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Royal Enfield Meteor 350 vs Honda H’ness CB350: A checklist

By Shahrukh

Royal Enfield had recently launched one of the most awaited bikes of the year, the Meteor 350 in India on November 6. The manufacturer has stepped up its game in term of performance of the bike and improvement in design. Reports said the bike was launched in Thailand on Friday.

The Meteor 350, which replaces the Thunderbird 350X, comes with a new powerful engine, chassis, and suspension. Apart from these important changes, the Meteor 350 comes with more eye-catching features than the Thunderbird series. The Meteor promises a more refined ride than the Thunderbird and also improved handling, one of the reasons for this is that it is comparatively lighter. 

The new Meteor 350.

Just before the Meteor came out, Honda launched the H’ness CB350 in India recently. The way it’s built, the retro H’ness CB350 looks like a challenger to the throne occupied by Royal Enfield for aeons. But will it be able to tackle the Meteor 350? Automobile journalists have oohed and aahed and omigosh-ed over the bike for its new technology.

The Royal Enfield’s Meteor 350 comes in an all-new dual cradle frame instead of the single-frame unit which was seen on the Thunderbird X. The motorcycle is larger with a longer wheelbase and better ground clearance.

Here are details of both the bikes, their prices, features, and specifications, etc.

The Meteor 350’s Fireball version comes at Rs 1,75,817, Stellar at Rs 1,81,326 and Supernova Rs 1,90,536 in Delhi.

The Honda H’ness comes in two variants: CB350 Deluxe at Rs 1.85 lakh  and CB350 Deluxe Pro at Rs 1.9 lakh.

Obviously, Meteor 350 looks cheaper than the H’ness CB350. Along with that, Royal Enfield is giving more features as compared to the H’ness, but Honda has thought this through. It has a powerful engine and is offering a smoother clutch and downshifts in emergencies become easy because of the slipper clutch.

The Meteor 350 cruiser has an analog speedometer and a digital display which tells important things like how much fuel is left, what time it is and what gear you’re in.

The smaller display on the right is Royal Enfield’s new Tripper navigation system, where a rider can pair one’s smartphone with the instrument console. Once done, the console will reflect turn-by-turn navigation indication as well as the distance. This handy thing is called the Tripper, you know, the trips you will make on the Meteor. If you decide not to use the Tripper Navigation, this display will simply show you the time. Meteor 350 also has a USB port.

Honda H’ness CB350 comes equipped with a semi-digital instrument panel that offers information like speed, tachometer, odometer, trip meter, gear-position indicator, fuel gauge, average fuel efficiency, etc. CB350’s Deluxe Pro variant also gets Honda Smartphone Voice Control (HSVC) system that allows riders to pair a smartphone with the instrument console via Bluetooth and access features like telephony, turn-by-turn navigation, music, etc. The HSVC also allows riders to control smartphone via voice commands, although this requires a special headset which will be sold as an accessory. Other features on the H’ness CB350 include Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system that helps in maintaining rear-wheel traction and hazard switch.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 specifications

The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 has a new 349 cc, single-cylinder, 4-stroke, air-oil-cooled, electronic fuel injection engine that develops 20.2 bhp of maximum power and 27 Nm of peak torque. The engine is paired with a 5-speed transmission which gives the rider a sporty riding experience. The alloy wheels (19-inch front and 17-inch rear) are standard and have tubeless tyres. It comes with disc brakes both at the front (300mm) and rear (270mm) with dual-channel ABS.

As for the Honda H’ness, it has a 348.4 cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder motor. This power plant belts out 21.07 PS and 30 Nm, which is more than the Meteor. Apart from this, the H’ness has a slip-and-assist clutch, along with a torque control system (which prevents the rear wheel from slipping), which makes it a much easier bike to ride for newbies. Honda has also given the H’ness a thumping exhaust note, making it a proper rival to the Royal Enfield motorcycles.

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