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HONDA CB600F HORNET (1998-2006) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"A versatile motorcycle that's fun and practical"

Honda CB600F Hornet motorcycle review - Riding

"A versatile motorcycle that's fun and practical"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Honda CB600F Hornet uses simple ingredients, thoughtfully combined to create a motorcycle far better than you’d guess. Old Honda CBR600F engine plus a basic frame, cost conscious suspension and upright bars make a versatile motorcycle that’s fun and practical. High level exhaust, USD forks and wide rear tyre add a dash of pzazz. The CB600F Hornet suits shorter bikers well.

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

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Mad thrash or gentle cruise – the CB600F Hornet copes with both without breaking a sweat. Handling is sweet although pre-2000 motorcycles had a 16 inch front wheel which feels odd. Ultimately the suspension is budget, even the USD forks are more fashion than function but it’ll take a fast track day for most bikers to fault it. After market brake pads increase bite.

Engine 4 out of 5

Plenty of power and excellent reliability from the Honda CB600Fs inline four. It’s the same as used in mid-90s CBR600F with carbs not fuel injection. The Honda CB600F Hornet does need revving hard if you want to use all the power but it’s gentle in town with a light clutch. Camchain tensioner failure is the motorcycle's only weakness.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Honda CB600F Hornet shrugs off miles (including winter ones) better than most Japanese bikes. The bottom yoke will corrode plus the stainless steel down pipes discolour but otherwise the finish is quite tough. Road salt and infrequent washing will still cause heavy corrosion though. Reliability is superb. Honda’s regular problems (regulator/rectifier plus cam chain tensioners) are the only gripes.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

Excellent VFM but the CB600F is in an ultra competitive class, and the Hornet is looking old. Yamaha’s FZ6 is better equipped and is available with a fairing while Kawasaki’s Z750 has more poke. Honda’s own CBF600 has more equipment including ABS for the same price – but the CB600F Hornet’s faster and more sporty. The CB600F Hornet’s still a wise buy – used values are solid and parts and extras are plentiful. Find a Honda Hornet for sale.

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

The Honda CB600F Hornet's comfort is OK for an unfaired motorcycle. The Honda CB600F's seat is not the comfiest ever but it is acceptable. Pillion accommodation is mediocre. Budget motorcycle means budget equipment levels. The CB600F Hornet comes with few bells and whistles but it doesn’t really need them. The high level exhaust gets in the way if you want to use soft panniers which can be a pain.

Click here for the 10 best parts for the Honda Hornet 600, as recommended by real owners at hondahornet.co.uk.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1998
Year discontinued 2006
Original price £5,199
Used price £1,000 to £2,500
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £66
Annual service cost £160
Performance
Max power 97 bhp
Max torque 47 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.7 secs
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Steel spine
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 179kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 296mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1998: Original Honda CB600F Hornet launched.
2000: 17” front wheel, colour coded grab rail, red inserts on heel plates.
2003: Minor update – engine and frame tweaks, large under seat storage, twin reflector headlight.
2005: Updated CB600F Hornet: lots of changes including USD forks, small cowling round headlight.
2006: Model deleted. Replaced by all-new Hornet 600 in 2007 (see seperate review).

Other versions

Pre 2000 motorcycles had a 16 inch front wheel which feels odd and restricts tyre choice.
‘S’ version had a useful half fairing and clocks from the Honda VTR1000 Firestorm.

Owners' Reviews

30 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB600F HORNET (1998-2006) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CB600F HORNET (1998-2006)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.2 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 3.2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Awesome bike for little money and gives any 600 a run for its money if ridden right.....

05 July 2018 by Badger

Quick and handles like a balerina.......you flick it all over the place.....

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Oustanding handling for a budget bike, I could ride this bike quickly without using the brakes, but when you needed them they worked superbly......
Engine
5 out of 5
Nothing , this engine runs like a jewel and power all the way up the rev range .....Carbs are still better than fuel injection IMHO if set up well..... if you back off the gas , you can just scrape 50mpg if you ride like a vicar (old one)
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Only had a battery go on me.....but other than started everytime........
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Always use Michelin Pilot Road 3/4 tyres, they suit this bike so well......and are very forgiving in the wet (you can get your knee down!) and suit the suspension......Had crash bungs and topbox which never really affected the handling, but the pizza was a mess after one journey.......only given it 4 because it should have a clock as basic bit of kit to tell if you faster to work on any day ;o)
Buying experience

Bought it from a dealer in Swindon , but it had been standing so one of the carb floats needed replacing , but once it was set up by a mate who did British Superbike tuning, it was so smooth......

