Think back to the beginning of April, 2022. That’s when Honda Motor Europe España División Motocicletas (say that five times fast) first let on that the Honda Hornet concept that debuted at EICMA 2021 was clearly going into deeper development. A carefully planned social media campaign featuring clips drawing on the Hornet badge’s history with Honda, as well as giving audio clues about what kind of engine to expect, teased us all on the company’s Instagram.
It’s now the beginning of June, 2022, and HondaMotosES is taking us all a little deeper into the design process. Concept drawings from the team, as well as a promotional video featuring designer Giovanni Dovis, give a little more insight into Honda’s headspace when coming up with what a Hornet should look like in 2022.
Fans of the previous Hornet as a fun and zippy little naked middleweight don’t need to worry—Honda didn’t suddenly do something bonkers, like give it crazy fairings or something. While we’re still only seeing drawings at this point, and not even 3D design renders, there’s a whole lot of angularity, pointiness, and aggressive lines in this new Hornet’s conceptualization.
Gallery: Honda Hornet Concept
Where the previous-generation of Hornet was full of roundness and curves, from the headlight bezel on back, this next-gen Hornet does a more convincing job of calling a certain stinging insect to mind. The sharp, diagonal lines that carve out the profile of this bike recall the impatience of a hornet’s flight. Gone is the round headlight, in favor of a new, pointy headlight cluster that calls to mind the angular face of an actual hornet. It’s hard to call out one specific point on the new Hornet’s design, because there are so many of them—including a tail so sharp, we’re not entirely sure it doesn’t contain venom.
One place that Honda designers freely acknowledge channeling their insectoid inspiration is the fuel tank. Viewing it from above rather than in profile, it’s easy to see where Dovis says it was patterned after a hornet’s wings.
At this time, we must also add that Honda is still referring to this design as the Hornet Concept—and there’s been no official word about when we can expect a production version. However, plenty of concept bikes have been introduced over the years and either evolved into production versions, or else gone nowhere. Usually, if a concept is only meant to stay resigned to the design vaults of an OEM somewhere, the company in question doesn’t spend so much time getting people hyped about multiple iterations of it, so it seems clearer than ever that this Hornet Concept isn’t content to stay a concept forever.
The three key phrases that Honda’s design team says exemplify this project are agility, dynamism, and lightness. For what it’s worth, they also say those terms don’t just apply to design, but also to the reality of the machine they represent. Since we don’t know any details yet, we can’t speak to the accuracy of these descriptors—but we do look forward to finding out at some point in the not-too-distant future.