Honda CB Hornet 160R BS6: What To Expect

Modified On Aug 27, 2020 03:39 PM By Praveen M. for Honda CB Hornet 160R

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Likely to be launched this month, here’s what Honda’s popular 160cc naked might pack

[UPDATE: Honda India has launched the Hornet 2.0, a 184cc motorcycle that replaces the CB Hornet 160R. Head here for more details regarding the bike.]

Honda resumed its BS6 onslaught post the coronavirus-induced lockdown by launching the CD 110 Dream, Grazia 125 and then the Livo. The Japanese brand is likely to follow them up with the launch of the BS6-compliant Honda CB Hornet 160R this month. Here’s what to expect from the upcoming bike:

Expected price and rivals:

The Honda CB Hornet 160R BS6 is likely to command a premium of around Rs 13,000 over the BS4-compliant bike. This would give it a price tag of around Rs 1.06 lakh (ex-showroom). Expect Honda to offer the bike in two variants with the more expensive one featuring a rear disc brake along with fancier graphics and colour schemes. 

The bike will go up against other sporty 160cc nakeds in the segment like the Bajaj Pulsar NS160, TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, Suzuki Gixxer, Yamaha FZ-S Fi Version 3.0 and the recently launched Hero Xtreme 160R.

Powertrain details:

Honda has the habit of using a common engine in two products, albeit with some minor tweaks. The Honda Shine and the SP 125 are shining examples of this trend. Likewise, expect Honda to use the Unicorn BS6’s 162.7cc single-cylinder air-cooled fuel-injected motor. This engine features a counterbalancer for better refinement, so expect Honda to equip the sporty naked with the same. Perhaps it might also throw in a silent starter feature to help the bike live up to its premium quotient.

In the Unicorn, the engine produces 12.9PS at 7500rpm and 14Nm at 5500rpm. Expect the Hornet’s engine to have a slightly sportier state of tune, perhaps with slightly more power. That said, it remains to be seen whether it can trump the segment’s most powerful bike, the Bajaj Pulsar NS160 (17.2PS at 9000rpm and 14.6Nm at 7250rpm). To be fair, the Pulsar’s engine is slightly more advanced thanks to the oil-cooler in addition to air-cooling. The Hornet’s engine will be linked to the same 5-speed transmission as before. 

Feature list & design:

The Honda CB Hornet 160R BS4 was reasonably well-equipped thanks to useful bits like an LED headlamp and tail lamp, fully digital instrument cluster and hazard lamp function. Honda is likely to continue the same set of features in the BS6 iteration, albeit with some minor tweaks to the instrument cluster as it did with the Livo. If we’re lucky, Honda could equip the console with a distance-to-empty feature and a real time and average mileage indicator. These two features are already available in Honda’s scooters like the Dio, Grazia and Activa 125. Like the Honda Livo, the Japanese brand could also offer an engine kill switch - a much needed feature in such a premium motorcycle. The design of the upcoming motorcycle is expected to be more or less similar to its predecessor, but with slight tweaks here and there.

Same old underpinnings:

We don’t see any reason to change the underpinnings of the BS6-compliant Honda CB Hornet 160R as the BS4 model itself was pretty well-specced. The BS6 iteration is likely to continue with the same telescopic front fork and rear monoshock setup. Brakes are also likely to remain unchanged (276mm front and 220mm rear petal disc with single-channel ABS). Expect Honda to offer a variant with a 130mm drum brake at the rear for those who are budget-conscious. The 100-section front and 140-section rear tyres are also expected to be carried over.

As far as the weight is concerned, we wouldn’t be surprised if the BS6-compliant Hornet is lighter than before considering Honda has been actively optimising the chassis in its BS6-compliant lineup. That’s quite the opposite of the usual trend wherein vehicles gain weight owing to the added emission restricting components. Overall, these changes should make the upcoming bike a slightly better-equipped version than its predecessor and will be able to compete better against its formidable rivals.

BS4-compliant Honda CB Hornet 160R shown for representation.

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