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Old 29th May 2022, 02:45   #1
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Default Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review

Hello Team-BHPians,

Whenever there has been a discussion on any type of vehicles around me I have always heard at least one person say that if you have ridden/driven a Honda you can never be satisfied by anything else. I used to be amused by these statements however never had I imagined that I too would experience this same sentiment.

Let me first introduce my Piccolo (Honda CB350) to this wonderful community.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220509_095720.jpg

This thread will detail my experiences with Piccolo which I hope can be of use to anyone looking for relevant information. So before we go further here are some of the basic details regarding my bike.

Model : Honda H'Ness CB350
Edition : Anniversary Edition
Colour : Matte Marshal Green Metallic
Purchase Month : March 2022
Place of Registration : Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Current odometer reading : ~4000 km (Date - 27 June 2022)

Based on my experience so far with Piccolo below are the key likes and dislikes in my point of view :

Likes -
  • Practicality - It is one of the few bikes available in our market which you can term as a proper allrounder - Weekend trips ? Daily drives ? Mountains calling ? Not so good/absent roads ? - This Honda is good to go wherever you want.
  • The Engine - It's a Honda, you get a good amount of torque, swift acceleration packaged with a sweet exhaust note minus any sort of vibrations, in short gem of an engine.
  • Simplicity - It is a very simple bike with good mix of old school gentleman characteristics coupled with a few modern and practical tricks up it's sleeve.
  • Safety - Dual channel ABS, Potent disc brakes, Side stand engine cut off, Traction Control, Non-intrusive navigation system.
  • Build quality - Built like a tank, I have waded through heavy sand gusts without a single moment of wobble from the bike.
  • Reliability - It's a Honda after all.
  • Traveling Appetite - The bike truly comes into its own on the highways, add to it absolutely zero strain on the Engine even with pillion, saddlebags, tank bag on board and customisation options getting available in the market albeit slowly. Moderate bit of off-road (going over stone filled tracks etc. ) is also no big deal.
  • Looks - Looks are subjective, for me the clean design, proportions and this particular variant and colour combination of CB350 is exactly what I was looking for.
  • Honda's commitment - We often blame Honda for having an indifferent attitude towards Indian market and rightly so, However of late tides seem to be changing and the progress shown by Honda in their journey with CB350 gives me confidence that here is a bike which it's manufacturer also likes and wants to shine.
  • Driving Dynamics - This is again a very subjective opinion, I personally prefer the lazy and relaxed riding characteristics of CB350 with enough juice on tap to go beast mode if mood hits.
  • The materials used in every nook and corner of bike look premium and feel top notch quality wise
  • I have purchased CB350 after a lot of consideration, planning and debates so maybe a little bit bias here but I believe CB350 is a bike which does not have any big weakness.
  • Fuel efficiency (more on it later in the thread)
Initial Dislikes -
  • Stiff suspension - resolved after about 2000 kms as suspension settled down and I have also started keeping rear tyre pressure at 35 psi (1 psi less than recommended by Honda), front tyre remains at recommended 29 psi and rear suspension setting is also at factory default.
  • Stiff pillion seat - resolved in around a month of constant use, it no longer troubles my wife.
  • Noisy Front Suspension - Weird squeaky noises used to come from front suspension when going over craters, subsided to a large extent now.

Current Dislikes -
  • Slightly long turning radius.
  • Not easy to guess if tyre pressure is low, adding TPMS or buying a digital gauge is recommended.
  • Missing top rack and skid plate from Honda official accessories (The skid plate from CB350 RS is not a straight fit due to different mount points)
  • The mounting mechanism of mirrors can be better, currently it is very easy to loosen up the mirror and it takes precise adjustment to fix it back.
  • Lack of real estate to paste your not so charming stickers (Residential Society label etc.)
  • One of the cables connecting to exhaust has a weirdly short sleeve that is an eyesore
  • Not sure if it should count as a negative but this bike just does not feel at home in bumper to bumper traffic, but again probably this is not a purpose this bike is designed for to be honest.
  • No Kick Start

Quirks -
  • The swapped positions of Horn and Indicator switch
  • The tall gearing coupled with long stroke engine characteristics takes some time getting used to.

Attention Points -
  • This bike has a 350cc Air cooled engine and long metallic exhaust system, it is very easy to forget it but the heat can be very dangerous especially if you have kids or family members who can accidentally touch the hot exhaust.
  • The chain cover is of semi open variety, add to it the retro styling and it opens up a key hazard if you are not careful, if you have a pillion who wears Long dupattas/chunaris then it would be a wise decision to tuck the dupatta in before starting to ride as it is extremely easy for the dupatta to slip inside the chain cover.
  • This bike is an attention magnet, which would mean you will always get attention, all kinds of attention from your surroundings.(If you know what I mean)

Last edited by darkLightning : 27th June 2022 at 17:45.
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Old 11th June 2022, 16:37   #2
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Need of Bike - Me and my wife (married 2020, girlfriend since 2013) have been on the lookout for buying a new vehicle for us since around 2018, the choices have oscillated between cars, SUVs, bikes, pickup trucks, caravans and what not, noteworthy mentions being Royal Enfield Thunderbird, Ford Endeavour, Maruti Gypsy, Isuzu V-Cross, Tata Safari (The Original), Honda City, Ford Ecosport, Kawasaki Versys 650, Kawasaki W800, Renault Duster. All the discussions ultimately led to one reason or another for not making the purchase, I can honestly write a very long story about this aspect however that's maybe for another day. Long story short - In Feb 2022 we decided that it is time now finally to purchase a bike in Bhopal which we will be using for long trips.

Selection process - Towards the end of 2021 our needs were slightly different and we were contemplating on buying a smaller bike primarily with next two years in mind, I had even put up a post here on the forum asking opinions for the same https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...uld-i-buy.html (Looking for a faithful companion for the next 2 years | Which motorcycle should I buy?). However those requirements and constraints were no longer in place and the primary reason for this purchase was to buy a bike which we both would love to travel on (solo rides will not be that much) and keep with us for as long as we can.

The list of requirements we prepared came up to be like this -
  • Comfortable to sit on for long hours for both rider and pillion
  • Comfortable to go over bad roads
  • Should not feel the stress if driving for 6-7 hours or more in a day
  • Should have relaxed driving dynamics.
  • Luggage carrying should not be a bother
  • No compromise on reliability and durability
  • The saddle time should bring smile on our faces and not adjustments to our mind

Our budget was in the range of 2-3L on road and I don't like riding at a speed where I cannot fully control the bike so I was not really looking at any of the high speed bikes like KTM, they are simply not my cup of tea.

Alternatives Considered

So with the requirements and thought process cleared we went into the market to explore what options we have, much of the details about the different manufacturers we gave a thought to has been listed in the above linked thread so here I will go over the alternatives that were thought of in the following order -

Bikes thought of but not looked at -
Suzuki Gixxer 250 (Not fan of styling), Yamaha FZ-25 (Good allrounder, nothing special as such), FZ-X (Under powered), Honda Hornet 2.0 & CB200X(Smaller than what we wanted), Bajaj Dominar (Good bike however I am apprehensive of Bajaj bikes in general and wanted something simpler), Apache RR310 ( Too sporty), KTM ADV 250/390 (Pillion seat did not look too good and KTMs are too orange for my liking), Royal Enfield 650 twins (Too many modifications required for making it comfortable)

Bikes looked at but not considered for test drive -
Hero XPulse twins (Fabulous bikes, definitely would have been top choice if solo rides were to be aimed, however relative lack of power and pillion seat comfort go against them), Honda CB300R (Pillion seat is too small, relatively less simplistic machine), Honda CB350RS (Pillion seat is too small), Royal Enfield Classic (I like the colours of Classic 350, everything else in it I don't like)

Bikes considered for test drive but not provided by dealership - This is a disappointing section as it contains two bikes which would have been in my ideal top 3 candidates if only I could have test driven them -
  • Royal Enfield Himalayan - The RE dealerships in my city are adamant on selling only Classic 350, For Himalayan their answers were very straight, there is no test drive of Himalayan, no demo vehicle either, if you want to try Himalayan you have to find your own way, we will sell you Himalayan directly and you need to make full payment then we will allot a bike for you.
  • Royal Enfield Meteor 350 - Here the dealership was at least a little apologetic, they had no test drive vehicle for Meteor there was one display model which belonged to someone from showroom, we can sit on it. I dejectedly sat on the bike and I can say Meteor's saddle is a very comfortable place to be in, but something was ergonomically awkward about the overall riding posture especially the wide fuel tank.

No way was I going to put my money on a bike without test drive and dealership was not that interested either, they were perhaps counting how many Classic 350 they can sell instead of time wasting with me.

Surprise entrants -
Just after this disappointing experience with last Royal Enfield showroom when I was walking out my eyes caught something on the other side of road, fresh spankingly bright, newly launched Yezdi triplets standing outside of Jawa dealership on the opposite side of the road. I looked at my wife and we said why not ? so we hopped on to the Jawa dealership and the experience could not have been any more different.

The showroom staff immediately attended to us, keenly listened to our queries, took some basic info then their immediate question was

Which all model you want to test drive now ?
I said what would you suggest ?

And then I took test drive of Jawa 42 2.1, Yezdi Roadster and Yezdi Scrambler, Yezdi Adventure had some issue so they asked to come back later for test drive which I did.

Bike I did not like after test drive -
  • Jawa 42 2.1 - I was never really considering Jawa earlier because of their low ground clearance and smaller size especially for pillion seat and the test drive re-affirmed my concerns, add to it the bike felt unusually wide as well. As for the driving experience from test drive the bike never really felt settled, I managed to stall it 5 times in first and second gear over a distance of probably 500 metres maximum.

Bikes I rejected after test drive -
  • Yezdi Scrambler - In my opinion this sibling is the best to ride among the three Yezdi's, it's compact, eager and the roughness of engine suits it's scrambler character as well. The test ride was short but engaging. Primary reasons for Scrambler to be rejected were it's short pillion seat and there is some way to go for Yezdi engines to be considered smooth, let alone be in league with a Honda. Another curious observation I have for scrambler is it's lack of low end torque, I found a medium sized pothole on a turn, brought the bike to standstill inside it and tried to judge how much effort will be required to come out of it, turns out quite an effort which is weird for a scrambler, I can say my Splendor required probably lesser effort.
  • Yezdi Adventure - This Himalayan look-a-like is a serious bike and means business, I was considering it as an option for some time but ultimately rejected it because this cannot be the only bike in garage which is something I was not originally targeting at but Honda gave me that option and I do have to frequently pick and drop my wife to her work place where she goes wearing a Saree, so the pick up and drop duties will automatically fall on my humble Wego if I buy a full blown ADV styled bike. No major observations from TD except that refinement and low end torque can be improved a lot.

