The Hornet’s brand-new engine packs a great deal of Honda’s engineering prowess into a small space. Headline numbers: 755cc parallel twin-cylinder, 67.5kW peak power and 75Nm torque. With wet weight of 190kg it has a class-leading power-to-weight ratio of 0.36kW per kg / 2.81kg per kW.
Compact, competition CRF-derived Unicam eight-valve cylinder heads employ downdraft air intakes and a Vortex Flow Duct to ensure optimal combustion. A 270° crank delivers feel and character; the primary drive doubles as balance shaft while an assist/slipper clutch manages a six-speed gearbox. Electronic rider aids thanks to Throttle By Wire (TBW) include 3 riding modes (plus USER mode), 3-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Wheelie Control with 3-level Engine Power and Engine Braking adjustment.
To maximise the new engine’s potential, it’s housed in a totally new steel diamond frame, which is extremely light weight thanks to optimisation of wall/pipe thickness and stiffness. For optimal agility and rider feedback, suspension is top quality: Showa 41mm SFF-BPTM USD forks and rear shock operating through Pro-Link. Dual four-piston, radial-mount calipers stop hard while the tyres are sized to provide perfect levels of grip and agility – a 120-section front matched to 160 rear.
The rich specification list is headlined by a 5-inch TFT colour display which supplies vivid information delivery and management of all systems, as well as the connectivity of Honda Smartphone Voice Control system for both Android and IOS devices. All lighting is LED; the indicators auto-cancel and also include Emergency Stop System (ESS). A range of accessories, including a quickshifter, soft luggage, engine protectors and cosmetic enhancements are ready to go (see full list below: 4. Accessories).
The 23YM CB750 Hornet will be available in the following colour options:
Pearl Glare White with Metallic Red Flame frame and anodised Red forks
Graphite Black with Metallic Red Flame frame and anodised Red forks
Matte Iridium Gray Metallic
Mat Goldfinch Yellow
All new 755cc parallel twin 8 valve unicam engine
Max power – 67.5kW @ 9,500rpm
Max torque – 75Nm at 7,250rpm
270° crankshaft and uneven firing order for maximum engine character
Patented Vortex Air Flow ducts for optimum airflow
Assist /slipper clutch offers light lever feel and manages rear wheel hop on downshifts
23km/l fuel economy with a potential 340km tank range
The unveiling of a brand-new Honda engine is always a special moment. Presenting it as part of a brand new Hornet demonstrates the significance of the return of the iconic model name. Honda’s engineers have built a brand-new, parallel twin-cylinder powerplant packing hugely enjoyable punch to give the Hornet its performance edge. It’s designed for every rider to exploit to the maximum, with exhilarating peak power output, but also to deliver accessible low to mid-range usability – perfect for the less experienced, and a major boost to the enjoyment of everyday town riding.
755cc, with an 8-valve Unicam cylinder head it pumps out 88 PS @ 9,500rpm with 75Nm torque @ 7,250rpm. Bore and stroke is set at 87 x 63.5mm with compression ratio of 11.0:1. Compact and lightweight (and a configuration used by the MX competition-ready CRF450R) the Unicam head operates the 35.5mm inlet valves via cam, and the 29mm exhaust by rocker arms. Inlet lift is 9.3mm, exhaust 8.2mm.
For razor-sharp pick-up and throttle response patented Vortex Flow Ducts create a more uniform distribution from the side scoops into the airbox, which then feeds downdraft intakes and 46mm diameter throttle bodies.
The 270° crank and uneven firing order create a characterful, twin-cylinder pulse feeling. To make the engine as tightly wrapped as possible there’s no balancer drive gear; the primary drive gear doubles up duties and also spins the balance shaft. The water pump is tucked away inside the lefthand engine cover and there’s no need for a water-cooled oil-cooler. The cylinders also use a Ni-SiC (Nickel-Silicon Carbide) coating, as also used in the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and CRF450R.
An assist/slipper clutch – with oblique layout disc segments – offers light lever feel, eases up shifts and manages rear wheel hop under hard braking and rapid down changes. Fuel consumption of 23km/l (WMTC mode) offers a potential range of over 340km from the 15.2L fuel tank. A 35kW, A2 licence option will also be available.
Three default rider modes; RAIN, STANDARD and SPORT
Three levels of Engine Power, Engine Brake and HSTC with integrated Wheelie Control
USER customisation option between the three levels
Throttle By Wire engine control offers three default riding modes, adjusting the engine’s delivery and feel to suit conditions and the rider’s intent; they’re easily switched and managed between the left handlebar mode switch and TFT screen.
There are 3 levels of Engine Power (EP), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with integrated Wheelie Control available; HSTC can also be switched off. The riding modes offer different combinations of each parameter. SPORT uses level 3 EP and level 1 EB and HSTC to deliver maximum performance with minimum intervention. STANDARD mode is a mid-way setting that uses level 2 setting for EP, EB and HSTC. RAIN mode employs the lowest EP setting, level 1, for the least aggressive power delivery with level 2 EB and 3 HSTC.USER mode allows the rider to choose between the 3 settings for each parameter and save the setting for future use.
