged at a competitive price of Rs 2.2 lakh (ex-showroom). This bike is expected to come out at the end of next year or 2022.