5 out of 5

Best beginner bike

07 May 2018 by Pero ajkula

Overall very good beginner bike. Had it for 3 years... 2005 model with better suspension upside-down forks, digital tachometer and Akrapovic exhaust with a very good sound. I bought it with 50,000km on the clock and I've done another 30,000km with no problems. Very reliable but i got used to it so had to go to the next step and get a 1000cc bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Its very good beginner bike, very forgiving with good handling. You can ride fast but it has its limitations. It's not a sport bike. Good brakes with lots of feedback.
Engine
5 out of 5
Very good old school engine, bulletproof. It had started every spring after cold winter no problem. Good power delivery, not brutal, very good for a beginner.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No breakdowns or failures, good Honda quality, very reliable. Had done 30,000km on 50,000km plus from before with no problems.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Standard oil and filter on 5,000km. Tyres have done 5,000km rear and 10,000km front (250€ per set). If you rev it hard it can eat some oil...need to check every 2500km and refill. Changed brake pads... but that is standard service after worn 100€ (with brake fluid service) Had to service front fork on 60,000km, seals and oil. After that it had better handling 130€ Changed chain after 20k km 200€.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Had an Akrapovic exhaust with a very nice sound.
Buying experience

In 2015 bought for 2700€ Sold in 2018 for 2400€ Great value holder.

5 out of 5

A great all rounder

16 December 2017 by Paul M

Overall is a fantastic bike, great when pottering about town and even better when you let rip on the throttle on the country roads, it’s actually surprisingly quick and handles well.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Original brakes are rubbish but upgrade to Goodridge braided brake lines and better pads and you make miracles happen on that part, other than that ride quality is good.
Engine
5 out of 5
I love the engine, smooth power low down and a very noticeable power band up top. Rev it’s brains out and you’ll get everything the 600cc has to offer.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
It’s never let me down, although I have had to change over rusting parts but again no big deal, the bike does live outside so some can be expected and it’s used in all but frosty weather. Can’t fault it.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I service the bike myself every couple of months, major service parts and labour are not that expensive too. Running cost is my only downside to my humble hornet... she’s quite greedy on fuel and has a tiny tank I only get 110 mile before I have to turn the reserve, it can be a pain making sure you pass petrol stations on a long days riding.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I never bought my bike brand new and since then it’s had many upgrades, that’s why I’ve made this a 5 star I love the fact it’s so easy to personalise, My preferred tyres are Pirelli Diablo.
Buying experience

I bought privately, the bike cost me £1400 but did require some attention which I done instantly. Now she’s back to her normal self.

5 out of 5

23 February 2017 by Dimitar

best first big bike

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

10 December 2016 by Vallone75

Fun, fact, easy, reliable. Nothing better for busy town riding and fun on open roads. Smallish tank (100 mile range) but worth the compromise as it still looks good after almost 15 years. Typical Honda reliability. If I could justify the cost I would get a new exhaust as I think it deserves to sounds a little loader then the standard pipe.

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
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Awesome bike. Fast and easy to maintain.

24 November 2016 by Danny Draper

I picked up one of these as a non runner from eBay earlier in the year and wanted to bring it back to it's former glory as a project. Blog is here: http://hornetproject.blogspot.com. Now the bike is running so well and it's an absolute joy to ride. Only thing I would say it can feel a bit vibey in the pegs and bars which limits my confidence to push it to higher revs, however it's so simple to maintain and I love that with this bike I'll never have to visit a mechanic ever again. Another issue is the tank size, whilst it says 17 litres I would say only 13 or 14 of it as actually useable as a lot of fuel is wasted on the right side due to the design of the tank. I find I hit reserve after around 100 miles and then when I fill up, I put in about 10 litres until it's full. It's also a wise idea to keep the exhaust side of the engine clean and ACF50'd up when riding in the wet / winter as corrosion can get pretty bad and when you ever come to remove the oil cooler or exhaust studs you want a chance of getting those things off.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Front brake is awesome, rear could be better.
Engine
5 out of 5
Easy to maintain, and swap out (if need be) all engine parts are easily sourceable on eBay. Recommend upgrading the CCT to a manual version and then manually tweaking it on each service.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Careful riding gets around 48-50 mpg, and riding it hard I find I get around low 40's. Main maintenance costs are Sparks / Oil Filter / Oil / Air Filter / Brake Pads / Tyres, but on eBay most parts are available for a good price.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Very basic equipment, depending on what you do I'd fit a USB charging socket - great for charging your phone if you want to use it as a Sat Nav. Upgrade the rear shock too - I was fortunately to have an Ohlins on mine and the comfort is amazing.
Buying experience

I bought mine privately on eBay for £500. It was advertised as a non runner and engine had a horrible knocking noise due to spun bearing. Wasn't looked after, so I took it in as a project (http://hornetproject.blogspot.co.uk)

4 out of 5

Excellent Golf for starters!

