Aiming to add more options in 350cc segment, Honda has launched CB350RS Cafe Racer in India – RS stands for Road Sailing
With its sporty profile, Honda CB350RS will appeal to the young generation and folks looking for quick sprints across city streets. The motorcycle can also add a lot more agility and power to everyday commutes. Price of Honda CB350RS starts from Rs 1.96 lakhs, ex-sh. Two variants are on offer, one in monotone red colour and the other in yellow / black dual tone colour.
Honda CB350RS design
As compared to CB350 that makes liberal use of chrome elements, CB350RS has a largely blacked-out profile. This is evident in the front forks, front and rear fenders, rear shock absorber springs and exhaust canister. CB350RS is also sleeker, as compared to its roadster sibling.
Another key difference is the slightly aggressive riding stance. Other key features of CB350RS include round headlamp, misses out on clip-on handlebar, sculpted fuel tank, semi-digital instrument console, single-piece seat, and upswept exhaust. Both single-tone and dual-tone colour options are available for Honda CB350RS.
Honda CB350RS powertrain
CB350RS utilizes the same engine as that of HNess CB350. The 348cc air cooled, single cylinder engine is capable of generating 21 bhp of max power and 30 Nm of max torque. It is mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
CB350RS borrows other hardware as well such as half duplex cradle with telescopic front forks and twin hydraulic rear suspension. Braking duties are performed by 310 mm disc at the front and 240 mm disc at the rear. Dual-channel ABS is offered as standard.
Honda CB350RS features
Talking about features, the list is largely the same as that of CB350. The cafe racer gets Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS), Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), assist and slipper clutch, side stand with engine inhibitor, turn-by-turn navigation, hazard switch and engine start/stop switch. The instrument console displays a range of information such as gear position indicator, battery voltage meter, average mileage, real time mileage and distance to empty.
Honda will be hopeful that CB350RS turns out to be just as successful as CB350 classic roadster. While CB350 may still be far behind its primary rival Royal Enfield Classic 350, its market response has been pretty decent. As may be recalled, CB350 recently achieved the 10k sales milestone. It is now the primary volume generator for Honda BigWing dealerships.
Together, CB350 and CB350RS can further boost sales numbers. Honda is continuously working to expand its BigWing dealerships, which will be a positive factor for these motorcycles. Royal Enfield may command 85% market share in this segment (200cc-350cc), but that doesn’t seem to make any difference to Honda’s ambitious plans. In the future, it is possible that Honda may introduce other new products in 350cc space such as a scrambler, special editions, etc.