Honda H’ness Vs Royal Enfield Meteor
The hot 350cc-500cc cruiser segment turns hotter with the launch of Honda H’ness 350 in the country. The introduction of H’ness 350 also marks the foray of Japanese bike maker, Honda in the promising retro bike category. Just after a couple of weeks, India’s cruiser bike giant Royal Enfield took a dig at H’ness 350 with the launch of all-new Meteor 350.
Both the bikes are now out in the open against each other to fight out the fierce battle for the new champion in the 350cc segment. The appearance of the two cruiser motorcycles remains a subjective thing and depends upon a person’s taste and preference. Therefore, it’s up to the users to choose a winner between the two, while we have focussed on some more significant aspects of the two bikes.
So let’s have a closer look at the cruiser duo and make your buying decision easier.
|Bike Name||Bike Variant||Price (ex-showroom)|
|Honda H’ness CB350||H’ness CB350 DLX||1,85,000|
|H’ness CB350 DLX Pro||1,90,000|
|Royal Enfield Meteor 350||Meteor 350 Fireball||1,75,825|
|Meteor 350 Stellar||1,81,342|
|Meteor 350 Supernova||1,90,536|
The Royal Enfield cruiser is made available in three variants and its price ranges between Rs 1.75 lakh – Rs 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom). Moreover, the H’ness comes in two variants and is priced at Rs 1.85 lakh and 1.90 lakh. Among the two, Meteor and H’ness, the Fireball opens at lowest price point with Rs 1.75 lakh, while the top of the line variants of the two ends up at similar pricing at around Rs 1.90 lakh. In terms of pricing, for a budget-constraint buyer, Meteor can turn out to be a good option as its base starts with 1.75 lakh, which is a good 10,000 less than the H’ness base variant. Whereas, if considering the top-end price slab, H’ness offers good value for money as both the bikes are somewhat similarly priced for their respective high-end models.
Engine and Specifications
|Bike Name||Honda H’ness CB350||Royal Enfield Meteor 350|
|Engine Type||Single Cylinder, 4-stroke, Air-oil cooled||Single Cylinder 4-stroke OHC|
|ABS||Dual Channel||Dual Channel|
|Start Mechanism||Self Start||Self Start|
|Kerb Weight||181 kg||191 kg|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||15-litre||15-litre|
|0-100 kmph||12.6 secs||15.12 secs|
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 features an all-new platform and is packed with a G-series 349cc, single-cylinder, 4-stroke, air-oil cooled engine. Paired to a 5-speed constant mesh gearbox, the EFI (electric fuel injection) engine gives out a maximum power of 20.4PS at 6100rpm and highest torque of 27Nm at 4000rpm.
On the other hand, Honda H’ness CB350 with its 348cc, 4-stroke OHC single-cylinder engine produces 21.07PS of top power at 5500rpm and peak torque of 30Nm at 3000rpm. The PGM-FI tech engine is mated to a similar 5-speed constant mesh gearbox found on the Meteor. Both the bikes offer dual channel ABS as standard across the model range.
The comparison of performance output showcases H’ness CB350 ahead in better power and torque values and does a better job with lesser RPMS against the Meteor’s.
Features and Convenience
The Honda H’ness looks neat when it comes to design and feature integration. The well-finished Honda cruiser gets a mix of chrome, grey and black elements all across, which makes it look classy. The semi-digital instrument panel of the base variant provides info such as speed, tachometer, odometer, trip meter, gear-position indicator, fuel gauge, average fuel efficiency, etc. Further, the top end also features Honda Smartphone Voice Control (HSVC) system with which riders can connect their smartphone with the instrument console via Bluetooth and access features like telephony, turn-by-turn navigation, music, etc.
Some more elements in the feature-list comprise of battery voltage meter, side-stand with engine inhibitor, hazard switch, gear position indicator, assist and slipper clutch, distance to empty/average, traction control, and others.
Coming to Royal Enfield Meteor, which comes out with styling similar to that of predecessor Thunderbird X, gets nicely done all-black paint treatment throughout the chassis. The retro switches are positioned well, while the ‘Tripper’ navigation screen (with day/night mode) is quite welcoming and convenient showcasing turn by turn navigation. Moreover, with the assistance of RE app rider can pair smartphones with the instrument console, after which console provides turn-by-turn navigation indication.