The Runner-up - And the above listings finally lead us to the bike which can claim the spot of runner-up in my search and that spot belongs to

Yezdi Roadster - Before I go further I have to stop and appreciate the sales staff at Classic Legends dealership who can serve a few humble pies especially to the Royal Enfield staff. These guys were the best out of all dealerships I went to and if you give these guys well rounded products they can for sure increase sales by a huge margin. Anyways going back to Roadster the competition between CB350 and Roadster was neck to neck, Roadster definitely looks better than CB350, where it ultimately lost was in engine smoothness, I was ready to compromise on everything else if this bike was more refined. Add to it the tuning of Engine is such that it doesn't like pottering around at lower revs. Roadster is in my opinion the proper option for someone who is eyeing majority of highway riding and very rare city rides. It has some way to go to be a finished product but the path is right. Good luck Classic Legends.

Noteworthy mention - Royal Enfield Thunderbird and Honda CBR250R were the original choices which we had thought of during one of our discussions in 2020 before CB350 was launched, however as they were discontinued with BS6 norms so did not had a choice.

The Winner



Now that we have discussed about all the alternatives that were considered, I will brief about my thoughts and reason for going with Honda CB350,

First up as far as my previous riding experience goes I learnt how to ride bike on my 2010 Splendor Plus (Arjuna) with which me and my wife have a lot of special memories. Unfortunately due to some reasons my Splendor was not with us regularly since 2018 and was being driven by some other person which took a heavy toll on it. Whenever we thought of buying a new bike automatically comparisons were made with our Arjuna and a question came out that we were unable to answer, Will there be any bike that can give us as good memories as her ? ,

Cue 2020 and Honda comes out with CB350 which is received well by the Indian audience but not without a cheeky quip that CB350 looks like a Splendor on Steroids, whereas at the same time somewhere in Bhopal watching the pics and videos of CB350 a version of this thought crosses my mind - This bike looks like a worthy successor to Splendor.

Anyways with no Big Wing dealership in Bhopal I parked my thoughts on CB350 to the back of the queue and moved on with life. However sometime in first quarter of 2021 I came across a Honda stall in a mall in Bhopal with CB350 on display, As expected I got instantly hooked and got to know that a Big Wing dealership is going to open up within next few months in Bhopal and as of that time they were starting delivery of CB350 through Red Wing outlets (Normal Honda showroom) as the initial batch of CB350 was already allocated for Bhopal. I sat on the bike with my wife and immediately felt the dimensions and size of CB350, I liked what I saw and gave me details for Test Drive expecting a call within next few days however nothing happened. Again I parked CB350 to the back of my mind till the time Big Wing dealership comes fully live.

Then towards the end of 2021 Honda launches Anniversary edition of CB350 and some accessories as well, Now the Green monotone with brown split seats was exactly the kind of look I am keen on ( an ode to military colours), Honda got my attention but I was not sure if I wanted to purchase CB350 at that point. One thing I knew was that if I purchase CB350 then I am not going to think about selling it ever.

Feb 2022 - When we have finally made the decision that we want to buy the bike for us, naturally CB350 is at the top of list. However even though I have ridden a number of different two wheelers over the years there is a hesitation in my mind as I have not driven anything of the Bullet category before so how to handle that weight, the power all such questions were there in my mind.

First test ride - On my first test ride with CB350 (roughly 4 km, DLX Model) immediately it became apparent that this bike is quite easy to handle, yes the weight is there but there is something about the characteristics of this bike which make it very easy and natural for me. The DLX model has one major issue which is it's super weak horn. I went through gravel, rough roads, potholes, broken sections, smooth road all of these were handled well by suspension. Acceleration was swift but somehow I never managed to go above 40 kmph in this test ride, probably some hesitation at my end. A curious aspect I felt was how natural operating the bike came to me, I could precisely connect with the Engine and guess it's stress levels, gear shifts as well were butter smooth, clutch super light, there was just something that I cannot explain but the bike felt extremely familiar to me. I came back mighty impressed however there was one doubt in my mind, the whole test ride felt pretty easy and natural will this mean that the fun and novelty of riding it will soon wear off ?

Second test ride - Pondering over the thought I ask the dealership for a second test ride to which they are happy to oblige, this time the test ride will be from my home so that my family can also take a look, While the first test ride included all sorts of good and bad roads and demonstrated the easy going characteristics and capabilities of the bike, this second test ride (roughly 10km, DLX Pro Model) included a stretch on State Highway inside the city where I can push the throttle open a little bit and when I did it oh boy the roar with which the bike came to life, there was a composed and powerful pull from the engine that instantly made me feel the power this bike possesses and the character it has waiting to be explored. I managed to reach 70 kmph in no time, the bike felt planted though out the ride. I thoroughly enjoyed the second test drive and before giving it back to the test ride staff I tried to move the bike around in off condition testing if I can handle the weight of it and for sure the weight seems well balanced and easy to handle. The DLX Pro model also takes care of horns, the dual horn setup is sufficiently loud without doing overkill. After the second test ride I was sure of one thing, we can keep comparing all the bikes for their features and what not however as far as riding pleasure and engine refinement is considered, this Honda is in a league of its own. One mental observation I had was to keep in mind the larger length of bike than what I am used to when going through intersections. After the first test ride I had a doubt in mind ? well turning the throttle on solved that concern in one go for me I experienced Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde both in this test ride.

Next couple of weeks are spent on pondering about the alternatives and comparisons,

Riding posture - CB350 and Roadster are both good in this regard, no immediate weakness apparent.

Pillion comfort - The seat of CB350 is quite long, comfortable and the almost flat design of split seats gives enough option for rider and pillion both to move around if required. Roadster keeps pillion more engaged due to its slightly raised pillion seat.

Accessories - The stock accessories from Honda are decent to start with, Yezdi does not have much accessories available.

Features - CB350 has all that I am looking for, Roadster does not have navigation.

Reliability - Roadster is new, CB350 does not have any major reliability concern reported yet, the ECU issue that caused power loss on heights was resolved before Anniversary Edition launch and this edition comes with latest ECU update. The issue of brake pads wearing off faster than they should was also not there on newer batches as per my understanding.

The Ride- CB350's torquey and easy going nature fits my bill better.

The connect and Honda effect - My mind was still bamboozled as to how this bike managed to connect so much with me in such a short duration, something I have only felt my Splendor in all these years, I never managed to connect this much with my Wego as well even through practically I have been using it for 4 years. Then suddenly when randomly going through the user manual of my Splendor I realised that the engine in my Hero Honda Splendor Plus (BS II Model) was also in all it's essence a Honda engine and it clicked to me why the CB350 and Splendor engine behave so similar yet so different. Now all those discussions heard over the years that if you ride a Honda you won't be satisfied with anything else started coming back to my mind and it all started making sense

So ultimately all things considered all discussions led us to declaring CB350 as the clear winner every time. And hence the search was over with the winner finalised.

Last edited by darkLightning : 17th June 2022 at 21:38.
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Old 12th June 2022, 21:32   #3
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Booking and Delivery experience with dealership


There is only one Honda Big Wing dealership in Bhopal currently, the ownership of which lies with BGS Honda which is a very old Red Wing dealership in Bhopal. I will detail out my experience for any prospective buyers -

We walked into the dealership first time in Feb 2022 for enquiry, the lady who greeted us was courteous and tried to answer our queries with what she knew, there were some wrong answers from her side like Anniversary edition is based on DLX and not DLX Pro due to single tone colour, Every model in the showroom is ready for delivery etc. which we didn't really mind because one thing which my experience while buying Celerio has taught me is that sales staff does not always know much about the models. I asked for the test drive of CB350 only as CB300R and CB350RS had too small pillion seat, the test ride bike was not available at that time so she took my number and said she will call back, I jokingly reminded her that they took my number a year ago as well for test ride which I am yet to receive call back on.

I did get the call back next day that test ride vehicle will reach my location in evening however that never materialised. Next day as I was anyway going in the direction of dealership I stopped over and asked again for test ride, she apologised as the bike faced some issues on previous day according to her, she did some calls and confirmed that if I wait for 5-10 mins test ride bike is coming back to dealership and I can do the test ride though it will be a DLX model, I obliged as test ride on DLX was better than no test ride. On cue the bike arrived in around 10 mins and I took the test ride, after the test ride I had some queries which were promptly answered by a workshop guy. I asked for the quotation of CB350 which was given to be approximately 2.4L On-Road for anniversary edition and I enquired about exchange value for my Splendor Plus and got the initial quote which was quite underwhelming.

Fair enough, I told them that I will get back after some pondering over, the lady was quite adamant on us to book the bike within a week which I promptly told her will not be the case. Couple of days later I got call from the lady with revised quote for exchange and again asking if I want to book the bike now, I politely told her that I will call back after exploring more options. About a week later when I had test ridden other bikes and the competition was boiling down to Yezdi Roadster vs CB350 I went back to Big Wing dealership and asked for a second test ride this time from my home so that other members of family can also take a look at it. I was promptly given the test ride next day, this time the test ride bike was a DLX Pro (no test ride for Anniversary edition as it is limited edition variant I was told), the second test ride cleared all my doubts and CB350 was firm favourite now. Next point was looking at all the available accessories at dealership and finalising what all I would like to be installed at delivery time itself and exploring the possibilities of discounts in short the usual negotiation talk, I had already seen the cost of Honda official accessories online so I had the data with me for tallying, the lady from dealership kept getting confused during these negotiations and was visibly trying to push by now to do booking at earliest, I was not satisfied with the discussion and asked her to send me the official rate list of accessories along with any brochure or pic of it installed if possible (the accessories were installed on a demo bike at dealership but I wanted pics so I can carefully analyse the fittings and compare with aftermarket options), a couple of days later in evening I got the rate list on my whatsapp which made absolutely no sense, it listed silencer guard of approx 3k, engine guard of approx 6k. I immediately asked her to send the pics of these accessories to which she irritatingly replied that she is at home now and cannot send the pics, it is not allowed and she has already showed me everything on the demo bike.