31 May 2016 by Oncle Stefan

Coming from a Kawa ZZR600 as first big bike...: Pro: easy, very easy handling, it's a lightweight machine & reminds me the handling of my Cagiva Planet 125. Excellent to learn, and lot's of power to go on from there. Good wind protection. Cons: a bit dull, allthough I haven't been to the top-end of the engine yet. Use it only for work commute in heavy traffic, it's Golf-like there. Sitting position is also cramped, knees a bit too bent, seat too low (despite me being European average at 1m76). And finally fuel consumption that is around 6l/100km which is high for quiet pottering.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
The front gets a bit soft above 25°C, but for me that hasn't caused any problem. It's hot to sit on in summer as well, when stopped the cooling fan blows the heat up your legs. Simple rear suspension has a some difficulty with rough roads & you block the rear very easily when braking. Otherwise confident-inspiring machine, at least with MPR4 on it. For the beginner I am it is an excellent machine, this is the best selling point of the Hornet to me.
Engine
3 out of 5
OK, I'm a bit harsh mostly for personal reasons. Nothing wrong... nothing especially nice either. Compared to the great character & sound of the ZZR it's dull. Extremely Golf-like as said before.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
The bike had 8.000km on the clock (~5.000 miles), had been driven by a lady for 1 1/2 year then left sitting in damp condition for ~10 years after slider I think. Big problem to get the engine going again, and some issues with fuel hose folding shut. But that's because of its particular history, otherwise clearly Honda quality.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
On the pro side it was an absolute bargain (less than 1 000 quid). I do my maintenance myself so cannot comment on servicing costs. Fuel consumption is a little high but there are a lot of bikes that drink more, and it'll take a lot of miles to eat up the bargain price.
Equipment
2 out of 5
Fuel-gauge & centre stand not even as option is rather bad for me. Bungy hooks seem flimsy too.
Buying experience

Bought privately from second owner. He started trying to sort out the fuel tank & carbs (corrosion) and didn't succeed. Cost me blood, sweat & teers (and the money for second hand carbs) to get it going, almost gave up at one point. Seems hard to believe now, it's just a little more reluctant to start; other than that it runs fine.

4 out of 5

02 July 2015 by Stuart McCullagh

Budget buy 600

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

98 Hornet

31 December 2012 by LGP1

Great bike, have had mine a year and done around 5k on it. Its comfortable, easy to ride round town and if you want to it will keep up with the best of them even on a track day! A very capable all rounder. Only downsides, lack of fuel gauge, not a problem once your used to it, 100 miles then fill and never have a problem. Also the 16 inch front wheel, makes new choice of new rubber limited, Ive fitted Conti sport attacks to mine which seem to be doing a good job!! Very pleased with mine and will be keeping it a good while yet!

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

My first big bike

11 December 2012 by Virtuallism

Brilliant bike, just amazing. My 1999 CB600F is my first big bike since I passed my license about 6 weeks ago and I literally cannot fault it. The handling is superb, even if the front wheel is 16" rather than 17", it stills leans and turns smoothly and naturally (though I cannot compare this to riding a similiar bike with a 17" front wheel, due to not having ridden one). As for equipment it comes very bare: Speedo, revs, total miles, trip miles, neutral light, indicators, engine light (though it is just a generic one and doesn't tell you any causes) and a side-stand switch incase you go into gear with it down. Yet it doesn't need lots of gizmo's, and it's 13 years old now so it's wrong to expect more, although compared to modern bikes it's lacking so only 3 stars sadly. The reliability is superb, I have had no problems with it. The engine is bulletproof and just keeps on chugging through any weather or conditions and the brakes allow you to stop on a £2 coin if there is a need. Mine cost £1250 and it's worth every penny, so five stars for value. As my engine is restricted to 33bhp, I can't comment on the true effectiveness of the engine either, yet even now it is responsive and smooth and allows me to accelerate quickly out of all manners of hazards, and the 45mpg I'm averaging is nice too.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

best bang for bucks

16 November 2012 by oscarman

I've had myne for about a year now and still love it. It's as good as the more expensive fz6 or gsr 600, looks cool, is cheap to run and totaly reliable. the forks are a bit squidgy but cheap to upgread whit progressive springs and oil, this mod will transform the bike... Also 600 inline four needs a litle winding up to achieve warp speed but all in all the best bang for bucks with no reel dowsides on the secondhand market. s vertion is generaly less saught after so cheaper and has usually belonged to more serious owners as opposed to boyracer n vertion.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 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

excellent first big bike!

