Sold my Classic 350: Should I buy a Speed 400 or Honda CB350RS?

I will be primarily riding the bike on broken/potholed roads of Bangalore and occasional highway tours of 100-300 kms.

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Dear Fellow BHPians,


I recently sold my RE Classic 350 2017 model with 40,000 kms on the ODO for a decent price. The main reason for selling the Classic was "vibrations". In Bangalore traffic, the vibrations at slow speeds and at high speeds were causing pain and numbness in the right hand. The bike had done around 38000 kms on the ODO and was maintained in mint condition (I have always kept my bikes in mint condition, right from Passion Pro-2009, to Unicorn-2017). I was able to fetch a good price on OLX and sold the same. To be on the safe side, I filled the sale documents online on the VAHAN portal got the signature from the buyer uploaded all the signed documents online, made an appointment for document submission at RTO, and ensured that the new buyer submitted the same at the concerned RTO. Within 2 days of the sale, RTO approved the ownership transfer, and on mPARIVAHAN the new owner's name reflected.

The conundrum:

Prior to selling my classic 350, I had taken Test Rides of Speed 400 and CB 350 RS. I did not consider any other bike, as I am 35 plus and don't like the naked (fiber) bikes and prefer retro style relaxed riding posture bikes. Hence, kept only these two bikes for my active consideration.

The paper specs of Speed 400 vis-a-vis CB 350 RS appeared more tilted in favour of Speed 400, however, I am unable to decide which bike it should be. In the meantime, I approached Keerthi Triumph for a quotation. Their quotation included Incidental, Logistics, Transportation, and registration service charges of Rs.4,824/-. I inquired with the SA and he informed me that these charges have to be paid. I reasoned with him mentioning that these are illegal charges and as per Honourable SC and HC of Delhi order, dealers are barred from charging the same. However, he and his management held their ground with regard to levy of this charge. I also obtained a quote from another Triumph dealer (KHIVRAJ) and their charge was Rs.6,383/-. Khivraj said they won't discuss these charges and it has to be paid.

To validate/counter their claim with regards to these charges, I obtained quotations from Hyderabad, Goa, and New Delhi dealers and all of them mentioned "Handling Charges" of Rs.1500/-.

After having made up my mind that it has to be Speed 400, I wrote to Triumph India customer care, and the escalation was sent to Keerthi. The senior official from Keerthi said he will waive off the charges partially and like other dealers will charge Rs.1500 for handling.

I am still aghast at the attitude of the dealers, wherein despite court rulings they are still collecting handling charges illegally. To find out whether Honda also charges this, I reached out to aBigWing dealer in Bangalore and in their quote, no such charge was mentioned.

Considering the overall fracas created by Triumph, I am still in two minds about whether to go ahead with Speed 400 or go for CB 350 RS.

What I like:

Speed 400:

  • Low-end grunt and torque
  • Excellent suspension and clutch
  • Feels like an upgrade from Classic 350

Honda CB 350 RS:

  • Brand value in India and its engine reliability
  • Seat and the way it looks
  • The exhaust note

What I don't like:

Speed 400:

  • Heat from the engine/radiator are
  • Soft seats
  • Dealer attitude

Honda CB 350 RS:

  • Doesn't feel like an upgrade from Classic
  • Silly front mudguard, which is of no use
  • Rusting reported by owners

Hence, requesting the learned forum members to help me in choosing from the above bikes. I will be primarily riding the bike on broken/potholed roads of Bangalore and occasional highway tours of 100-300 kms.

NOTE: Please do not pay any handling/logistic charges for any vehicle which you propose to buy.

If you have read it to the end, I sincerely thank you for your time.

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