After concluding their long term relationship with Hero by 2011 August, Honda is raising huge competition to Hero, Bajaj, TVS and other foreign brands in the country. Ever since Honda launched their one of the best seller Unicorn in the market, they are considered to be the pioneers in 150cc segment. But after their success story with Unicorn, nothing has worked for them in recent years. Couple of their models in 150-160 class lacks the DNA to attract large volume of customers. But the introduction of CB Hornet has helped them to gain back their lost grounds. CB Hornet 160R is off course a crowd puller with its visual appearance from tail to head.
There are numerous talking points about this particular Honda.
The Way It Looks
CB Hornet is a fresh looking Honda in many ways. Unlike other Honda models, this one implements new age design and styling, to put out a real fight to Yamaha FZ and Suzuki Gixxer variants. The all new sharp & edgy headlamp with bit aggressive and sporty looks is eye catchy.
It is said to be the first Honda with a naked street fighter looks featured in the 150-160 class. The chunky fuel tank with forward leaning shrouds and carbon patterned plastic black strips on the top makes it even sportier and muscular.
From the back, X-shaped tail lamps are appealing and to an extend it is the most attracting feature of CB Hornet. The digital instrument cluster of this bike displays all necessary information required for the rider.
In order to bring out a sporty character, Honda has used a silver finished exhaust kit for Hornet. The split alloys of this bike also add more premium and sporty feel. This bike looks expensive due to its high quality fit and finishing in cosmetic department.
Hornet is powered by the same 162.7cc, 4-stroke, SI engine that drives CB Unicorn 160. The engine delivers a maximum power of 15.44 bhp @ 8500 rpm and a peak torque of 14.76 Nm @ 6500 rpm. These figures are better than Unicorn as Hornet uses a reworked carburettor to bring out more torque and power from this same engine. Engine is mated with a 5-speed manual gearbox and transmits the power to rear wheels via chain drive. Top speed of Hornet is 110 kmph whereas Unicorn stops at 105 to 106 kmph. It satisfies a BSIV engine compliant by using a reworked exhaust and usage of a catalytic converter. Mileage of this model is 52 kmpl, thanks to the Honda Eco Technology.
Suspension and Braking
Hornet features telescopic front suspension and monoshock rear suspension. The bike uses a fatty rear tyres to give a supreme terrain command. CB Hornet too uses their famous Combi Brake System, which has made cruising in higher speed, more reliable. Not only that, high variants features disc brakes at both the ends, where discs have been cut into petal shapes to dissipate heat, which is a necessary component for bikes these days.
Ergonomics and Ride Quality
The instrumentation used in CB Hornet is borrowed from CB Trigger, which is not at all user friendly and it lacks kill switch. It uses wide and flat handlebar with low seating and rear-set foot pegs, which gives a comfortable upright driving position for the rider without any back ache. The tank and the seat cushion is designed in a such way that, it can fix the rider towards the bike and aids aerodynamics of the bike. Like the rider, Hornet equally comforts the pillion. The rear split grab rails are easy to grip for the pillion rider.
Honda CB Hornet 160 R is a good looking and quality built Honda in many ways. Honda has added many of the new styling features in their Hornet in order to nullifies some of their black marks from earlier models. It might be heavier than Unicorn, but lighter in terms of handling. The quality and reliability of Honda is famous and they have added some elements of premium in this model. It may be priced higher than Suzuki and other Bajaj, Hero models, but it is a bigger and fancier looking comfortable motorcycle than all the alternatives currently available here. One thing Honda was lacking with the prior models was to attract the youth and now they are succeeded in developing Hornet which is really a youth oriented bike. It is a well equipped alternative for Yamaha FZ, Suzuki Gixxer and Bajaj Pulsar AS.