I snapped and decided immediately that this lady cannot be involved in my bike purchase, the problem was she was always there whenever I visited dealership. Me and my wife discussed and we decided to call and explore Indore Big Wing dealership for possibility of delivering CB350 in Bhopal, I called the dealership next day and no one picked the call. Then I took a punt and called the number provided for Big Wing Bhopal dealership on Honda official site, the call was picked by dealership owner Mr. Manu Bedi who immediately connected me to Mr. Vishal Malviya who is in charge of sales at Big Wing Bhopal, Mr. Vishal understood my concerns regarding accessories, connected via video call and explained all the accessories in detail along with answers to my queries and provided correct rate list. At this point I was quite satisfied and I have to say once Mr. Vishal got involved the whole experience with dealership went above a notch or two.

Next day I visited the dealership to confirm my booking and pay the booking amount along with any final negotiation. It was 9th of March, the quoted amount for bike with all possible discounts along with my given accessory list came out to be approximately 2.58L (the exchange value of my Splendor was also raised with possibility of more negotiation). I asked for delivery date of 2nd April and the HSRP number plates to be delivered at the same time as the bike. A note here is that this concept of bike delivery with registration number is not very prevalent in my city and usually people run their vehicles with temporary number plates for first 15 days or so, I have done it before for my Splendor Plus and Celerio as well and I was in no mood to do it again, Mr. Vishal was aware of the process that would need to be done and he assured me that the RC would be printed in it's due time and the vehicle details will be available on RTO portal also in due course however he will procure the correct number plates early from RTO but I will have to pay him at least the vehicle invoice amount and give him a week of time for the procedure.

The purchase anyways did not involve any financing so I made the booking and Mr. Vishal and I decided to meet again in a week's time by when he will get final quotation for exchange and I can also think over the accessories I have chosen along with anything else I may need.

On cue one week later final negotiations were done with some changes and I transferred the vehicle invoice amount for RTO proceedings to start, balance amount was to be paid on the day of delivery and the exchange to happen any day I want. I dropped my Splendor plus to the dealership ( The memory still brings tears and makes my heart heavy ) on 27th March and moved the delivery date to 3rd of April.

Parting shots with my beloved Arjuna -

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-splendor_collage.jpeg

Delivery Experience - On the delivery day me and my wife arrived at the dealership where the remaining formalities were done with customary photos as well, the number plates were fixed after photoshoot. Overall the delivery was standard affair. The dealership though did post our video and shared it on their facebook and instagram profiles.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-delivery_masked.jpeg

If I have to do overall review of dealership I would say that the senior staff is very sincere and the dealership is on right track, they do need to focus though on the junior sales staff especially the ones who are being moved from Red wing, I did notice that the lady who was earlier handling my purchase was not to be seen again since the day I gave the booking amount and had been replaced by other staff who are very courteous. My Piccolo and my queries though are usually handled by the senior staff directly now.

There are some positive initiatives being taken by Big Wing Bhopal which I would like to list below
  • Riding Gear and accessories like Rynox jackets, bags, some aftermarket accessories are available at the dealership for purchase and the sales staff is keen to listen to the customers opinions to expand their repertoire
  • Big Wing Bhopal organises Road Safety awareness and training programs, the last one was conducted just a week before my Piccolo's delivery but I will for sure participate in next event to share the experience.
  • There are plans in progress to organise couples only rides for which the dealership is collecting data currently

Last edited by darkLightning : 4th July 2022 at 13:31.
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Old 13th June 2022, 01:57   #4
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

On-road price & discounts

I was clearly told during the discussions with dealership that they will not be able to offer any discounts on the Ex-showroom price as they themselves do not get any discount from Honda. I didn't push much either because I know for a fact that the sales figures in Bhopal at the time of my purchase were not in good shape so dealership is also not in much of a profit.

The on-road price (excluding accessories and packages) came out to be - Rs. 2,30,763
Breakdown of On-Road price is as follows -
Ex-Showroom price - Rs. 2,03,739 - ( Basic price - Rs. 1,59,171. GST - Rs. 44,568)
Insurance - Rs. 9,724 - ( First party/Own 1 Year Premium - Rs. 2,043.91 Third Party/Liability 5 Year Premium - Rs. 5,803 Add-ons - Rs. 393.72 GST - Rs. 1,483.30)
RTO Charges - Rs. 17,300 - ( Road Tax - Rs. 16,300 Fee - Rs. 1,000)

Overall I didn't get much in terms of discounts just a small bit on accessories but I did get 25% of the original purchase value of my Splendor Plus in exchange ( The 12 year old bike had wrong model name in RC and was due for a heavy service which would have involved changing quite a few parts so all in all a decent deal)

Extended warranties & service packages chosen

I had opted for 3 year extended warranty which costs Rs. 3,299 initially, however due to a goof up during the extended warranty registration the dealership registered 1 year extended warranty only, I noticed the goof up on delivery day and we (Mr. Vishal and I) did tried to get it corrected however it was not possible, Honda had directly replied ( I saw the mail ) that since the invoice was of previous financial year and we raised our concern in current financial year it would not be possible to change the warranty now, instead I can apply for 2 year warranty extension once extended warranty starts, dealership staff has assured me that they will try to minimise any difference in purchase amount of extended warranty in two steps instead of one, I got the balance amount as refund and as per my calculation I would incur a loss of about 500 bucks approximately when I do the extended warranty extension.

The one year Extended Warranty package which I have got currently costs Rs. 1,549

I also wanted to purchase the Road Side Assistance package however dealership staff told me to hold on to it as the experience being shared by some of their customers is not great with RCA, especially those travelling to southern states, a food for thought maybe for Honda.

During the first service, I opted for the Honda Premium AMC which costs Rs. 8999, The terms of AMC are as follows -

Tenure - 2 Years
No. of Services - Scheduled services of 2 year duration, which in my case is 5 (3 Free, 2 Paid)
Labour charges - Free for scheduled services, else 5% discount.
Spares - Mentioned in manual for scheduled services are free others 5% discounted
Free Chain cleaning - 1
Lube Discount - Inclusive
Free Wash - 1
RSA Discount - 5%
Free Pick up and Drop - 1
Door Step Service - 1

I was initially not interested in buying AMC as the one which we have for Wego is utterly useless, however on detailed discussion and comparison with projected service charges I found that there would be a benefit of approximately 3k if I go with AMC. The service manager Mr. Jagdish Sahu also showed me the regular AMC package that they have (similar to one I have for Wego) and the fact that Honda has put strict order not to give regular AMCs to any one of the bikes retailed through Big Wing. The Premium AMC terms are controlled by Honda directly. There are some more conditions like accidental damages, racing etc. which are provided with AMC document.

Accessories Installed

All the accessories currently on Piccolo were purchased with the bike itself and came installed during delivery, a key advantage here is that dealership does not charge labour cost for installation of accessories which were purchased with the bike.

Below are the accessories along with their pictures, official cost and experience -

Honda official accessories -
  • Saddle Mount (Stays) - These are the Honda official Saddle Stays/Mounts for CB350, the quoted rate for these is Rs. 750 for the pair. In my opinion the price of these mounts is pretty VFM, they are of solid build quality. Initially I thought that these stays are of slightly smaller size but after putting Dirtsack Frogman Saddle Bags on them it is apparent that their size is perfectly sufficient. As far as the purpose of these stays is considered I have seen zero issues so far from Day 1. The stays do appear to protrude a bit in first view but practically they do not cause any sort of discomfort as you can see in below photos. Paint quality is also quite good. I do have one gripe though, the rubber caps provided to cover the Mounting points do keep falling off and these are Honda official rubber caps with proper SKU number and all which costs 12 buck each, I had 5 such caps on my Piccolo of which 3 are missing in below pics as they keep falling off, the service staff has tried to secure them with Rubber adhesive as well but no success. This is a pretty irritating design flaw and is accepted by service staff as well.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-saddle_stay_collage.jpg
  • Fork Boots - The official Fork Boots cost Rs. 600 which is probably on slightly higher side, they fit snugly and do their purpose of keeping dust and grime out of shock absorbers efficiently though and enhance the looks quite a bit in my opinion.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-fork_boots.jpg
  • Mud Flap - The mud flap was sorely missed by early users of CB350 and Honda has come up with one as an official accessory, This flap costs Rs. 200. IT works with the overall design of the bike and the rubber quality is quite good. It appears to be quite effective as well but as rainy season is just starting so the true test of mud flap is only starting now.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-mud_flap.jpg
  • Engine Cover Pipe - This Engine Cover Pipe worth Rs. 469 from Honda is a pretty quirky and unique offering, I have not really seen anything like it on any other bike in flesh yet. Even the sales staff was not fully sure of its effectiveness, The skid plate on CB350RS would have made more sense in my opinion. The build quality and material used is quite strong though. I initially did not opt for this however after carefully analysing other options that were available in market at that time I decided to opt for this cover as I was not confident of how much those other bash plates would affect the heat management, so I have decided to keep this cover pipe and go for a good skid plate when one is available. Is it VFM ? Yes. Is it effective ? Can't say right now.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-engine_cover_pipe.jpg
  • Leg Guard - These official Leg Guards cost Rs. 1,244 which is a pretty VFM offering in my opinion. They are solidly built and complement the overall design of bike very well. I had the option of fitting the RE Bullet leg guards from the showroom but they would mess up a little with the horn positioning and they do not suit the design of CB350 either, same for after market ones as well. The official Leg guards are definitely on the smaller side though and some more arrangement like adding sliders would be required for more difficult and longer trips.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-leg_guard_collage.jpg

Other Accessories -
  • Royal Enfield Meteor WindShield - There are 2 options which Honda gives for Wind Shield however I found both of them to be pretty small and dealership gave me option of fitting Wind Shield of Meteor on my Piccolo, I had understanding that Meteor's Wind Shield does indeed fits CB350 however it requires some elbow grease and mount adjustment so I opted for the Meteor windshield. The Wind Shield plus fitting cost came out to be Rs. 5,000 which is neither VFM not very expensive in my opinion. The Shield's quality is quite good though and it does it's job well. There is a Royal Enfield symbol above the cutout in it which has been masked by the Honda sticker. The other options available at that time in aftermarket were not of my liking, The Carbon Racing touring shield was the best out there but even that did not fit with the overall design of CB350 in my opinion.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-wind_shield.jpg
What I dislike about this Meteor Wind Shield is the ludicrous paint quality of it's U-Shaped supports, as you can see already the silver paint has started chipping from them and this photo was taken just 15 days post delivery of bike and that too from a point which could not have any object impacting it to make a scratch. The silver colour has also started to fade now and in front of all the other chrome bits present in the bike these supports do scream aftermarket work. I have shared the feedback with sales team and provided them the link for Hyperrider windshield as well which seems to be a pretty good option for CB350, sadly it was not available when I bought my Piccolo. The sales staff is exploring Hyperrider accessories as well now.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-paint_chip_wind_shield.jpg

