Having revived the Hornet name for the stonking new CB750 12 months ago, Honda is expanding its range with an A2 licence CB500 Hornet and a range topping CB1000 Hornet for 2024.
Powered by a near 150bhp four-cylinder engine, derived from the one found on the previous generation Fireblade superbike, the range topping 1000 looks like a compact naked with a distinctive Hornet look.
Unlike many of Honda’s roadsters, which are styled in Italy with a view to appealing to a European audience, the CB1000 Hornet has been designed in Japan – demonstrating the reverence for the model at Honda HQ.
Although the powerplant comes from an older model, the frame and bodywork are all-new, with the steel twin spar frame clothed by minimalist bodywork, featuring a heavily sculpted fuel tank and tiny dual LED projector headlights for a pretty aggressive look.
Hornets have always offered good value for money and excellent access for riders moving up the performance ladder, and Honda say the new Hornet 1000 will be ideal for riders looking to move up from middleweight machines like the CB750 Hornet.
Honda hasn’t released too many details of the new model yet, including prices and availability date, but the bike has been shown at the EICMA motorcycle show, which is currently taking place in Milan, Italy. We do know that technical highlights will include a ride by wire throttle, which facilitates three riding modes and adjustable traction control, adjustable Showa Big Piston Forks and radially mounted brakes.
The CB500 Hornet is essentially a rebranding and minor update to the popular CB500F.
Like all of Honda’s 500 range, the 471cc twin meets the 35kW (47bhp) power limit allowed for A2 licence holders, and the Hornet features some small updates through the adoption of traction control and a new fuel injection map for an improved feeling under acceleration.
The styling has been updated, with a new LED headlight and rear light, while the 5” TFT colour dash is an upgrade on the LCD unit on the outgoing CB500F. The dash, which uses a new backlit controller on the left hand switchgear, has smartphone connectivity through Honda’s RoadSync app and allows for turn-by-turn satellite navigation on the screen.
The new dash and traction control also feature on the NX500 model, which is the rebranded name given to the popular CB500X ‘crossover’ machine.