Honda Hornet Revival Hinted at by Design Drawings

An upcoming middleweight naked will feature the iconic Honda badge.

Honda has released design sketches and a teaser video for a new middleweight naked bike that will bear the Hornet moniker.

  • Expected to be powered by a 650-750cc parallel-twin
  • Likely to be followed by a sportbike and ADV
  • We could see it in the flesh by the end of this year

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If you’re of a certain age, you’ll be familiar with the Honda Hornet nameplate, which you’ll probably remember fondly. For a number of years, it was seen on a Honda middleweight naked before being retired in 2013. It’s set to make a comeback now, though. Honda unveiled a vague-looking concept motorcycle at EICMA 2021, expressing its desire to bring the Hornet name back to life.

The latest development is that the Japanese manufacturer has released design sketches of the upcoming Hornet, giving us an idea of what to expect. The previous Hornet was powered by a 600cc inline-four cylinder engine, but the upcoming Hornet appears to be powered by a parallel-twin motor in a video released by Honda. We expect this to be a mid-capacity engine in the 650cc to 750cc range based on the name.

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The middleweight twin-cylinder segment is hot right now, with big names like Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Aprilia all offering naked, sportsbike, and adventure bikes based on parallel-twin engines with displacements ranging from 650cc to 700cc. At the moment, Honda also offers mid-displacement twins, but these are 500cc models (such as the CB500X and CBR500R), which have significantly less power and torque than the competition.

Honda appears to be poised to enter the thick end of the middleweight segment with the Hornet’s revival, positioning a model between the CB500F twin and the CB650R inline-four. If this bike lives up to our expectations, it will face competition from the Kawasaki Z650, Yamaha MT-07, and Aprilia Tuono 660.

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The sketches themselves are quite similar to the concept we saw at EICMA, with angular tank extensions and a low-mounted headlight giving it a sharp and edgy look. An upside down fork, a tubular frame, and a monoshock, as well as a stubby side-slung exhaust end-can, are all noteworthy features.

The Hornet will almost certainly be followed by other motorcycles powered by the same engine, the most likely candidates being a fully-faired sportbike and an adventure tourer. We may be able to see the new Hornet in person by the end of the year.

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