The Honda Hornet 800 could be a possible bike in the To-Be-Released list of the Japanese company in 2015. After all, the Japanese behemoth has no presence in a segment that has been witnessing heightened action since the last year.
The sub-liter naked bike segment has been buzzing of late, due to a combination of factors that go beyond just motorcycles. As our cities become increasingly crowded, full-faired bikes become difficult ones to be ridden in the Stop-Go traffic. Who would want to ride a bike that gathers steam only after nearly 7k-8k revs, and remains clunky and unresponsive till that? And can one really shove a full-faired bike into the gap between two cars?
Here come naked bikes. Minimalist bodywork reduce the width, thus making them more maneuverable. Inline-Four engines are replaced by Inline-Three powerplants to keep the width in check. The absence of bodywork also keeps the weight in check, increasing agility and nimbleness. However, the most defining factor of naked bikes is the tuning of their engines.
Instead of having a screaming top-end and a gutless low-end, these bikes mostly possess a meaty mid-range torque output. Thus, they are suitable to be used in the crowded environs of cities without much dancing on the gearbox.
The move to sub-liter category has been propelled by tough economic conditions. Hydrocarbons are becoming increasingly dearer, whereas money is hard to come by.
So, we have quite a few choices present in the segment already :
- Yamaha MT-07 and MT-09
- Kawasaki Z800
- Ducati Monster 821
- Suzuki GSR750
- MV Agusta Rivale 800
It won’t be wrong to say that it all began with the Yamaha MT-09. As Yamaha realised the changing landscape, they quickly assembled a bike with changes to the powerplant to make up for the lesser capacity. Honda isn’t present in this segment, and they would definitely be eager to make a stamp here. They could take the engine of their CB650F and increase its capacity to 800cc. Definitely, they would need to re-calculate the gearing ratios.
However, the Honda Hornet 800 needs to be backed by an attractive pricing strategy. Can the Honda Hornet 800 ruffle up the sub-litre naked bike segment?
Source – Autoevolution