With times changing, most of the motorcycle manufacturers are going back to the naked middleweight segment. Well, why not? This was one of the most happening segments in the late ’90s and early 2000s. And with times changing, this segment is making its way back into the international motorcycling scene by offering more practicality, fun, and fuel efficiency.
This is why Yamaha returned to the segment with its MT-07, Suzuki is coming back in 2023 with its GSX-8S, and Honda is here with its CB750 Hornet. With more and more manufacturers moving towards a ‘safe’ twin-cylinder approach, Honda has decided to go with it as well for the upcoming CB750 Hornet. Another thing that we find quite common these days in parallel-twin engines is the 270-degree crankshaft design, as opposed to the conventional 180-degree layout.
What To Expect From The 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet
Fun, fun, and a lot of fun. The Honda CB750 Hornet is more capable than the two motorcycles it will go up against – the Yamaha MT-07 and the Suzuki GSX-8S. The 755cc parallel-twin delivers 91 hp of peak power and 55.3 lb-ft of peak torque, and has a 270-degree firing order. This makes the firing order of a parallel-twin engine resonate with the firing order of a 90-degree v-twin engine. This results in a more satisfying grunt from the exhaust, and a more usable and linear power throughout the RPM band, resulting in an exhaust note that is music to everyone’s ears. With a wet weight of just 419 lbs, and a top speed of over 127 mph, the CB750 Hornet is anything but boring.
The five-inch TFT screen does what you expect of it, including Bluetooth connectivity with your phone. Then you have the voice control system that can be cleverly used to manage various things like messages, navigation, calls, and music using a helmet-mounted headset. There are four riding modes to choose from – Sport, Rain, Standard, and User. The last one is programmable depending on your priorities. Obviously, there is ABS, traction control, and other goodies that you would expect from a capable motorcycle like this one for added control. All these things work together just fine to make the CB750 Hornet a fun daily motorcycle that can withstand the test of time, is nimble enough to get thrown into a corner and can exit faster than it entered, bringing excitement every time you sit on it.
The Return Of The Most Exciting Naked Middleweight
Honda is one of those very few manufacturers that have made legendary motorcycles again and again and again. But this is not the first time Honda has either made a CB750 or a Hornet. Considered by many as one of the most important motorcycles ever made in the history of mankind, Honda launched the CB750 for the first time in 1969. When the world was still happily riding motorcycles with single or double cylinders, Honda launched the CB750 with a 736cc inline-four engine that was air-cooled. This, kind of, made the Honda CB750 the world’s first superbike.
The first Hornet was the Honda CB600F, which was launched in 1998 for the European market. Considering the timeline of the extremely famous CBR600F series, it got based on the third generation of the CBR600F. It had a four-cylinder engine, which made the CB600F Hornet a jack of all trades. It was fast, naked, agile, practical, comfortable, extremely reliable, and happy to redline in every gear. This was the same engine that turned the CBR600F into an icon of sorts. The return of the Hornet badge with the 2023 Honda CB750 has got us excited as it has a name to live up to.
Carrying On The Legacy Of The Iconic Honda CB600F Hornet
Not so long ago, we did a story on ‘Why The F4i Honda CBR600 May Be The Best All-Round Motorcycle Ever.’ There were many reasons for making this tall claim – the engine was super fun and reliable, it was fast, forgiving, dangerous, and exciting all at the same time. The fact that the CBR600 F4i was fuel injected made it a more precise motorcycle. It was track-friendly, comfortable, and nimble as well as being a decent tourer. Although the Honda CB600F Hornet arrived in 1998, three years before the CBR600 F4i, it shared the same engine and characteristics minus the fairing and the aggressive stance of the CBR600 F3 (which served as the base for the CB600F Hornet).
Yes, the purists will cry foul because it does not carry the inline-four engine that the original Hornet did when it arrived back in 1998. But is it a bad thing? No. Considering the time, the technology, and the trends that have evolved in the past 25 years, this is a step in the right direction.
Then, one must consider the logistics bit. Where Yamaha uses the same 689cc parallel-twin engine in both its MT-07 and the Ténéré, manufacturers are now moving to engines that can prove their worth on different terrains. This engine is a winner in every possible way. And to see more iterations of it on different setups (like the 2023 Honda Transalp 750) in the future will be worth the wait.