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Old 18th February 2021, 11:09   #1
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Default Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Hello Petrolheads, in a bit of a dilemma here and some outside perspective might help.

For some reason a 'buy a bike' bug has bitten me and it seems to be more powerful than a radioactive spider that bit one Peter Parker. The problem is, my current ride, a 13 year old TVS Apache 180 RTR (on which I have spent some 10k total to fix in just the past 6 months) I had ridden for not more than 5,000 Kms or so in 10 years. It is at 35k km because the past 2 years it was with a cousin of mine who needed a bike.

I also have a 2014 Activa am selling and this is aside from my Wife's Wego + the 2 cars in the family (family size is 4-including my 10 Yo son).

One reason though for my less usage of the Apache was the super committed riding posture - am like 5'6 and the riding posture gave me a severe back ache (esp if I lugged a laptop bag on my back) and I only started to use it for short weekend rides in the city - errands, gym etc.

Logically speaking, would I use it for more than 200-250 kms a month? No but then the heart wants what it wants. And the heart wants a Jawa or Hness (or the latest iteration of this).

My reasoning for usage is, with a less committed and better suited riding posture for shorter drivers, I can also do my 10 km one way office commute on a bike (at least 2 times a week).

Budget is around 2l OTR (will anyway raise 35-40k by selling the Activa + Apache)....hit me with your thoughts.

Also what would be a better option, the Hness or the Jawa 42 2.1 and why?

Remember one key consideration of mine is comfort for my height.
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Old 18th February 2021, 12:38   #2
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Have you decided to go with purchase of bikes? Or are you asking us to decide on that too?

If you have already decided to purchase and asking only for choice between CB350 and java 42, I would go with CB350. Java has lost its trust and have heard many negatives.

If you are asking for decision whether or not to purchase, please answer below questions

1. How many kms have you done with Activa in its life time and last 6 months?
2. What kind of trips have been majority in Activa in last six months?
3. What would be your trips in next 2 years?

If you have extensively covered more than 6000 kms per year in Activa, may be you need a bike

If your majority trips in Activa are for milk, vegetables and medicines, better continue with Activa. CB350 or java won't be as useful as Activa for these trips.

If you are planning to have long trips in bike minimum to cover 500 kms in month, then you may consider bike(my recommendation: CB350)

Last edited by gkveda : 18th February 2021 at 12:39.
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Old 18th February 2021, 13:57   #3
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

I am in a similar dilemma/ situation too. Have a 150 Apache, later converted to 180, but run about 1.1 l kms. Even I am of a similar height 5'5".
For city, the Apache still is a brilliant bike with its ability to close gaps quickly though the suspension is on a stiffer side. Maybe, that is causing discomfort. Otherwise, try some luggage management - saddle bags/ top box etc if the laptop bag is heavy.
If you want to buy a new bike, CB350 might not be your style due to its lower rev band. I mean the RTR engine just loves to rev beyond it 10k limit while the CB350 is more of a retro cruiser, plus the power increment will be quite less ~ 2 bhp.
I would look beyond these two, maybe look at the interceptor or the Dukes, or maybe the Dominar at around 3L.
If your budget is 2.5L, I would also look at Meteor or the Gixxer 250.
As for the height point of view, I have ridden all these including the Jawa but feel most confident in the Dukes.
The interceptor is quite heavy and the footpegs ergos are weird for us with short legs especially while pushing out of parking, but the engine is glorious. I had booked a Grey Jawa classic, but cancelled due to its quality and delivery issues.
Even the Himlayan is quite doable with Pillion and luggage for our height, despite its heavy weight and higher CoG.

Do ride all the bikes in your budget, and let us know your thoughts. Do not reject a bike just because of its seat height. I was pretty comfortable with the Adventure 390 too even though it's a tall bike. Weight balance and CoG plays a big role too.

