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  • Sachin Sen

Hornet Returns

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet

The Hornet was one of Honda’s most popular and important motorcycles throughout the first decade of the 21st century.

Launched originally in 1998 sporting a detuned version of the CBR600RR engine, the CB600F Hornet became a hit in its target market, Europe. A 900cc version was launched later in 2002 and that was made till 2007. The CB600F Hornet ended production in 2013. Clearly, the motorcycle, and all its versions during its lifetime, was good enough that it’s still remembered today, and probably missed.

Hornet Returns in 2022 as the 2023 Model CB750 Hornet

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet

Honda was teasing the new Hornet for quite some time, and recently, the company unveiled the all-new parallel-twin 755cc engine that has been developed to power the new CB750 Hornet.

The bike has been fully revealed now at the ongoing Intermot 2022. The CB750 Hornet is a completely new motorcycle from the ground-up having nothing in common with the previous Hornet models. Absolutely nothing.

The biggest difference, fundamentally and practically, from the previous Hornets is the new engine. Both the 600cc and the 900cc Hornets had inline-4 engines mimicking their fully-faired siblings in essence. The new CB750 Hornet, however, is an entirely new breed of this iconic brand.

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet

The engine is a 755cc, parallel-twin, 8-valve, liquid-cooled unit with the aim of delivering exciting, yet, more approachable performance. But one of the highlights is that just like the Africa Twin, the new Hornet’s engine has a unicam head inspired by Honda’s CRF450. And perhaps the most important aspect of this engine is the 270-degree crank, for that v-twin feel. As we have experienced with such an engine, it provides fantastic tractability, low to mid-range grunt and excellent top end rush, putting this motorcycle right against the likes of the KTM 890 Duke, Yamaha MT-07, and the Aprilia Tuono 660.

Power figures are generous too at 91.7 PS at 9,500 RPM and 75 NM of torque at 7,250 RPM. These are good figures that promise to provide exhilarating acceleration with a motorcycle that weighs 190 kg ready-to-ride.

The styling is also completely new. The new Hornet looks nothing like the old one, there’s not even a hint of the classic Hornet design here. While the bike looks sharp, it is still quite conservative in its execution. I would describe it as a traditionally aggressive naked bike design, away from the KTM 890 Duke and even the latest Yamaha MT-07.

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet

However, like with many Hondas, the good things are not straight in your eyes, you’ll have to dig a little deeper. While the chassis is a seemingly simple steel diamond frame, it weighs 16.6 kg (lighter than CB650R’s 18.5 kg frame). The main frame is connected to a pair of brilliant 41 mm upside-down Showa Separate Function Forks Big Piston (SFF-BP) at the front. And at the back, there’s a Pro-Link monoshock with a steel swing-arm. Brakes are from Nissin with a 296 mm twin-disc front setup, along with radially mounted 4-piston callipers. The rear gets a single 240mm disc.

Furthermore, the engine has throttle by wire with four riding modes: Sport, Standard, Rain, and user configurable. Additionally, there are three levels of Engine Power, Engine Break, and Honda Selectable Torque Control (Honda’s way of saying traction control). Not to forget, there’s a slip-assist clutch and a 5-inch TFT display.

It Is Important

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet

Regardless of how you feel about the CB750 Hornet visually, its goodness is skin deep. And yes, the new Hornet will play a vital role in reviving Honda’s middleweight challenge currently ruled by a number of parallel twins and the inline-triples. It is lighter than its inline-4 sibling, CB650R, and is expected to be more engaging and fun to ride overall.

The CB750 Hornet also makes a sensible choice for the Indian market, which we hope is on Honda’s list of markets for this motorcycle. The bike gives out a friendly vibe, an easy-to-approach personality, and for this reason, pricing will be the key.


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