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Review: Honda’s Brawny CB Hornet 160R Is Priced High but Worth It

The Hornet is definitely a looker but given its heavy price tag, where does it stand against the Gixxer and FZ?

Updated
Car and Bike
4 min read


Honda CB Hornet 160R. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)

Until a few years ago, the commuter motorcycle segment in India did not have a lot of variety. There were the Pulsars and the Splendors, till the street naked motorcycles showed up. Right now there is the Yamaha FZ, the Suzuki Gixxer, and the latest entrant, the Honda CB Hornet 160R.

A two-wheeler’s design plays a big part in a consumer’s buying decision. And it looks like Honda is going to get top marks in that department. But is there more to it than what meets the eye?

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The Honda CB Hornet 160R badging on the bike. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The Honda CB Hornet 160R badging on the bike. (Photo: The Quint)

The Looks

At first glance, you will notice that the Hornet looks fresh and modern as compared to its rivals. The sharp lines, large tank cowls and the wide rear tyre give the bike an aggressive stance. The rider sits leaning towards the front, which again, gives a sporty feel.

The Honda CB Hornet 160R has an aggressive stance. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The Honda CB Hornet 160R has an aggressive stance. (Photo: The Quint)

It is clear that Honda has pulled out all the stops when it came to designing the Hornet. Even the saree guard looks neat and does not look out of place. The ‘X’ shaped LED tail lamps look great and despite being small in size, do not compromise on visibility.

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The rear end  of  Honda CB Hornet 160R. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The rear end of Honda CB Hornet 160R. (Photo: The Quint)

The Good

The Hornet comes in two variants – the base variant with standard disc brakes and one with Combi-Brake System (CBS) which costs almost Rs 5000 more.

What CBS basically does is that whenever you use the brakes, front or back, the bike will actually use both front and rear brakes in combination to slow down. It reduces your chance of losing control of the bike under intense braking. Although the CBS doesn’t prevent tyre locking, it is still very effective.

Honda CB Hornet 160R comes with CBS. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Honda CB Hornet 160R comes with CBS. (Photo: The Quint)

The engine feels smooth and refined, which is usually the case with Honda. It’s more powerful than other offerings in the segment.

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The Bad

The Hornet does have an engine kill switch. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The Hornet does have an engine kill switch. (Photo: The Quint)

Given the price of the bike, the biggest flaw has to be the absence of an engine kill switch. If you are used to killing the engine via a switch, it can get a little frustrating.



The Instrument Cluster has a neat layout. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The Instrument Cluster has a neat layout. (Photo: The Quint)

The Instrument Cluster has a neat layout and is easy to read. However, it could have used a gear shift indicator or a gear indicator.

The Rivals

The competition is intense, and Honda has entered the party late. The Yamaha FZ is still selling in good numbers and the Suzuki Gixxer has the price advantage between the three. But then again, the Hornet is definitely the best looking and the CBS works like a charm.

Another important thing to note is that the Hornet’s engine is BS-IV compliant, while the other two are not. The NGT recently banned the sale of two-wheelers which are not BS-IV complaint in Delhi. From that perspective and given the rising concerns over pollution, the Hornet appears to be a safe choice.

Also Read: Delhi May Not Be Able to Buy Most Two-Wheelers From April 1

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The black cladding on the fuel tank stands out on the Honda CB Hornet 160R. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The black cladding on the fuel tank stands out on the Honda CB Hornet 160R. (Photo: The Quint)

Verdict

The Honda CB Hornet 160R looks great, runs great and being a BS-IV model, is future ready too.

But with a heavy price tag of Rs 79,700 for the base variant and Rs 84,400 for the one with CBS (all prices Ex-showroom, Delhi) along with the absence of an engine kill switch and the need for a better instrument cluster make it overpriced. But thanks to the powerful engine, aggressive styling and being BS-IV complaint, the Hornet is worth it.

Also Read: Review: Suzuki Gixxer Is Good for Everyday Commute

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Snapshot

Honda CB Hornet 160R Features:

  • Engine: 162 cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled
  • Transmission: 5-speed
  • Power: 15.6 horsepower @ 8500 rpm
  • Torque: 14.76 Nm @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 12 litres
  • Weight: 140 kg (kerb)
  • Price: Rs 79,700 (base)/Rs 84,400 (with CBS) (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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