Honda CB350RS: You pay extra for the style, for the looks

By: |
April 5, 2021 9:55 AM

It’s a motorcycle just for the rider, not really for two people; as I experienced riding pillion, there is no proper passenger grab rail.

The Honda H’ness CB350, launched late last year, is possibly the best motorcycle at its price and in its segment in India. The CB350RS is a different body shape of the H’ness—one that looks more urban as well as more urbane. One that is very comfortable to ride.

If the H’ness CB350 is a classic design meets 21st century features, the CB350RS is an out-and-out urban riding machine. The riding position, the astride angle, the exhaust note, the minimalist instrument cluster—everything appears to have been made for the rider. Getting on and off the bike is easy for almost anyone; it weighs just about 180 kg and so riding it in stop-and-go traffic is a breeze, its turning radius is narrow (because the handlebar turns a bit more than many other motorcycles of its size), and navigating it on narrow streets is as easy as riding a 100cc bike.

At the same time, the CB350RS is a motorcycle just for the rider, not really for two people (even though the seat is for two). As I experienced riding pillion, there is no passenger grab rail (and so I had no option but to hold onto the shoulders of the rider).

The engine is great—power delivery is linear, i.e. if you are, let’s say, accelerating from 40-70 km/h in third gear, power doesn’t appear to flows in spurts, but is equally distributed throughout the rev-range.

Is it a value buy?

Not really. It’s about Rs 6,000 more expensive than the H’ness CB350 (which is very good value for money). The CB350RS is more a rider’s bike, and attracts a lot more eyeballs than the former. That 6k extra you pay is more for style and the looks.

There are some areas of improvement:

—The orientation of the horn switch is away from the thumb. While this means the rider may not unnecessarily honk, a horn is also used during emergency, and one has to stretch the thumb to reach the switch.

—When using the lever on the side stand, the left foot brushes against the foot rest. In rare cases, it can hurt.

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