HONDA CB900F HORNET (2001-2007) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Fireblade powered hooligan? More like fireplace and Val Doonican"

Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding

"Fireblade powered hooligan? More like fireplace and Val Doonican"

  • At a glance
  • 919cc  -  110 bhp
  • 37 mpg  -  145 miles range
  • Medium seat height (795mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

There are some motorcycles which look good on paper, but fail to fire your adrenaline on the road somehow and theHonda CB900F Hornet is one of them. Maybe it's the mushy non-adjustable front suspension, the blandola looks or perhaps the slightly iffy build quality, but the Honda CB900F Hornet doesn't quite hit the spot. Fireblade powered hooligan? More like fireplace and Val Doonican...

- Check out hondahornet.co.uk for a forum chock-full of info, knowledge and advice on all things Hornet.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Honda CB900F Hornet is a competent handling motorcycle, but lacks some finesse, especially at the front end, where the forks are non-adjustable. The overall ride is pleasant though and the Honda CB900F Hornet makes an ideal commuter, or a curiously overpowering novice motorcycle. Just a tad too `easy listening' for a Streetfighter.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Honda CB900F Hornet 's CBR900RR FireBlade 918cc inspired mill has all the right moves; smooth torquey power, sweet-shifting gearbox and a healthy 110bhp kick in the pants. It's the best thing about the Honda CB900F Hornet by far and Honda pulled off a neat trick by squeezing it inside a 600 chassis.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

If you don't keep it clean, it will look shabby fairly quickly, but otherwise the Honda CB900F Hornet is a reliable, everyday workhorse of a motorbike, which can play ball at the weekend. A stonking great motor, a classy chassis at reasonable road speeds and the simple user-friendly nature of the Honda CB900F Hornet  mean it's much better than average.

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

Other big roadster motorcycles are often cheaper to insure, they hold their resale value better and they offer more sheer, kick-ass fun than the Honda CB900F Hornet   to be totally blunt. Yest, the Honda CB900F Hornet is a bit cheaper than some of its rivals, but it looks and feels like a Streetfighter-lite experience. Not good. Find a Honda Hornet for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Honda CB900F Hornet looks a bit of a rush job to be blunt; no centrestand, the exhaust downpipes hang down from the motor rather than hug the cases, the mirrors look small and cheap and there's what can only be described as token mudguards. On the upside the Honda CB900F Hornet's brakes, suspension and seating are excellent.

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB900F HORNET (2001-2007) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.9 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great so far

01 December 2012 by lewp

Recently purchased a 2008 model. The MCN review says the front forks non-adjustable. This is not the case on the 2008 model. A search of the web suggests they changed the specification of the front forks to adjustable in 2004. So far my experience... Read more concurs with the other reviews by owners, rather than MCN. This is a great bike to ride, neutral handling, refined engine and well planted cornering. My bike is 4 years old and had covered 10k miles when I recently purchased it; it is literally like new, no corrosion at all. This may be a fastidious previous owner, but even so the build quality seems excellent. So far so good :-)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

We have bonded.

29 June 2008 by Big T.

I got this bike brand new from Dobles at Christmas. It was a bike I'd always fancied owning but I always thought that at 6k it was a little expensive compared to the obvious choice of a 1200 Bandit, which I knew was a great bike as I owned one for... Read more over 3 years (2001 - 2004). As it was hevily discounted I thought what the hell and chopped in my XT 660 R which was not the bike for me, see submitted review for details. When the bike arrived I was glad I had ordered the orange as I think it looks great and I also had the optional fly screen fitted to provide at least some protection from the wind blast. As soon as I rode the bike I was impressed by how easy it was to ride and I felt completely at home on it within about 50 miles. My short commute is a joy and weekend blasts are always fun. I have recently given the bike a good test as I did 1900 miles in 4 days riding from my home in Oxfordshire up to John o Groats then down to Lands End and home again. The bike performed brilliantly and returned an average of about 56 MPG for the whole trip. As you can imagine wind blast was a bit of an issue on the motorways but the fly screen kept it bearable at a steady 80. The engine is absolutely superb as it just pumps out turbine smooth power from 2000 RPM right up to the red line and the mid range pull is very strong. How MCN could only get a top speed of 135 is a mystery to me as I weigh nearly 20 stone and have seen an indicated 155, they must have had some seriously fat dude doing their performance testing that day. The ride and handling are great for someone like me who rides in a spirited way rather trying to immitate James Toseland at every bend. The bad bits, I'm struggling here and nit picking really but I would say that the seat is definitely not all day comfortable and the front mudguard is too short as it is on most modern bikes, easily fixed with a fender extender. To be honest I love the bike though and I can't even begin to imagine what I will replace it with when it's 3 years old.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

