In recent times the Modern-Classic segment has been gaining traction in the Indian market. The segment does not have many manufacturers contesting for the space and for years one manufacturer that is Royal Enfield remained unchallenged. But in 2020, things have changed and now the brand has a direct competitor, the Honda H’ness CB350. Honda has even added the H’ness (Highness) moniker to its name challenging the Royal motorcycle. For this comparison, we have selected the Royal Enfield’s entry-level but the most iconic, ‘Bullet 350’ competing against the Honda H’ness CB350, in terms of technical specifications.
The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is powered by the same tried and tested BS6 346cc single-cylinder air-cooled long-stroke mill that powers its ‘350’ range. The 4-stroke engine comes with a 70 mm x 90 mm bore x stroke with a compression ratio of 8.5:1. The motor produces 19.1 Bhp of power and 28 Nm of torque matched to a 5-speed constant mesh gearbox and wet multi-plate clutch. The Honda H’ness CB350 is powered by a BS6 compliant 348.36cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled long-stroke engine with 70 mm x 90.5 mm of bore x stroke but comes with a stronger 9.5:1 compression ratio as compared to the Bullet 350. This helps the CB350 produce 20.8 Bhp of power and 30 Nm of torque matched to a 5-speed transmission with slipper & assist clutch. Furthermore, the Honda H’ness CB350 also comes with Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) as standard. The Honda CB350 is not only approximately 2 Bhp & 2 Nm more powerful it is also 5 kgs lighter than the Bullet 350.
Chassis & Suspension:
The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 features a single downtube frame that uses the engine as a stressed member and rides on 35 mm diameter front forks with 130mm of travel, 5-step adjustable preload twin shock absorbers with 80 mm of travel. The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 rides on 19-inch front and rear wire-spoke rims. The Honda H’ness CB350 comes with a half-duplex cradle chassis that rides on conventional ‘Right Side Up’ front fork suspension and twin hydraulic with coil spring assist shock absorbers on the rear. The Honda H’ness CB350 gets 19-inch front and 18-inch rear alloy wheels as standard.
Brakes & Dimensions:
The Bullet 350 features 280 mm disc on the front and internally expanding 153 mm Drum brake on the rear equipped with a single-channel ABS. The Bullet 350 comes with 1395 mm of the wheelbase, 135 mm of ground clearance, 800 mm of seat height, 13.5-litre fuel tank and tips the scales at 186 kg at the kerb. The CB350 features 310 mm single hydraulic disc on the front and a single 240 mm disc at the rear equipped with a dual-channel ABS for safety. The wheelbase on the Honda H’ness CB350 measures 1441 mm and the motorcycle gets a ground clearance of 166 mm, 800 mm of seat height, 15-litres of fuel tank capacity and a kerb weight of 181 kg.
Design & Features:
The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 features a retro-classic design language and comes with optional chrome fenders, rounded halogen powered headlight unit with a chrome bezel, teardrop fuel tank, polished cylinder head and side covers depending on the model and a low slung exhaust finished in chrome. The H’ness CB350 reverberates with the legendary CB brand styling and features neo-retro styled chrome-bezeled rounded LED headlamp unit, LED turn indicators, LED tail lamp, old-school tear-drop style fuel tank with retro graphics and pinstripes, black-finished engine cylinder with a polished cylinder head fins, chrome clutch cover and chrome finished low slung exhaust. While the Royal Enfield comes with an analogue speedometer, the Honda CB350 features a semi-digital instruments console integrated with Honda Smartphone Voice Control System.
The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is priced starting INR 1,27,750 ex-showroom, for the kick-starter variant, the top-spec electric start variant is priced at INR 1,37,194 ex-showroom. The Honda H’ness CB350 comes in two variants the base DLX is priced at INR 1.85 lakh ex-showroom and the DLX Pro with dual-tone colours is priced at INR 1.90 lakh ex-showroom.