During the last eight months or so, Honda’s CB750 Hornet has continued to impress us, working its way into our hearts as an out-and-out bang-for-buck fun machine. We’ve clocked up nearly 5,500km since we first crossed paths with it on a wet day in Victoria.
From that first encounter at its local launch, to this, our final review after nearly eight months (with the exact same bike – to which Honda added a fly screen, rear seat cowl, heated grips and a quick shifter), the Hornet has been on multiple journeys.
As a result, it’s hard not not to feel nostalgic about handing back the keys. Along the way we’ve learned that the quick shifter is a must have item, and that the 755cc parallel twin punches well above its weight.
It performs much more spiritedly than the spec sheet would suggest, producing a tasty 67kW of power and 75Nm of torque. That’s all bundled up in a nimble 190kg package that makes the Hornet a hoot through the corners.
Utilising a 270-degree crank and uneven firing order, the CB750 performs well, especially above 6,000rpm. It has a nice, characterful exhaust note and excels high in the rev range. Given how well it changes direction, you’ll find yourself hunting for a twisty bit of road.
The 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet also offers selectable ride modes, including Sport, Standard, Rain and Custom, all of which are easily controlled via the mode button and displayed on the 5.0-inch TFT display. The latter offers good functionality.
Throw in LED lighting and this bike goes out of its way to reinforce its value proposition. A 41mm Showa inverted fork features up front, and while initially it feels a little light, it does become confidence inspiring once you ride the bike more, and get used to it.
In the end, the front had good road feel, and was a lot of fun. The rear suspension utilises a shock absorber that features five stages of pre-load adjustment, with spring rate and dampening settings optimised to match the front fork.
The rear offers 150mm of travel, while the front offers 130mm of travel. Riding on either Michelin or Dunlop rubber (ours was on the former, which would be our choice if we were buying one), the CB750 Hornet offers adequate stopping performance.
The front brake has good feel, even when trail braking into corners, thanks to 296mm discs up front, with Nissin radial-mount 4-piston callipers. On the rear, a 240mm disc provides the stopping power.
The Hornet finds itself just at home in suburbia as a daily commuter as it does on the backroads for weekend blasts. It’s nimble and perfect for lane filtering. With a seat height of 795mm, it will suit most riders too.
Fuel economy is good, especially in Standard mode, averaging anywhere between 280km and 310km on a full tank of go-go juice. Honda’s 2023 CB750 Hornet is priced from $12,099 plus on-roads.
It’s available in Pearl Glare White or Graphite Black (as tested), although it would be nice to see some additional colours added. In a clear sign that Honda intends to take on Yamaha and Suzuki, a learner-legal 500cc version is on its way, as is a 1000cc range-topper.
In its current form, the 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet personifies the brand. It’s well built, reliable, and delivers everything a bike should, with a minimum of fuss. While it won’t blow your mind like a super sports bike, it doesn’t come with the price tag either.
And that’s the key, the Hornet’s value proposition is exceptional. Part of the brand’s Street range of bikes, you can find out more about it by visiting the Honda Motorcycles Australia website, or by contacting your local dealership.
Our test bike was supplied by Honda Motorcycles Australia for review purposes.