Let us know your riding style, usage - (highway/city), what you consider important in your next bike which will help narrow down options. As for city /market chores, can be done in a superbike as well, my neighbour does that in a Ninja 1000, while I never felt the need of a scooter and any bike can do the city circuit pretty easily, so don't keep that as a parameter.
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Old 18th February 2021, 14:04   #4
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
Budget is around 2l OTR (will anyway raise 35-40k by selling the Activa + Apache)....hit me with your thoughts.
Also what would be a better option, the Hness or the Jawa 42 2.1 and why?
If limited to choose between the two, the Honda anyday. Jawa is yet to prove itself, and even Mahindra has not had any good numbers since the day it acquired Kinetic. Ideally, the Honda will be a longer companion without much headaches.

If open to other options, please look at the RE 650 twins, Meteor and the Dominar twins as well. A longish test drive should clear your doubts about comfort and the bikes themselves are quite good and VFM for what they offer. Most importantly, you can get these maintained almost everywhere. I will specifically suggest the RE twins since they are almost the next segment for the price and that should hold the upgrade bug for quite some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
If your majority trips in Activa are for milk, vegetables and medicines, better continue with Activa. CB350 or java won't be as useful as Activa for these trips.
Completely agree with this. Plus assuming the better half cannot ride bikes, she will be able to use the scooter if needed. From Activas and Accesses to Vespas and Aprilias, everything should end at approximately half your budget, even though BS6 has pushed their prices quite a bit up recently.

Last edited by Researcher : 18th February 2021 at 14:25.
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Old 18th February 2021, 14:59   #5
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
Also what would be a better option, the Hness or the Jawa 42 2.1 and why?

Remember one key consideration of mine is comfort for my height.
Bike or not to bike is left to your choice. But if you choose Jawa, then you will be forced not to bike. This much I can predict.

Before heading to Jawa's showroom, try to find out where their service center is located, otherwise, you'll land up riding much more than anticipated every month for weekly service calls

PS - All offence meant towards Mahindra for toppling the reputation of Jawa without a considerate towards poor owners
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Old 18th February 2021, 15:10   #6
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
No but then the heart wants what it wants. And the heart wants a Jawa or Hness (or the latest iteration of this).
Also what would be a better option, the Hness or the Jawa 42 2.1 and why?
Between the two I would go for the Honda if the main factor was reliability, strong brand value and presence here in India. It also assures peace of mind.
On the other hand, are you really sure you need a bike ? Since you mentioned this is a bug that has recently bit you, why not try renting out a similar bike for a week or two. Once the novelty dies off it might be better to get a scooter like the Jupiter or Access. Even the TVS N Torq is quite a puller I hear. However, if you are absolutely sold on a bike go ahead and get the Honda !
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Old 18th February 2021, 15:28   #7
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

You would be better off with the Honda.
Jawa after sales are in disarray in many parts of the country.

You may consider the CB350 RS, that was launched few days ago.
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Old 18th February 2021, 16:16   #8
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
Have you decided to go with purchase of bikes? Or are you asking us to decide on that too?

If you have already decided to purchase and asking only for choice between CB350 and java 42, I would go with CB350. Java has lost its trust and have heard many negatives.

If you are asking for decision whether or not to purchase, please answer below questions

1. How many kms have you done with Activa in its life time and last 6 months?
2. What kind of trips have been majority in Activa in last six months?
3. What would be your trips in next 2 years?

If you have extensively covered more than 6000 kms per year in Activa, may be you need a bike

If your majority trips in Activa are for milk, vegetables and medicines, better continue with Activa. CB350 or java won't be as useful as Activa for these trips.

