It hasn’t been long since the H’ness arrived in our country. The latter half of 2020 witnessed Honda Motorcycles India launching the CB 350 in India and now, the company has launched the sportier version of it, christened as CB 350 RS. According to Honda, the RS in the moniker stands for ‘Road Sailing’. The CB 350 RS is priced at INR 1.96 Lakh making it dearer than the DLX Pro variant of the roadster by Rs 4,000.
Recently, Jawa rolled out the funkier version of the Forty-Two and now, the CB 350 RS will carry the baton forward for Honda. Just like the CB 350, the CB 350 RS will be sold via Honda BigWing dealerships too.
So what sets it apart from the H’ness CB 350?
A lot of things, at least visually. While the CB 350 is an absolute retro delight with chrome elements splattered all around its bodywork, the CB 350 RS looks sportier of the two. This has been achieved by including blacked-out elements. The frame, chassis, and other mechanical components get this lovely all-black theme that intensifies the CB350RS’s sporty intentions. It gets the same round LED headlamps, fuel tank, and the underseat side-panels as the CB 350. CB350RS will be available in two color options – Radiant Red Metallic and Black with Pearl Sports Yellow.
Other changes include flatter single-piece bars which should provide a more aggressive riding stance as compared to the CB 350. The riding position might have become sportier but it will not be as uncomfortable as it misses out on clip-on handlebars.
The flat bench seat with ribbed pattern is new too and gels well with the approach of the motorcycle. Another major change includes the redesigned rear end with a differently styled tail lamp and fender.
The skid plate underneath provides extra protection for the engine so you can take on streets effortlessly. The muffler on the side gets smoky-black finish accentuated with the use of chrome. Fork boots on front suspension give a rugged look while the Sporty looking grab rail compliments the overall design of CB350RS.
The RS makes use of a different 19-/17-inch alloy wheel setup. These rims now come wrapped in MRF Zapper Kurve tyres. Despite the smaller rear tyre, ground clearance has increased by 2mm to 168mm, which should not matter that much. What might help its cause is that it is 2kg lighter than the CB350, the RS tipping the scales at 179kg.
It gets the same 348cc air-cooled single that churns out 21bhp and 30Nm. The long-stroke engine features a balancer to keep vibrations in check. Its 5-speed gearbox is assisted by a segment-first slipper clutch which will make the gear shifts smoother while reducing clutch lever operation load ensuring less fatigue.
This new motor rests in a split half-duplex frame that is suspended by a chunky telescopic fork and twin shocks. It also comes with Honda Selectable Torque Control. It helps in maintaining rear-wheel traction by detecting the difference between front and rear wheel speeds, calculating the slip ratio and further controlling engine torque via the fuel injection. HSTC can be turned ON/OFF using a switch on the left side of the meter.
It also comes with Honda Smartphone Voice Control System which allows the rider to connect his smartphone with the motorcycle via Bluetooth through HSVCS application. The instrument cluster is a semi-digital unit where the speedometer has remained old-school and the digital display carrying the baton of all-things modern. The digital display includes a gear position indicator, Bluetooth indicator, fuel gauge, two trip meters, a clock and all the required tell-tale lights which also include a Battery health monitor, HSTC, ABS, side stand indicator with engine inhibitor, ECO indicator.
The ride experience is further enriched with fuel efficiency details displayed in 3 modes – real-time mileage, average mileage and distance to empty.