The Honda CB350RS is the latest model in Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's new CB350 family. Both the CB350RS and the H'Ness CB350 share the same 349 cc, single-cylinder engine, same half-duplex chassis and same cycle parts, yet both bikes are designed to offer slightly different flavours. Overall, the Honda CB350RS retains the same retro appeal as the H'Ness CB350, but it gets a slightly more modern and youthful touch, with a couple of new cosmetic changes, as well as new tyres with block pattern tread.
Also Read: Honda CB350RS Launched At ₹ 1.96 Lakh
The Honda CB350RS is available in a single variant and in two colours; one in solid red, and a dual-tone black and yellow shade. But how different is the CB350RS from the H'Ness CB350? We take a close look at the new CB350RS to get a sense of what it offers, and if the changes add any value, even if cosmetic, to the new Honda CB350 ₹
Also Read: Honda H'Ness CB350 Review
Fatter rear tyre; more ground clearance
The Honda CB350RS has almost the same exact design and proportions, but the differences are in the details. The most glaring change is the different block-pattern tyres, (MRF Zapper Kurve), and the rear wheel is a smaller 17-inch size (compared to the 18-inch rear wheel of the H'Ness CB350), while the rear tyre is a fatter 150 mm section (H'Ness CB350 has 130 mm section rear tyre).
The fatter rear tyre has resulted in a 2 mm increase in ground clearance on the CB350RS (168 mm), compared to the H'ness CB350 (166 mm). The Honda CB350RS also gets a standard engine bash plate, which will help protect the sump, from rocks and the like, if it's ridden over some rough terrain. The side panels have been redesigned too, and gone is the cheesy "H'Ness" moniker, and the panels proudly display the CB350RS name.
Cosmetic changes; less overall weight
Then, there are other changes; like the blacked out headlight bezel, and a ring around the headlight housing. The tail section is also new, with a new taillight design, and new front and rear fenders, finished in matte black. Also new is the seat design, which wears a ribbed design on the rider's portion. The exhaust is blacked out too, with a part chrome cover, and the end can is slightly more upswept than the H'Ness CB350. The design of the indicators is also new, as is the overall look of the tail section.
Same engine, same frame and suspension
The Honda CB350RS shares the same 349 cc, single-cylinder engine which makes 20.8 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 30 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The half-duplex frame is also the same, as is the suspension system. But the addition of the fork gaiters on the CB350RS adds a touch of retro-cool, Scrambler-ish vibe to the CB350 ₹ The overall weight of the CB350RS is 2 kg less than the Honda H'Ness CB350, and kerb weight is now 179 kg. So, slightly more ground clearance, slightly less weight, and same engine performance, but with a fatter rear tyre.
Misses out features from top-spec H'Ness CB350
The single-pod, half-analogue, half-digital instrument console looks to be the same, but it misses out on the integrated USB charging slot, and also misses out on the Honda Smartphone Voice Activated System offered on the top-spec DLX Pro variant of the H'Ness CB350. The RS also misses out on the standard dual horns offered on the DLX Pro H'Ness.
The rider's footpegs have been moved slightly rearwards, making the riding position sportier than the H'Ness CB350, although there are no other changes, in handlebar position, seat height or overall dimensions. The sub-frame of the pillion footpegs are of a different design, as is the grab rail, finished in matte black.
The Honda CB350RS is priced at ₹ 1.96,000 (Ex-showroom), while the base Honda H'Ness CB350 DLX (without dual horns or smartphone voice control system) is priced at ₹ 1,86,500 (Ex-showroom), an almost ₹ 10,000 difference. The Honda H'Ness CB350 DLX Pro (which gets dual horns and the Honda Smartphone Voice Control System), is still more affordable than the Honda CB350RS, at ₹ 1,92,000 (Ex-showroom).