If you are planning to have long trips in bike minimum to cover 500 kms in month, then you may consider bike(my recommendation: CB350)
Activa was used by my late father, and without him using the bike, in the past 6 months, KM done would be 10 (to the service centre and back for a general service last week), Apache would be less than 200 kms in 3 months. 2 Wheeler trips mostly are for local shops, gym, and occasionally the office - but my back starts to hurt (am also oldish) and I never take it to office again for a month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grease_Monkey View Post
I am in a similar dilemma/ situation too. Have a 150 Apache, later converted to 180, but run about 1.1 l kms. Even I am of a similar height 5'5".
For city, the Apache still is a brilliant bike with its ability to close gaps quickly though the suspension is on a stiffer side. Maybe, that is causing discomfort. Otherwise, try some luggage management - saddle bags/ top box etc if the laptop bag is heavy.
If you want to buy a new bike, CB350 might not be your style due to its lower rev band. I mean the RTR engine just loves to rev beyond it 10k limit while the CB350 is more of a retro cruiser, plus the power increment will be quite less ~ 2 bhp.
I would look beyond these two, maybe look at the interceptor or the Dukes, or maybe the Dominar at around 3L.
If your budget is 2.5L, I would also look at Meteor or the Gixxer 250.
As for the height point of view, I have ridden all these including the Jawa but feel most confident in the Dukes.
The interceptor is quite heavy and the footpegs ergos are weird for us with short legs especially while pushing out of parking, but the engine is glorious. I had booked a Grey Jawa classic, but cancelled due to its quality and delivery issues.
Even the Himlayan is quite doable with Pillion and luggage for our height, despite its heavy weight and higher CoG.

Do ride all the bikes in your budget, and let us know your thoughts. Do not reject a bike just because of its seat height. I was pretty comfortable with the Adventure 390 too even though it's a tall bike. Weight balance and CoG plays a big role too.

Let us know your riding style, usage - (highway/city), what you consider important in your next bike which will help narrow down options. As for city /market chores, can be done in a superbike as well, my neighbour does that in a Ninja 1000, while I never felt the need of a scooter and any bike can do the city circuit pretty easily, so don't keep that as a parameter.
My riding style would be about 80% city (50% of this in peak traffic) and balance short jaunts outside the city. Very interesting points raised though, certain bikes like Himalayan I look and just go "nah, would need a stool to reach the ground", but yeah, won't hurt to TD all of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Bike or not to bike is left to your choice. But if you choose Jawa, then you will be forced not to bike. This much I can predict.

Before heading to Jawa's showroom, try to find out where their service center is located, otherwise, you'll land up riding much more than anticipated every month for weekly service calls

PS - All offence meant towards Mahindra for toppling the reputation of Jawa without a considerate towards poor owners
Is the reliability that bad? Sadly TBHP does not have too much of threads on Jawa 42 (just 2 iirc) so I cant really form a judgement from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
Between the two I would go for the Honda if the main factor was reliability, strong brand value and presence here in India. It also assures peace of mind.
On the other hand, are you really sure you need a bike ? Since you mentioned this is a bug that has recently bit you, why not try renting out a similar bike for a week or two. Once the novelty dies off it might be better to get a scooter like the Jupiter or Access. Even the TVS N Torq is quite a puller I hear. However, if you are absolutely sold on a bike go ahead and get the Honda !
Good idea, will look up this option
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Old 18th February 2021, 17:07   #9
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Being a Jawa 42 owner, I don't recommend the bike at all.
1) The Ride quality is bone jarring (inspite of changing the pathetic seat) and it gives me backache within 10 min of riding
2) The Original Seat was very very thin and uncomfortable (I changed that)
3) the Ground clearance is very low and it keeps hitting speed breakers when two people are sitting on it
4) The Engine noise is not exciting at all and it is also not fast. For a 27 bhp bike one would expect a much faster performance - it takes almost 15 sec in 0-100
5) The low end torque is not there at all and bike stalls if you try to cross any obstacle in 2nd gear

Overall, this has not been a good purchase for me and I was unnecessarily infatuated by the Nebula Blue colour.. now its been one year (hardly 800km driven) and I don't like to ride it at all.

