The original Honda CB350 was a twin-cylinder motorcycle and even more special was the inline-four CB350F that Honda briefly produced between 1972 and 1974. Enjoy the sweet sound of the inline-four engine in this video here.
Honda just launched the new H’ness CB350 in India last week and it has been received very positively. Set to rival the likes of the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Jawa, the Honda CB350 is the first neo-retro roadster motorcycle in this segment and we are honestly sold on its looks. Other motorcycles in this segment like the Classic 350, Jawa and even the Benelli Imperiale 400 are outright retro motorcycles and in that sense, very different from what the new Honda CB350 has to offer. The Honda CB350 is however not a new name in Honda’s lineup.
The original Honda CB350 was first debuted in 1968 and then it was sold through the 1970s. It was a very popular motorcycle back then, one that was widely hailed for its reliability and butter-smooth parallel twin engine. Yes, the Honda CB350 was originally a twin-cylinder motorcycle. Four decades later, the CB350 might have lost a cylinder but almost whole of the design of the new CB350 has been inspired by the original motorcycle and even the dual-tone blue and white paint shade that’s being offered on the new CB350 harks back to the original.
Here, however, we are not even talking about the parallel-twin Honda CB350. In between 1972 and 1974, Honda produced another sibling of the CB350, dubbed the CB350F. The Honda CB350F was powered by a 350cc inline-four cylinder engine, one that revved up to 11,000 rpm. The CB350F was produced in very limited numbers in those two years and it was also considerably more expensive than the standard CB350 of the time.
Here we have a video of a Honda CB350F from the 1970s, posted by a YouTube channel called RamblinAround. The video begins with the sweet exhaust note of the inline-four engine and then the rider takes us on a ride around time. The engine has a nice burble at idle but when you rev it up, it sings all the way to the redline with an absolutely lovely engine note. The sound isn’t as shrill as modern inline-four engines but is very characteristic of its time. The entire video is just about the sound of the motorcycle with no background music or commentary as it goes about the town.
Back then, the 347cc air-cooled, four-stroke inline-four engine on the CB350F produced 34hp and 28Nm of peak torque. The engine came mated to a five-speed gearbox. The modern CB350 is however very different. Powered by a long stroke, 348.36cc counter-balanced single-cylinder air-cooled engine, the 2020 CB350 produces 20.8bhp and 30Nm of torque. It also does not rev up to a sweet 11,000 rpm as the inline-four in the CB350F, but it sure does have oodles of bottom end torque. In fact, the new CB350 has the most torque in its segment. Watch out for our review of the new Honda CB350. Until then, enjoy the sweet sounding inline-four of the Honda CB350F from the 1970s.