Honda CB Hornet 160R: 4,000km Long Term Review Report

Find out how the Honda Hornet 160R performed after completing over 4,000kms as part of our long term fleet

Honda Hornet 160R Action

After taking custody of the Yamaha FZ-S FI and later the Suzuki Gixxer, the Honda Hornet 160R became my third 150cc long term bike at ZigWheels. I was keen to ride the motorcycle as I had spent a fair bit time riding the Unicorn 160 and was looking forward to ride the more powerful Hornet 160R. The sharp lines, muscular fuel tank, X-shaped LED tail light and the stubby exhaust muffler means that the Hornet 160R is a crowd puller and especially a hit among the youngsters. Given the conservative approach from the Japanese two-wheeler for its previous products, the Hornet 160R comes across as a pleasant change and Honda designers should be appreciated for their effort.

Swing a leg over and you instantly notice that the riding posture is different, owing to the wide handlebar and the mildly rear-set footpegs. The riding stance takes some time getting used to but once you get in the groove, you enjoy it. The 162cc motor is the same as seen on the Unicorn 160 but gets marginally more power. But those numbers don’t translate into real world performance as the bike lacks the low-end grunt as seen on the Unicorn 160 and lacks the refinement of its sibling. Mid-range performance though is good which is useful while riding in city. The 5-speed gearbox feels sluggish from first to second and down shifts also take a bit of effort.

Honda Hornet 160R - Static

Despite being a premium 150cc offering, the Hornet doesn’t get engine kill switch which is disappointing and the bike does suffer from cold start issues. The fat rear tyre means that one has to put in an extra effort to change lanes initially but you soon get a hang of it. Handling of the motorcycle is impressive as the chassis is communicative and the tyres offer good grip. Recently I rode the bike in pouring rain and the MRF tyres performed their job brilliantly. It is also quick on its feet which is a boon during my office commute through hectic Mumbai traffic. The suspension is a bit on the stiffer side but it isn’t back breaking. Braking performance of the bike is also impressive with good bite and feedback while the CBS is a useful addition.  The journey has been good so far but we are looking forward to its performance in the Mumbai monsoon next. 

Total kilometres done: 4,412km

Fuel Efficiency: 47kmpl (overall)

Date Acquired: December, 2015

Cheers:  Looks, Handling

Sneers: Engine Vibes, Notchy Gearbox 


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