Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs Honda CB350 Full Comparison

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Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs Honda CB350 Full Comparison

Motorcycles come in a wide variety of forms, sizes, and flavours, which is one of their many appealing features. Some are built to be as fast as the laws of physics allow them to be on a racetrack. Then there are the exploratory tools, which can keep the journey continuing even if the road runs out of fuel. Whether you’re planning a cross-country vacation or simply a quick drive to work, there’s probably a bike out there that’s perfect for your needs.

While most motorcycles are designed to get you from point A to point B, there are a select few that are designed to go back in time. The name of this motorcycle, the Royal Enfield Classic 350, tells you all you need to know. In 2021, the Chennai-based manufacturer plans to offer a motorcycle that is as retro as possible, despite the fact that it has recently released a brand-new model of its most popular motorcycle model. Newer competitors are challenging its reign, but it’s still the unchallenged leader in this class.

The H’ness CB350 was the bullet that Honda fired at Royal Enfield last year. And, despite its unusual moniker, it intends to compete for a piece of that royal grandeur. This is a class where ‘trivialities’ like horsepower figures and brake disc diameters cannot determine the winner. If the Classic 350 can continue its reign as king, or if the H’ness has what it takes to take over, we had to ride these two motorcycles side-by-side to find out.

Check out the comparison between the royal Enfield classic 350 vs honda cb350

Looks & Design

Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs Honda CB350 look and Design

The trip down memory lane begins before we even get started with these motorcycles. The measured, straightforward designs here are so welcome in a world full of false carbon-fiber finishes and ever-expanding tank extensions. It has a simple spherical headlamp, a tank that isn’t encased, and some side panels and fenders. There’s not much of a physical difference between the two of them, but they each have their own unique take on things.

When viewed from a distance of six feet away, the 2021 Classic 350 may appear to be identical to its predecessor. While the fundamental shape has been scrupulously preserved, this bike is a whole new design. Hooded headlights and regal pilot lighting give it a fairly dignified appearance. Since the new semi-digital instruments and other cables and wires are housed in this pod, the front of the bike looks fantastically clean.

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A similar level of attention to detail can be found throughout the bike, with fewer wires and strange ends exposed in the belly and the quality of chrome being of the utmost importance. Each and every light on the bike is powered by a filament bulb, preserving the bike’s antique look.

With its LED headlamp and alloy wheels (which are optional on the Classic, along with a plethora of additional options that dwarf the Honda’s catalog), the H’ness is more neo-retro than true-blue retro, as can be seen from a cursory glance. In spite of this, the CB750 is a beautiful motorcycle with a square tank and round headlight that harken back to the original CB750.

The H’ness is larger in every dimension but height and width, and it has a longer wheelbase than the Classic, yet it appears to be the less substantial of the two bikes. That’s largely due to the engine not completely filling the chassis’s area. It’s also far lighter than the Classic, weighing in at just 181 kilograms as opposed to the latter’s 195 kg. H’ness has a few too many colours of black and grey on it, as well as a less-sharp chrome finish than the Classic’s, but both bikes are well-built.

Engine Performance

Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs Honda CB350 engin Perfomance

The Enfield is a magnificent contrast to the rest of the world, which seems to be moving even quicker. Its long-stroke J-platform motor delivers heaping helpings of low-end torque for a ride that is both relaxing and stress-free. As it hums along at low RPMs in high gears, it relieves the rider’s workload. In contrast to the previous model, the forward thrust is unhindered by vibrations or a diminishing powerband as it moves higher in the rev range. However, the air-cooled 350cc motor is fairly achievable. The Enfield reaches 120-125 kph, whereas the H’ness reaches 135 kph, however the speedometer error is larger on the H’ness.

There’s little doubt that while the Classic’s thumps are deeper than on the Meteor, they’re also a lot faster and hence best experienced at lower RPMs, when the thumps are more evenly spaced. For the most part, gear shifts are light and smooth, but they do occasionally protest when shifting from neutral to first gear, and the clutch is heavier than the Honda’s.

