HONDA HORNET 160 R | THE EVERYDAY WORKING CLASS HEROPosted On: December 28, 2018 By : AutoLife Team
What is the definition of a hero? What separates a hero from a flock of ordinary? As the saying goes, “heroes are not born but forged”, Honda, one of the most reputed and respectable motorcycle manufacturing company forged a motorcycle which is deemed worthy of this title, the Honda CB Hornet 160R back in 2016. The muscular and chiseled tank, compact & strong body, sharp and sporty design which is further solidified by the spectacular badge of wings that’s been slapped on, the Hornet appears to be no less like the superheroes of our generation which is why, this was the most awaited motorcycle in its segment and took the market by storm when it was first introduced. Fast-forward to 2018, Honda have introduced the updated version of this iconic motorcycle. Of course, the looks are overwhelming; this one looked much more modern with its led headlights and sporty graphic stickers; not to forget this one gets ABS. Looks is not the only reason why we are regarding this bike as the everyday working-class hero, to find out exactly why, keep reading.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
To start off, Honda has offered many color options with the new sportier Hornet, five to be exact; striking green, mars orange, athletic blue metallic, sports red and dazzle yellow metallic. Each color combination is equally better than the next one. Since, it has been a long time that Honda hasn’t introduced any of its motorcycles in yellow until now, so we decided to take that one for a spin. The sharp and edgy sticker goes pretty well with the muscular frame of the tank. Besides the LED headlights and the sticker job, there aren’t distinctive major changes on the design of the motorcycle. However, Honda has put a lot of effort on the minimal changes and tiny details on the motorcycle which can only be noticed when you ride it. For instance, the tiny yet useful windshield at the top of the head unit which works well when you tuck your head close to the tank in an aggressive racing body posture, giving you a clear vision along with good aerodynamics.
What’s new is the instrument cluster which is better than the previous one as the speedometer and indicators have been clearly divided by silver finished housings and carries a Hornet badge on it. Unlike many motorcycles in its segments, the new hornet comes with a hazard switch. This may be a minimal option but comes handy in situations such as highway riding, heavy rain or foggy days.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
Just like the previous Hornet, this one gets the same 162.71cc, four-stroke, air-cooled, SI BS-IV engine which churns out 14.9 bhp at 8500rpm and 14.5 Nm torque at 6500 rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox which we find adequate for a single cylinder 160cc segment motorcycle. Everything is similar in terms of engine and there hasn’t been many changes as compared to its predecessor. However, there is a reason why Honda did not interfere with the engine as the engine on the Hornet is a master piece in its own way. The engine gets the refinement and smoothness of a Honda which gives you constant and linear power delivery on every twist of the throttle. But, in our opinion, the main reason behind Honda sticking with the same engine for the Hornet would be the impressive mileage it offers while delivering amazing performance.
For our test ride we decided to put it up against smooth black topped roads and the patchy pothole filled off road streets of Nepal. And we must say the motorcycle performed pretty well on both kind of roads. The bike took the rash off-roads and the harsh pothole bash pretty well to be honest. There were many moments when the gritty roads almost felt like smooth asphalt which would not have been possible without the sturdy stiffly sprung suspensions and the wide section rear tyres on this bike. But take it to a smooth paved road and you will have a wide grin on your face. The big contact patch of the tyres compounded by the wide handle bars and sculpted tank gives you that extra edge of a smooth and confident ride.
BRAKING AND SUSPENSION
While the Hornet comes in many variants, the top variant having ABS and CBS with disc brakes at front and back and the minimal variant consisting of just a disc at the front, we went ahead with the minimal one just to see how well it performs. This variant comes with a 276 mm disc at the front and 130 mm drum at the rear. Despite of the old school drum brake at the rear, the braking on bike was pretty well rounded even at high speeds because of the proper weight distribution. The front disc brake has a pretty good bite which is enough to handle any emergency stopping.
As for the suspensions, you get telescopic forks at the front and a mono shock absorber at the rear. Both the suspensions work effortlessly to offer a smooth and pleasant ride on any kind of terrain. The sturdy rear suspension handled bumps on the road ensuring ride stability and even in tight corners, the suspensions remained very responsive.
COMFORT AND HANDLING
Just from the way it looks you can tell it already that the bike is a saddle of comfort. The wide handle bars, comfortable seats and upright positioning provide you with nothing but a delightful ride. This is essential for a long highway ride as well as for everyday commute. However, the interesting thing is the sports capabilities the bike offers you with. Shift a little bit back towards the end of the rider’s seat and you will find yourself in an aggressive riding position for a sportier ride. All in all, a perfect commuter and fun bike to own for everyday ride.
The engine is one of the best in its segment; refined and powerful yet fuel efficient. The big disc and the Nissin calipers truly live up to its name with a powerful bite. The chunky tires promise stability and grip around corners and the riding position is both comfortable and sporty with the design being sharp and elegant. All of these qualities packed in a single bike at a reasonable price is the reason why we titled this machine as an everyday working-class hero. It is realistic and will be there with you on every step. Isn’t that what a basic element of any hero is?