Back with a buzz! Honda’s legendary Hornet name returns in new 750 parallel-twin

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Honda have finally revealed their all-new CB750 Hornet, which looks set to take the fight directly to the ever-popular Yamaha MT-07.

Designed at Honda’s R&D facility in Rome, the angular naked takes aim at the mass market with a likely affordable, engaging package offering thrills for both experienced and new riders alike.

Unlike the four-cylinder Hornets of the late 1990s and 2000s, which were powered by hand-me-down de-tuned sportsbike motors, this modern naked uses a brand-new 270-degree parallel-twin producing a claimed 90.6bhp.

2023 Honda Hornet on the track

Designed to offer accessible power throughout the rev range, the eight-valve twin-pot’s crank and uneven firing order are intended to create a V-twin feel, adding to the riding engagement.

In an attempt to save weight, inside the engine the primary drive gear doubles up on duties by also spinning the balancer shaft. Helping on downshifts is a slipper clutch, which will be useful for new riders using the bike in its restricted 47bhp format.

The engine is held in a rigid steel diamond frame, which tips the scales at 16.6kg – some 1.9kg less than the one used in the four-cylinder CB650R. This has been achieved by thinning out the main/down tubing and a strong focus on pivot shape, with steering rake set at a neutral 25 degrees and a wheelbase of 1420mm.

2023 Honda Hornet right side

Expect an overall kerb weight of 190kg, with Honda claiming a class-leading power-to-weight ratio of 0.48bhp per kg. Gripping the road are a pair of 17in rims, with a 120 front and 160-section rear.

Suspending this chassis are 41mm Showa Separate Fork Function Big Piston upside down forks and a rear shock with five-stage adjustable preload. Stopping power is provided by dual front 296mm discs with four-piston radial Nissin calipers.

The new Hornet also gets a host of electronic goodies, with the option to upgrade with extras like a quickshifter and auto-blipper.

2023 Honda Hornet on the road

Standard features include three riding modes courtesy of a ride-by-wire throttle: Rain, Standard and Sport, plus three-stage engine braking and traction control. You even get wheelie control, which is possibly overkill.

A User Mode also allows you to customise your settings further, with riders also having the option to switch off the traction control altogether. This is all selected using the left switchgear and five-inch colour TFT dash that can be connected to your mobile.

This screen also includes four types of display for your speed and revs with a choice of analogue needles or bars. Other details include a fuel gauge and an adjustable shift light. Outside of this, you also get full LED lighting, plus auto-cancelling indicators, which flash under hard braking.

There will be a stack of accessories including a rear seat cowl, rim tape, different foot pegs and a fly screen. Plus options for luggage and heated grips, too.

Honda CB750 Hornet highlights

  • Power: 90.6bhp @ 9500rpm
  • Torque: 55.4lb.ft @ 7250rpm
  • Engine: 755cc 8v parallel-twin
  • Weight: 190kg
  • Seat height: 795mm
  • Price: £6999

Honda’s parallel universe: Engine details revealed for revived Hornet roadster

First published on 12 September 2022 by Dan Sutherland

2023 Honda Hornet engine

Honda have shed yet more light on the imminent revival of their Hornet naked family, by confirming the next models to use the name will be powered by a new 755cc parallel-twin 8-valve engine.

First teased at the Eicma trade show in Milan last year, it was clear from the outset that the new bike would not return to the inline-four-cylinder units of old, with initial estimates suggesting any incoming machinery could be a competitor to KTM’s 113bhp 890 Duke.

Honda have now officially confirmed the unit will produce a peppy 90.5bhp @ 9500rpm, with a maximum torque figure of 55.4lbft @ 7250rpm. A decent chunk less than the Austrian KTM, it puts the Japanese roadster right in the ballpark of Aprilia’s 94bhp Tuono 660.

The new unit will also receive a 270-degree crank, which will help the bike imitate the sound and feel of a V-twin, with Honda also promising ‘free-revving character and exhilarating top-end punch.’

Speaking in a statement, Honda’s Test Project Leader Fuyuki Hosokawa (who lead the development of the latest CBR1000RR-R Fireblade) said: “The Hornet has always been a very special motorcycle for Honda. Exciting, engaging performance has always been matched to lithe, agile handling.

“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,” he continued.

“To get the kind of performance and lightweight handling we wanted, we knew we had to develop an all-new short-stroke twin-cylinder 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.”

New Honda Hornet teased: Revived roadster to get twin-cylinder power and aggressive styling

First published 07 June 2022 by Phil West

These official design sketches are the first detailed images of the all-new Honda Hornet, which the Japanese giant first announced at Eicma in November 2021.

The sporty roadster revives the name of the affordable, naked CB600F originally produced between 1998 and 2006 in response to Suzuki’s 600 Bandit – which later spawned both a 900cc version and an updated successor from 2007-2013.

However, although the original was a 97bhp inline-four derived from the CBR600F, the new Hornet, as indicated by a video soundtrack played at Eicma, is expected to be powered by an all-new, high-revving, parallel twin reminiscent of Yamaha’s popular MT-07. Sources in Japan have also indicated the engine is likely to be around 750cc.

Honda Hornet design concept

Although Honda has yet to officially comment on its specification, the change in configuration is almost certainly due to a number of factors. Firstly, a twin is far cheaper to develop and easier to make comply with the latest emissions regulations than a four.

The Hornet ‘brand’ is as an affordable roadster – once again popular, as proven by the MT-07. Finally, Honda is expected to use the platform for a whole family of bikes, likely to include a new Transalp mid-range adventure bike in much the same way as Yamaha used the MT-07 as a base for Ténéré 700. So, expect there to be a junior version of Honda’s Africa Twin in the pipeline.

The ‘affordable, versatile’ theme is continued by what looks like a tubular steel trellis frame.

Honda Hornet tank design concept

The new Hornet is being being developed at Honda’s European R&D centre in Rome with styling by 28-year-old designer Giovanni Dovis (who also styled the recent ADV350 scooter) and has shades not only of the MT-07 but also Honda’s CB500F and even KTM’s 890 Duke. The finished bike is expected to be unveiled later this year.

Hornet returns! Honda revive legendary naked bike name for surprise concept at Eicma

First published 23 November 2021 by Dan Sutherland

A sleek back end is reminiscent of the Fireblade superbike

Honda have announced plans to revive the iconic Hornet name – revealing a surprise naked bike concept at the Eicma trade show, in Milan.

The Japanese firm delivered the announcement at the end of their annual news conference at the beginning of the first day of the show, confirming that the name would return for a future model year.

Sitting alongside this bold statement was a new, raked out naked concept on their stand, which lays the foundations for the new machine.

Honda Hornet concept engine diagram

There are no official details on the bike at this stage, however we can tell you that it will be powered by a combustion engine, with accompanying sound effects around the stage suggesting it will be a revvy, mid-sized parallel-twin, complete with a quick shifter.

Outside of that, the front nose piece bears a good resemblance with KTM’s 890 Duke range – a likely rival for the new bike when it arrives. We’d expect it to produce in the region of 100bhp to 115bhp, too.

Also visible are aggressive shoulders on either side of the petrol tank, which appear more pronounced than the ones found on the existing CB naked roadster range.

A new Honda Hornet could rival a KTM 890 Duke

Completing the look is a wide, flat tail reminiscent of the Honda Fireblade superbike. No official sources were available at the event to pass further comment at this time.

The new Honda Hornet will be the first bike to use this name since the second-generation naked produced between 2007 and 2013. The name itself stretches back to 1998, with the launch of the original four-cylinder CB600F Hornet.