New Honda CB350 is a challenger to the Royal Enfield Classic 350, as well as the Benelli Imperiale 400
With plans to challenge the supremacy of Royal Enfield, Honda India has launched the CB350 roadster motorcycle, also known as the H’ness. Honda CB350 will also take on other rivals such as Jawa and Benelli Imperiale 400.
Talking about the latter, the bike was launched in 2019 and initial response was quite good. BS6 variant of Benelli Imperiale 400 was launched earlier this year in July. To understand how they matchup, here’s a quick comparison between Honda CB350 vs Benelli Imperiale 400.
Design and styling
Both CB350 and Imperiale 400 have retro styling, as is evident in the round headlamp, teardrop-shaped indicators, broad fenders and chrome bits. However, if we talk about overall design, it’s apparent that Imperiale 400 is a lot more expressive as compared to the relatively sober-looking CB350. Both bikes are available in attractive colour options.
While Honda CB350 is equipped with a 348cc engine, Imperiale utilizes a 374 cc motor. Even though CB350 has a lower capacity engine, its max power output of 21 bhp is the same as that of Imperiale. Talking about torque, it is actually higher in case of CB350, although marginally. While CB350 generates 30 Nm of max torque at 3,000 rpm, Imperiale churns out 29 Nm at 3,500 rpm. Both engines come mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
Coming to the structural aspects, CB350 utilizes a half-duplex cradle whereas Imperiale 400 rides on a double cradle frame. While both motorcycles have telescopic suspension at the front, the rear units are twin hydraulic for CB350 and pre load adjustable system for Imperiale. Braking system of CB350 comprises 310 mm disc at the front and 240 mm disc at the rear. Imperiale has the same setup with the exception of front disc that is 300 mm. Both motorcycles offer dual-channel ABS as standard.
One key difference between CB350 and Imperiale is that the former utilizes alloy wheels whereas the latter has spoke wheels. While spoke wheels enhance the retro look, alloy wheels are more practical, as they can be shod with tubeless tyres. Talking about the rubber, both motorcycles have 100/90 – R19 front tyres. At the rear, CB350 has 130/70 – R18 tyres whereas Imperiale is equipped with 130/80 – R18 tyres.
In dimensional aspects, both motorcycles are largely the same. There’s only marginal difference in length, width, height, wheelbase, seat height and ground clearance. The only significant difference is in kerb weight, with CB350 being 24 kg lighter than Imperiale that weighs 205 kg.
Honda CB350 is definitely ahead of Imperiale 400 in terms of features. That’s because CB350 packs in a range of first-in-segment features such as LED headlamp, Bluetooth connectivity, assist and slipper clutch, selectable torque control, turn-by-turn navigation, engine start/stop switch, and side stand indicator with engine cut-off. Warranty for CB350 is 3 years standard + 3 years extended whereas Imperiale 400 offers 3 years unlimited km warranty.
In terms of pricing, CB350 is slightly more affordable. It is expected to be offered at a starting price of Rs 1.90 lakh. In comparison, Imperiale 400 BS6 is priced at Rs 1.99 lakh. All prices are ex-sh.