Spec Showdown: Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs. Honda CB350

spec showdown: royal enfield classic 350 vs. honda cb350

Spec Showdown: Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs. Honda CB350

How do the two retro-modern standards stack up?

Here in 2023, the enduring appeal of a standard motorcycle with a classic silhouette is practically inescapable. There’s a reason why the Triumph Bonneville and all its variants remain so popular year after year.

But what if you want a timeless silhouette on a smaller displacement machine? Also, what if you want 2023 features like modern brakes, tires, and ABS? If those kinds of things appeal to you, then you might just find yourself considering the Royal Enfield Classic 350. It’s the second bike introduced on Enfield’s 350cc J-platform, and even though it’s considered a budget bike in the West, it comes from the factory with braided stainless steel brake lines.

Enfield is a beloved marque in India, which is also the biggest motorcycle market in the world in 2023 (and has been for years). A whopping 15.86 million motorcycles were sold in the country in FY 2023, so it’s absolutely zero surprise that Honda India decided it wanted in on the action.

Get Ready For The Next Battle:

    After first introducing the Honda H’ness CB350 a couple of years back and getting the world’s attention, Honda India then began exporting its new modern classic middleweight to Japan. Rebadged as the GB350, it quickly found its niche in that market as well. It was a clear gauntlet thrown down by Honda India toward Royal Enfield, of the type you’d have to have significant vision impairment not to notice.

    Now that it’s 2023, Honda India took what it started with the H’Ness CB350 and created the CB350. Instead of making Japanese fans wait, Honda Japan almost immediately announced that it would be coming to that market as the GB350 C, with slightly different colors than the ones offered in India.

    On the outside, they look extremely similar, but how do the specs stack up? Let’s dive right in.

    Engine, Power, and Torque


    Royal Enfield Classic 350 Honda CB350
    Displacement 349cc 348.36cc
    Power 20.2 bhp (about 15 kW) at 6,100 rpm 15.5 kW (about 20.78 hp) at 5,500 rpm
    Torque 19.9 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm 29.4 newton-meters (about 21.68 pound-feet of torque) at 3,000 rpm
    Bore and stroke 72mm x 85.8 mm 70.0mm x 90.519mm
    Compression ratio 9.5:1 9.5:1
    Fuel Supply Electronic fuel injection PGM-FI
    Starting method Electric starter Electric starter
    Gearbox 5 speed gearbox 5 speed gearbox

    Enfield introduced the Classic 350 before Honda introduced the CB350, but getting to market first also means that those who come after you can take a look at your homework before writing their own. Even if they don’t straight-up copy it, they can learn from what you’ve already done and take it just that little bit further.

    Hence, you have Honda with just the tiniest bit more horsepower and torque, both kicking in just slightly lower down in the rev range than Royal Enfield. It’s kind of splitting hairs here without having a vehicle weight comparison in the mix yet, but we’ll get to that in a bit. For now, though, we’ll have to call it.

    Round One Winner: Honda CB350 by a hair.



    Royal Enfield Classic 350 Honda CB350
    Frame Twin downtube spine frame Diamond frame
    Front Suspension 41mm telescopic front fork with 130mm (about 5.11 inches) of travel Telescopic; no dimensions given
    Rear Suspension Twin tube emulsion shock absorbers with six-step preload adjustability Hydraulic twin shock; no mention whatsoever of adjustability
    Wheels Spoked; 19-inch front and 18-inch rear Alloy; 19-inch front and 18-inch rear
    Brakes ByBre brakes; two-piston floating front caliper and 300mm disc and single-piston floating rear caliper and 270mm disc 310mm front disc and 240mm rear disc; no specification given for calipers

    Choosing between spoked and alloy wheels is mostly a matter of preference and aesthetic. Though, if it’s a classic look you’re going for, then it’s hard to go wrong with spoked wheels.

