There’s something about retro-modern motorcycles that seems to appeal to many. Ever since the dawn of the whole neo-retro craze, with motorcycles designed to look old, but boast modern tech, nearly all manufacturers have at least one bike in this category. While varying in terms of features and specifications, nearly all retro-modern bikes follow a simple formula: simplistic bodywork, a round headlight, and a half, or no fairing at all.
One of the most recent retro-modern bikes which built up a lot of hype all over the world was the Honda H’Ness CB350 launched in 2020. To build up the hype even further, a scrambler iteration of this bike in the form of the CB350 RS was unveiled earlier this year. While the world stood in awe at the launch of this bike, only the Indian and Japanese markets would get a taste of this machine, as it has been designed to play solely in those specific markets. Unsurprisingly, this left the rest of the world clamoring for the introduction of this lightweight classic-styled bike in their respective countries.
So what makes the Honda CB350 so special, then? Well, on paper, the specs are nothing to write home about. The engine is a 350cc air-cooled single cylinder producing around 21 horsepower. Other than that, the bike gets pretty standard componentry in the form of telescopic forks, dual rear shock absorbers, and anti-lock braking system-equipped front and rear disc brakes. That said, it’s clear to see that it’s appeal lies in its styling and aesthetics—similar to that of Vespa scooters, and the majority of Royal Enfield’s lineup.
It’s interesting to note that Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is currently evaluating the possibility of exporting the CB350 to other markets. Multiple international sources suggest that the company is indeed seeing strong potential for their lightweight classic bike to outperform the competition in multiple markets. To add to this, the new Honda CB350 is already compliant to a number of safety and emissions standards across the globe, making it the perfect recipe for a global model.