Honda CB Hornet 160R first ride review, images, specs and details : Dressy Diligence

Honda CB Hornet review from the first ride event organized in India - images, tech specs, price and all the details included


Honda CB Hornet 160R (2)

Honda has officially launched its CB Hornet 160R motorcycle in India, and we are among the select few who’ve been given a chance to ride the motorcycle immediately after its launch. The new motorcycle is meant to offer a stylish, aggressive new product in the 160cc segment, which has all the goodness of the humble Unicorn platform with some added zing and a bold character.

Side profile of the Honda CB Hornet 160R (Left)

With its expressive, angular styling, the new Hornet makes an emphatic visual statement. Unlike most other motorcycles in the category, this one has been finished in a whole bunch of hues and materials. So while the high-raised tank and the angular front fender is draped in the main body colour, there is a silver accent covering a small area under the tank shroud, the tail section, grab bars and the heat shield above the stubby exhaust. The third colour on the motorcycle is black, covering a small central area in profile, behind the carbon finished panel under the tank. The alloys, engine, forks, exhaust pipe and chassis along with some accents on the fairing and tail are also finished in black. The fourth shade / material is a faux carbon finish material on top of the tank, running though its spine longitudinally and flanking the aircraft style fuel filler lid.

Honda CB Hornet 160R (front)

Talking of the tank, the extensions are quite pronounced and are fitted on integrated units with clean, seamless knee recesses which look great with their smooth surface and are functionally better than the bolted on panels on some other motorcycles. The tank itself is a tall, angular unit to lend the Hornet a beefy, muscular demeanour. From atop the seat you can see the all digital instrument cluster followed by a satin silver finish handlebar. It’s a conventional bent pipe unit – no clip-ons on offer here.

Honda CB Hornet 160R (rear)

The details on the motorcycle are quite appreciable, such as the black accents and mini crown on the bikini fairing. The stylish saree guard, the X shaped LED tail-lamp which looks quite snazzy and the raised pillion seat are a few other elements underlining the emphasis Honda has laid on the visual appeal of the machine.

Honda CB Hornet 160R (15)

Power is drawn from the same 163cc, air-cooled, single cylinder engine that does duty on the CB Unicorn 160, albeit with a power increment of 1 bhp. Peak power for the engine is rated at 15.5 bhp @ 8500 rpm, (as against the Unicorn’s 14.5) while maximum torque stands at 14.76 Nm @ 6500 rpm (up by 0.15 Nm). The long stroke engine is also equipped with a counter balancer to reduce the vibrations produced in engine, and has a compression ratio of 10:1. The engine further features small spines that have been added to the outer surface of the engine cylinder to improve cooling performance and help reduce distortion of its inner shape. A needle bearing, which is more suited for handling the radial load, replaces the lubricated shaft which helps in reduction of frictional losses.

Honda CB Hornet 160R (14)

The engine, like any typical Honda commuter, feels refined with almost no vibrations even till 8,000 RPM. For some reason, we found the engine on the new Hornet even smoother than on the Unicorn 160 we tested a few months back. It’s notable that the Unicorn 160 engine wasn’t as smooth as we have come to expect from Honda motorcycles. Seems like Honda have taken due note of the complaint and have fixed it in a resounding manner.

'Aggro' headlight of the Honda CB Hornet 160R

The mid-range of the engine is particularly strong, which should aid in-gear acceleration and make in-city commuting a breeze. The gearshifts are smooth, light and precise, too. The exhaust, unlike the Unicorn, has a sporty grunt which matches the character of the Hornet.

The CB Hornet 160R also comes with an updated braking set-up in the top-end variant, which features the Combi Brake System (CBS) and dual disc brakes (276 mm – front; 220 mm – rear) with a 3-pot brake calliper up front. The standard variant features a 130 mm drum brake without CBS instead. Braking performance is satisfactory, though we rode the motorcycle for a very limited period of time to comment authoritatively on the braking and handling department. We’ll be getting the motorcycle for a longer duration in the coming week and will update your with a more comprehensive report after having ridden the motorcycle for a few hundred kilometres.

