Honda’s CB1000 Hornet is official. The liter-class streetfighter debuts under the Hornet nameplate, sporting a sharp design, a CBR1000RR platform, and familiar looks.
Perhaps Honda’s new model looks a little too familiar. Do you see some sprinkles of Kawasaki Z1000 in there? Or perhaps Ducati’s Streetfighter V4? Honda’s gone with a design that moves away from the CB1000R’s Neo Sports Cafe design and more towards the sharpness and pointiness of the modern-day Honda Hornets.
On the face of it, the headlight is split, similar to what we’ve seen with the current Fireblade in Honda’s lineup. Dual LED headlights are fitted into a sharp front housing. The edgy look continues through to the short tank of the Hornet. Angular and angled forward to give it a muscular and aggressive look, the Hornet when viewed head-on looks plenty menacing, giving the impression that it is ready to pounce at any time.
Meanwhile, the rear of the bike also embraces an aggressive look, albeit not as muscular as the tank. The rear tapers off to a sharp point, but not before spreading its wings, so to speak. Just like the tank, there are flatter sections at the rear that give it a very aerodynamic and futuristic look. Honda is definitely leaning into a forward-thinking and modern design with its Hornets, and the literbike brother of the CB750 looks to be the most aggressive model in the lineup.
Honda stated in its launch video that the new big-bore Hornet takes some styling cues from the CB750 Hornet, but builds it on the fire-breathing Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade platform. That means that the steel frame of the supersport finds its way onto the liter-class naked bike and also other things like the Honda Pro-Link rear suspension system.
Speaking of that suspension, the bike is sprung by an inverted Showa Separate Function Fork-Big Piston (SFF-BP) with a tube diameter of 41 millimeters (1.61 inches). While the rear mono-shock will be sprung by a single-rate spring made progressive by the Pro-Link system. The front and rear dampers will be both pre-load and rebound manually adjustable, allowing for a proper setup.
As for the electronics package, Honda bundles in its throttle-by-wire system, three riding modes, a five-inch color TFT display, and the Honda RoadSync pairing suite compatible with Android and iOS smartphones.
The 999cc inline-four cylinder engine that punches out 150 horsepower, and “over” 73.8 pound-feet of torque. Honda hasn’t been totally clear about what kind of power the engine delivers, but it’s a faraway figure from the output of the Fireblade’s up-to-214-horsepower engine. Even during its presentation, only these figures were announced, but Honda has promised to release the exact figures once the Hornet comes out in the summer of 2024.
As for the fate of the Neo Sports Cafe CB1000R, that model had sluggish sales and it will be moving out of the stable to make room for the big Hornet. While 2023 will be the final year for the CB1000R, next year we’ll see a new era for Honda in the heavyweight naked category with the Hornet leading the charge.