02 November 2011 by gothamKnight90

i have had my hornet for a couple of months now... the good things are that its got a very low seat height therefore making it excellent for novices... its really easy to handle in the city traffic and great fun on twisty roads... the only big problem with the bike is the horrible fuel economy... i get 35 MPG in the city and around 43 mpg on motorways... even after keeping the rpm under 4000! tank range is about 80 miles...

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Does what it says on the tin

06 May 2011 by TatteredMorph

I've had my Hornet for going on 4 years now and still think that it's a great all-rounder. She handles well in pretty much any weather, although I have had her get a bit twitchy in really severe rain. That said, she's always been very forgiving, even on those rare 'torrential rain' occasions and I've never felt out of my depth on her. That reasonably forgiving nature not withstanding, when she's asked to, she goes like a greased gazelle up a drain pipe and simply exudes grin factor! Taking her out on a Sunday morning in the sunshine or just heading to work or town on her is a pleasure and she's comfortable over longer distances too. The only tricky aspect of taking her over any distance, especially if I'm going to be staying a few days, is load carrying. I don't do those sorts of journeys often enough to warrant hard luggage, and managing to get her loaded up safely can be a bit of an onerous task. That said, once it's all done, she's still fairly comfortable, even if I'm taking a pillion as well. In short, I think the CB600 Hornet is a pretty great machine that's reliable and fun. I'd also recommend it as a first bike due to her reasonable comfort and fairly forgiving handling should one make a minor faux pas.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Decent all-rounder, but a CBR600F is better

25 January 2011 by charlesq_70

There are two ways to ride a Hornet: either short-shifting and cruising on the decent low-down torque, or thrashing hell out of it and countersteering like a speedway rider (well almost) on the wide bars. There's basically nothing in between; in the middle rev ranges it makes a loud buzzing noise (hence the name?) but doesn't do much else. It might be a 'naked CBR600F' but anyone who's ridden the faired bike will know how much better it is. The Hornet rides well but the suspension and brakes are soft, the bike feels much cheaper all round, and the biggest surprise is that it's not even as comfy as a CBR. On the plus side those bars and the riding position make handling at very slow speeds a doddle, and the clutch and gearbox are lighter than the CBR's, so arguably it's a better town bike. The Hornet is a decent secondhand buy (I reckon they were overpriced new) but unless the sportbike riding position is a total turn-off for you a CBR of a similar vintage is a far better option -- better cycle parts, better finish, and a totally linear power delivery that means it's actually easier to ride than its naked cousin.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Decent all-rounder, but a CBR600F is better

25 January 2011 by charlesq_70

There are two ways to ride a Hornet: either short-shifting and cruising on the decent low-down torque, or thrashing hell out of it and countersteering like a speedway rider (well almost) on the wide bars. There's basically nothing in between; in the middle rev ranges it makes a loud buzzing noise (hence the name?) but doesn't do much else. It might be a 'naked CBR600F' but anyone who's ridden the faired bike will know how much better it is. The Hornet rides well but the suspension and brakes are soft, the bike feels much cheaper all round, and the biggest surprise is that it's not even as comfy as a CBR. On the plus side those bars and the riding position make handling at very slow speeds a doddle, and the clutch and gearbox are lighter than the CBR's, so arguably it's a better town bike. The Hornet is a decent secondhand buy (I reckon they were overpriced new) but unless the sportbike riding position is a total turn-off for you a CBR of a similar vintage is a far better option -- better cycle parts, better finish, and a totally linear power delivery that means it's actually easier to ride than its naked cousin.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

