The 350cc segment is dominated by Royal Enfield in India. However, after its transition towards the BS6 compliant norms, RE had dropped the standard Thunderbird 350 and the Thunderbird X. The company had announced that they will launch another 350cc bike with a new name, a new platform, and a new BS6 compliant engine. Since then, due to the pandemic and broken supply-chain, RE kept delaying the launch of this new 350cc bike. In this duration, the Honda H’ness CB350 was launched recently and is ready to take on REs.
Now that the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 has finally arrived, it will be interesting to see if the 350cc segment still favours Royal Enfield, or have brands like Honda and Jawa taken the lead. The Jawa Jawa retails at Rs 1.75 lakh(ex-showroom) for the single disc brake variant, and Rs 1.84 lakh(ex-showroom) for the dual disc brake variant. On the other hand, the all-new Honda H’ness CB350 starts at Rs 1.85 lakh(ex-showroom) for the base DLX variants and goes up to Rs 1.9 lakh (ex-showroom) for the top-spec DLX pro variant. While the latest entrant in the segment, the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 seems to be the most affordable option, with the base variant starting at Rs 1.75 lakh(ex-showroom), and goes up to Rs 1.9 lakh(ex-showroom) for the top-spec variant. After seeing the price structure, you might want to compare the specs. So here is how these three motorcycles stand against each other.
Engine and transmission:
|Best 350cc Motorcycles||Royal Enfield Meteor 350||Jawa Jawa||Honda H’ness CB350|
|Engine||349cc air-oil cooled single-cylinder engine||293cc, Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, Liquid Cooled, DOHC||348cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, counterbalanced engine|
|Power||20.2bhp||26bhp||21bhp @ 5500rpm|
|Torque||27Nm||27.05Nm||30Nm @ 3000rpm|
The Jawa Jawa comes with a comparatively smaller, 293cc engine. However, the motorcycle does get a 6-speed gearbox, and it also comes with the best power output, on paper. This is due to the presence of Jawa’s cross port technology, which increases the engine’s volumetric efficiency by allowing a better flow of exhaust gases and charge. On the other hand, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 and the Honda CB350 are very close, with a slight difference between output on paper. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350, comes with a balancer shaft, along with an all-new platform, that gives a smooth and well-mannered ride experience. Royal Enfield also claims that great care has been taken to retain that essential Royal Enfield ‘thump’.
Starting with the Honda H’ness CB350, the motorcycle comes with telescopic front suspension and twin shocks at the rear. The braking duties are performed by a 310mm disc with a 2-piston caliper at the front and a 240mm disc with a 1-piston caliper at the rear. While the front tyre measures 100/90 – 19 and the rear tyre measures 130/70 – 18. On the dimension front, the Honda H’ness CB350 has a 1,441mm long wheelbase and gets a 166mm ground clearance along with an 800mm seat height. The bike weighs 181kgs and comes with a 15-litre fuel tank.
Speaking about the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes with 41mm front forks with 130mm of travel and twin-tube emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload at the rear end. The bike also gets a 100/90 – 19 tyre on the front and a 140/70 – 17 at the rear end. Also, the braking duties are performed by 300mm front and 270mm rear discs and dual-channel ABS. On the dimension front, the new Meteor 350 is 2,140mm long and 845mm wide without mirrors. The overall height is 1,310mm with the windscreen. The seat height is set at 765mm, while the bike comes with a 1,400mm long wheelbase. Also, the Meteor comes with a 170mm ground clearance and weighs 191 kg. The maximum capacity of the fuel tank is 15 litres.
Lastly, the Jawa Jawa gets Telescopic Hydraulic Fork at the front and a Gas Canister – Twin shock hydraulic at the rear end. Speaking about the dimensions, the motorcycle is 789 mm wide, 1165 mm tall, and comes with a 1369 mm long wheelbase. The bike comes with 280mm front and 183mm rear Disc with floating caliper and ABS, to perform braking duties. The Jawa Jawa gets 90/90 – 18 tubeless tyre at the front and 120/80 – 17 tubeless tyre at the rear.
Starting with the Jawa Jawa, the motorcycle is not very feature-packed and lacks modern technology. However, the bike does get a lot of standard features, which include- Speedometer, Tachometer, Gear Indicator, Fuel Warning Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Low Oil Indicator, Low Battery Indicator, Pillion Seat, Pillion Grabrail, Engine Kill Switch, Clock, Tripmeter Type Digital, Tripmeter Count, a Pass Light, and single-channel ABS.
Speaking about the Honda H’ness CB350, the bike comes with several segment-first features like- digital-analogue instrument cluster which integrates the bike’s other features like HSTC, ABS, side stand indicator with engine inhibitor, ECO indicator, mileage features, HSVCS (smartphone connectivity), gear position indicator and battery voltage meter. The bike also displays the fuel efficiency details in three different modes – real-time mileage, average mileage, and distance to empty. Apart from this, the motorcycle gets a full LED setup and dual-channel ABS.
Lastly, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes with features like- a Digi-analogue instrument cluster with 8 tell-tale lights and an analogue speedometer with kmph and mph markings. The bike’s digital screen will display information like a service reminder, a much-needed fuel-level bar, a clock, a gear indicator, and an eco indicator, to name a few. Besides the speedometer, Royal Enfield has also added another colour TFT screen, which is called as Tripper Navigation Display Unit. This feature will allow the rider to pair their smartphone via Bluetooth, to see turn-by-turn navigation in both day and night modes. This navigation feature has been developed in association with Google Maps and being offered as a standard feature across all variants.
Real-world comparison of all three bikes is in order. We’re yet to review the new Honda but we’ve already reviewed the other two bikes. The new Royal Enfield Meteor impresses and is a step in the right direction for the brand as the same engine will also power some of REs other bread-n-butter models. Has Honda got it right with the CB350 and can Jawa withstand this onslaught from two giants with its charming, nostalgia-invoking bikes? We’ll try and ride all three together in the real world soon.