June 18, 2021

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Honda CB350 RS vs H’ness CB350: Key differences explained

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NEW DELHI: A cut from the same cloth, the RS and the H’ness are the latest offerings from the leading two-wheeler manufacturers HMSI. Both the motorcycles share plenty of details right from the engine and platform to the BigWing dealership network they will use and goal to pin down 350-cc segment-leader Royal Enfield.

Let’s first discuss what’s common between the two apart from the CB branding.

Engine and transmission: The 350-cc, 4-stroke OHC, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine with PGM-FI technology puts out 20PS maximum power and 30Nm of peak torque. CB 350 series uses an advanced PGM-FI system using on-board sensors, constantly ensures optimum fuel delivery to the engine as per the riding conditions allowing efficient combustion and lesser emissions. The engine uses an offset cylinder position that reduces the sliding friction and an asymmetrical connecting rod ensures minimum energy loss while combustion. It uses a closed crankcase with a wall between the crankcase and transmission reducing energy loss due to internal friction. The piston cooling jet improves the engine’s thermal efficiency, leading to improved fuel efficiency. The main shaft coaxial balancer placed on the cylinder eliminates both primary and secondary vibrations.Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC): A smart torque control system, helps in maintaining rear-wheel traction by detecting the difference between the front and rear wheel speeds, calculating the slip ratio and further controlling engine torque via the fuel injection. HSTC can be turned ON/OFF using a switch on the left side of the meter. A ‘T’ indicator in the digital display glows when the system is engaging.

Assist and Slipper Clutch: It makes gear shifts smoother while reducing clutch lever operation load ensuring less fatigue and more comfort during rides that involve frequent shifting.

Instrument cluster: A vintage-looking Advanced Digital-Analogue Meter integrates details like torque control, ABS, Side stand indicator with engine inhibitor, gear position indicator and battery voltage. The ride experience is further enriched with fuel efficiency details displayed in three modes.

Chassis: The half-duplex cradle frame in steel pipe is used for a soft steering feel. Load allocated to the front is optimized by mounting the engine at the low position to lower the center of gravity, which affects the overall riding feel and maneuverability of the motorcycle. A rigid box-section steel tube is used for the swing arm to effectively reduce distortion and transmit the torque of the driving force to the road surface improving an overall comfortable riding feel. The skid plate underneath provides extra protection for the engine so you can take on streets effortlessly.

Dual-channel ABS: Anchoring the motorcycles are 310mm disc brake on the front and 240mm rear disc with dual-channel ABS.

Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS): It allows riders to connect their smartphone with the motorcycle via Bluetooth through HSVCS application and toggle between the features such as navigation, music playback, phone calls, incoming messages and weather updates using buttons on the left side of the handlebar.

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Here is a list of characteristics that distinguish the two motorcycles:

Design and looks: The H’ness is essentially a city-biased quick commuter motorcycle while the CB350 RS, HMSI claims, is more suited for long-distance travelling. Lighter black smoked front and rear fender, the muffler on the side gets smoky-black finish accentuated with the use of chrome, fork boots on front suspension ensure RS distinction from H’ness.

Seating position: When it comes to the seat, the RS gets a slightly wider seat compared to the H’ness. The extra width increases the comfort quotient slightly but the seat length remains exactly the same. The saddle height remains the same at 800mm too. Though nothing much in the seating has changed, the RS offers better ergonomics than its brother. The RS gets a slightly sporty seating position since the handlebar is lower and the footpegs have moved back a bit. Compared to the RS, the H’ness offers a relatively easier seating position.

Wheels and tyres: Moving on to the tyres, the H’ness CB350 gets a 100/90-19 at the front and a 130/70-18 at the rear. The H’ness gets tubeless tyres and alloy wheels too. H’ness sports dual-discs with a 310mm brake at the front and a 240mm disc at the rear. The RS, on the other hand, shares the same front tyre with its brother but flaunts a slightly smaller and wider 150/70-17 at the rear. The tubeless tyres are carried over the disc brake dimensions remain the same too.

Price difference: The difference between the base variants of both motorcycles is Rs 10,000. The H’ness fetches a price tag of Rs 1,86,500.00 to Rs 1,92,500.00 (ex-showroom, Delhi). While HMSI didn’t disclose the price of the top variant of the CB350 RS, the base is priced at Rs 1.96 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

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