98 Hornet 600

14 May 2010 by Anonymous

I had an 98 Hornet 600 which was a real nice bike. It performed unbelievably well but had so much grip and the ability to corner so well it was more suited to the track than the road to get the best out of the handling of this machine. On the road it was so simple to ride fast/slow long or short distance/in or out of traffic the only problem with distance was the fuel stops, 90 miles to a tank when you were enjoying yourself. I would assume the half faired version with a bigger fuel tank if Honda had ever made it would nearly be the perfect bike for alround riding. My brother had a grey import 250 which was unreal. It looked pretty much identical to a 600 with only 1 brake disc on the front wheel. This bike sounded even better than the 600 because it had gear driven cams and it made a beautiful whining sound and it would rev to 16000rpm. Obviously it was not as fast as the 600 but it still had the Fireblade size tyres and being so light you carry alot of speed through corners making it seem alot quicker than a 250 should be. I would definatly have another Hornet 600 were it not for the tank range, I loved it. I still see my old Hornet sometimes ride through our town, it still looks as good today as it did all those years ago. On a different note, if you have ever thought of going to France by bike either with friends or on your own but are a bit intimidated about going for the first time have a look at www.longwayroundbrittany.co.uk ,it is an excellent way of getting a feal for riding in France which is the best place to ride so close to home.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Hornet6 - Hard to Fault

20 July 2009 by jarobinson25

Bought a W-reg 2000 Hornet for a week-long trip to the NW200 after 10 years away from biking. 3500 miles & 4 months later (including 1300 miles in 8 days around Northern Ireland) and I'm well pleased with my Hornet, it can do almost everything well. Its comfy for full days in the saddle, quick & fun for the twisties, & economical giving 40-60 mpg. Even the dreaded poor range can be minimised by filling the tank to the brim whilst rocking the bike (getting 120-150 miles before reserve). The main downside I reckon is the wind protection on the motorway for those mad dashes for the ferry (even with a fly screen) but then again who wants to bike on a motorway.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

2006 honda hornet, with extras

12 May 2009 by cushmanbulldog

I have a 2006 honda hornet. With a few extras like a fmf powercore exhaust, Dynojet kit, k&n airfilter and sticky pilot power 2ct tires. It makes for added kick. The dyno jet kit is cheap, only 100 dollars here in the states and makes a substantial difference in power, a smoothes out your midline power. Added with a good exhaust it turns it into a screamer. Had mine out not too long ago, Hit 150 m.p.h and still had 6th left. But the exchange rate killed sales here, it still is a great bike for ones on a learning curve toward bigger and better.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Had an 02 model for 1 year

26 April 2009 by brucieg

In that time it resisted winter well, but I had several issues with it. Didn't start well on cold mornings, the battery kept going flat even when used daily, and the killswitch played once leaving me stranded at work. Not what I expected from a Honda, especially as I bought it in mint condition with low mileage. The standard of finish was pretty good though. Handling was good, engine was good, gearbox as well except for the odd false neutral.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Only had one for a day

04 August 2008 by fatbelly

I only had a 05 plate Hornet for a day as a courtesy bike as my new CBF500 was in for some minor warranty work. I only passed my test in May 08 so my biking experience is very limited. The Hornet is sooo light and agile but it felt far safer at speed than my CBF500. The engine seemed to love revs and felt as if it wanted to be punished. I am a stick to the speed limits slow rider, but even I give this loaner a bit of stick. It took everything in its stride and kept on coming back for more. The seat is far comfy than my bike and the riding position is compact but not uncomfortable. The brakes felt strong but a newbie like me would need ABS which this bike didn't have but the new model does. I pit in a gallon of petrol and when I took it back after 40 miles the fuel warning light was back on so I would say aim for mid forties MPG with normal riding. This bike would be great as a commuter because it was easy to ride and slip through traffic. Not a complete test I know but just my thoughts after a day with the bike. Would I buy one.....probaly not, mainly because my biking is a daily forty mile commute every single day winter and summer and for me a bike that commute very day needs a fairing, ABS and better MPG. If this bike had a fairing and ABS like the CBF1000 and did about 10 miles more to the gallon then it would be at the top of my list.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Hooner fun!

25 February 2008 by mjf65

I managed to pick up a cheap 2000 model with the 17" front wheel and 30k on the clock, its great fun. It's like going back to basics after owning a fazer 1000, with no comfy fairing, clock or fuel gauge, its even got a reserve tap, how retro is that! The engine is bullet proof and provided you keep it spinning it goes like stink, handling is excellent with a new hagon shock and avon st storms fitted. The only downside is the wind blast but it is a naked bike and the small fuel tank and appetite for unleaded but its too much fun not to thrash it everywhere. Looking forward to the summer!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

