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35,000 km with my Honda CB350: Which bike shall I upgrade to?

I also feel that given that I’m optimizing for ‘fun’, I should go for a cheaper bike (300R/Duke 250) because I could just abuse it and have all the fun I want.

BHPian Pythonic recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I own a Honda CB350 H’ness from the first lot. Have driven it for about 35,000 km. It still puts a smile on my face and is easy on the pocket, but I think it’s time to move on.

We’re spoilt for choice in the current bike market, so I’m a bit confused about what to go for. I hope forum members will sort my problem out.

What I use my bike for:

  • Commutes (most days a week)
  • 50-100 km rides on weekends
  • Overall a good 750-1,000 km a month
  • 300+ km trips at least once a quarter

Expectations:

  • Must be low maintenance
  • Must be reasonably pocket friendly (I don’t except a 40 BHP bike to give 35 km/l, but it mustn’t be something insane)
  • Must be fun and have a character completely unlike CB350/RE 350s
  • Must be comfortable for longer trips, hopefully with good luggage carrying capacity (I have shifted homes with the CB. That would be nice  but it's not a hard condition)
  • On the lighter and flickable side (sorry RE)
  • Budget between Rs. 3-5L

Bikes I have shortlisted:

This list might be quite eclectic and have widely different bikes, but that’s the issue I’m facing!

Upgrade:

  • KTM Duke 390
  • KTM Adventure 390 X
  • Triumph Scrambler 400 X
  • Aprilia RS 457
  • Sidegrade:
  • TVS RTR 310 (cruise control sounds awesome)
  • CB 300R
  • Duke 250

I also feel that given that I’m optimizing for ‘fun’, I should go for a cheaper bike (300R/Duke 250) because I could just abuse it and have all the fun I want. The most fun I’ve ever had on a bike was on a Platina on which I used to pop wheelies, skid around and do all the Instagram things

I’m totally confused. If you guys can help me whittle this list down to 2 bikes, I would test ride them and choose 1 or feel free to suggest some other bikes too. Please help me choose how I should spend my first promotion paycheck

Here's what BHPian drsingh had to say on the matter:

If you're looking for a bike with a different character than the two cruisers, may I suggest you look into the new Xpulse 200 4v that will be easy on the pocket to have fun with

Spares are cheap. With the rally kit, great for offroading ,trail riding.

Fuel economy is similar to the CB500

If you want to go bigger, Himalayan 450 is a great option in a similar vein.

Xpulse being lighter and more nimble than the Himalayan, makes it more chuckable on the trails.

Let us know what you end up with after the CB350

Here's what BHPian Senotrius had to say on the matter:

Since you don't have the Speed 400 in the list, my opinion would be to go for the Speed 400x. Next the adv x and lastly the 300r. But before you go for any of these, please check the ground situation at the respective ASCs. It's hard to get spare parts for the 300r. Second would be the Triumph. I'm waiting for the Speed 400 lower engine guards since 2 months. I want to say go for the 300r as it's the lightest, quickest, most reliable of the lot, but in case of a fall the parts are hard to come by.

Here's what BHPian kedar3223 had to say on the matter:

The Duke 250 is very underrated motorcycle. With the new frame, suspension, increased gc and quickshifter, it's a really responsive and do it all bike while being decently comfy. The engine has a nice duality, wherein it can do calm as well as top end rush post 6k rpm. It might not be as punchy as the triumph 400 lower down, but has a better spread and way better top end behaviour. KTM service is one of the better ones in this segment and spares too are reasonable. If you're ok with the space, it would be my choice.

Here's what BHPian doomketu had to say on the matter:

I use the TVS RTR 310 for my daily commutes, and it puts a smile on my face each time i ride it in the city. Its flickable and light. I ride in a sane manner and get 35 - 36 on good days and about 28 on bumper to bumper traffic days. RTR has some benefits but buying just for cruise control(CC) might not be the right thing. CC is good ,i used it for a bit, but what really shines in this bike is the throttle response and the quick shifter . Combine that with ease of crawling in traffic , what TVS calls GTT , its easy to ride.
For open roads , it does its job really well and can quickly climb into 3 digit territory and be planted. In the Low end you have vibrations on the Foot pegs and tank with some being felt at the handlebar as well, coming from your Honda, you will see a night and day difference.

Coming to the highway aspect, i am not sure this bike might help you on those long rides. Seat is a bit on harder side , but the back support of pillion helps keep back ache at bay ( i am 6 ft +). The upright leaning stance is nice, but at highway speeds the bike may no be able to comfortably take you on highway trips, windblast might accelerate the onset of fatigue. I rode it on a particularly windy day till the airport ( 50 km one way ) and return, and i was not very confident ( maybe its a skill issue for me. i know people have toured ladakh on a RC390 no less, but those folks are made of stronger substance than i)

Here's what BHPian amiya.c had to say on the matter:

I am too in the same boat and have booked the Aprilia RS457. Actually I got bored of the way CB350 delivers power, it is ok for city rides but on highways I do not find it engaging and at the end of the day I find it unexciting. So if you are in the same boat and looking for excitement then go with something above 40bhp. I almost decided to go for RE continental GT 650, chose it over Interceptor because of its engaging riding stance, but again I wanted two different categories of bikes in my garage so cancelled it. I would suggest you to keep the CB350 for city and choose something that is exciting on highways and does not get heated up in the city rides easily. I upgraded from R15 V3 BS6 but later realized that it was more exciting than this CB350 but that again came with the cost of tiring riding stance.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 

 
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