3 pot front disc brake by Nissin on the Honda CB Hornet 160R (18)

The CB Hornet 160R rides on 100/80-17 tires up front and 140/70-17 tires at the rear; both tubeless MRFs. The motorcycle measures 2041 mm long, 783 mm wide, 1067 mm high, with a wheelbase of 1345 mm. Ground clearance stands at 164 mm, while kerb weight is rated at 140 kg (std)/142 kg (CBS) ad fuel tank capacity is 12 litres.

What we can, however comment on, are the ergonomics, which are quite different as compared to the Unicorn with rear set footrests and a lower set handlebar. This generally makes the Hornet come across as a motorcycle with a relatively more aggressive riding potion, though it still is a far cry from the committed stance of motorcycle such as the R15. The riding position is a fine balance between sporty, front-forward posture and a comfort oriented commuter-ish stance.

Honda CB Hornet 160 - RevFest 2015 (42)

The suspension, during our ride managed to soak minor bumps pretty well, and came across as a capable setup, though we’d still have to ride the motorcycle over a wider variety of surfaces to have any conclusive opinions.

The fit and finish on the motorcycle is fantastic. The paint quality is commendable too. The carbon fibre pattern on the fuel tank and on the sides adds an air of sportiness, and thankfully has been executed really well.

Some exposed wires below the right side of the handlebar could have been tucked away for a neater look. We also wish Honda did away with that done-to-death switchgear and offered something fresh and interesting.

Honda CB Hornet 160 - RevFest 2015 (23)

Mono shock rear suspension

Other attributes include a mono shock rear suspension, a maintenance-free and leakage proof MF battery, and a Viscous Paper Air filter that requires replacement only after 18000 km. The all-new CB Hornet 160R complies with the BS-IV regulation norms and is one of the first motorcycles in its category to do so.

To sum it up, the Hornet 160R is an attempt to capture the imagination of the style conscious buyers in the category who aren’t too enticed by the subtly styled CB Unicorn 160. We’d like to think that Honda Two-wheelers have succeeded in executing the product rather well. The new CB Hornet 160R is arguably one of the best looking motorcycles in its category, and sitting atop the time tested Unicorn platform, offers a great fusion of style and substance.

CB Hornet 160R and CB Unicorn 160

The Honda CB Hornet 160R and the CB Unicorn 160

While we are not delivering any verdicts before taking the motorcycle out for a thorough review, we are quite hopeful that the new motorcycle will draw a lot of buyers in the category owing to its stylistic and mechanical strengths.

The new CB Hornet 1260R can be booked via a mobile app namely ‘CB Hornet 160R’ on Google Play Store. The app also has sections for product specifications, feature comparison and a product experience zone. Those willing to buy the motorcycle can make a booking by hitting the ‘Book Now’ button and reserve their motorcycle by paying a sum of Rs 5000 on an online payment gateway. Expected date of delivery for their CB Hornet 160R will be then notified to the user.

CB Hornet 160R app available on Google PlayStore

The CB Hornet 160R app available on Google play store

The CB Hornet 160R will be initially available for sale in 21 locations namely New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Alibag, Bangalore, Bashirhat (Kolkata), Boisar, Chennai, Cochin, Dehradun, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Panvel, Pune, Surat, Thane, Vijaywada and Vizag, followed by availability in the other locations with the beginning of New Year. The all-new CB Hornet 160R comes in 5 colours – Neo Orange Metallic, Pearl Amazing White, Sports Red, Pearl Siren Blue & Pearl Nightstar Black.

Honda Hornet (5)

The Hornet will be available in two variant variants- Single Disc & Dual Disc with CBS, with prices starting from INR 79,900 (ex-showroom, New Delhi).

