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Honda CB350 RS, first ride, review, drive test

Honda CB350 RS First Ride Review

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Honda CB350 RS, first ride, review, drive test

Honda has recently launched a new variant based on the CB350 platform and called it the Honda CB350 RS. The bike comes literally weeks before the brand new Royal Enfield Classic 350 is launched and it still takes on the likes of the Jawa 42 amongst other bikes. We got to ride the bike and found out how the new variant performs

Honda launched the Honda H’ness CB350 a few months back in a bid to become the lord of the 350cc ring. However the company has added a new variant in form of the Honda CB350RS. We had a close look at the bike some time back and now it is time to ride it.

Honda CB 350 RS: The looks factor

The first thing to notice is that Honda has dropped the ‘H’ness’ tag from the CB. Hence it gets a new logo and that surely brings us a lot of pleasure. The badge looks rather retro and in turn is a good addition. The Honda CB350 RS at first glance looks very different thanks to the bright new colours which gel well is the ‘less chrome’ and more black colours spread on the bike. The company has also done away with a host of metal components like the fenders and this in turn has helped reduce weight marginally. The front fender is plastic and one can notice the blacked out headlight ring. The winkers are new and feature LEDs much like the headlight. The instrument panel remains the same but unfortunately the RS does not get Bluetooth connectivity. Honda has also added a bash plate on the RS and it sure looks rather purposeful. The rear section is where the major change has happened. The rear fender is all plastic and the tail light has moved up and is a rectangular LED unit much like the winkers. This gives the bike a very modern look and syncs with the overall design. Thanks to these changes the seat has also seen a revision and is more comfy to be on. Actually it looks better than the H’ness CB350.

Honda CB 350 RS: Mechanical changes

As far as mechanical changes go, the Honda CB350 RS comes with some subtle but important ones. Honda has gone in for a 19in front wheel and a 17in one at the back. The tyres are block pattern MRF Zapper Kurves and they sure look meaty on the bike. The exhaust has been retinkered with and is now upswept. The entire system has also been blacked out. The CB350 RS also does away with the old school heel and toe shifter. The footpegs now sit 112mm rearward and 12mm upward. The handlebar on the other hand has moved up by 10mm and farther by 41mm. All this in turn has resulted in a marginally more aggressive riding position. However it is not a deal breaker if you are looking at cruising long distances.

Honda CB 350 RS: Mechanical changes

As far as mechanical changes go, the Honda CB350 RS comes with some subtle but important ones. Honda has gone in for a 19in front wheel and a 17in one at the back. The tyres are block pattern MRF Zapper Kurves and they sure look meaty on the bike. The exhaust has been retinkered with and is now upswept. The entire system has also been blacked out. The CB350 RS also does away with the old school heel and toe shifter. The footpegs now sit 112mm rearward and 12mm upward. The handlebar on the other hand has moved up by 10mm and farther by 41mm. All this in turn has resulted in a marginally more aggressive riding position. However it is not a deal breaker if you are looking at cruising long distances.

Honda CB 350 RS: Ride and handling

Let’s begin by mentioning that the RS has lost many metal components seen on the H’ness CB350. Hence is it lighter and feels more agile in city conditions. The bike is very flickable now and this means that in city conditions, wiggling through traffic is rather easy. It also does not feel heavy to move around too. The well set up suspension ensures that ruts and potholes are dismissed with ease. This ensures good comfort on the go. The new tyres too offer generous grip and one can even be brave and get onto trails with them. Adding to the peace of mind is the engine bash plate. Around corners, the RS feels very predictable and there is ample cornering clearance too thanks to the repositioned exhaust.

Honda CB 350 RS: Verdict

The new CB 350 RS for me is the better choice as compared to the H’ness CB350. This is primarily because the RS is not trying to imitate but set up a new benchmark. The bike performs well and we also loved the agility. The only issue then is the fact that it is the priciest of them all and comes without connectivity features. But even then, the RS is the best of the CBs.

 

Source: INDIA TODAY

Honda CB350 RS, first ride, review, drive test

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