The Honda H’ness is currently being sold exclusively through BigWing premium outlets in select cities
The 350 cc niche has long been Royal Enfield’s forte and there have been several attempts by rivals to break the monopoly, but none was successful. The likes of Bajaj attempted to lure the prospective customers with modern and more powerful alternatives but in vain.
Jawa Motorcycles imitated RE’s recipe and enjoyed a promising start but Classic Legends dropped the ball with poor execution. Most recent attack on RE territory comes from Honda in the form on H’ness CB350. Will it make an impact?
Honda CB350 November 2020 sales
The Honda CB350 retro classic roadster seems to have the right blend to take on Royal Enfield’s 350 cc range of products. Last month, the new arrival clocked sales of 4,067 units, a MoM increase of 215%. This indicates that the CB350 has been having a strong start and HMSI has ramped up its production to meet the demand.
The sales number doesn’t mean anything against RE but it is impressive anyway given the motorcycle is retailed only through Honda’s BigWing premium bike outlets of which there aren’t many to mount a proper assault on the incumbent. In case Honda were to make the CB350 available through their entire two wheeler network, sales would hugely increase.
In comparison, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350, also a new arrival, managed to reach a tally of 7,031 units in November 2020. The good old Classic 350 which is approaching the end of its life cycle found 39,391 units last month, underscoring the company’s sheer dominance of this niche yet lucrative segment.
As things stand now, the attractively priced CB350 will be used as an entry card into the brand’s premium bike ownership experience. The planned expansion of BigWing outlets in tier-II cities is expected to bring incremental volumes. Honda is also developing a 250 cc version as revealed by recent patent leaks.
Honda CB350 at a glance
The Honda H’ness CB350 is powered by a single-cylinder 348 cc engine which is tuned to deliver 21 hp and 30 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a 5-speed gearbox by means of an assist and slipper clutch. Just like the RE 350 family, the latest Honda is meant for relaxed and comfortable commutes and occasional touring.
The equipment highlights include an LED headlamp and taillight, digi-analog instrument console, smartphone voice control system, front and rear disc brakes with dual-channel ABS, side stand indicator with engine cut-off, alloy wheels, Honda Selectable Torque Control and so on. If Honda CB350 continues its strong growth rate, it will become a spot of bother for Royal Enfield at some point in the not-so-distant future.