Honda CB350 RS first ride review: An upgrade to the H’ness?

Honda CB350 RS first ride review: It gets the same 348.6cc air-cooled single that churns out 20.8 PS and 30 Nm.

March 19, 2021 / 02:34 PM IST
Honda has also gone and thrown in some dual-purpose tyres into the mix.

Honda has also gone and thrown in some dual-purpose tyres into the mix.

Only recently did Honda give us the CB350 H’ness, a motorcycle that clearly challenges the Royal Enfield lineup. But, what happens when you slap some new fenders and stickers to the bike and maybe even some dual purpose tyres? Well, the company has tried that too with the CB350 RS.

Let’s start off with design first. The CB350 RS is a very sporty looking motorcycle. It sheds the classic looking chrome from the front mud flap the rear fender, the exhaust and even the horn. The entire look is more of a street fighter now and it does not disappoint. The headlamp while stays the same LED unit, gets a slightly tweaked exterior design.

Honda CB350 RS: LED headlamp and new LED winkers Honda CB350 RS: LED headlamp and new LED winkers

Then, you have the handlebars that are set slightly lower and forward while the footpegs are now slightly more rearset. The riding triangle is not effectively changed to make you feel more involved. Mind you, this does not mean a very committed riding position. You sit bent enough to feel racy but straight enough that you don’t break your back over long distances. The seat too, something Honda is calling a tuck-and-roll seat, aside from adding to the sportiness is also quite comfortable. No bum burns even on long days in the saddle.

Honda has also gone and thrown in some dual-purpose tyres into the mix. They are kinda knobbly for sure and probably add a little bit to the vibration of the bike, but they are sticky. I never felt like I was about to slide out even on a steep turn. It’s offroad potential however, I have not been able to assess completely, but I would prefer slightly taller suspension, even for a scrambler-esque bike.

Close

Honda CB350 RS: Instrument cluster Honda CB350 RS: Instrument cluster

Everything else about the RS remains the same as the H’ness. It gets the same 348.6cc air-cooled single that churns out 20.8 PS and 30 Nm. Torque spread too is the same with it peaking at 3,000 rpm. Again, same as the H’ness, this means explosive in the city, extremely tame on the open highways.

We have reviewed the H’ness, too, so go here for more details.

Honda CB350 RS: New tail assembly and dual-purpose tyres Honda CB350 RS: New tail assembly and dual-purpose tyres

The CB350 RS, however, unlike the H’ness misses out on the smartphone pairing and the charging socket. That Honda is charging Rs 1.96 lakh for this is a little disappointing. The H’ness, even with Bluetooth and charging is priced at Rs 1.92 lakh.

Overall, the CB350 RS is a wholesome bike. It sets itself apart on the streets as well as from the Royal Enfield bikes. The exhaust note is still there however, so you will be able to tell people you are coming from a mile away.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 19, 2021 02:34 pm

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