Honda is gearing up to launch the new H’ness CB 350 in the Indian market through its premium motorcycle vertical the Honda Big Wing. The brand has been on the offensive this year launching new products like the Honda Hornet 2.0, but new reports suggest that the Japanese manufacturer might be planning to now target the low and mid-capacity Honda enthusiasts through premium products and going by the recent trendshift towards touring motorcycles the brand might be planning to bring a new Africa Twin series motorcycle in the Indian market.
The brand already sells the upgraded Euro5/BS6 emission-compliant CRF1100L Africa Twin from Big Wing but the specialised Adventure Tourer is priced starting INR 15.35 lakh ex-showroom. The CRF1100L Africa Twin might not be the sales driver in the Indian market and the brand might be planning to increase volume by bringing in a new smaller displacement product which could be based on the Honda CRF250L Rally. The new quarter-litre will be enable Honda to compete in the booming Adventure segment in the Indian market which currently includes the KTM 390 Adventure, the BMW G 310 GS and the Royal Enfield Himalayan.
According to sources, the Japanese brand is likely to heavily rework the CRF250L Rally off-roader and repurpose it as a proper highway touring motorcycle. The engine could however be borrowed from the CRF250L Rally but changes in the powertrain are expected to make it more highway friendly. The quarter-litre power unit is expected to churn out around 25PS of power and Honda is likely to keep the weight close to 160kgs to keep the motorcycle peppy.
The design philosophy is speculated to draw inspiration from the current-generation CRF1100L Africa Twin with a high front fascia, a tall windscreen, knuckle guards, spoke wire rims, an upswept exhaust system and high ground clearance as well as ergonomic scooped seats and a wide handle bar and luggage mounts to enable the rider traverse over highway as well off-roads with ease. The brand is also expected to equip the motorcycle with long travel suspension and other off-road friendly bits along with a modern electronics package including traction control that we have seen on the Honda H’ness CB 350.