New style defines razor-sharp minimalism
Upright riding position for natural control
Customisable, 5-inch TFT display with shift-up indicator
Honda Smartphone Voice Control system offers Android and IOS smartphone connectivity
The rear indicators feature Emergency Stop Signal and auto cancel technology
Honda’s R&D designers in Rome looked, with respect, to Hornets of the past and went to work on a new, contemporary expression of technical beauty with the silhouette, lines and shaping in compact, elegant proportion.
The main signature of the Hornet is the fuel tank, which takes inspiration from the shape of a hornet’s wing. Everywhere you look, from the aggressively angled nose-fairing to the razor-sharp, minimal tail, there are hallmarks of tension and aggression, outlining true sporting intent.
Usability, for all riders, is also inherent to the design. Seat height is a very manageable 795mm and the riding position upright, with slightly rear-set footpegs for natural control and wide handlebars for leverage.
The instruments comprise a 5-inch, full colour high-visibility TFT screen, which offers four types of speed/rpm display – analogue or bar, according to rider preference – as well as fuel gauge/consumption, riding mode selection/engine parameters, gear selected and customisable shift-up point on the rev-counter. Management is via the screen and switchgear on the left handlebar.
Also incorporated into the interface is the Honda Smartphone Voice Control system, which links the rider to their Android while on the move and allows voice management of phone calls, messages, music and navigation. For the first time, several of the HSVCs will also be accessible on IOS smartphones. A helmet-mounted headset is needed, and the smartphone connects to the dash via Bluetooth; management of Honda Smartphone Voice control is also possible using buttons the left switchgear.
To simplify and miniaturise the entire electrical system the Hornet uses a Controller Area Network (CAN) alongside a Body Control Unit (BCU). The BCU is sited under the main seat and collectively processes control signals – from the ABS modulator, TFT screen and switch gear – that are not controlled by the ECU in the CAN system.
The rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) function. At a minimum speed of 56km/h, with either brake working if negative acceleration of a minimum of 6.0m/s2 is detected, the hazard lights flash to warn other road users a hard stop is in process. At the same speed the threshold is reduced if ABS is activated, to a negative acceleration of a minimum 2.5m/s2. They also auto-cancel; rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation.
The Hornet’s steel diamond frame is lightweight, at just 16.6kg (for comparison, the CB650R’s is 18.5kg). A major technological process of stiffener, main/down tube thinning, and pivot shape optimisation has produced a hugely strong platform, with rigidity balance to deliver feel and geometry set for agility – just what the engine needs. Rake and trail are set at 25° and 99mm, with wheelbase of 1,420mm and kerb weight of 190kg.
With a view to heighten sports handling performance (especially braking from higher speeds) Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BPTM) USD forks are clamped by Hornet-specific top and bottom yokes. With 130mm travel and by dividing the functions – Big Piston pressure separation damper in one leg, spring mechanism in the other – maximising both reaction over changes in road surface and the overall ride quality.
The rear shock absorber operates through the steel swingarm via Pro-Link and offers 150mm travel. Its design ensures excellent response and temperature management; it features 5-stage preload adjustment with spring rate and damping settings optimised to match the forks.
Dual front 296mm discs and Nissin radial-mount, four-piston calipers deliver impressive, fingertip stopping power, with excellent progressive feel through the lever. To further elevate handling and ride quality lightweight wheels use Y-shaped spokes. Front wheel width is 3.5inch wearing 120/70-ZR17 tyre, the rear 4.5inch with 160/60-ZR17 tyre.
A full range of accessories are available for the Hornet, ready for personalisation to an owner’s preference and use. For aggressive sports riding, or more relaxed touring a quickshifter offers instant, full throttle upshifts and clutch less downshifts with auto blip function. The lever load sensitivity can be adjusted in 3 stages to suit preference.
The rear seat cowl adds single-seat sports appeal, while a stitched rider’s seat – a brand-new design finished in grey/black – exudes premium appeal and elevates comfort. Also new are the aluminium bar-end weights, handlebar upper clamp holder, fly screen, wheel stripes, rider footpegs and protective skid bungs.
Practicality has not been forgotten. A tank bag and seat bag provide soft-luggage convenience, while a new rear pannier design offers hard-luggage security. For rider comfort, heated grips are also available. To make it easy for an owner there are 3 packs that group the accessories neatly together:
SPORT PACK: Quickshifter, fly screen, rear seat cowl and rider footpegs
STYLE PACK: Bar end weights, handlebar upper clamp holder, tank pad, wheel stripes and skid bungs.
TOURING PACK: Rear panniers, tank bag and seat bag.