How does Royal Enfield’s modernised Classic fare against Honda’s RE killer in the real world? We compare:
Honda took its own sweet time at making a ‘proper’ neo-retro bike, but the wait was well worth it, as it came up with a motorcycle that’s poised to take a bite off Royal Enfield’s pie in the 350cc segment, aptly called the H’ness CB350. But Royal Enfield isn’t resting on its laurels, as it recently launched the 2021 Classic 350, based on the all-new platform that gave birth to the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. How do the two motorcycles fare in the real world? We tested them both extensively, and here’s how they perform in terms of mileage, performance, and handling:
At 195kg kerb, the 2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 is a whole 14kg heavier than the Honda H’ness CB350, and this reflects in the mileage in the city too. The H’ness CB350 also fares better out on the highway as its fifth gear is pretty tall, making it ideal only to hold triple-digit speeds.
The extra weight coupled with the fact that the Classic 350 makes 0.8PS and 3Nm less than the H’ness 350 is quite evident in the acceleration figures. Moreover, Royal Enfield has intentionally tuned the motor to be a bit more relaxed than the Meteor 350, so that it suits the bike’s demeanour. On the other hand, the Honda’s acceleration is peppy once you move past its initial sluggishness. This coupled with the rumble from the exhaust note will keep you happy every time you twist the throttle.
The rev-hungry nature of the H’ness CB350’s engine reflects on its in-gear acceleration figures as well. That said, the third gear is perfect for the city as it’s fairly tall. On the other hand, the Classic’s relaxed engine feels most comfortable at around 90kmph, even though it can cross the 100kmph mark without protesting too much unlike its predecessor. That said, this is still a motorcycle that’s best enjoyed riding at a leisurely pace. The H’ness can maintain a cruising speed of 100kmph, above which it feels a little nervous owing to the light front end.
- 2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Vs Honda CB350 RS - Comparison Review
- 2021 Royal Enfield Classic 350: Road Test Review
- Honda H’ness CB350 - Road Test Review
At 310mm, the H’ness CB350’s front disc is 10mm larger than the Classic 350’s 300mm unit. Additionally, the Honda’s brake lever action, bite, and progression are bang-on. These along with its lighter weight have ensured shorter braking distances. Both bikes get dual-channel ABS, but the one in the Classic is available only on select variants. The brake lever modulation in the Classic is good enough to give you confidence during emergency braking.
All in all, it looks like the Honda H’ness CB350 is a clear winner solely based on the performance and mileage figures. Which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments below.