98 hornet

01 February 2008 by Anonymous

I own a 98 Hornet and its better than you think. First off, things I've done that make it better. Fit braided hoses, they give some feel and bite (I paid £150 all in). Fit hugger, fit screen and an alarm/immo, as steering lock is all you get standard. I Improved my forks by using 5 denser fork oil than standard (only do if your seals go,as standard is ok). I replaced the rear shock as it is nearly a decade old and I am 17 stone. I rode the new hornet and my (new) 98 suspension is as good. Handling is fine, I've never had a problem with the 16'' front wheel vagueness others report. Mirrors work fine, the gear change can be a bit clunky sometimes but is fine overall. The engine is great for me, reliable and feels so solid. The tank range is an issue, around town I get about 70 miles then 20 on reserve but normally fill up at 60 miles. On the motorway I get about 100 miles or so with 20 on reserve, this is a pain on long trips. Another pain on long trips is wind blast above 70 (and I have a screen). The plus side is you're less likely to get done speeding. The best thing about the hornet is it can be in any mood you like without any hard work. Fast a-road not a problem, fast B-road even better, enjoying the countryside,whatever you like, even does town riding without fuss. Just keep it clean and serviced. Its plain but I prefer to think of it as a classic look. I love it and it has got soul.

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

Hornets suprise

18 January 2008 by madmass

I bought a 98 hornet for commuting, I am impressed on how it can take off like a scolded cat when asked to but will also inspire confidence, only draw back is the low tank range,

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
2 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Excellent Fun

19 October 2007 by simonfb10

Plus points: An absolute Screamer, quite rare, you get quite a few looks at the lights, turns you into a bit of a hooligan, excellent acceleration, Bullet proof engine. Down Sides: Terrible fuel economy plus piss poor tank capacity, Looks a little cheap, yolk rusts, bugger all midrange, windblast above 70mph.

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

Small bike with big attitude

21 June 2007 by rossboy

I recently bought a 2001 Hornet and I am greatly impressed with it. Straightline power is a little lower than my pals CBR600F, but through the twisties I'm on his tail all the time. She even comfortably keeps up with litre bikes through the bends, making quite an impressive machine. At the same time though, she's very comforatble, making it a pleasure to ride over long distances. The only thing that I am looking to do now is put an aftermarket shock on her as, when I've got my better half on the back, she can feel a little sloppy at times. Other than that one, very small, critisism the Hornet is a 5 star machine!

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

oops!

13 May 2007 by wanderers1960

even though i had a slight off on a track day(i blame the suspension), i still love it including the battle scars.

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
2 out of 5
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4 out of 5

38000 mile hornet!!!!!!!

02 May 2007 by 2pac1996

Having passed my bike test 2 yrs ago i opted to go for a 1999 hornet as my 1st big bike and boy was it impressive. the engine feels as though it could go on forever. the acceleration at around 8-9000 rpms was pretty cool. the only problems i have found with the bike though is the fuel tank range, although i did once manage to cover 110 miles instead of the usual 95-100. also the seat isnt comfortable for long distance riding, and if ur gonna be doing motorway riding i recommend a fly screen to battle some of the wind probs u get at high speed.

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

Cheap and cheerful

21 February 2007 by gusto35

I bought this as my first post-learner bike and thought it was incredibly good value. 4 years on I am looking for something a bit more 'specced and a screen. The Hornet is not quite as cool to look at now that others have imitated its budget streetfighter look. No mechanical problems though.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
3 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
2 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Great little all-rounder!

15 October 2006 by beastiemaggs

Had my little hornet about three years now and it's a great little bike, it's just quick enough to hang with my friends who have sportsbikes, but it's also comfortable enough to tootle with my mates who have cruisers. Test ridden lots of other bikes, but the hornet suits me just fine.The only bike that I'd change for would be the 2007 hornet (in blue). Strengths:  Build quality (good for a "budget" bike)comfort, performance and handling are good enough for most of the time,  a good comprimse. Also it's a small bike which is good for short arses like me. Weaknesses:  Wind protection-but you dont buy a hornet for that and it keeps your licence too. Lower yoke is know to corrode but mine is fine (keep it clean and spray protector on it).

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

Good fun bike

10 May 2006 by mickfzr6

Bought my 1999 yellow hornet after years of head down mindless violence on supersports. After owning CBR's FZR's and the last an R6 thought it was time to chill. This bike fit's the bill prefect...Faster than a bandit & not as common...(yet). Strengths: Ease of use. Neutral riding postion & it uses ths CBR mill. Weaknesses:
Tank range... can be twitchy on 16' rims when pushed...Buffeting on naked hornet.

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