Other Items Purchased -
  • Body Cover - This is the Big Wing branded body cover from Honda which costs Rs. 866. I had pre-ordered the body cover at the time of purchase itself however the body covers have reached the dealerships around mid May only and I got the first one sold by dealership on 19th May, The body cover is pretty large and fits the bike well (I was using a RE size cover from local market prior to this which would not fit CB350 and my Wind Shield exaggerated the size mismatch even more.) It has two buckles one near the rear tyre and one below the engine for securing. The bottom of cover has elastic to ensure snug fitting. The material used is quite soft and gives premium feel however it is not good with heat and I am told to let the bike cool down fully before putting on the cover. The body cover is VFM in my opinion. And if the wind shield is not there then the cover should swallow the rear tyre as well fully I think.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-body_cover.jpg
  • Honda Branded Helmet - The infamous rule of buying pair of helmets is compulsory with new bike purchase was in play here. I had the option of buying two helmets from dealership or to provide them receipts of two helmets purchased in this year only. I went for the second option initially but the helmet I really liked (SMK Titan) was not available in the colour of my choice at that time and it was not available in size S (for my wife) as well. So we decided to buy Titan when it is available and maybe from some other city also. So I circled back to the dealership, they were not having any full face helmet without any unnecessary graphics plus they also had nothing in size S, so after multiple discussions I ended up buying one anniversary edition specific helmet in total.( The colour matches perfectly with the bike and it does look smashing but it is open face so that's not good. ), I was anyways not having a good helmet though so this one works for now, it does have washable cheek pads and inner lining, sun light visor, top and rear air vents and good fitting though. For Rs. 2,500 a bit costly maybe but I guess the cost is of matching colour scheme. It does not have a ring mechanism for Helmet lock though.

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  • Honda Branded Keychain - I was on the lookout for a good keychain, the one that came with Piccolo was a regular Redwing one. I couldn't find any key chain of my liking, so during one of my visits to dealership they showed me these new key chains Honda has sent for checking the interest of customers. I ended up buying one (again first one of dealership), It is of good quality leather, feels premium, the metal parts have good finish and it does match with the keys. As far as showoff is concerned, this is absolutely spot on. At Rs. 450 though VFM it depends on the choice

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-honda_keychain.jpg
Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220611_021123.jpg

Last edited by darkLightning : 26th June 2022 at 14:01.
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Old 18th June 2022, 03:18   #5
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Styling & Design



CB350 belongs to the 350 cc retro motorbike segment where the looks of bike matter a lot and you have a number of beautiful machines like Classic 350, Benelli Imperiale, Meteor 350, Yezdi Roadster, Jawa Classic. CB350 is no slouch either in styling and the Anniversary Edition has taken it up another notch in my opinion.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-approach_view.jpg

As you approach the bike you can see a classy silhouette which would not look out of place if you saw it in 1980's, in other words tastefully executed retro looks. Despite being on the larger side this bike masks its dimensions well and you won't really see it as a large bike initially. I like Piccolo from all angles but this front three quarter look is particularly neat.
Do notice the body coloured mud guards, fork boots and Windshield accentuating the looks.

What's new in Anniversary Edition ? Well the Anniversary Edition as you can guess from the name was launched to commemorate first anniversary of CB350 launch. This special edition is built on top of DLX Pro variant and it has a few cosmetic changes done and one functional change as well. There is some confusion as to whether it's a limited edition or a permanent variant, According to the dealership initially they were told that anniversary edition will be limited edition, however as of now if a customer orders it they are getting the anniversary editions allotted. In my opinion probably there are still some anniversary edition models lying unsold which are getting allotted. The anniversary edition costs approximately Rs. 2500 more than the DLX Pro model ex-showroom. For this extra amount you get -
  • Brown Split-Seats - This is the main functional difference between anniversary edition and other editions, As you can see in above pic, the brown split-seats are default for this variant where as you can get split-seats in either black or brown colour for other variants at an approximate cost of Rs. 2500. The split seats are slightly longer than regular single-piece seat, the grab rail of split seats is also chunkier, Some riders have also mentioned that split seats have slightly better cushioning. From a mechanical perspective I feel split seats would inherently be more robust than regular seat as both seats are individually bolted using one Allen bolt where as the regular seat gets one Allen bolt only for the full seat.
  • Single Tone Finish - The DLX Pro gets dual tone colour scheme whereas the Anniversary edition has two single tone colour options, Matte Green (Matte Marshal Green Metallic) and Gloss Black (Pearl Igneous Black). Both the colours look nice however I personally prefer the Matte Green scheme, And add to it the brown split seats it captures the essence of military bikes as best as a civilian bike can in my opinion.
  • Body Coloured Mudguards - Taking the looks a step further are the body coloured mudguards. The DLX and DLX Pro variants get chrome mudguards instead. In my opinion body coloured mud guards improve the overall gentleman looks of the bike and make it look more classy and serious.
  • Anniversary Edition sticker on fuel tank - There is a large 1st Anniversary edition sticker on the fuel tank which augments well with the texture of tank. Please note that you cannot opt for the official tank pad as it will overlap with the anniversary sticker.
  • Chrome Side Stand - The DLX and DLX Pro variants get blackened side stand. I don't really see much difference here as the side stand anyways cops a lot of dirt and mud.
  • Grey coloured crown handle - The crown handle (which integrates handlebars with the chassis) is finished in gunmetal black for anniversary edition (though Honda prefers to call it Grey instead), the other variants get silver finish. It is tastefully executed and brings a nice touch to the overall looks.
  • Golden Logos -Well there was a big gripe that customers had with the badging on CB350 as it brought too much emphasis on the "H'Ness" badging. In anniversary edition the logos are finished in Golden colour with black base and it improves the classiness of badging a lot. In my opinion the badging is quite likeable now though if we can replace the H'Ness word with CB350 it would be even better.

Now that we have got the basic difference of anniversary edition aside let's talk about the overall design of this bike.

Size - We have all seen the looks of CB350 in multiple photos but what is not immediately apparent from those pics is the sheer length of this bike. In the below pic you can see my Wego (covered) and a TUV300 standing adjacent to Piccolo, this gives a good gauge of how long CB350 is.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-side_view.jpg

Stance - Looking at the bike from rear three quarters angle you can see a squatted stance, svelte profile and sense of it's length. There is a certain meatiness and heft generated by the larger dimensions and stance that suite the bike very well.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-rear_three_quarters.jpg

Cockpit - Hop on the saddle and this is the view that greets you. Did I tell you this is my favourite view of Piccolo ? Retro style round mirrors, wide handle bar simplistic controls, isn't it all just urging you to start the ride ? But wait, from this angle the bike is not looking so big right ? Well that is because of perhaps the best design element of this bike.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-cockpit.jpg

Fuel Tank - Well I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that of all the components in CB350 the design of fuel tank is it's USP and this design is not just aesthetically appealing but a very well thought of functional design as well which we will explore soon in this review. For now just look at the curved design of fuel tank, this design seamlessly integrates the pillion and rider seat which are on same level and on slightly shorter side with the handle bar and controls which are placed much higher.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-fuel_tank_integration.jpg

This integration allows the bike to keep its seating accessible while at the same time giving the rider benefits of taller upright riding triangle and all this while maintaining the meaty looks of a powerful naked retro. Or as they say when form meets function.
Still not impressed ? Well take a look at these photos

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-front_up_close.jpg

Notice the height difference between handle bar and seats.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-with_crowd.jpg

How far back I am sitting when compared with my adjacent commuters when in reality our vehicles were stopped almost at similar points. The large fuel tank and rake angle of CB350 at play here.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-with_me.jpg

This is me with Piccolo. I am 6'2" for reference.

Purposeful Simplicity - As you hop off the saddle and look back towards the bike you cannot help but appreciate the way Honda designers have managed to integrate the simplicity of retro design with so many modern elements that give it a strong sense of purpose. In this particular colour combination there are very strong military vibes coming from CB350.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-rear_shot.jpg

Badging - I believe that how a manufactures integrates badging in their products impacts the overall looks of the product in a massive way, some manufacturers totally refrain from badging while some go overboard with it. There is a very delicate balance that needs to be achieved when it comes to badging, In CB350 we get 3 different types of badging -

1. "Honda" retro badge - I am especially chuffed to have carried this Honda badging from my Splendor to Piccolo now. There are 5 places in CB350 where you get this badging, on both sides of fuel tank, engine and one on the rear seat.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-honda_badging_collage.jpg

2. "Hness CB350" badge - The badging of model name i.e Hness CB350 is present on the side covers, as you can see the golden and black colours used in anniversary edition improve the looks of this badging a lot.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-hness_badge.jpg

3. Honda Wing badge - The modern Honda wing badge find a place on the aforementioned crown handle on CB350. As you can see crown is finished in black (grey) for anniversary edition.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-crown.jpg

As far as badging is concerned the execution is minimalistic, regal and tasteful on CB350 specifically for Anniversary edition, for the regular editions the Hness Badging takes away the charm in my opinion.

Paint Quality - Lets take a close look at the paint quality of this matte finished green colour.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-matte_finish.jpg

As you can see the matte finish is very consistent and looks premium, do note how matte finish has been integrated into the Anniversary edition sticker as well.

The regular variants of CB350 come with good dose of chrome however on anniversary edition the usage of chrome has been reduced though still you get a lot of chrome parts that suit it's retro styling quite well. As for the quality of chrome finish ? Well, take a look at it yourself. I like the quality of chrome finish , and so far not faced any issue with it as well.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-mirror_finish.jpg

Apart from the Chrome and Matte finish you also get black paint on mechanical parts in Gloss and Gunmetal finish. Overall paint quality feels quite premium and likeable.