49975 smiles

20 June 2008 by Anonymous

Bought her in 2003,sold her in 2008.I had 49975 miles of trouble free riding.The engine never missed a beat and the suspension held the bike perfectly.The only thing that needed replacing at 49000 mls was the steering head bearing.These are... Read more excellent bikes and if your on a tight budget and want a super reliable fast paced blaster i can definitely recommend the 900 hornet.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Changed up from a bandit to the hornet. Found it so much better!

07 July 2006 by Trav

Bought this bike new partly because of the Honda finish on their bikes. I have really enjoyed riding the bike and have found it's power to be friendly. It is also easy to blast around on B roads although the suspension is a bit soft for some of the... Read more bumps. I experienced some cutting out problems at first, start up when cold. Have also suffered from corrosion on the down pipes, top Yoke, foot peg and pillion plates which were all replaced under warrenty at the 1st service. Strengths: Ease of use. Riding position and friendly for pillions. Weaknesses: Corrosion and cutting out on cold mornings.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

The perfect bike!

13 April 2006 by steve1999

Chopped in my 1998 fireblade for this brand new hornet and never looked back.  Had it 3 years now and probably always will. Previous bikes - z250 seca750 import vt500 cb550 four cb500s hornet 600 busa fireblade hornet 900. Strengths:... Read more Performance, looks, reliability, easy to ride and feel confident on it. Weaknesses: I suppose I'll have to write something so I'll go for windblast, although I rode from Essex to the other side of Wales and back covering 550 miles in one trip (averaging 120-130 mph on motorway) and my shoulder hurt from twisting the throttle so long, knots in my neck and shoulder area.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Got the bike a year ago and what a hoon...A 2002 model with 5000 miles on it for £3800!

29 January 2006 by tellsa

Yes, it is a detuned fireblade...which clips the screaming rev monster, but adds instead a thousand pounds of torquey g-force off of the lights...whoa! It does appear to be standing start screamer...I've now added another 5000 miles, an ermax... Read more bellypan, a set of conti's, r&g crash-bungs and a set of renthals to lean me forward more (just slightly)...ideal city attack vehicle...ambush machine with wheelie appeal and solid nissin 4-pot braking... Strengths: Total Reliability. Total grunt from nowhere upto 8000 rpm. Mean enough looks, but nimble, feel decent tank range (approx 120). Pillion friendly (not with the wheelie though). Rust proof except foot rest plate on pillion. Weaknesses: Should have twin spots ;-) (only jokin'). Wind blast and protection from the elements...but who wants 2 b a nancy!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

First time on a bike after 7 years...

07 October 2005 by WildAndFree

Just a quickie for now. I bought this Hornet 2nd hand 2 days ago after a 7 year bikeless period. Mileage was around 18.5k and it has a few scratches etc but for £2850 - a lotta bike for not a lotta money! First impressions are very good. I love the... Read more look and it's even better now I've taken off the small screen. I don't mind the wind blast too much as I need to keep my speed down anyway. (Had a bit of a bad smash in 98 due to riding like a prat!). It came with a baglux tank cover which really looks great and has padded sides for gripping. First tankful returned 150 before reserve and seems to be giving 49.4mpg!! Is this usual?? The review said average mpg is 28... I'll be using it mainly for commuting A roads into London. Strengths:
Position, looks, grunt. Weaknesses: At the moment I'm feeling a bit of a numb bum after an hour or so, but I think it's probably more me than the bike.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 7 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2001
Year discontinued 2007
Original price £5,900
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 110 bhp
Max torque 63 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 37 mpg
Tank range 145 miles
Specification
Engine size 919cc
Engine type 16v, in line 4, 6 gears
Frame type steel spine type
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 194kg
Front suspension none
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 296mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2002: Honda Hornet CB900F launched.

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CB900F Hornet motorcycle review - Side view