Check out the details of the new motorcycles through images and captions below

Honda Hornet (13)

The digital instrument cluster is similar to the Unicorn 160

Honda CB Hornet 160 – RevFest 2015 (32)
Honda CB Hornet 160 – RevFest 2015 (31)
Honda CB Hornet 160 – RevFest 2015 (30)
Honda CB Hornet 160 – RevFest 2015 (24)

The switch gear and the handlebar grips are carried over from the CB Unicorn 160

Honda Hornet (4)

The CB Hornets in Pearl Nightstar Black and Pearl Amazing White

'Aggro' headlight of the Honda CB Hornet 160R

The newly designed ‘Aggro’ Headlight with position lamps and upward facing indicators

Redesigned 12ltr fuel tank with carbon patterned shroud of the Honda CB Hornet 160R

12ltr Fuel tank with Carbon patterned shroud

Honda CB Hornet 160 - RevFest 2015 (36)

Sharply styled tank extensions with 3D Honda insignia

Honda Hornet (29)

BS IV compliant Honda’s Eco Technology engine which generates 15.5 bhp @ 8500 rpm and a max torque of 14.61 Nm @ 6500 rpm

Honda CB Hornet 160 - RevFest 2015 (8)

The Honda CB Hornet 160R features Combi-Brake System(CBS), comprising of Dual petal disc brakes and a equalizer tech for efficient braking.

3 Pot front petal disc brake

3 pot front calliper petal disc brakes (276 mm – front)from Nissin and a reflector place next to the front suspension fork

Rear petal disc brake

Rear petal disc brake(220 mm – rear) from Nissin and open drive chain.

Honda Hornet (24)

The CB Hornet 160R branding with HET and BS IV labels

Price as tested (Ex showroom Mumbai )

CB Hornet 160R STD – INR 84469

CB Hornet 160R CBS – INR 89094


Tech Specs

Engine TypeAir Cooled, 4 stroke, SI engine
Cylinder Capacity162.71cc
Max Net Power11.68 kW/ 15.5 bhp@8500 rpm
Bore57.30 mm
Stroke63.09 mm
Compression Ratio10:01
Air Filter TypeViscous Paper Filter
Starting MethodSelf
No Of Gears5
Gear Pattern1-N-2-3-4-5
Max Speed110 Kmph
Body Dimensions
Length2041 mm
Width783 mm
Height1067 mm
Wheel Base1345 mm
Ground Clearance164mm
Kerb Weight140 kgs(STD) / 142 kgs(CBS)
Fuel Tank Capacity12.0L
Frame & Suspension
Frame TypeDiamond
Front SuspensionTelescopic
Rear SuspensionMonoshock
Tyres & Brakes
Tyre Size (Front)100/80-17
Tyre Size (Rear)140/70-17
Tyre Type (Front)Tubeless
Tyre Type (Rear)Tubeless
Brake Type & Size (Front)Disc 276mm
Brake Type & Size (Rear)Drum 130mm / Disc 220mm(CBS)
Battery12V 4Ah Maintenance free
Head Lamp12V 35/35W



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  • Pravin dhakane says:

    Simply great bike … I am using since last two months… Awsm smooth & mileage also good ..

  • aun says:

    At what speed vibrations will come in this bike

  • dhaval says:

    your 600cc hornet is of no use and overkill waste of fuel on indian city roads. its usable only on express highways if you want to go above speed of 100.

  • Jayanand says:

    The 3 Pot petal disc brake up front (which is not present on any 150cc bike) is a neat addition to the bike. I like it. The rest of the features are defiantly made to stand up to the Sportier Naked bikes available (FZ n Gixxer) But it horribly falls short from the visual appeal and instrument cluster quality. I mean look at those switch gears. They are lifter straight from Honda Shine!!!! And why is it so difficult to give an engine kill switch on Honda Bikes. It feels like Honda wants to deliver a high end product with lots of cost cutting. Also on personal level, the inline 4 cylinder 600cc bike that has been carrying the Name hornet for along time, has been my absolute favorite. Seeing this thing, which now embodies the same name, feels like an A-List actress from a Hollywood movie has been replace by Rakhi Sawant for a B-grade Hindi Movie remake!!!

  • Nitro says:

    Its a switchgear, its there to operate lights and horns and indicators. Its not ABS. Even the RC213V-S has the same switchgear although with a kill switch because well its a powerful motorcycle and has a higher chance of rider using the Emergency switch.