Honda H’Ness CB350, Track Test

By Jared Solomon | on November 16, 2021

The Honda CB350 is perhaps one of the most exciting launches from HMSI this year. It is one of those products that catches the market unaware. When the Honda H’ness first arrived on the scene, we were all excited, even though we weren’t too happy with the name. The H’ness is today one of the best-built retro cruisers available in the Indian market. Even though it’s built as a mass-market product, its quality levels are very good. And while its design pays homage to the original CB350, its combination of retro appeal and sporty and modern touches really makes the Honda H’ness stand out on the road. Even its engine’s thumping sound was worked upon to appeal to the hearts of purists.

The CB350 gets a completely new 350cc single-cylinder engine from Honda, which is also the most powerful in the segment. The bike is ergonomically pretty good and offers a slightly sporty riding position. It’s certainly a highly desirable motorcycle.

The engine is very refined, and the acceleration is quick, but the one thing that we didn’t like about it was its incredibly tall gearing ratios. Sometimes, it makes torque delivery poor in the lower rev-range, especially when you are in higher gears. Even while we were riding the bike around the mountains of the North East, we found its gearing to be a bit annoying, especially while overtaking or climbing hills. It is still a beautiful engine, mind you, and if you know the right time to shift gears, you’ll find that this little modern retro can reach some incredibly fast speeds. The handling is also incredible, and because it is fairly light, it’s very easily manageable too.

That being said, the CB350 still feels more like a light urban commuter motorcycle rather than a machine that’s part of history. It doesn’t have the charm and character of the Royal Enfield Classic 350, and that’s why it loses some points in the X-factor category. The CB350 will certainly appeal to younger riders who might happen to like the modern retro class, but the big and burly Royal Enfield appeals to more riders who prefer bikes in this class.

Now, the CB350 might have the best quality, a faster and more powerful engine, and better riding dynamics than any other 350cc bike out there, but it does lack a good connection that those who like modern retro bikes look for. But you can’t blame the motorcycle – the CB350 is still a fun and high-quality bike in its own right.

  • Honda H’Ness CB350 (Lap Time – 01:24.8)
QUALITY 10 8.0
DESIGN 10 6.5
X-FACTOR  15 7.0
LAP TIME 05 0.9
TOTAL 100 68.4

Tags: Honda Honda H’ness CB350

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