I do have one concern though but I am not entirely sure if anything can be done about it.

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As you can see in the above Zoomed in pic (Apologies for the quality, will try to click a separate pic) the end of exhaust pipe which connects to the Engine and a nut through which a wire is connecting with the exhaust has got slight discolouration, This discolouration was present in all the bikes I saw during service and apparently as per service staff this is because of the heat generated (This part does get super hot, I can vouch), To me this discolouration is one of those bits that you can't hide once you have noticed it. Maybe some other folks among us can shed light on it. Good part here is that this discolouration has been the same from the first week onwards and it has not extended. (Do note the short sleeve covering the wire, as mentioned in one of the dislikes)

Build Quality - With 181 kg kerb weight CB350 does carry some heft and it translates well into the build quality. All the metal parts (of which there is a majority) are well built and solid. No complaints there. The few plastic parts present also do not feel like an afterthought and give signs of good quality. As I have mentioned earlier I have ridden Piccolo in the middle of heavy sand gusts and there was not a single trace of wobble. I can comfortably say the build quality is confidence inspiring.

Fit and Finish - Fit and Finish levels on CB350 are generally what you would expect from a typical Honda or any Japanese machine. Aside from the two pointers I have mentioned above (Rubber caps falling off and Short wire sleeve) I don't have any complaints with fit and finish quality, all the parts are properly aligned, there are no rattles, no loosely fitted parts, Nothing as such to complain here.

Miscellaneous design aspects - The horns are beautifully finished in chrome and bring a very cool retro touch to the design, interesting point to note here is that the horn case is not metallic, it is plastic however there is no difference in the chrome finish and you cannot really tell the difference without knocking it. Same goes for the chrome treatment on another part (I think it's the fuel pump cover).

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-horn.jpg

I am 6'2", I wear India Size 10 shoes, The heel-toe gear shifter is of perfect size for me and I like heal-toe shifters as well, however it won't be the case for all users and I can visualise them ignoring the heel part. Good thing is the gear shifter design is not of the flat variety which creates issue when using only toe shifter.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-gear_shifter.jpg

You get dedicated hooks on both sides to tie down your saddle bag straps. I used them to tie down my Frogman Saddle bags and the hooks are quite sturdy, no issue whatsoever. Add to it the flexibility provided by split seats to quickly open the rear set and place saddle bags harness below the seat, it makes mounting the saddle bags that bit easier.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-side_stand_luggage_hook.jpg

Both the rider and pillion footrests are folding type and there positioning is such that there are no issues when you have to walk the bike. Also you can place your foot behind the rider footrest when you are waiting on an incline to stop the bike from rolling back without unnecessary brake usage.

Last edited by darkLightning : 27th June 2022 at 12:06.
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Old 18th June 2022, 03:25   #6
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Handlebar



Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-handlebar.jpg

The chrome handlebar is riser type and wide but not excessively wide. The grips are decent but a bit hard and if you are aiming for very long rides it would be a good idea to invest in good quality grip cushions. There is provision for adding bar-end weights as well if you want. The bike comes with bar-end caps by default.

Switchgear



Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-left_switchgear_collage.png

On the Left hand side starting from bottom you get the Indicator toggle switch, followed by Horn switch. Above the horn you get the MID controls, these MID control buttons are available on DLX Pro and Anniversary edition, there are 4 buttons - Up, Down, Back and Enter. Above the MID controls you get the Low Beam - High Beam Toggle that also doubles up as Pass switch.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-right_switchgear.jpg

On the right hand side you get Hazard Switch and Ignition Switch that also doubles up as Engine Kill Switch.

A very plain and simple switchgear just the way it should be for a retro motorbike.All the switches feel quite sturdy, well fitted and of premium quality. The swapped positioning of Indicator and Horn switch takes some time getting used to.

Cluster



Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-cluster_collage.jpg

The cluster is single pod type. The cluster pod is backlit and surrounded by a glossy ring which looks nice. On the left of cluster you get two buttons, the combination of which can be used to operate MID and the lower button also doubles up as HSTC / Traction Control On-Off Switch. The cluster pod is divided into two sections, In first section you get a large analog speedometer and indicator flashers. The second section is a small digital MID. The MID looks small on first impression however once you start riding the bike you realise it is a very well laid out unit.

The MID is divided into three rows -
In first row you get different data like Odometer, Trip Meter A, Trip Meter B, Live Fuel Efficiency, Trip A Fuel Efficiency (No Fuel efficiency recorded for Trip B), Range (Left to Empty), Battery Voltage.
Second row has fuel gauge.
Third row is dominated by large gear indicator on left side and on right side you get a digital clock, Below the digital clock various symbols like Bluetooth, Navigation are displayed.

To the left of cluster pod you get tell tale signs which include - Traction Control, Side Stand Indicator, Check Engine Light, Neutral, ABS, Eco Mode.

Ignition Key slot is located just below the cluster pod, and a 12 V charging socket is present adjacent to the cluster.

Overall quality of cluster pod is nice, it is intuitive, laid out well and does its purpose without grabbing your attention unnecessarily which is how instrument cluster should be. The theme of plain and simple has been well applied by Engineers on this machine.

Only thing which I would have liked to be added to this cluster is a tachometer.

Controls


There are not a lot of controls present in CB350, Apart from the standard horn, indicator, low beam, high beam, hazard and pass control you get two additional things on this bike
  • MID Controls - The MID control buttons make it easier to toggle through different riding information. These buttons also double up as controls for Honda Road Sync App which is the Bluetooth connectivity app for CB350, we will discuss that in more detail in Features section.
  • Ignition/Engine Kill Switch - The ignition switch has a three step function. The first position is engine off, When you move from first position to second the Check engine symbol lights up for approximately 3 seconds and in this time you can feel a current surge going through the bike, The third position is of Ignition on. Ideally the manual says to turn ignition on only in Neutral Gear and without any throttle or clutch input, however in traffic situation if bike stalls in gear then you can use the ignition switch without going to neutral by providing some throttle input and using clutch.

The controls which are present on CB350 feel easy to use, ergonomically well laid out (once you get used to swapped horn and indicator) and minimalistic which is what I expect from my simple retro bike. The best thing to enjoy in a bike are its pure mechanical aspects.

Features


The good thing about a classic retro themed motorbike is that you don't get a lot of features and I believe it is a very good thing because the more features there are more they take the pleasure away from riding. One of my criteria while making the choice of which bike to buy was that it should be a simplistic bike.

So does CB350 fit that bill ? Well to be honest if we are talking about features then CB350 is probably the most feature rich bike in the segment it competes in, However good thing is that most of these features do not directly stare in your face and tend to work incognito as you ride.

Let's discuss some of the features which are available on CB350

Safety Features - CB350 comes with certain dedicated safety features which are a good to have and increase your peace of mind significantly.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-side_stand_symbol.jpg
  • Side Stand Engine Cut-Off - When the side stand is down and engine is in ignition on/off mode the side stand symbol shown in above picture starts displaying and as soon as you turn the ignition on and put the bike in gear Engine cuts off automatically. A really nifty feature that increases safety by a big margin and I have got rid of my habit of constantly checking for side stand while riding. I have seen and personally experienced the perils of side stand being down while riding and I love this feature.
  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) / Traction Control - A first of it's kind feature on a bike of this segment and many people were confused about the need or purpose of this feature. After the launch of CB350 some auto journalists even tried but could not get this feature to engage and ultimately called out that it's good to see traction control on a bike in Indian conditions but no one was sure how it would be used.
    According to the dealership staff this feature basically detects when the rear wheel is in free spin and stops supplying power to rear wheel.
    I have so far managed to get the HSTC activated once, This happened when I took a speed breaker with speeds on slightly higher side (50-55 kmph) and immediately after the bump was a very rough patch of road filled with all sorts of gravel. Just after taking the speed breaker I could see Traction control light up for about a second or less till I crossed the rough patch. Apart from the light coming on I could not tell even slightest difference in the behaviour of bike after taking the speed breaker, it was as if I was driving on smooth tarmac all along. So technically I think we can say that HSTC did it's job well there.
  • ABS - CB350 comes with dual channel non switchable ABS. I have had a few moderate to hard braking scenarios however yet to see either ABS symbol light up or the bike to skid even slightly. I guess my braking scenarios so far have been within the capability of braking system.

Riding Aids -
  • 12V Charging point - CB350 has a 12V charging socket which is slowly becoming a kind of necessity now a days for riders. I have a 6000 mAh phone so I have not needed the charging socket yet however it's good to have the assurance. The charging port is of Type C though so those who don't have a Type C input charging cable will have to get one or use an adapter. (My wife's Galaxy M31S came with a Type C to Type C charging cable so I am good to go for it.)
  • Honda RoadSync - Well the big bug bear of features. So basically CB350 comes with navigation support however it is unlike what we have seen on other bikes even those that come from Honda. I have used the navigation system so I will try to shed some light on it. What you need is Honda RoadSync app (available initially for Android, now available to iOS as well). Once you have downloaded the app pairing it to the bike is easy you just need to follow the instructions in manual. Now a common misconception people have is that you need a bluetooth headset for RoadSync to work, well that is not the case. As soon as you have paired your phone with the bike you are good to go. Using a bluetooth or wired headset is totally your choice. You just need to select the destination (voice search is supported) and turn on live navigation. The app uses Google Maps for navigation however on running live navigation directly in google maps vs via RoadSync app I found the RoadSync app to be slightly faster (maybe a second or two). My assumption is that the bike may have a GPS sensor in built which is more responsive that my phone's GPS sensor. You can use the MID control buttons to control the road sync app as well. I personally like it that the navigation route is not all the time in front of my eyes as it keeps me focused on the road ahead which is why I listed non-intrusive navigation system as a safety point in likes. Now how do you want to use navigation is totally up to your choice. You can purchase a bluetooth headset and listen to navigation steps or you can mount the phone on your bike or give the phone to your pillion. In my case my wife handles the navigation duties so I simply turn on bluetooth on my phone and hand over RoadSync to her. The instructions coming from phone are usually loud enough for me to hear as well.

    The RoadSync App also records your trip history (beta feature). One improvement I would suggest for RoadSync is that currently when you turn off the bike then you need to restart the trip on resuming your ride. This is a bug that should be fixed.

Any particular dislikes - CB350 does not have a kick start, not even as an option. This is not cool.

Any niggles, problems or part replacements - None so far.

