Fresh design sketches published recently bolster rumours that the revived Honda Hornet will compete in the middleweight naked bike category in 2023 using a sporty new 750 parallel twin.
The new Honda Hornet, which is expected to carry the CB750S nameplate in international markets, was first confirmed at last year’s EICMA motorcycle show with a 3D model and has been further previewed today with a series of design sketches.
The sketches reveal an aggressive and sharply styled naked bike that modernises the familiar Hornet model that sold from 1998 to 2011, using a new parallel twin motor rather than the four-cylinder configuration of its predecessors.
In sketch form, the Honda Hornet appears to use a conventional steel tube frame and snub underslung exhaust, with a forward set stance accentuated by an angular nose and tail section.
Overseas reports suggest that the revived Honda Hornet will use a new high-revving 755cc parallel twin motor – not to be confused with the less sporty 745cc unit that powers the brand’s NC750X all-rounder. A short audio clip of the engine’s exhaust note affirms this theory.
This 750-class motor may also motivate Honda’s rumoured Transalp adventure bike that is expected to sit below the larger-capacity Africa Twin, and rivalling such models as the Yamaha Tenere 700 and Aprilia Tuareg 660.
Just as Honda’s Africa Twin platform spawned the CMX1100 cruiser, NT1100 sports tourer and not-for-Australia Hawk 11 sportsbike, the new Hornet’s underpinnings may be the first in a new range of models.
The bike will likely make its public debut at this year’s EICMA motorcycle show, and launch in international markets sometime in 2023. It is too early to say if the Hornet will be available in Australia.
The Honda Hornet design team tells media that the new bike will stay true to its long-running predecessor, while taking cues from its hornet (as in wasp) namesake.
“We looked, with respect, to Hornets past and found a new, contemporary expression of technical beauty with the lines, shaping and surfaces in compact, elegant proportions,” explained one designer.
“The main signature of the Hornet concept is the fuel tank, inspired by a hornet’s wing. There are hallmarks of tension and aggression found throughout, outlining true performance intent,” said design team lead Giovanni Dovis.
If the Honda Hornet indeed uses a new 750-class engine it will certainly rival the likes of the non-LAMS Yamaha MT-07 and Aprilia Tuono 660 which both use parallel twin motors, and if high-specification suspension and braking systems are employed, it may even look upstream to models such as the KTM 890 Duke and Yamaha MT-09.
Spencer has a keen eye for hard news, and does some of his best living on deadline day. He loves more than anything to travel on his motorcycle, and is adamant that Melbourne Bitter is a world-class lager. He also knows how to operate the big computery thing in the office. By night, Spencer plays guitar with Melbourne punk outfit LOUTS.