Japanese auto major Honda on Tuesday made the global premiere of its mid-sized motorcycle, CB350RS, priced at Rs 1.96 lakh, which will go on sale in India from next month (ex-showroom pan India).
The CB350RS is the second new introduction of Honda's CB family of motorcycles, which is 'Made in India for the World' after the H'ness CB350 bike which was launched last October.
"Last year, Indian riders got a chance to experience 'made in India' CB brand and elevate their pride of fun riding. Today, we are excited to add another chapter to the CB series.
"Exhibiting the true legacy of CB Brand, the CB350RS will add value for the Indian customer by providing contemporary style and superior stance, further enhancing the fun biking culture," Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) Managing Director, President & CEO Atsushi Ogata said in a virtual conference.
He said since the launch of the CB92 in 1959, Honda's CB brand has "pushed the boundaries of technology. It is a beautiful overlap of performance, comfort, style, technology and reliability".
The CB350RS will be available across the 'Big Wing' network, the company's retail outlet for premium bikes, from March although the bookings for the bike open from Tuesday.
Stating that the company has received robust response to the H'ness CB350 which has already crossed sales of 10,000 units, Ogata said Honda is bullish on the mid-sized motorcycle segment in India.
"Honda is a newcomer in this segment in India but we see a lot of potential for it, not just in cities but in rural markets as well with a lot of young people interested in the segment," he added.
When asked if the company planned to export the CB350RS, he said HMSI will discuss with the headquarter in Japan and find global markets which are interested in both the H'ness CB350 and CB350RS.
However, he said HMSI's priority with the two bikes will be the Indian market.
Commenting on the expansion of the Big Wing network, HMSI Director Sales & Marketing Yadvinder Singh Guleria said the company is on track to reach over 50 outlets by the end of March.
By the end of this month the company will have 35 outlets ready, he added.
Guleria said the all-new CB350RS is based on 'Road Sailing Concept RS', which defines the "character of the bike's smooth performance on the road with a sailing feel and comfort for the rider".
The CB350RS is powered by an advanced 4-stroke 350cc engine which produces maximum power of 15.5 kW@5500 rpm. It is equipped with assist and slipper clutch that makes gear shifts smoother that ensures less fatigue and more comfort during a ride that involves frequent gear shifting.
It also has a digital-analogue meter that integrates details like torque control, ABS (anti-lock braking system), side stand indicator with engine inhibitor, gear position indicator and battery voltage.
When asked about the outlook for 2021, Ogata said while the year has just started, so far the results are better than last year but the demand needs to be watched carefully.
"We should be more optimistic...but we shall not be too much optimistic," he said.
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