Space and Comfort


This is the top view of CB350 Anniversary Edition seats.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-seats.jpg

As I have mentioned previously Anniversary Edition gets brown split seats by default. The split seats are slightly longer than regular seats. The leather upholstery feels premium to touch and in my ~4000 km of usage I am yet to see wrinkles on it. The threads used for stitching are cream-orange in colour and contrast well with brown leather. The seats are on slightly stiffer side and initially over the first 1000-1500 km they were not very comfortable after about 1 hour of constant saddle time. Now the seats have settled down and the butt starts to get stiff after around 3-3.5 hours which anyways one should not spend on continuous riding. The cushioning is adequate and as mentioned by some of my pillions you don't slip from the seat even when taking corners on tilt.

There is enough space for rider and pillion both to move around in their individual seats if required to find a better position. From rider's perspective I have enough space to move in such a way that I can try 3-4 different riding stances.

Another gauge for the space can be that on one of my road trips we were comfortably carrying a large camera bag in between me and wife on the seat without any adjustment.

Also the flat nature of seats means rider and pillion can move to each other's seat without much of an issue.

Ergonomics


Riding position - This is my natural riding position on Piccolo.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-riding_position_masked.jpg

The tall and sufficiently wide handlebars which are swept back a little provide a really good upright sitting position. So far I have not yet faced any discomfort on Shoulders, Elbows or Lower back. Ergonomically speaking the bike itself and all its controls just fall into the correct place and provide a very pleasant experience.

In my opinion the ideal height for a CB350 rider will be around 6'.

Short Riders - Shorter riders especially those below 5'5" will find CB350 a bit difficult to manage.

Tall Riders - I am a couple of inches above the ideal rider height for CB350 in my opinion and I do feel the need of handlebar raisers sometimes. But it's nothing awkward. However if we talk about exceptionally tall people (6'4" or more) CB350 will start feeling small to them.

Visibility & size of mirrors - This is the view you get from stock mirrors.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-mirror_view.jpg

I was not a fan of the smaller scope of mirrors initially as I have used quite wide mirrors on my Splendor as well as Wego previously, However after having spent some time I am slowly getting used to the view and scope of mirrors. However if I get a chance I would definitely like to upgrade to wider mirrors but they need to match the looks as well. Maybe something like Benelli Imperiale's mirrors.

One point of note for the mirrors is that it is very easy to get the mirrors loose and as I have a taller windshield it becomes a messy affair to get the mirror back on track. I carry a size 14 open spanner to handle the mirrors. I believe the mechanism can be improved for mounting mirrors.

The Lights - Introducing the Headlamps and Taillights of Piccolo along with turn indicators.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-headlamp.jpg
Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-tail_light.jpg

These are all-LED units and you get a number plate light as well at the rear. The turn indicators double up as DRLs. In my usage so far I found the lights to be adequate, however I can give a better assessment when riding in poorer lit conditions.

Storage & practicality - You don't get any significant storage in CB350. You have a small plastic pouch provided below the rear seat that can be used to carry documents. Nothing else. Good thing is that you can attach a small magnetic tank bag and be done with small storage needs.

Stand - CB350 is a middleweight bike so a bit of caution is needed when putting it on centre stand especially for people on shorter side. However if you follow the basics correct then there would be no problem. I managed to put Piccolo on centre stand in my first attempt itself. When on centre stand bike is very stable.

Last edited by darkLightning : 4th July 2022 at 13:37.
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Old 26th June 2022, 19:58   #7
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Engine



Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-engine.jpg

Engine is the heart of any vehicle and no matter how good everything else on the bike is if you don't like the Engine you don't like the bike.

CB350 comes with a brand new Long Stroke 348.36 cc Air-Cooled Engine with Fuel Injection system. The Engine puts out max power of 20.78 bhp at 5500 RPM and max torque of 30 Nm at 3000 RPM.

I have covered more than 4000 km with Piccolo so far and the usage can be broken down as follows -

Inter-city highway trips - Approx 1000 km.
Intra-city daily commute runs - Approx 2500 km. (Including smooth 4 lane roads, no-roads, traffic signals, hill climb, hill descent)
Bumper-To-Bumper traffic - covered about 70 metres in 45 minutes.
Weekend joy rides - Approx 700 km.

I have explored low range and mid range of the Engine however I am yet to fully test the high range characteristics mainly because when I did my long highway run I was apprehensive of opening the Engine too much because it was only about 1200 km run and I don't feel the roads and traffic in my city can handle more than mid range of this Engine. I hope to get this experience soon.

My observation of the Engine characteristics are based on the above mentioned points.

Power Delivery - Early users of CB350 had reported a weak bottom end for the engine along with power dying off on high altitudes. By the time anniversary edition was launched Honda had given an ECU update which fixed the high altitude power loss issue. However that fix seems to have also improved the low end performance of the Engine.

As you start the engine it is easy to forget that this is a 350cc engine, The power delivery is linear and you can ride it as good as let's say a Honda Shine with just nominal throttle inputs. This is the Dr. Jekyll version of this engine and the ECU fix has helped here with a respectable bottom end.

The moment you decide to open the throttle though, you are met with an immediate growl or rather roar from the engine and the pull you experience is akin to a Turbo kicking in. The mid range keeps going on and on and within seconds you are hovering at 80 kmph and ready for more. In my experience so far this beast mode of CB350 is enough to leave any bike south of Interceptor smelling your exhaust. Even the Dukes and Husqvarnas have been left stunned by the sudden onslaught of acceleration that CB350 gives. This is Mr. Hyde at work here.

On my daily visit of my wife's college I have to climb a hill, the incline is steep enough that I have seen most of the bikes starting to strain, my Wego would simply refuse to climb at times if Engine was heated already. However Piccolo just climbs through without any effort in third gear using only bottom end.

Now again this is a retro roadster, air cooled engine and it is supposed to have laid back characteristics so in all likelihood the top end might not be very powerful. But I can only tell about it once I get to experience it properly.

Torque Delivery - Long stroke engines can be termed as the equivalent of Diesel Engines for motorbikes and this engine is no different. You get abundant torque right from the moment you put the bike in gear. The bike will start moving even without throttle input as soon as you release the clutch and even start climbing up the revvs as well. This is a first for me Earlier on my bikes I used to leave the throttle to slow down and eventually stop however Piccolo just keeps going even without any throttle input in 1st and 2nd gear at speeds reaching 15/20 kmph.

As you climb up the rev range torque delivery is linear and you don't feel any strain on Engine in either low or mid range. I am yet to properly test torque delivery in high range though.

Heat - Let's talk about the heat. This is a ~350cc Air-cooled engine so you can expect some heat. It's not excessive though and I did 200km trip in the middle of summer as well. Just make sure to wear good quality gear/pants. The ergonomics of CB350 are also such that Engine heat does not bother you much.

Bumper to Bumper traffic - I will call it out bluntly that this bike is not built for bumper to bumper traffic. I got stuck in Indore at an underpass where we were able to cross hardly 50-70 metres in about 45 minutes. I don't ever want Piccolo to be stuck in similar traffic again. If for some reason anyone gets stuck in such a situation the Engine heat alone will be problematic enough for you to turn off the bike and wait for clearing. I have faced some more situations not so extreme and there also keeping Piccolo moving at crawling speeds felt like a very excessive burden on the Engine.

Gearing - CB350 has unusually tall gearing and this takes time getting used to. The range of gears without lugging is as follows -
  • 1st Gear - 0-20 kmph
  • 2nd Gear - 10-45 kmph, can reach up to 65 kmph if given right conditions
  • 3rd Gear - 20 - 75 kmph, I have hit 80 kmph as well and other riders mention 3rd gear good enough to reach 100 kmph
  • 4th Gear - 50 - 90 kmph, max speed I have hit so far however hitting 110 kmph would be fairly easy in 4th gear
  • 5th Gear - 70 kmph - End, 5th Gear is overdrive gear

Engine performance & driveability in the city - When we talk about city driving we consider all sorts of roads that we can encounter ranging from smooth 4/6 lanes to patches of gravel and potholes masquerading as a road. The torquey nature of CB350's engine is good enough to handle all sorts of roads without putting any significant strain on it.
The other aspect of city driving involves handling the traffic that can and will come from out of nowhere and all sorts of scenarios that should look impossible on paper, CB350's engine likes to power up and you have to keep that in mind while driving in the city, Add to it the dimensions and larger turning radius my advice to anyone looking at CB350 for city riding is that a bit of restraint will be required to enjoy it in the city. Good thing here is that this engine has the Dr. Jekyll personality to call upon which aptly fits city riding.

Engine performance & driveability on the highway - Highways is where CB350 belongs to. Whether you want to rev it hard to just cruise at an optimal speed this relaxed and turbo-ready engine can do both, the open stretches on Highways welcome CB350 with open arms. A proper mile muncher this machine is.

Exhaust note - One time when I decided to let the throttle open after a signal I was stopped at next signal by a cop who took good time trying to see if I have installed a modified exhaust. The Dr. Jekyll personality of this engine gives a low humming rhythmic exhaust note and you can also hear sounds similar to moving pistons, it is a very sweet and engaging sound. When Mr. Hyde is called upon though the roar from exhaust catches everyone by surprise and makes CB350 appear like an angry beast ready to be unleashed.

The exhaust note is by no means in any way similar to any Royal Enfield exhaust. The exhaust note of CB350 indicates its moods and purpose whereas on Enfields the exhaust note is often too static and primarily serves to announce their presence.

Overall NVH levels (including engine vibrations & wind blast) - Vibrations ? Excuse me, what does vibration mean ? That is how you look at someone who enquires about vibrations on CB350. The only noise that can bother you comes from the chain as the chain cover is of semi open variety, other than that say good bye to the vibrations and noises. There have been reports though of vibrations encountered at 110 kmph and above, I will get back on it after exploring those speeds.
As for the wind blasts, the windshield I have installed serves it's purpose well. I do like some wind on my face though as it keeps me engaged.

Lugging - A long stroke engine is naturally conducive to lugging and CB350 is no exception. However I personally do not like lugging and the lurching you encounter when dropping speeds too low. You can use 5th gear on as low as 25 kmph on CB350 however I don't understand putting that strain on any engine. I haven't lugged any Enfield although I have heard that lugging is one of the main reasons why people buy Enfields. So I will take their word on it and to anyone looking for a bike to lug around I will ask them to go for Enfield.

