Honda CB Hornet 160R: Pros, Cons & Should You Buy One?

Published On Jul 5, 2019 By Gaurav Sadanand for Honda CB Hornet 160R

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Does the Hornet CB 160R still make sense in the competitive 160cc motorcycle segment? Here’s what works in favour of the bike and what don’t.

Honda changed the ballgame in the 160cc segment with the launch of the CB Hornet 160R back in 2015. Thanks to its muscular styling, it was an instant hit among enthusiasts on a budget and even offered some segment-first features like a BS4 compliant engine and single-channel ABS. However, the bike hasn’t seen much change over the years aside from a couple of updates to keep it looking relevant.  So, does the Hornet CB 160R still make sense in the competitive 160cc motorcycle segment? Here’s what works in favour of the bike and what don’t.



Looks the part:

The CB Hornet 160R’s styling was a welcome change from the dreary looks of the previous-gen Hondas. The bike brought with it a sharp and muscular design language that set the trend for the current crop of Honda motorcycles and scooters. What works for the bike is its large fuel tank paired with sharp tank extensions and a chunky 140-section tyre which gives it the appearance of a bigger bike despite being a small 160cc commuter.


Feature packed: 

Styling isn’t the only aspect that the Hornet 160R excels at, as it also comes packed with features. The bike gets a full-digital instrument console backlit in blue, a full LED headlight and an X-shaped LED tail light, a hazard switch and an optional single-channel ABS setup.  


Handles well: 

The Hornet 160R employs a diamond-type frame that inspires confidence while pushing it through corners. Further improving its handling is the fat 140-section rear tyre that increases its lean angle. 


Puts the anchor down:

Our test bike dropped the anchor from 100-0kmph and managed to stop within a span of just 36.3 metres. That’s the second best braking performance we’d had in the 160cc segment.  While our test bike wasn’t equipped with ABS, the current-gen Hornet 160R shouldn’t be far off from these figures.  



Stiff seat and suspension setup:

On the flipside, the seat and suspension setup of the CB Hornet is on the stiffer side, which tends to get uncomfortable on long hauls. 


Low on performance:

The Hornet packs a 162.7cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled mill that capable of delivering 15.1PS of power and 14.5Nm of peak torque. While that sounds good on paper, it’s a whole different story in real-world conditions. The bike needs to be revved hard to get the most out of the engine, which isn’t ideal in city traffic. Even though the CB Hornet 160R is the third quickest bike in its segment (0-60kmph in 5.08 seconds), it tends to run out of steam post 90kmph. A clunky gearbox doesn’t help its case either. 


A rather expensive proposition:

The Honda CB Hornet 160R is currently priced at Rs 95,078 (ex-showroom, Delhi) which positions it above its rivals, the Pulsar NS160 ABS (Rs 92,595) and the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V (Rs 93,101). However, the extra dough does get you big bike looks and a couple more features. 


Should you buy one?

If features and good looks top your priority list, by all means go for the Honda CB Hornet 160R. However, it won't be as exciting as performance-oriented bikes like the Bajaj Pulsar NS160 and the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V. The Yamaha FZS-Fi could also make for a great buy if you're looking for a muscular bike with great features and a reliable motor. But if that still doesn’t cut it for you, you could wait for the upcoming 2019 Gixxer which gets a complete overhaul and a BS6-ready engine. 


All prices ex-showroom, Delhi* 

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