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

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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.

Keep an eye out on MCN for more details soon.

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.