Honda CB750 Hornet Review (Baujahr 2023)
Is the new in-line twin Hornet still as prickly as the 1998 original?
With the new CB 750 Hornet, Honda attacks Yamaha's MT-07 directly. In order for this to succeed, they reach into history and grab a sonorous name: "Hornet". Whether the new Hornet with a completely newly developed in-line twin stings just as much as the blissful 4-cylinder Hornet from 1998 was checked by Volker and Dietmar during a test drive.
That's how it stands, the CB750 Hornet The new Hornet costs 7,990 euros and is available in four colors. The Yamaha MT-07 costs about 400 euros more, only the less powerful Triumph Trident 660 and Kawasaki Z650 can keep up here in terms of price - all other naked bikes in the middle class are sometimes significantly more expensive. Clearly, Honda wants to challenge Yamaha for the success of the MT-07 and is eyeing the top 3 of the German registration statistics. In March 2023, the new bike will be in 2nd place behind the BMW GS. So Honda's concept has worked: a simple but well-made machine with a powerful in-line twin at a reasonable price - that goes down well.
The seating position on the Hornet 750 is typical for this class. You sit upright with a small dash of sportiness in the direction of the medium-wide handlebars. The seat height is just under 80 cm, so even smaller people have no problems with stability. Even with a length of 1.84m, Dietmar didn't have the feeling that the machine was too small for him - that's fine.
The pillion passenger has neither grab handles nor does it sit particularly comfortably. The footrests are mounted high, so you don't necessarily want to have to travel long distances as a passenger. In this respect, it is not surprising that Honda also offers a pillion seat cover. This machine is supposed to be driven alone.
That's how it sits on the Honda CB750 Hornet.
The look of the Honda CB 750 Hornet is pleasing, but at the same time lacking in surprises. We see visual borrowings from the CB 500 F as well as a little bit of KTM Duke and Yamaha MT. Only the tank, which is supposed to imitate the shape of a hornet's wing (hence the name), is distinctive, everything else we have already seen. The bike is slim and sporty, not a gram too much, well trained. You can almost see how it will drive when it is stationary: light, manoeuvrable, powerful. If you want more visual accents, you will probably end up with the Neo Sports models such as the CB 650 R at Honda.
360 degree tour of the new Hornet
Technology of the Hornet 750
The Honda CB750 Hornet has an easy-to-read 5-inch TFT color display with plenty of on-board computer information. Three riding modes are available, plus a rider mode where power mapping, traction and engine braking can be configured. The operation is simple, a directional pad is available on the left for control.
There is also hazard warning lights and full LED lighting technology on board. As usual with Honda, the turn signals are not only used for flashing, but also as position lights. When the ignition is on, the turn signals light up constantly. Very good: In the event of abrupt braking manoeuvres, the hazard warning lights are automatically activated for a short time, which warns the driver behind on the motorway.
Honda does without special gimmicks such as lean angle sensors, wheelie control and the like in the Hornet 750. There is also no keyless go or tire pressure control. However, the machine can be paired with the smartphone and a navigation system can be placed on the display. Overall, the technical equipment is well chosen: All the necessary things are included, but there is no annoying technical overkill.
That's how it drives
We expected the sound of the new Hornet to be the same (sound check at the top right). The engine has a 270 degree crankpin offset and accordingly the in-line twin rumbles along like a V2. It is neither particularly loud nor particularly quiet. For those who want it a little more riotous, Honda offers a rear silencer from SC Project (950 euros) as accessories.
Speaking of accessories: There are three packages for different preferences: The touring package with case, tank bag and TopCase bag for 850 euros, the sports package (655 euros) with QuickShifter, pillion cover and sports windshield and the design package (494 euros) with handlebar bridge, aluminum handlebar ends, rim décor, tank protector and fall protector.
On the first few meters, our expectations are immediately met. The Hornet is extremely light and manoeuvrable. It weighs only 190 kg ready to drive and that's exactly how it feels. Gearbox, clutch, brakes - everything works almost perfectly and without effort. It's great how easy modern naked bikes make it for the rider. That was a bit more strenuous with the old Hornet...
The engine of the new Hornet also has significantly more punch at the bottom than the old 4-cylinder. The torque is not only nominally higher, it is also more likely than with the old Hornet. As a result, you can drive lazily and always have enough juice. On top of that, the in-line twin will eventually run out of air, but with this engine you don't really want to turn beyond 8,000 rpm - that was also different in the past.
Small detail: the new Hornet 750 has an automatic turn signal reset. On the other hand, the clutch lever is not adjustable in reach. It doesn't bother us, but it still surprises us again and again why the manufacturers want to save 1.27 euros in purchasing. After all, you can adjust the brake lever in the range.
What else is there to say about the Hornet's driving characteristics? The machine feels safe and is definitely suitable for novice drivers. There is also an A2 variant of the Hornet with 48 hp - and it is guaranteed to find a lot of buyers. The chassis is not adjustable, but it is well tuned. The Hornet is sporty, taut and goes extremely quickly around corners thanks to the narrow 160 rear wheel. The brakes are surprisingly toxic in a positive sense for this price range. You can tell in every nook and cranny: I'm riding a Honda here right now! The differences, e.g. to the Yamaha MT-07, are marginal: I feel a little more power, but otherwise the Hornet rides almost identically. And you can hardly give the new Hornet greater praise, can you?
Personally, we would have liked a little more courage in the design, but objectively speaking, Honda has created a naked bike with an extremely good price-performance ratio with the Hornet 750. There is hardly anything to criticize, the new Hornet just works. Both novice drivers and old hands will have a lot of fun with this device on the country road.
The test bike was kindly provided to us by motofun, a Honda dealer in Kaltenkirchen
near Hamburg. There, the Hornet stands as a demonstrator in white and is looking forward to a lot of test drives. Test drive tip: The Schmalfeld curves - Nico from motofun tells you how to get there. Is only 5 minutes away from the dealer ...
Price/Availability/Colours/Years of Construction
- Price: 7.990€
- Years of manufacture: 1998-2014
- Availability: from 03/2023
- Colors: yellow, white, gray, black
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