The Hornet Returns

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Honda has pulled the covers off the all new 2023 CB750 Hornet, with the nameplate returning to the lineup after a nine year absence. The final version of the bike looks to have softer edges than the concept art we have previously seen, with the headlight being the biggest callback to the CB600.

It’s a good thing the bike features those softer edges, as many were accusing Honda of looking at KTM’s homework when it came to the new Hornet’s design. While the styling subtly calls back to the old Hornet and links in with the CB500F, the new Hornet breaks from Hornet tradition in its engine, which is the first use of Honda’s new Africa Twin 755cc derived SOHC parallel twin. The inclusion of a parallel twin comes as no surprise as the concept art already indicated this would be the case.

Claimed power from the new parallel twin is 90.5hp (67.5kW) at 9500rpm and 75Nm at 7250rpm respectively, with the bike featuring three rider modes to adjust power delivery for various conditions. According to Honda, the allnew, eight-valve parallel twin-cylinder delivers both top-end buzz and heaps of mid-range usability. The electronics package included in the new Hornet package features a 5-inch TFT dash, Throttle By Wire (TBW) which allows for three riding modes and three-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with integrated Wheelie Control, plus three levels of Engine Braking and Power delivery.


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The engine is cradled in an aesthetically pleasing steel frame, with a welded subframe. The low seat height of 795mm and claimed kerb weight of 190kg should also ensure the new Hornet is very manageable by a wide range of riders. Suspension and brakes are an all-Japanese affair, with a set of Showa forks matched by a rear shock while braking is supplied by Nissin. The rich specification list is headlined by a 5-inch TFT colour display which supplies vivid information delivery and management of all systems, as well as the connectivity of the Honda Smartphone Voice Control system for both Android and IOS devices. All lighting is LED; the indicators auto-cancel and also include Emergency Stop System (ESS).


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A full range of accessories, including a quickshifter, soft luggage, engine protectors and cosmetic enhancements are expected to be ready to go at the time of the official launch. Blue Wing Honda, the New Zealand distributor of Honda Motorcycles, is yet to announce local expected arrival and pricing.

“The Hornet has always been a very special motorcycle for Honda. Exciting, engaging performance has always been matched to lithe, agile handling,” says Mr Fuyuki Hosokawa, Test Project Leader, Honda R&D, Japan. “Before starting this project, we thought long and hard about what kind of performance we wanted to give to the rider. We knew that it was essential to keep the classic Hornet top end power ‘hit’ and at the same time, as a new generation Hornet for modern times, we wanted the engine to have a really strong torquey feel and ‘throbbing’ sensation at low to mid rpm. Our aim has always been to match these to the lightest, most agile handling possible, to make every ride – even in town – as engaging and fulfilling as possible.


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To get the kind of performance and lightweight handling we wanted, we knew we had to develop an all-new short-stroke twincylinder engine, with a 270° crankshaft. This would not only deliver that top-end rush, but also the sporty low-down torque, ideal for riding in urban environments and powering out of corners on the open road. For us, the Hornet has always been the ultimate representation of the streetfighter concept and this new Hornet, proudly carries on this tradition.”


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