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Honda have decided to cash in on the modern retro motorcycle craze with the unexpected launch of the Highness CB350, a 1970s-inspired machine powered by a single-cylinder thumper and bathed in loads of chrome. Let’s see how it measures up to the established competition in the segment.
With prices starting at Rs 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom), the new Honda H’ness CB350 goes up against the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Jawa, both of which are priced at about Rs 1.65 lakh (ex-showroom). Either of these three machines can satisfy the desire to own a shiny retro-designed machine with modern features like fuel injection and ABS and, while all three are powered by similarly-sized singles, there are subtle differences. While the Jawa’s motor is the only one that displaces less than 300 cc, it makes up for this with liquid-cooling, and features the highest power output of the three. It is also the only bike with a six-speed gearbox, while the other two make do with a five-speed ‘box.
Here are the numbers:
|Engine Capacity||Peak Power||Peak Torque||Transmission|
|Honda H’ness CB350||348.4 cc||21 hp @ 5,500 rpm||30 Nm @ 3,000 rpm||Five-speed|
|RE Classic 350||346 cc||20 hp @ 5,250 rpm||28 Nm @ 4,000 rpm||Five-speed|
|Jawa||293 cc||27 hp @ NA||28 Nm @ NA||Six-Speed|
As you can tell, while the Jawa makes the most outright horsepower, the Honda leads the torque stakes, and will probably be the most rideable at low revs. The Classic isn’t too far behind in this respect, and while Jawa haven’t released at what rpm their motor makes its peak power and torque, we know it’s the highest revving of the three bikes here.
Let’s now compare dimensions:
|Length||Width||Wheelbase||Overall Height||Saddle Height||Ground Clearance||Kerb Weight|
|Honda H’ness CB350||2,163 mm||800 mm||1,441 mm||1,112 mm||800 mm||166 mm||181 kg|
|RE Classic 350||2,160 mm||790 mm||1,390 mm||1,090 mm||800 mm||135 mm||194 kg|
|Jawa||2,122 mm||789 mm||1369 mm||1165 mm||765 mm||172 kg|
The Honda is the longest of the three bikes with the longest wheelbase while the Jawa is the shortest, which will probably make it the most nimble. The Honda and the RE both share an acceptable 800-mm seat height, although extremely short riders might be more comfortable with the Jawa’s 765-mm saddle height. In terms of weight, the RE is the heaviest, closely followed by Honda, while the Jawa is the lightest of the three motorcycles here.
We’re looking forward to riding the Honda H’ness CB350 soon to bring you a proper comparison between these motorcycles, but hope this spec comparison gives you a good enough idea of where the Honda stands in our market.