    While the Honda CB350 has a slightly larger front brake disc than the Royal Enfield Classic 350, the Classic 350 has a slightly larger rear brake disc than the CB350. Plus, we know that Royal Enfield uses braided stainless steel brake lines, and the rear shocks at least get some preload adjustability.

    Round Two Winner: Royal Enfield Classic 350



    Royal Enfield Classic 350 Honda CB350
    Wheelbase 54.7 inches 1,441mm (about 56.7 inches)
    Ground clearance 6.7 inches 165mm (about 6.5 inches)
    Length 84.45 inches 2,207mm (about 87 inches)
    Width 30.9 inches without mirrors 788mm (about 31 inches)
    Height 42.91 inches without mirrors 1,110mm (about 43.7 inches)
    Seat height 31.69 inches 800mm (about 31.4 inches)
    Curb weight 430 pounds 187 kilograms (about 412.2 pounds)
    Fuel tank capacity 3.43 gallons 15.2 liters (about 4 gallons)

    The Honda CB350 is physically slightly bigger than the Royal Enfield Classic 350, but also has ever so slightly less ground clearance.

    At the same time, it has a slightly lower seat height, which could be argued in favor of accessibility to a wider range of riders (however slight).

    Simultaneously, the CB350 weighs nearly 18 pounds less than the Classic 350, but holds more than half a gallon more fuel in its tank.

    The size differences might be negligible and ultimately down to a rider’s personal preference, but it’s hard to argue against a bike that’s lighter weight, but can simultaneously carry more fuel.

    Round Three Winner: Honda CB350

    Other Features


    Royal Enfield Classic 350 Honda CB350
    Dash Digital and analogue with Tripper navigation (requires smartphone connectivity to use) DLX Pro version comes with Honda Smartphone Voice Control, which is not available on the base DLX model
    Lighting Halogen  LED
    ABS Dual or single-channel available Dual channel ABS standard
    Colors 12 colors available 5 colors available
    Warranty 3 years 10 years; free for first 10,000 customers across the entire CB350 range, but available at an additional charge if you’re not in the first 10,000 customers

    All categories have been pretty close so far, but this one is extra tough. On the one hand, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 offers navigation (with use of smartphone) and your choice of 12 colors. On the other, it comes with halogen lights, which might be a little too classic for some riders in 2023.

    Over on the Honda side, paying a little more for the CB350 DLX Pro version gets you Honda Smartphone Voice Control, and you do get LED lighting as standard, but you can only choose between 5 colors. Still, a 10 year warranty is a powerful persuader.

    Round Four Winner: Honda CB350



    Royal Enfield Classic 350 Honda CB350
    Ex-showroom, Chennai starting at 202,094 rupees (about $2,424) starting at 215,622 rupees (about $2,586)

    To keep things fair, since prices vary by region, we chose to compare prices in the same city. This information is accurate as of November 27, 2023, and prices may change yet again depending on when you’re reading this.

    For the moment, though, it looks as though there’s one clear winner in this category.

    Round Five Winner: Royal Enfield Classic 350

    Overall Winner: Honda CB350

    spec showdown: royal enfield classic 350 vs. honda cb350

    Honda CB350 – Spec Showdown Winner

    You Don’t Ride Spec Sheets, You Ride Bikes

    While it’s fun to gather the hard data together (at least, as manufacturers have reported it) and compare details, riders are passionate people. Sometimes logic can sway us, but more than some of our decisions are guided by our passions.

    That bike that’s been handed down in your family might be slow, have very little power, and also be leaking oil. But it was your granddad’s, and so it’s clearly a bike that you love far more than you could ever love some other bike that you have no connection to.

    If we’re talking about new bikes, your best bet is to take a test ride between two bikes you’re interested in whenever you can. Spec sheets can’t tell you everything. Sometimes, what you need is to go for a test ride and see what your own experiences tell you about a pair of bikes.

    Source: Royal Enfield, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India

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