Additional comments on the engine - If you want to truly enjoy riding CB350 then you need to learn correct gear shifting pattern for it. You can perfectly ride around in low range with early shifting however if you explore the mid range it will bring a smile on your face every time you do a gear shift.
The max load I have taken on Piccolo so far was approximately 145kgs (rider, pillion, luggage included), the luggage rating for CB350 is 170 kg. I didn't feel any difference in Engine performance with 145 kg load. And I don't really see a difference with or without pillion. It is safe to say in my opinion that this Engine has enough juice to satisfy your travel needs.

Gearshift & clutch - You get a heel-toe shifter and super light clutch that also comes with Slipper-Assist function. The gearshifts are buttery smooth and clutch is one finger light. Very rarely will you see a false gear shift. I have observed a couple of times though that Gearbox refused to shift gears as I was in too low speeds. Also if you are below 10 kmph and you are shifting from 1st to 2nd you will almost always end up at neutral gear. I don't blame the gearbox though because in all these cases I am trying to shift gear earlier than I should.
Another point I want to mention here is that when you are at 5th gear the shifter and if you want to upshift the shifter becomes rock solid. I like this behaviour, when I used to ride my Splendor I was often guilty of trying to upshift when already in 4th gear, this habit has been completely removed now with Piccolo.

Fuel efficiency - CB350 comes with ECO mode which shows you are riding in a fuel efficient manner and it can be turned off as well (not sure for what purpose). The ARAI rating for CB350 is approximately 42 kmpl and while purchasing Piccolo I was ready for a real time fuel efficiency of 35-38 kmpl which is kind of the norm for 350cc air cooled segment.

I haven't done any tankful to tankful calculation yet for Fuel Efficiency of Piccolo however before last refill there had been 86 litre of petrol put in Piccolo (85 by me and 1 by dealership) and the distance covered was 3722 km with at least 1 litre of petrol left in tank. I know that at least one litre was left because as soon as you drop below 1 litre the range will stop showing in MID. So doing a very crude calculation of 3722 km run in 85 litres of petrol gives a whooping Fuel Efficiency of 43.79 kmpl.

This has been a pleasant surprise to say the least, All the petrol I have put in Piccolo so far has been Bharat Petroleum - Speed and has come from a single petrol bunk. Add to it the fact that most of the ride has been in the city and the Fuel efficiency is supposed to go up more after 2nd service we could be looking at a realistic 45 kmpl machine here. (My humble Wego gave 45 kmpl when riding it with caution)

An interesting point of note here is that earlier I was under assumption that you get best fuel efficiency in low range and the moment you enter middle range you are no longer in Eco mode, however on a recent group ride with other CB350 owners there were a couple of mentions about a CB350 owner who got 52 kmpl on one of his 500 km trips and a few mentions of CB350 being fuel efficient in mid range also. I was pretty sure that this guy who got 52 kmpl was not driving in low range so on cue I have started to experiment more with my riding style, constantly keeping live fuel efficiency on the MID which I earlier used to ignore and looking for ways on how to improve this Fuel Efficiency even more and here are my observations so far
  • Lugging drinks fuel like nothing else, when lugging you can expect to see Fuel efficiency in range of 20-27 kmpl
  • Low range is fuel efficient, you can expect constant fuel efficiency display of 40-47 kmpl in low range.
  • Mid range is even more fuel efficient, If you handle mid range correctly expect seeing fuel efficiency of 45-55 kmpl in MID
  • Correct gear shifting is the key, The sweet spot so far for gear shifting lies just towards the top of mid range, Reach 60 kmph in 3rd gear without revving excessively hard and you will see figures of around 45 kmpl in MID now swiftly move to 4th and see the MID jump to scarcely believable 60 kmpl, Keep up the good work and slot into 5th at around 80 kmph and see unrealistic figures to 78-85 kmpl in your MID.

One more point which some of the riders were mentioning was that in CB350 both 4th and 5th gear are overdrive gears with ratios of 0.9 and 0.7 respectively. I cannot find the source of this info though and the pull 4th gear gives is not something you can expect from overdrive gear but this gear is very fuel efficient for sure.

Be wary of these figures though, one of my relatives who has also purchased CB350 before me and mostly rides it in Bangalore traffic has mentioned that he is getting nothing more than 30 kmpl.

Fuel tank capacity & range - CB350 has a 15 litre fuel tank and if we take average fuel economy of 40 kmpl than it comes out to be 600 km range which is very good for long distance trips. I have done Bhopal-Indore round trip that covered about 450 km on 10 litres on fuel.

Overall opinion on the engine -Torquey, Laid back, Frugal, Easy to ride in city, Gem to ride on Highways, Beast mode capability when required. That is all I wanted from my bike and Piccolo's engine has it all. I am very much satisfied with the engine even though it has it's shortcomings like lugging and bumper to bumper traffic but I don't really see them as drawbacks, it's more like they are not the purpose this Engine is built for.

Last edited by darkLightning : 27th June 2022 at 21:46.
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Old 27th June 2022, 12:36   #8
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Riding Dynamics


Wheels & tyres - CB350 comes with understand black alloy wheels and MRF Zapper tyres. I like the alloy wheel design and the Zappers have performed well so far, the grip is good and they do not slip easily over sand. On corners this bike is not exactly meant to be thrown around and the Zappers feel good enough for the way this bike is meant to be ridden.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-front_wheel.jpgStart of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-rear_wheel.jpg

Suspension & ride quality - The suspension on CB350 is tuned on slightly stiffer side. The front suspension is non adjustable while the rear is adjustable. I am on factory default settings though. Initially the suspension felt very stiff however after about 2000 kms the suspension has settled down considerably and the ride no longer feels extra stiff. I have also played around with tyre pressure and currently I am riding on 29 psi front and 35 psi rear setting (1 psi less at rear than recommended) which I like. On highways suspension feels confidence inspiring and bike always feels planted.

Handling, on-road behaviour, grip levels, stability & turning radius -
CB350 is a nimble bike, you don't expect this kind of nimbleness from a 181 kg retro themed bike. I had mentioned earlier that the fuel tank design of CB350 is functional as well and it is this fuel tank design which increases the nimbleness.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-fuel_tank.jpg

As you can see in the above picture the fuel tank contours are such that you grip it tightly between your knees, this aspect you don't usually see on other retro bikes currently on sale (their riders usually ride with legs wide open). This tight grip on tank increases manoeuvrability and allows you to chuck the bike into small gaps and tight situations without a second thought.

CB350 feels quite stable and planted on road as I have mentioned earlier as well. The tyres also give good grip.

The turning radius of CB350 is on the larger side and you need to be wary of it.

Another point of caution when riding CB350 is that even though it appears to be a free spirited engine you have to keep in mind that this is a retro bike with a bit larger dimensions.

If you try to take turns on higher speeds the larger turning radius will come into play, it is good for highways however for the city riding you need to be cautious. The taller gearing of CB350 helps here as you inadvertently would have to downshift and control your speed a little before taking turn in the city.

Handling & braking with a pillion - My pillion is usually my wife however you should take a bit of caution when riding with pillion as CB350's brakes are quite sharp and catch the pillion by surprise.

Weight of the bike - As per Honda, the Engine on CB350 comes with a counter balancer mechanism that uses a moving weight to dynamically balance the vehicle when tilting on a turn. The concept sounds good and similar to what Tesla seems to have done with Model X. I have taken tight turns on CB350 and it does feel quite confident and the weight of bike does not really bother you at all. The only time when you feel the weight of bike is when you are trying to move it around using your muscles and try to do stunts that look good on XPulse maybe.

Handlebar - The handlebar on CB350 is wide and suits cruising style. It falls nicely into the hands and does not create any pressure while riding.

Braking - The braking hardware on CB350 comes from Nissin. I have faced situation of sudden braking at around 70 kmph and the brakes performed their work without any fuss and ABS light also did not light up. The bite on brakes is progressive and overall braking feel is confidence inspiring.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-brakes.jpg

Engine Braking - The tall gearing of CB350 gives a pleasant engine braking experience, on my way back from my wife's college I just put Piccolo in 4th gear, completely closing the throttle and I sweetly roll down the twisting slopes at speed of 45 kmph with just occasional braking required when someone tries to cut in my lane. on 3rd gear the max speed allowed by engine braking is 35 kmph, on 2nd it comes down to 20 kmph.

Ground clearance - CB350 comes with 166 mm of ground clearance which is good enough and not overly high. I have not faced problems with ground clearance so far.

Offroad performance - CB350 is not an ADV or Scrambler, however in India if a bike has touring aspirations it has to have decent off-road manners, CB350 can take on bad roads with ease and you won't have to sweat when encountered with a rough patch. Add to it that you can easily ride CB350 while standing and I will easily give a slightly above average rating to CB350 for tackling off-roads.

After Sales and Maintenance


Quality of after-sales service - My experience so far with the service staff at BigWing Bhopal has been really good. The whole service experience is transparent, you can walk up to the technician and be there full time as your vehicle gets serviced. There have been reports from some users on the net that service charges of Honda are on higher side. I will get back to it when I get more details.

Upkeep & maintenance - When you buy a matte finished bike it becomes really important that you take proper care of the finish. You cannot apply normal wax to matte paint, you cannot use a rough fabric for polishing.

I have purchased Putoline Matt Wax for the matte parts of Piccolo. No discounts on it.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-matt_wax.jpg

Here is a pic of matt waxing in progress, the difference is clearly visible between fuel tank and side panel.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-matte_wax_in_progress.jpg

For the chrome parts I have purchased Royal Enfield Essentials metal polish, this works equally well on metal and plastic parts.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-chrome_wax.jpg

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-mirror_finish_2.jpg

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-exhaust.jpg

The recommended interval of chain clean and lubrication of CB350 is 1000 km. I have purchased this Honda 2 in 1 chain clean and lube spray from dealership. It is supposed to last 5 rounds and costs around Rs. 570. I am satisfied with the product.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-honda_chain_lube.jpg

Riding Gear


As I have only started preparing for long trips with purchase of Piccolo, I don't have any proper riding gear currently and there are hardly any shops in my city which keep such gear.

I am planning to buy the following gear one at a time for me and my wife.
  • SMK Titan Helmets
  • Rynox Knee guards
  • Rynox Gloves
  • Rynox Stealth Jackets and Pants

I am not quite sure about which boots to buy though, currently I use my Woodland boots.

