When the Chennai-headquartered Royal Enfield Meteor 350 was being rumoured for its debut in the Indian market. Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Honda was secretly working on a long-stroke single-cylinder bike to rival the former. The launch of the Honda H’ness CB350 was quite surprising as the CB legacy based motorcycle was not spotted testing in the open, even once. Now both the motorcycles have been launched in India and have been priced competitively. The latest is the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 which is the direct rival of the Honda H’ness CB350 and in this technical specification comparison, we will pin the modern-classic motorcycle against each other.
For the Meteor 350, Royal Enfield has revamped the engine line-up with a completely new J-series powertrain that sticks to the long-stroke engine philosophy but comes with an overhead cam and chain-driven valve timing, eliminating the push-rod valve distribution system. The new 349cc single-cylinder four-stroke air-oil cooled motor that produces 20.2 Bhp of power and 27 Nm of torque matched to a new optimised 5-speed transmission. The Honda H’ness CB350, on the other hand, is powered by a 348.36cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled long-stroke engine that produces 20.8 Bhp of power but the CB350 churns out a stronger 30 Nm of torque matched to a 5-speed transmission with slipper & assist clutch. The Meteor 350 misses out on the slipper clutch but comes with a 7-plate clutch for added smoothness in shifting.
Chassis & Suspension:
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 also gets a new chassis built from scratch that ensures enhanced cornering dynamics as well as straight-line speeds. The new twin downtube spine frame that rides on 41mm diameter conventional telescopic forks with 130mm of travel on the front and 6-step adjustable twin-tube emulsion shock absorbers on the rear. The Honda H’ness CB350 features a half-duplex cradle chassis that rides on conventional front fork suspension and twin hydraulic with coil spring assist shock absorbers on the rear. Unfortunately, Honda has not officially mentioned the size and travel of its suspension setup.
Brake & Dimensions:
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes with a 300mm single-disc on the front with a floating two-piston calliper and a 270mm single disc on the rear with a single-piston calliper equipped with a dual-channel ABS setup. The Honda H’ness CB350 is equipped with a 310 mm single hydraulic disc on the front and a single 240 mm disc at the rear equipped with a dual-channel ABS. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 offers a 1400mm wheelbase and 170mm of ground clearance along with 765mm seat height along with 19-inch front and 17-inch rear alloy wheels. The Honda H’ness CB350 comes with a longer 1441mm of the wheelbase, a lower ground clearance of 166 mm, a taller 800 mm of seat height and features a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear alloy wheels.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes with a twin-pod instruments cluster with a dedicated navigation pod called the Royal Enfield Tripper that provides turn-by-turn navigation. The Meteor 350 also offers a concentric primary display with an analogue speedometer on the outer periphery and a digital LCD multi-information display in the centre. The Meteor 350 comes with retro-styled switchgear which surprisingly reverberates with the CB series motorcycles of the yesteryear. The Honda H’ness CB350 comes with full-LED lighting, an analogue digital instruments cluster, contemporary switchgear, traction control and Honda Smartphone Voice Control System among others.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is offered in three variants priced – INR 1,75,817 ex-showroom for the Fireball, INR 1,81,326 ex-showroom for the Stellar and INR 1,90,536 ex-showroom for the Supernova edition. The Honda H’ness CB350 is offered in two variants DLX and DLX Pro priced – INR 1.85 lakh ex-showroom for the DLX and INR 1.90 lakh ex-showroom for the DLX Pro trim.