Honda could launch a CB350 based cruiser drawing design inspiration from the Rebel series by the end of this calendar year to rival RE Meteor 350
By the end of this calendar year, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India will introduce a brand new motorcycle based on the existing CB350’s platform. It follows the arrival of the different aftermarket kits for the H’ness CB350 and CB350 RS. The entry-level middleweight segment has been explored by most of the mainstream brands present in the country.
The Japanese company sells the H’ness CB350 and its scrambler-like sibling through BigWing outlets across the country and they have been well received. The duo competes primarily against Royal Enfield’s 350 cc range comprising Hunter 350, Bullet 350, Classic 350 and Meteor 350 along with offerings from Yezdi and Jawa primarily.
The upcoming CB350 could compete directly against the Meteor 350 considering that the brand does not retail an entry-level cruiser yet in India. The platform could be reworked to accommodate the requirements of a cruiser while the existing 348 cc single-cylinder air-cooled fuel-injected engine could be carried over from the H’ness and CB350 RS.
The powertrain currently produces a maximum power output of 21 PS at 5,500 rpm and 30 Nm of peak torque delivered at 3,000 rpm and is linked with a five-speed transmission. It must be noted that Honda already has the Rebel series available in the global markets and the upcoming cruiser could draw design inspiration from it.
Besides the frame, Honda could tweak the suspension to offer improved comfort and the seats could be wider and more cushioned as well. It will likely target touring based customers with a tall handlebar and a lowly positioned seat. The footpegs could be forward set for relaxed riding. A typical cruiser would have a punchy low end and it will be interesting to see how Honda attains it.
The brand brought in the 2023 SP 125, all-new Shine 100 and H-Smart Activa 125 recently and in the new financial year, it is planning to launch a new 160 cc motorcycle and a 125 cc scooter to further strengthen its domestic portfolio. A CB300F based adventure touring machine has also been reported to be in the works.