Some of the features now presented with the Meteor are added first time to any RE bike and these includes semi-digital instrument console with smartphone connectivity, switchgear-mounted USB charging port, hazard switch, and more.
The engine of Honda H’ness is a very smooth performer and due to its refinement, the sporty sound of the exhaust is heard quite clearly. With high torque at lower rpms, the Honda H’ness allows to be more agile and stable at low speeds in high gears on city roads. However, struggles a bit to hold the ground in second and third gear.
While the Meteor, which continues with its heritage thump, is more responsive in lower gears and commands smoothest throttle response at low speeds of the two, thanks to its slick gearbox. The Honda has the lighter clutch gearbox and calls for better fuelling and shifting of gears. Moreover, at 70+ speed the Honda opens up the best among the two and is also the smoothest. The lighter of the two, H’ness manages to do a faster 0-100 kmph in 12.6 seconds, while the same is managed in 15.1 secs by Meteor.
The riding position of the two is different. The RE Meteor gets feet-forward riding position, which may not be welcoming for everyone but it’s the comfortable most among the two. For a long duration of cruising it suits the best. Meanwhile, H’ness gets normal riding posture with no feeling of a large bike, which lets you ride easy with confidence in urban conditions. Despite 181 kg, it feels light in city traffic and with tight turning radius it allows easy to manoeuvre around curves and corners.
Braking and Handling
Braking performance is very good as both the bikes offer better braking distance thanks to the right size tyres and standard dual channel ABS. Owing to its compact dimensions, H’ness is the most city-friendly cruiser among the two. Whereas, Meteor packs a punch on the long stretches, provides you with the feel of a large motorcycle under. The suspensions are nicely put together and both offer very good ride quality amid bumpy surfaces.
The H’ness is made available with telescopic suspension at front and a twin hydraulic at the rear. Whereas, Meteor’s front suspension remains a telescopic one however rear gets a twin-tube shock absorber with 6-step adjustable preload. On highways, Meteor is more planted, but H’ness is also not very far and offers relaxed cruising experience on open roads. Overall handling of the two is very predictable and stable minus any surprises. The Honda H’ness CB350 performs more confidently in terms of grip and stability due to somewhat bigger rear tyre.
Tyres and Wheels
The two cruisers clearly focussed towards city setup are endowed with alloy wheel rims. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes with 19 -inch 100/90 front tyre size and is paired with a 300mm disc brake while a 17-inch 140/70 with a 270mm disc brake features at the rear.
On the other hand, the H’ness CB350 is provided with the conventional chrome wire-spoke rims. At front there is a 100/90 19-inch with a 310mm disc and the rear one is 130/70 18-inch coupled to a 240mm disc. Like its rival, the H’ness also features tubeless type tyres. Both the bikes feature tyres of tubeless layout and function with dual-channel ABS.
The Honda H’ness CB350 is offered in as many as six shades with three being dual tone colours. And these include Pearl Night Star Black, Precious Red Metallic, Matte Marshal Green Metallic, Pearl Night Star Black/Spear Silver Metallic, Athletic Blue Metallic/Virtuous White and Matte Steel Black Metallic/Matte Massive Grey Metallic.
Similarly, RE Meteor 350 gets seven different shades to choose from which comprise of Fireball Red, Fireball Yellow, Supernova Blue, Supernova Brown, Stellar Black, Stellar Blue, and Stellar Red. All are single colour offering with no dual paint option like the Honda H’ness.
In the segment, the two cruiser motorcycles rival the likes of Benelli Imperiale 400, Jawa 42, Royal Enfield Classic 350, Jawa Perak and others.
Royal Enfield Meteor
- Better highway cruising
- Continues the RE charm with its celebrated styling
- Rightly priced base model
- Extensive sales and service network
- Wide turning radius may affect city riding
- Slightly low power and torque numbers than H’ness
- Well-mannered, refined performance across city and highways
- Right mix of retro-modern elements
- High on features, with many segment firsts
- Ideal cruiser bike for daily city commute and occasional long rides
- A bit overpriced base variant
- Limited service network
- Lacks feel of a substantial bike