Small adjustments can make the difference.
Can you believe that Honda only introduced the GB350 to the Japanese market earlier this year? It’s June, 2021, and it feels like that introduction took place sometime in 2020. Also known as the CB350 in its home market in India, the retro-modern, air-cooled, single-cylinder charmer has been drawing new fans to throw a leg over since its introduction.
On July 15, 2021, GB350 fans in Japan are about to have yet another bike choice show up in their local Honda dealerships. That’s the day that Honda is sending the GB350 S out into the world. Besides coming in two new colors not offered on the regular GB350, it also offers a slightly sportier character while still keeping its standard, retro-modern naked charms intact.
While the engine remains exactly the same, ergonomics and ride quality on the GB350 S will be slightly different. Which flavor riders prefer will, of course, be up to them, but since some changes are ergonomic, it will likely help if you can sit on both models before making a decision.
The most significant change comes with the rear tire. On the regular GB350, it’s a 130/70-18 unit, but on the GB350 S, it bumps up to a wider 150/70-17 piece, fitted with Metzeler Tourance Next rubber. This, Honda says, improves stability and control for more spirited riding. The handlebar is slightly lower, the foot controls are positioned slightly more rearward. The tuck-and-roll saddle on the S doesn’t change the seat height from the standard GB350, Young Machine says, although it feels as though it’s a little taller because of the textural difference.
Honda also shaved a few ounces of weight off the S model here and there, primarily by using resin instead of metal for both the short front and rear fender covers, as well as the side covers. Other small stylistic changes give the GB350 S a slightly sportier feel, and it also comes with full LED lighting instead of the standard lighting found on the standard GB350.
Colors available for the GB350 S include Pearl Deep Gray and Gunmetal Black Metallic. It will retail for 594,000 yen, or about $5,386. By comparison, the base GB350 costs 550,000 yen, which is about $4,987. It’s unclear if Honda plans to introduce the GB350 S in other markets at this time, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as and when we learn more.