You might remember our story about the launch of Honda’s CB750 Hornet. The event featured some signature Victorian wet weather riding conditions in our first taste of this mid-capacity naked bike. What was missing was dry conditions – so we fixed that.
A quick phone call to the good folk at Honda Motorcycles Australia saw us in possession of said motorcycle on a long term loan. It arrived at our offices six weeks ago, and we’ve now had the chance to test the Hornet in the dry, among other weather conditions.
With nearly 1,500km on the CB750 thus far, this is the first in a series of articles to update you on the Hornet, and the overall performance of its 755cc parallel twin, which is a break from tradition, and certainly ruffled some feathers among the purists.
The new motor produces a very user friendly 67kW of power and 75Nm of torque. It’s also the same powerplant utilised in the recently released Transalp adventure offering, and could well find its way into the Yamaha R7 rival Honda is rumoured to be building.
Our test bike this time round is ironically the very same machine we piloted at the launch, meaning our Hornet features additional extras like a fly screen, rear seat cowl, heated grips and a quick shifter. The latter is a must if you’re considering the new CB750.
Now on our local roads, and in the sun (even if the temperature gauge has been set to chilly), we’re still thankful for those heated grips. Our first Sunday morning ride saw us head to Yarramalong on the NSW Central Coast, and Bumble Hill.
A coffee stop at Jerry’s Café at Kulnura was a must before we pushed on to Wollombi. The early morning blast up Bumble Hill illustrates the handling characteristics of the Hornet really well.
With tight corners and constant changes of direction, it’s the perfect proving ground for the bike. Riding pretty constantly between 6,500rpm and 9,000rpm, the Honda lapped up the uphill twisty conditions beautifully, bringing a satisfied smile under the rider’s helmet.
Offering good grip from the near new Michelin rubber, the easily manageable yet still engaging powerplant performed well, and gave us a chance to test out a few of the ride modes (the choices include Sport, Standard, Rain and Custom).
On the open country backroads, the 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet performs best in Sport, allowing you to make the most of the power available. From there, we doubled down with the Hornet, testing its commuter capabilities on work runs between Sydney and the Coast.
The Honda is nimble and perfect for lane filtering thanks to its 190kg kerb weight and 795mm seat height. Fuel economy is good, especially in Standard mode, averaging anywhere between 280km and 310km on a full tank of go-go juice.
The 5.0-inch TFT display offers good functionality and is clear to read, whether you’re flying up a mountain or navigating the urban jungle. Both the braking and suspension packages are up to the task, with a Showa 41mm inverted fork featuring on the front of the CB750.
It does feel a little light at first, but once you get the hang of its feel, the more confidence inspiring the package fitted to the 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet becomes. The rear suspension utilises a shock absorber that features five stages of pre-load adjustment.
Spring rate and damping settings are optimised to match the front fork, with 150mm of rear wheel travel. The front suspension offers 130mm of travel. Braking is handled via 296mm discs up front, with Nissin radial-mount 4-piston callipers.
On the rear, a 240mm disc provides the stopping power. All-in-all it’s a versatile and fun machine. It’s a sweet looking specimen with good handling characteristics, a great motor and some nice splashes of technology.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend machine to have a blast with your mates on or a daily commuter, the Hornet is worth a look. Priced from $12,099 plus on-roads, it’s available in Pearl Glare White or Graphite Black (as tested).
Our test bike was supplied by Honda Motorcycles Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet contact your local Honda Motorcycles Australia dealer.