Following the specification comparison between the upcoming Honda H’ness CB 350 and the Royal Enfield 350 series, we now bring a new comparison between the H’ness CB 350 and other modern classics in the Indian market such as the Jawa Classic and the Benelli Imperiale 400. Though not as popular as the Royal Enfield, the Classic Legends Jawa ‘Jawa’ and the Benelli Imperiale 400 each have their own market share which will now be shared by the new Honda H’ness CB 350.
Let us begin with the Mahindra-owned Classic Legends which reincarnated the Jawa brand in the Indian market. The brand gave the Classic motorcycle modern underpinnings such as a fuel-injected engine with liquid cooling, a 293cc, single-cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC motor that makes 27 Bhp of power and 28 Nm of torque matched to a constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox. Along with the modern engine, the Jawa comes with modern-classic design and styling such as headlight with chrome bezel, hallmark teardrop-shaped headlight housing, chrome and aluminium finish on the engine, flat bench seat, a retro anti-clockwise speedometer dial, dual exhausts and the same design language from the 60s.
Another strong contender is the Chinese-owned Italian brand Benelli which recently upgraded the Imperiale 400 modern-classic motorcycle to match the new stringent BS6 emission norms. Imperiale 400 is powered by a BS6 emission-compliant under-squared 374cc single-cylinder, air-cooled four-stroke fuel-injected 4-valve SOHC engine that produces 21 PS of power and 29 Nm of torque matched to a 5-speed gearbox and wet multi-plate clutch and also features a touch of retro with modern underpinnings.
The Honda H’ness CB 350 is powered by a BS6 compliant air-cooled single-cylinder, with PGM-FI (fuel-injection) that produces 20.8 Bhp of power at 5,500rpm and 30 Nm of torque @3000 rpm matched to a 5-speed gearbox and Assist & Slipper Clutch. When compared to the smaller displacement but water-cooled Jawa, the Honda H’ness CB 350 develops almost 6 PS less than the Jawa but offers 3 Nm more torque. The Imperiale 400, which has a larger displacement engine that the Honda develops almost the same power but 1 Nm less than the CB 350.
All three motorcycle features a double-cradle chassis telescopic front suspension and twin hydraulic gas-charged shock absorbers with coil spring and disc brakes at both ends. While the Honda H’ness leads with a 310mm front disc the Imperiale offers a 300mm disc and the Jawa comes with a comparatively smaller 280mm disc. All three come with dual-channel ABS technology for safety. The Honda CB 350 also comes with alloy wheels enabling it to get tubeless tyres. The other two come with classic wire-spoke rims.
But what set the Honda H’ness apart is the excellent electronics package. The H’ness CB 350 comes with all-LED lighting, semi-digital instruments cluster with Bluetooth connectivity integrated with Honda Smartphone Voice Control System, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) a traction control system that limits the rear wheel slip, side-stand indicator with engine inhibitor, gear position indicator, battery-charge level indicator, ECO indicator, mileage features such as – real-time mileage, average mileage and distance to empty.
The electronics package and the long-stroke air-cooled engine with the best torque figure could be the aspect that purists are looking for and could disrupt the 350cc segment. The Honda H’ness CB 350 is also expected to be priced competitively. The brand revealed that the CB 350 will be priced close to the INR 1.90 lakh mark, the dual-channel Jawa is priced at INR 1.83 lakh and the Benelli Imperiale 400 starts at INR 1.99 lakh. (All prices are ex-showroom).