The CB350 RS gets the same mechanicals as the Honda Hness but notably different rider manners
You might remember our previous story of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters Pvt Ltd supposedly readying a cafe racer based on the CB350. However, upon its launch today, what we have from Honda is a good-looking scrambler based on the CB350 in place of the erstwhile rumored cafe racer. We think this to be a better deal altogether as scramblers are any day better than cafe racers due to their dual-sport nature.
Named the Honda CB350 RS, the mid-size scrambler motorcycle boasts of radical styling and superior stance. The RS in its name stands for Road Sailing, signifying the bike’s prowess in long-distance road-runs.
Honda aims to strengthen their 350cc range with the CB350RS and thereby appeal to a wider audience with varying riding preferences and from different age groups. The CB350 RS scrambler is priced from INR 1.96 lakh (ex. showroom). The Honda Hness CB350 bears a price of 1.86-192 lakh. Thus the entry spec CB350 scrambler is costlier than the base CB350 roadster by INR 10,000.
CB350 RS Specs
Being built upon the CB350 itself, the CB350 RS borrows its underpinnings and almost all of the equipment from the Highness. It is powered by the same 348cc, air-cooled 4 stroke OHC single-cylinder engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission as is the case with the roadster sibling. This powertrain puts out 21 hp and 30 Nm on the new bike as well. Being built on the same steel half-duplex cradle frame as the Hness, expect similar road manners too. Braking duties are handled by 310 mm discs at the front and 240mm units at the rear. There is also dual channel ABS on offer.
The CB350 Road Sailing also gets assist and slipper clutch and Honda’s Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), much like its elder sibling. Other equipment from the Highness like the Analogue-digital instrument cluster, engine start/stop switch and all LED lighting also find places on the new bike.
The CB350 roadster and the CB350 RS are polarising in terms of design. Quite a lot has changed on the new bike in the overall design. While the front end remains more or less similar to the familiar Honda CB350 face, there are a few novelties like the eye-shaped turn signal lamps, shorter fender, and the notable presence of black. Black can be found in a great share of parts. Almost everything we had seen chromed on the Honda Hness has now been blacked out.
The rear is where the design takes a sharp deviation from the roadster. The CB350 RS has a rear that instantly catches the eye. There is an evident shedding of weight towards the rear in terms of design. The rear seems sleek and equally stylish with the cantilevered tailpiece, a stylish new LED tail lamp which sits under the seat and is miles ahead of the blunt unit on the CB350 in its visual appeal, and fender-mounted signal lamps. The bike gets wide pattern tyres for better long-distance runs and a comfortable single-piece seat with a ‘tuck and roll’ design for added comfort.
The most important change on the Road Sailing CB350 would be its new rider triangle. The motorcycle gets an aggressive ‘lean-forward’ riding posture, providing for a sportier ride altogether.
The CB350 RS will be retailed through the Bigwing and Bigwing Topline outlets and can be booked online as well. The bike is available in two different paintschemes- Radiant Red Metallic and a dual tone Black with Pearl Sports Yellow. As for the competition, the CB350 RS scrambler doesn’t really have any as of now. It has created a niche of its own and has become the most affordable scrambler offering in the country.