Luggage


I have purchased Dirtsack Frogman Saddle Bags and Rynox Magnapod Tank Bag for Piccolo. Both of them were easy to mount, swallowed a good amount of luggage and were sturdy throughout the trip.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220423_130808.jpg

We had a choice between Frogman and Rynox Drystack Saddlebags, it was a close call but we went with Frogman because Rynox bags felt just a very tiny bit smaller than Frogman and also did not have dedicated bottle holders.

Accessories Planned


As I do intend to very much tour most of India with my wife on Piccolo there are a few accessories which we have shortlisted to get installed on Piccolo one by one.
  • Sahara Seats Adjustable backrest - A backrest will greatly increase the comfort for my wife on longer trips.
  • Sahara Seats Cushioned Seat Covers - The stock seats on Piccolo are good however we do feel that comfier seats would be better when we head for multi day trips.
  • Top Rack and Top Case - That's the missing luggage part from Piccolo. Currently I am not satisfied with any option available in market. Hyperrider top rack comes close though.

Last edited by darkLightning : 4th July 2022 at 13:57.
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Old 27th June 2022, 21:48   #9
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

CB350 vs the competition


CB350 ever since it is launched has been popularly projected as a Bullet rival from Honda. However I have a different take on this. Royal Enfield has a long history that it leans on even today while designing its products. However Honda too has a similarly long history for its CB series lineage which most of the Indian public is not even aware of as Honda simply never bothered to bring those bikes to our shores. However now Honda is looking to correct this folly and CB350 is their first step in the right direction.

To this end even the BigWing dealerships have been decorated with infographics displaying the lineage of CB series. I do not have pictures as I forgot to click it (will do on my next visit) however these infographics are along the lines of this picture which I have found online.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-vintagehondamotorcycleslineup.jpeg

As you can see in the above pic the current CB350 looks like the erstwhile CB350 K3, CB450 K4 and CB750 K1 models more than any other model from Enfield or any competitor.

My Take - In my opinion I am glad that Honda has finally woken up and decided to bring it's lineup to India even though it is still slow. To me CB350 looks more like a natural evolution of the erstwhile Kawasaki Boxer, CD100, Hero Splendors that ruled our streets decades ago. Splendor on Steroids ? Yes, The top selling quintessential bike of India has decided to evolve and how.

Still the price bracket and user base that CB350 caters to puts it squarely against some of the popular names on our streets. So let's try to do a fair comparison.

CB350 vs Royal Enfield - If you analyse carefully you will see that there is no direct competitor present in Royal Enfield stable for CB350.
  • Classic 350 - As you can see in below pictures, CB350 is at least one if not two size bigger than Classic 350, It is also more powerful, has more features, more refined and slightly costlier as well. The comparison is unfair on Classic 350 even though it is often called as direct competition for CB350

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-cb350_cl350.jpgStart of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-cb350_cl350_2.jpg
  • Meteor 350 - I don't have a one on one comparison pic of Meteor with CB350 however Meteor is a cruiser bike and built for different purpose than CB350
  • Himalayan - This comparison should not even be listed however the way CB350 tackles bad roads you do tend to ask the question if it makes more sense to buy this allrounder than a purpose built ADV.
  • Thunderbird - The mighty thunderbird is no longer on sale however when it was there it was my original choice so one day when I got the chance to place Piccolo adjacent to a blue Thunderbird (The colour I wanted) I couldn't help but click these pics. As you can see both these mighty competitors line up neck to neck, Thunderbird is taller, has bigger fuel tank and comfier seats. CB350 is slightly longer, more aerodynamic and has longer seats.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220604_124305.jpgStart of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220604_124325.jpgStart of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220604_124411.jpg

If I have to summarise the debate of CB350 vs Royal Enfield 350's I would say that they should not be compared, completely different bikes built for completely different purposes. You need to ride each with open mind to understand them.

CB350 vs Benelli Imperiale - The battle will be great when Benelli increases its reach.

CB350 vs Classic Legends - The Classic Legends are moving in right direction but they are some iterations away from giving fight to a Honda.

The Attention Factor


Well a lot of people shop for retro bikes because they like to flaunt the cool looks. If you also have this purpose then CB350 fits the bill quite nicely. It is not common on our roads yet and even after 3 months wherever I stop Piccolo people start gathering to take a look and ask questions about it. Be prepared for hearing comments like Bullet ki copy though.
It can get a bit messy too sometimes, not all attention you get is of good type, I have had a few instances where I decided not to park Piccolo because I didn't like the intention of people there.

Last edited by darkLightning : 4th July 2022 at 13:54.
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Old 28th June 2022, 01:51   #10
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Piccolo Chronicles


Well now that we have got basic review of Piccolo done I will start chronicling my memories and time spent with Piccolo

The Homecoming - After the delivery we brought Piccolo straight to home and had the customary worship in evening, Piccolo got the blessings.

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220403_195343_edited.jpg

Immediately upon its arrival Piccolo started catching everyone's attention and a lot of people from our apartment came to enquire about which model this is, what are the features, cost and what not. Some were even shocked that Honda has such a bike on sale. Some quickly asked when is the Ladakh trip coming.

The first 800 Kms - Piccolo arrived on 3rd of April and One of my school friend's wedding was in Indore from 21st April. We had decided even before delivery of Piccolo that the trip to Indore (Round trip of at least 200 km) will be done on Piccolo, so the task was clear, First service had to be done before 19th April. So the first 800 kms involved
  • A trip to Sehore Ganesh Temple (48 km from my home) and Bairasia Harsiddhi Temple (70 km from Sehore Temple) and back to home.
  • A trip to Sanchi Buddhist Monuments (45 km from my home)
  • Few trips to my wife's college (one side distance of 17 km from home to college)

Few pics from Sanchi trip -


Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220415_105307.jpeg

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220415_114428.jpg

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220415_122046.jpg

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220415_125854.jpg

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220415_114828.jpg

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220415_120740.jpg

About Sanchi Buddhist Monuments - Sanchi buddhist monuments complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site was built on top of a hill by Emperor Ashoka whose wife belonged to the nearby area of Vidisha and selected this site. In ancient times Sanchi used to be a sprawling Buddhist sanctuary where monks also used to stay. Sanchi was also the center of several more such sanctuaries located nearby. The attempts to renovate the site are in progress. Sanchi is also closely tied with Sri Lankan history and several students from Sri Lanka come to stay here and research. MP Tourism has got several good stays and restaurants available nearby to the sanctuary. If you travel from Bhopal to Sanchi you can also cross the Tropic of Cancer.

The first service - After having completed the run-in period it was time for first service. I took Piccolo to Honda BigWing and the service was done to my satisfaction will full transparency. the technician Unsaad Bhai also cleared all the queries which I had and shared some tips too to get better performance. I also purchased the premium AMC during first service.

Indore Trip - On 21st of April at about 9:30 AM me and my wife started from our home on our very first proper inter city trip. It was a bit daunting task as I have not done such a trip before, however we braced ourselves and went ahead with the plan. There were two agendas of this trip, 1 - To attend our friend's wedding. 2 - To visit Rider's junction in Indore for purchasing Saddle Bags and whatever else we would like as we can't find stuff of our liking in Bhopal. The weather was pleasant throughout the trip with slight rain at some spots. It was a three day fun filled trip and we managed to take time to visit Riders Junction and purchased Saddle Bags, Tank Bags, Matt Wax, Chrome Wax and Bungee chords. We also found the correct helmet size for my wife (Size - S) and that SMK does make S size helmets but that will be on demand.

A few pics from the Indore trip -

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220421_130036.jpgStart of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220423_123021.jpgStart of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220423_134005.jpgStart of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-20220423_133033.jpg

After the Indore trip odometer stood at around 1500 km and we managed to add a few more 100's to it as we celebrated first month anniversary of Piccolo with 2000 km at the odo.

Note - To anyone looking for road conditions from Indore to Bhopal, It is the butter smooth stretch of NH86 that connects the two cities and you can find a lot of eateries along the way, Piccolo was at home on this stretch of Highway and gulped down miles for fun.

Last edited by darkLightning : 4th July 2022 at 13:51.
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Old 28th June 2022, 02:15   #11
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

The Mundane Days - Over the next few weeks, We got busy with office and college respectively and Piccolo clocked about 1100 km in the second month which involved mostly the daily pick up and drop commute. The same pattern continued till mid of June and the odometer stood at 3400 km.

The Honda "Big" Tribe Ride - I got the information from dealership that my RC card has arrived and I went to collect it where I met Mr. Vishal who told us about plans to have a group ride on 18th June and we immediately gave our green signal for attending the ride.

Cometh the day we reached BigWing with a spring in our steps, this was going to be my first experience of any such ride. It was a fun filled ride we travelled through a lot of places in the city before arriving at the destination which was a newly opened cafe where all the riders got to know each other and share their thoughts, their passions, experiences. I really enjoyed the experience. The dealership also gave goodies to each participant (I got a cool coffee mug that changes colour with heat)

Here are some pics from the ride -

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-dsc05672.png

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-dsc05700.png

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-dsc05876.png

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-dsc06119.png

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-dsc06322.png

Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Review-dsc06479.png

It was during this ride that I got to know about the different riding experiences of other CB350 owners and I have started to experiment with my riding style as well which I mentioned earlier in the thread. It really does feel good to have a community feeling knowing you can find like minded people when you want to.

Last edited by darkLightning : 4th July 2022 at 13:47.
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Old 28th June 2022, 05:02   #12
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Default Re: Start of Something New | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th June 2022, 11:50   #13
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Default Re: Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Exceptional, unbiased & detailed ownership reviews of bikes have started going to our homepage reviews box. It's the ultimate stamp of trust from Team-BHP (as a platform) because lakhs of visitors every month check out reviews from there & make purchase decisions.

Your review has also been included here. Thank you so much for sharing .

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Old 29th June 2022, 12:26   #14
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Default Re: Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

Brilliant review! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Looking forward for more chronicles of Piccolo

Wish you a very happy and safe motoring
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Old 29th June 2022, 13:26   #15
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Default Re: Start of something new | Introducing Piccolo - My Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition Ownership Revi

That was an excellent writeup. I always wanted to go for the Highness 350.A bit of procrastination from my side has delayed it by quite a bit. All doubts cleared, I shall book my highness in a couple of days. Thank you
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