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Honda CB350RS vs Jawa 42 2.1 vs Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Specification Comparison


Is the Honda CB350RS worth a look or are we better off with the Jawa 42 and the Meteor 350?

Retro motorcycles find their way to the hearts of the young and the old alike. A genre, once ruled by Royal Enfield has now been witnessing a lot of competition in the past couple of years. Today, Honda launched the CB350RS, a slightly sportier alternative to the H’Ness CB350. Having ridden the Jawa 42 2.1 last week, it would only be fair to see how the Honda stacks up against the Jawa on paper, and of course we couldn’t leave the Royal Enfield Meteor 350, could we?

Engine

Specifications

Honda CB350RS

Jawa Forty-Two 2.1

RE Meteor 350

Engine

348.36cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, counterbalanced engine

293cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-valve engine

349cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, counterbalanced engine

Power

21.07PS @ 5,500rpm

27.33PS

20.48PS @ 6,100rpm

Torque

30Nm @ 3,000rpm

27.02Nm

27Nm @ 4,000rpm

Gearbox

5-speed

6-speed

5-speed

Despite being the smallest engine, the Forty Two’s motor packs more power than its rivals. Unlike the Honda and the Royal Enfield, the Jawa employs a thoroughly modern, undersquare engine that is tuned to extract more performance. The CB350RS and the Meteor 350’s long-stroke engines, on the other hand, are tuned for better low-end grunt, much like those of classic motorcycles.

The CB and the Meteor have also employed a counterbalancer to keep vibrations in check at city speeds and on the highway. The Jawa, however, misses out on a counterbalancer, and hence, vibrations do creep in after the mid-range.

Underpinnings

Specifications

Honda CB350RS

Jawa Forty-Two 2.1

RE Meteor 350

Frame

Half-Duplex cradle

Double Cradle 

Double cradle frame

Front suspension

Telescopic forks

Telescopic forks

Telescopic fork

Rear suspension

Twin-hydraulic shocks

Gas-charged twin shocks

Twin shock

Front brake

310mm disc

280mm disc

300mm disc

Rear brake

240mm disc

240mm disc

270mm disc

Front tyre

100/90-19

90/90-18

100/90-19

Rear tyre

150/70-17

120/80-17

140/70-17

The chassis of all three bikes are more or less similar. They employ a very traditional frame and have a basic suspension and brake setup. That said, all the bikes have the safety net of the dual-channel ABS. The RE and Honda use a 19-inch front wheels and a fatter rear tyre for better straight line stability which comes at the price of agility, whereas Jawa’s use of an 18-inch front wheel not only scores on agility, but doesn’t compromise much of stability either.

Dimensions

Specifications

Honda CB350RS

Jawa Forty-Two 2.1

RE Meteor 350

Wheelbase

1441mm

1369mm

1380mm

Ground clearance

168mm

-

160mm

Fuel tank capacity

15-litres

14-litres

15-litres

Seat height

800mm

765mm

765mm

Kerb weight

179kg

172kg

191kg


Complementing the Jawa’s peppy engine is its kerb weight. It is the lightest amongst its competitors, which undoubtedly adds to the bike’s fun quotient. Moreover, the taut wheelbase makes it easier to dive into corners. While the RS’s 800mm high seat is certainly accessible, the 765mm saddle height on the Jawa and RE makes it easier for shorter riders.

Features

 

Honda CB350RS

Jawa Forty-Two 2.1

RE Meteor 350

Smartphone connectivity

No

No

Yes

Traction Control

Yes

No

No

Slip and Assist Clutch

Yes

No

No

LED Illumination

Yes

No

DRL and tail light

Navigation

No

No

Yes

The Forty Two feels a little out of its depth here. Though the CB350RS and Meteor 350 have resorted to a more traditional build, they still pack enough modern features. That said, the traction control on the Honda is certainly an overkill. However, confusingly, RS doesn't feature smarphone connectivity and navigation, like the H'Ness does.

The Meteor, on the other hand, offers some modern features but doesn’t stray from its roots; it still uses a halogen headlight and indicators. Thanks to the new Tripper pod, the Meteor is now the first Royal Enfield bike to feature navigation as standard.


The Meteor, on the other hand, offers some modern features, but doesn’t stray far from its roots, and uses halogen headlight and indicators. Thanks to the new Tripper pod, the Meteor became the first Royal Enfield bike to feature navigation as standard.

Price and Verdict

Honda CB350RS

Jawa Forty-Two 2.1

RE Meteor 350

Rs 1,96,000

Rs 1,83, 942

Rs 1.90 lakh (Supernova)

When it comes to pricing, the Jawa 42 2.1 is the cheapest amongst its competitors. However, it lacks the features that the Honda CB350RS and the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 offer. In fact, the Meteor 350’s base mode-- Fireball is Rs 11,000 cheaper than the CB350RS and Rs 8,000 than the Jawa 42, yet offers decent equipment and features. So, unless you are a Jawa fanatic, the 42 2.1 wouldn’t be a great option. For people looking for quality and reliability, the Honda CB350RS would be the right pick.

 
 

Honda CB350RS Video Review

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