Last year, when Honda unveiled the H'Ness CB350, the world stood in awe and became green with envy towards the Indian market. Launched as an India-only model, the H'Ness CB350 proved to be a massive hit not just in India, but all across the globe, with markets from different countries clamoring to have the bike launched in their respective locales.
While rumours are rife that the CB350 could soon make its way to other regions, no official word from Honda has been released just yet. And while all of us outside of India were already jealous enough, Honda launched yet another iteration of the classic-styled roadster in the form of the CB350 RS. Bearing a more rugged and scrambler-esque appearance, the CB350 RS was designed with the more adventurous rider in mind, thanks to its light off-road capability. Priced at the equivalent of $2,697 USD, the CB350 RS undoubtedly makes for quite a sweet deal. Debuting last month, it's already beginning to make its way to the garages of its new owners.
While the performance figures of both the H'Ness and RS aren't really anything to write home about, the bikes are loved thanks in large part to their styling. Indeed, the motorcycle industry seems to have struck a gold mine with the whole retro-modern craze, which, as it would seem, is proving to be much more than just a craze. With nearly all motorcycle manufacturers carrying at least one heritage-inspired model in their lineup, the whole retro-modern design exercise doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
If the attractive price tags of the Honda H'Ness and RS CB350 are anything to go by, classic styling can more than make up for otherwise lackluster performance. That is, of course, provided you're talking to the right audience. Having been surrounded by the performance-oriented side of motorcycling for nearly all my life, it's pretty refreshing to see bikes like these geared towards providing a pure and laid-back two-wheeled experience.