Honda H’ness CB350 | expected Rs 1.9 lakh | The latest entry into this segment is the Honda H’ness CB350. Like the others, it gets proper retro styling but adds in a bit of modernity as well with LED lighting and smartphone connectivity. It is powered by a 348.36cc engine producing 21 PS and 30 Nm.
India’s second largest two-wheeler maker Honda has launched the CB350 at ‘around’ Rs 1.9 lakh to take on the dominance of Royal Enfield in the entry premium motorcycle segment.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the country’s second largest two-wheeler manufacturer has priced the CB350 higher than the Royal Enfield Classic 350 which is priced at Rs 1.61 lakh.
Bookings for the CB350 have opened from today. Customers can book the vehicle for Rs 5,000. Company officials said that the actual price of the bike will be announced in the second half of October.
This is a global model showcase by HMSI which is a first by the company in the premium space. The CB350 is an India-exclusive product which means that the model will be made only in India and exported.
Customers can find the CB350 in the Big Wing Honda showrooms just around Navratri, which is the second half of the October. Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Kochi will be some of the cities earmarked for the launch, top company officials stated.
It took Honda two years to build the CB350 which was developed by Honda engineers in India and Japan. This is first of the 2-3 more ‘big-bikes’ planned by HMSI for the upcoming period.
More than 90 percent of Royal Enfield’s motorcycles were powered by engines less than 350cc as of the end of FY20. The Classic 350 is the highest-selling bike for the Eicher Motors-controlled brand. Royal Enfield has a near monopoly in the segment having engines above 250cc but below 350cc - with a share of 99 percent.
Bajaj Dominar, Kawasaki Ninja 300, TVS Apache RR 310, BMW G310, Mahindra Mojo are some of the other models in the same segment as Honda’s CB350.
The CB350 launch is the first major move by HMSI in recent years to strengthen its brand image in the motorcycle segment. The company has been more popular for its scooters such as Activa and Dio where it is the market leader with a share of more than 50 percent.
In FY20 Honda clocked domestic sales of 1.55 million units in the motorcycle segment, recording a share of 13.9 percent and a fall of 15 percent compared to 1.84 million units sales clocked in FY19. The motorcycle industry recorded a fall of nearly 18 percent in FY20 with sales of 11.21 million units.
Royal Enfield had a market share of nearly 6 percent as of end of FY20 with domestic sales of 656,651 units as against 805,273 units sold in FY19, as per data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The brand’s market share did not change last financial year when compared to FY19 despite the downturn in demand.