Royal Enfield just launched the Meteor 350 and it has already received over 8,000 bookings. So, it can be said that people have loved the new Meteor 350. However, just before Meteor’s launched, Honda also launched their H’ness CB350 which is a direct competitor to the Meteor in terms of pricing.
Here we have a video of Abhinav Bhatt who is riding the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 and Honda H’ness CB350 back to back on the highway. The video has been uploaded on Youtube on his channel. Here are some of his opinions regarding the behaviour of motorcycles on the highways.
First, he shares that he prefers the exhaust note of the H’ness than the Meteor 350 because it is more audible and bassy. The motorcycle has no vibrations even when you are on cruising speeds of 100 kmph to 105 kmph. The engine does not feel in stress and can do triple-digit speeds all day long. However, you won’t be able to overtake someone if you need to because of the tall gearing of Honda and because there is not much steam left in the engine.
The seat of the Honda is a bit firm which is good for touring or when you have to sit in the saddle for a long duration. He also compares the CB350’s seat to the Royal Enfield Interceptor’s seat which is known to be a bit too soft due to which the rider gets uncomfortable after 150 km. Although there is an official touring seat accessory available for the Interceptor 650 that too gets comfortable after around 250 km. The rider also states that he has covered 700 km on the Honda H’ness CB350 and he did not get tired even after riding for such a long distance.
He also shares that the ORVMs do not vibrate but the stalks are really short. The suspension is set towards a slightly stiffer side but it works really well when you are on straight highways. However, potholes, speed breakers, expansion joints etc. will unsettle the rider because the stiff suspension transfers the jolt to the rider.
Then the rider hops on the Meteor 350 and shares that the exhaust note is good but it lacks the original thump that the old Royal Enfields were associated with. The motorcycle can hold 110 kmph comfortably without any vibrations whereas the sweet spot of the Honda H’ness CB350 is between 85 kmph and 95 kmph.
Royal Enfield has opted for front set footpegs which really enhances the quotient of comfortability for the rider. The handlebar is wide, raised, swept-back which provides good leverage to the rider. The seat is wide, well-cushioned and comfortable. Because the Meteor 350 is a proper cruiser it also features a plusher suspension setup when compared with the H’ness CB350. The rider also gives a special mention to the brakes which are good. The rearview mirrors provide a better view of what is behind when compared to the Honda H’ness CB350. The engine is also very tractable due to which you do not need to change gears whenever you need to overtake. You can just open the throttle and the engine pulls effortlessly.
In the end, the rider shares that both the motorcycles are really good. However, when it comes to the suspension setup, it is the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 which is better tuned for Indian roads. Royal Enfield Meteor 350 starts from Rs. 1.75 lakhs ex-showroom whereas the Honda H’ness CB350 starts from Rs. 1.85 lakhs ex-showroom.