Ever since its introduction in October, 2020, the Honda H’Ness CB350 has proved to be quite popular in its home market of India. Still, one thing that motorcycle enthusiasts around the world seem to have in common is that, no matter what we already have available to us, we always hope for more.
Perhaps that’s why, almost as soon as the H’Ness CB350 came out, there were already rumors of a café racer version on its way. Now, because hindsight is 20/20, we of course know that the next variant of the CB350 to be released was a scrambler (officially called the RS) in February, 2021. If you’re keeping count at home, that’s two CB350 variants released in under six months.
Fast-forward to February, 2023, and up until now, there’s been not much else besides wishful thinking. That is, of course, until a recent Honda dealers’ meeting took place in India, and someone there took some photos of an upcoming model that’s set to release in India sometime later in 2023. Behold, it’s the long-awaited Honda CB350 Café Racer!
Indian car and motorcycle publication Rushlane got their hands on several photos of this bike at the dealers’ meeting, shot from multiple angles (and you can take a look at all of them at the link in our Sources). While the powertrain is largely expected to remain the same, full details are expected to be available sometime in March, 2023 when the official launch of this machine is expected to happen.
The most readily apparent visual changes are a rather fetching bubble cowl up around the headlight, complete with an abbreviated and well-rounded windscreen. The part of the cowl that surrounds the headlight is color-matched to the bike that it’s on in the photo. There’s also a contrasting brown single-seater saddle with what appears to be a bit of decorative stitching to set it off. (It may be a diamond pattern, but it’s difficult to tell for sure from these photos.) There’s also a sporty dual white stripe on the tank, which flows down under the Honda badge.
In place of the two-up saddle that was found on the non-café-racer H’Ness CB350, there’s now a little rounded tail piece that’s also color-matched with the tank, side covers, and cowl to give it that classic café racer silhouette. The stock round chrome mirrors found on all the CB350s so far work equally as well for this application, so Honda India seemingly had no need to change them.
We look forward to learning more about the latest member of the CB350 family once it’s officially revealed. Will this one make it outside of India, perhaps at least to Japan (if not elsewhere in the world)? Only time will tell.