[UPDATE November 17, 2023: Several hours later on November 17, 2023, Honda Japan made a soft announcement that it will be releasing its own version of these bikes for the Japanese market.
Honda Japan has not yet made a full and detailed announcement, but it did say in an Instagram post (text in Japanese) that the model will be called the GB350 C, and that full details will soon follow.
If the accompanying photo is anything to go by, it will be offered in different colors than are offered in India, as well. These colors make sense if you're familiar with the available colors currently offered on the GB350 in Japan.]
Here's the IG post from Honda Japan:
Original post follows.
Back in 2020, Honda India finally revealed its latest middleweight retro modern classic-look bike, the H'Ness CB350. At the time, onlookers from all over the globe took note of two things. One, it looked like Honda clearly wanted to challenge Royal Enfield on its own turf. Two, its design sense looked awfully good.
Because motorcycle manufacturers have a tendency to introduce new models in one place before going on to roll them out in other markets, the moto-Internet instantly began to wonder if the H'Ness CB350 would find its way overseas. Eventually, it made its way to Japan as the GB350.
Fast-forward to 2023, and the H'Ness CB350 has been popular enough in its home market to get new colors and aesthetic tweaks, as well as special versions like the Legacy Edition. Still, if Honda's decades of making motorcycles has shown us anything, it's that there's more than one way to do retro styling with mass appeal.
Gallery: 2023 Honda CB350
Enter the new Honda CB350, introduced by Honda Big Wing India (that's Honda India's premium motorcycle division) on November 17, 2023. Don't worry, the H'Ness CB350 is very much still a thing. It's just that the CB350, with a much different take on the classic middleweight thumper engine, is now ready to roll alongside it.
Big metal fenders? Check. Color-matched metal fork covers? Check. Long pipe? Check. Split saddle? Check and check. The retro styling elements are strong, and can be strengthened even further if you add optional accessories like windscreens and saddlebags.
The tagline for this bike, "Bold Alone Bolder Together," is printed in a font that closely resembles the one used on posters for the James Bond movie No Time to Die. Interestingly, the style choices made on the original H'Ness CB350 more closely resemble the old-school British look the mind usually gravitates toward when contemplating the world's most famous secret agent. But I digress.
The 2023 Honda CB350 is powered by an air-cooled, 348.36cc single-cylinder engine. It makes a claimed 15.5 kilowatts (about 20.7 horsepower) at 5,500 rpm and 29.4 newton-meters (about 21.6 pound-feet) of torque at 3,000 rpm. This engine has a slip and assist clutch, and is mated to a five-speed gearbox.
It has a diamond-type frame, a nonadjustable telescopic front fork, and a hydraulic twin shock setup in the rear. The CB350 has single disc brakes and ABS at both ends. It gets a 310mm disc up front and a 240mm disc in the rear. Additionally, it rolls on a 19-inch front and an 18-inch rear wheel.
Wheelbase is 1,441mm (about 56.7 inches). Length is 2,207mm (about 86.9 inches), width is 788mm (about 31 inches), and height is 1,110mm (about 43.7 inches). Ground clearance is 165mm (about 6.5 inches). Seat height is 800mm (about 31.5 inches). Curb weight is 187 kilograms, or about 412 pounds. The fuel tank can hold 15.2 liters.
Honda equipped the CB350 with LED lighting all around, as well as an emergency stop signal feature that flashes the taillight if a rider brakes hard. This should help to alert drivers around you that you have come to a sudden stop.
You'll also find a digital-analogue instrument cluster up front, which offers smartphone connectivity using the Honda Smartphone Voice Control system on the CB350 DLX Pro model. Honda Selectable Torque Control also comes standard on both trim levels of CB350.
Notably, Honda India is also equipping the CB350 with its recently-introduced 10-year warranty. That's three years standard, with the option to purchase a warranty extension for an additional seven years.
Colors, Price and Availability
At launch, the Honda CB350 will come in five colors: Precious Red Metallic, Pearl Igneous Black, Matte Crust Metallic, Matte Marshal Green Metallic, and Matte Dune Brown.
Honda India is accepting preorders for the new CB350 at its Big Wing dealerships across India as of November 17, 2023. According to the firm, it should be rolling into dealerships there soon.
The base Honda CB350 DLX starts at Rs. 199,900 (about $2,401) and the DLX Pro (which comes with Honda Smartphone Voice Control) starts at Rs. 217,800 (about $2,616).
Will the new Honda CB350 eventually find its way to other markets? That's not clear at this point. Since the original H'Ness CB350 went on to become the GB350 in Japan, it certainly seems possible that the CB350 could follow in its wheel tracks in the future. That's pure speculation on our part, however. Given the existence of bikes like the Suzuki SW1 as a Japan-only model, it certainly doesn't seem impossible.