Here, we compare the Honda H’ness and Royal Enfield Classic to see how these two motorcycles stack up against each other
Honda Highness (H’ness CB350) was recently launched in the Indian market to rival the likes of Benelli Imperiale 400, Jawa, and Royal Enfield Classic 350. That last one is the undeniable leader in this retro-themed segment, and defeating RE’s popularity in India would be an uphill battle for Honda. The Japanese manufacturer, however, has prepared well for the fight.
The H’ness CB350 draws power from a 348.36 cc, air-cooled engine, which develops a maximum power of 21.07 PS and a peak torque of 30 Nm. It comes paired to a 5-speed gearbox along with Assist And Slipper Assist Clutch, and offers dual-channel ABS and alloy wheels as standard. The bike also offers a semi-digital instrument console (with Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation), all-LED lights, and a traction control system as well.
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 has a 346cc air-cooled engine, capable of generating 20.07 PS and 28 Nm, which comes paired to a 5-speed gearbox. The RE not only produces less power and torque, but doesn’t offer a slip and/or assist clutch. You get the option for single-channel ABS as well as dual-channel ABS though. The instrument cluster is completely analogue and the lights are halogen units. The Classic offers spoke wheels as standard, with alloy wheels available on a select few variants.
In terms of styling, both these motorcycles draw inspiration from their ancestors. The design of the H’ness resembles the original CB350 from the 60s and 70s. As for the Classic 350, Royal Enfield has preserved this design language since the 50s. In terms of retro charm, both these bike manage to capture our fancy without fail.
As for the riding ergonomics, both these motorcycles offer forward-set footpegs and slightly raised handlebars. The handlebar of the classic is slightly closer to the rider’s body as compared to H’ness, and the footpegs are slightly more forward-set as well. That said, the comfort is brilliant on both these motorcycles, with adequate cushioning for the seats.
The biggest disadvantage of the Classic 350 is its harsh engine. The Royal Enfield has a lot of vibrations which is quite tiring, especially on longer rides. The ride quality is quite supple though, especially compared to the Honda Highness. The Honda, however, has a much smoother engine with negligible vibrations. You can check out our exhaust note comparison as well, to compare the sound of these two bikes.
The H’ness is only available at Honda’s BigWing dealerships, which limits its availability in India, thus being its biggest disadvantage. Royal Enfield, on the other hand, has an extensive dealer network in the country. The Honda H’ness CB350 is priced from Rs. 1.85 lakh to Rs. 1.95 lakh, whereas the Royal Enfield Classic 350 costs between Rs. 1.61 lakh and Rs. 1.86 lakh.