Instead I would recommend you to go for the Enfield Meteor 350 or the Honda Highness/ CB350 RS

Last edited by Behemoth : 18th February 2021 at 17:08.
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Old 18th February 2021, 17:08   #10
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
My riding style would be about 80% city (50% of this in peak traffic) and balance short jaunts outside the city.
For mostly city usage two bikes stand out, and can be used for short trips outside the city too if targetting sub 100 kmph cruising speed:

1. FZ25
2. CB350/RS

Both have good low end torque and easy riding style. While the Jawa bikes are good looking but their parent company doesn't give us the confidence, perhaps the reason why most of us did not buy them. Maybe they can have a case study in MBA classes for Jawa - "How not to ruin a perfectly good opportunity, especially in a hot market /segment". No offense to Jawa owners, I keep drooling at their bikes whenever one passes by

If you like the retro cruiser style, perhaps the RE 350 siblings could interest you, though the power output is similar to that of the CB350. The Meteor 350 has a pretty refined engine though their supply is quite poor and many of the members are waiting for their bikes. Also, this engine would be planted in different other bikes, so can be considered too if you are willing to wait few months.

Last edited by GTO : 19th February 2021 at 11:15. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 18th February 2021, 17:10   #11
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Hi,
With the usage you have highlighted do you really need a bike for 2L. You have mentioned driving thro traffic and I can't think of anything but a gearless scooter for comfort. I have an Activa which is being thrashed by me and my wife for the last 9Y, has done 30K in that time and the engine is still going strong. When we thought of swapping it for Ather, we decided we can do a detailing instead and continue using it for further 3 to 5 years. A fresh coat of paint, New seat covers and proper servicing will save you 2L for another 2years.
If you still want to buy definitely not Jawa, which is turning out to be a disaster. CB350 is awesome to ride in the city and having purchased one recently can vouch for the handling and ease. Good luck.
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Old 18th February 2021, 22:53   #12
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

Keep the Activa for your daily running around.

Test ride premium bikes from every manufacturer that fall in your budget. I think the Dominar 250 might seem like a good option for your height.

Buy the bike that takes care of your new bike bug and makes you happy .
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Old 18th February 2021, 23:28   #13
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Default re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

I am in the exact same delima, except for the fact that I sold my last bike some 10 years back. Haven't ridden a bike in all these years. Heck, even the Activa and Wego I have, I must have ridden not more than 1000 km in last 10 years. Everything to blame my herniated disc in the C5-6 region.

But off late, looking at the new launches, the CB 350, RE Meteor and the likes, I am in two minds. One thing that I am more than sure about is, this bike is not going to be a daily driver or that occasional highway mate. I just need the bike to relive my younger days. Maybe a few hundred kilometres tops in a month.

Enough of my banter !!

I would suggest the CB350 / CB 350 RS anyday over the Jawa. Jawa feels really raw and I could not feel the connect that I used to feel in my humble Hero Honda Hunk.(Mean no offense to any fans or owners!)

Meteor 350 is another excellent option, in case if you wish to consider.
Apart from that, if the weight doesn't bother you much, even the Bajaj Dominar (250/400) are worthy bikes.

Last edited by ObsessedByFIAT : 18th February 2021 at 23:31.
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Old 19th February 2021, 13:21   #14
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Default Re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

If usage is not much and only city usage and office commute are concerned, a Burgman Street or any other Maxi scooter for that matter will prove to be a kind of a hybrid option which can be a middle ground between a bike and a gearless scooter. I can say this with assurance as I own an FZs and recently bought a Burgman Street and I like to ride Burgman more these days in the city areas. Just my two cents here.
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Old 21st February 2021, 10:49   #15
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Default Re: Jawa 42 vs Honda Hness CB350

The only reason you can think about Jawa is when you consider your height (5'6).

I was initially bitten by its striking design and looks but once I did a test drive, i was convinced that it is no more than an overpriced commuter bike.

I drive a CBR250 for the last 9 years and based on my ownership experience, I can assure 100% that Honda engines are far much reliable than any other competitor in the market.
Go with the CB350RS for that little extra oomph (especially the 150 rear tyre).
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