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The H’ness is a bit of a challenge to ride for the first time, and it serves as a good example of why we shouldn’t base our opinions on motorcycles just on their spec sheets. Because this Honda features a long-stroke motor that looks identical to the Classic’s and produces more power and torque at lower RPMs than the Enfield! But in reality, it’s a whole different story: The Honda’s motor starts out flat, then rises steadily through the mid-range to a robust top-end. There’s no low-RPM grunt you’d expect, and the H’ness dislikes plodding around slowly in high gear. The incredibly high gearing also has a role to play.

When the engine is revved up, it’s far faster than the Classic, but the rider needs to put in a lot more effort to keep it in the right gear. The slick-shifting gearbox is minor mercy, and I’m a fan of the heel-and-toe shifters on both bikes. However, the sound of the H’ness is more pronounced and defined than that of its rival, the Enfield, but it feels artificial and removed from the otherwise modern-feeling sensation of riding. Finally, one can argue that the Classic’s vibes have character.

Specifications

RE Classic 350

Honda Hness CB350

Max Power

20.2 bhp @ 6,100 rpm

20.78 bhp @ 5,500 rpm

Max Torque

27 Nm @ 4,000 rpm

30 Nm @ 3,000 rpm

Transmission

5-speed manual (1 down 4 up)

5-speed manual (1 down 4 up)

Spark Plugs

2 Per Cylinder

1 Per Cylinder

Top Speed

114Kmph

125kmph

Ride Experience & Comfort

Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs Honda CB350 rider comfort

Since the purpose of these motorcycles is to transport you back in time, don’t expect them to be fast around the corners. Although neither is particularly agile in the bends, they’re both competent handlers. The Honda is easier to maneuver because of its reduced weight, whereas the Enfield is more difficult. Both cars are solid enough when leaned over and have enough cornering clearance to satisfy customers in this price range.

The H’ness’ softer suspension arrangement makes it feel more comfortable in most conditions, which is a considerably more essential consideration in this class. There is a noticeable lack of stability at high speeds, and the front end might seem a little jittery and unsteady.

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The Classic, on the other hand, is totally unflappable and reassuring even at high speeds. The ‘king of the road’ riding position, which puts you in the same comfortable position as the bike, helps to alleviate this problem.

In the city, it appears less absorptive than the Honda, but it does a fine job of isolating you from the road on its own. The Classic ride is also more comfortable for heavier riders.

More rear-set footpegs and a stronger lean forward to the bars provide the H’ness a more focused riding stance. In the end, you’re still sitting upright and not putting too much strain on your body. However, we have previously ridden a standard H’ness with a single-piece seat and found it to be uncomfortable for long periods of time. This particular H’ness has been fitted with accessory split seats. While the Classic’s throne has lost its springs on this 2021 iteration, the well-sculpted throne is a fantastic spot to spend a long period of time in.

Specifications

RE Classic 350

Honda Hness CB350

Fuel Tank Capacity

13 Litres

15 Litres

Riding Range

455Km

525Km

Weight

195Kg

181Kg

Ground Clearance

170mm

166mm

Seat Height

805mm

800mm

Pricing

Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs Honda CB350 Pricing

The new RE Classic 350 costs between Rs. 1.84 lakh and Rs. 2.15 lakh, which is only a little premium over the previous model. The increased cost is more than justified in light of the expanded features and the upgraded engine.

The Honda H’ness CB350 is the greater value-for-money option, thanks to all of the quality features and the comparatively low price tag, which ranges from Rs. 1.86 lakh to Rs. 1.92 lakh. The styling of the Royal Enfield, on the other hand, is certain to appeal to the bulk of retro-style motorcycle fans.

Who Is The Winner?

In terms of acceleration, handling, braking, and the like, the Honda H’ness CB350 is unquestionably the more capable motorbike in this comparison. It’s more agile, more responsive, and more comfortable to drive than the Classic. Therefore, if you’re looking for a bike with these kinds of specs, the Honda is unquestionably the best option.

Video credit: Gaadiwaadi.com

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