Honda’s latest addition to the BigWing family is the CB350 RS. It is basically a H’ness CB350 underneath but is a bit more sporty. The RS here stands for Road Sailing. While the bookings of the CB350 started when the motorcycle was launched, the deliveries are now commencing. The CB350 RS is available in two variants. The Radiant Red Metallic colour costs Rs. 1.96 lakhs ex-showroom whereas the dual-tone Black with Pearl Sports Yellow colour costs Rs. 1.98 lakhs ex-showroom.
There are no mechanical changes to the motorcycle. So, it comes with the same 348.36 cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine that we have seen on the H’ness Cb350. The engine produces 20.5 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 30 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox with assist and slip clutch. The engine is one of the smoothest in the segment. Along with that, it comes with a bassy exhaust note.
The CB350 RS is mostly cosmetic changes being made to the H’ness so that it looks and feels sporty, sharper and more modern. The rear of the motorcycle has been tidied up. With a slim LED taillight and a single-piece seat with a tuck and roll design. The seat is also smaller and slimmer than the H’ness CB350. The grab handle is also neatly integrated into the seat. While the front tyre size is the same as the highness which measures 100/90, it is the rear tyre that is fatter and gives a more sporty stance to the motorcycle. The CB350 RS uses a 150/70 with a 17-inch wheel instead of a 130/70 that the H’ness uses with an 18-inch wheel. The exhaust is also more up-swept instead, which has been blacked-out, whereas the H’ness gets a straight chrome exhaust. However, the CB350 RS does get a chrome heat shield. The front headlamp stays the same with the LED setup.
One thing that you would notice when you get on the motorcycle is the difference in riding triangle. The handlebar is lower and wider to provide more leverage. The foot pegs are also rear set which gives a sporty stance to the rider. The CB350 RS demands a premium of Rs 4,000 over the H’ness CB350. However, the RS does not offer Bluetooth connectivity and it also misses out on a phone charger.
Honda will also be launching an adventure tourer in the Indian market by the name of CB500X. The new motorcycle is expected to price around Rs. 5.5 lakhs ex-showroom. It will come with a 471 cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin petrol engine that produces 47 PS of max power and a peak torque output of 42 Nm. While the number might not seem much, Honda’s engines are known to be smooth, tractable and refined. Unlike a KTM Adventure 390 the power will not be limited to the top-end of the rev-band. There will be enough low-end and mid-range that should be suitable for day to day city riding as well as highway riding. The engine will come mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox with slip and assist clutch.The Honda CB500X is expected to go on sale in India in April 2021.