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Honda launched the first generation Hornet 160 back in 2015, since its inception, the motorcycle gained a lot of traction and sold in big numbers. The first-gen Hornet was stylish and powerful and that's what people, especially the young generation loved.
Now Honda has launched the second generation Hornet 2.0. The motorcycle carries a price tag of Rs 1.27 lakh ex-showroom. Yes, the motorcycle has become expensive, but a lot of things have now changed. The Hornet 2.0 now looks really sporty and features a bigger displacement engine.
We got our hands on the motorcycle for a couple of days and rode it around the city and on the highway. The Hornet 2.0 really impressed us and here is what we have to say about the motorcycle.
Design & Styling
At first glance, when you see the Hornet 2.0, the motorcycle looks absolutely amazing. The test motorcycle that we go was finished in a shade of matte blue and the paint job was looking awesome. Now, let's start off with the front end, the first thing that will attract your attention is the golden upside-down front forks that have been sourced from Showa.
Right on top is the full-LED headlight unit, that also has an LED DRL and yes, the headlight is bright and visibility should not be an issue during the night. On top of the headlight sits the negative LED instrument cluster. The cluster has five levels of brightness, but still sometimes when the sun is right on top, because of the glare, it becomes difficult to read.
The instrument cluster gets a speedometer, tachometer, gear positioning indicator, battery voltage, trip, time and also gets some tell-tale lights such as, check engine, ABS, high beam and the turn signal indicators. Speaking About the turn signals, the Hornet 2.0 features LED indicators also.
Now, the switchgear quality of the motorcycle could have been slightly better, it's not that bad. What we liked about it is how every button is in the rider's reach and at the correct place. You also get a dedicated hazard light indicator switch, that is placed on the right-hand side of the handlebar.
Moving on, the motorcycle gets a sporty tank with extenders. Sadly the tank only looks big in size but is actually only 12-litres, which is decent, but it could have gone to a bigger fuel tank. On the tank, you have the ‘HORNET' badging and the Honda badge on the extenders. The fit and finish quality of the centre panel, where the 2.0 sticker is placed, is not so good.
Now moving on to the seats, the motorcycle gets a split seat setup. The rider's seat is slightly lower and is comfortable. However, the pillion seat is wide and sitting for long rides will not be an issue. The grab rails give a nice touch to the motorcycle and act as a support of the pillion to hold on too.
Now the brake light of the Hornet 2.0 is also LED and features an X shape design and looks nice during the night. Overall the entire motorcycle looks awesome and except the Hornet badge, the new motorcycle carries nothing else from the previous generation motorcycle.
Engine & Handling
Powering the Hornet 2.0 is a brand new 184.5cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine. The motor pumps out 17bhp of power and 16.1Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox. Speaking of the gearbox, it feels light and Honda has kept the gearing really short and because of that if the motorcycle is on a standstill and you move it in the second gear also, it will not stall.
The clutch feels really light and will not stress the rider's hand in stop and go traffic. The riding position of the motorcycle is nice as it has got the footpegs set slightly set to the rear and the handlebar is canted slightly forward. This combination gives even tall riders a good riding stance and as it is not that aggressive, on long rides ones back won't hurt.
The Hornet gets a set of fat tyres, a 110mm section at the front and a 140mm section tyre at the rear. As the motorcycle features USD forks at the front, the suspension setup feels slightly stiffer compared to the previous generation model. It also gets a mono-shock at the rear.
The ride quality is a mix and match of both worlds, as it is comfortable in the city and the motorcycle glides over bad tarmac easily. Show the motorcycle some corners and that is when the Hornet 2.0 will surprise you. The bike just dips into corners and handles really well, thanks to the slightly stiffer suspension setup.
Now as the gearing ratio is short, the Hornet has a good pick-up and a strong midrange. The motorcycle revs all the way up to the 9,700rpm mark. Even when you are cruising at a higher gear while at low speeds, the bike does not feel stressed out at all. The comfortable spot to cruise on the motorcycle is between the 90 to 95km/h mark.
vibrations are not noticeable at lower speeds, but as and when you cross the triple-digit mark the vibrations start setting in from the footpegs. You can do top speeds of 120km/h easily. The braking duties are handled by a single petal disc at the front and one at the rear. Sadly the motorcycle features only a single channel ABS but it works nicely.
Now coming to one of the most important things that you people will have in mind is the mileage figures. In the city, the Hornet 2.0 delivered us figures between 34 to 37km/l and on the highway, the figures fluctuated between 39 to 45km/l and that is really impressive. So on a full tank, one can easily go up to the 480 to 500km mark.
The new Hornet 2.0 looks absolutely fantastic, especially due to the golden USD forks and the matte blue colour complements the motorcycle. A few things that could have been better is the switchgear quality, the fit and finish of the side panels and the placement of the instrument cluster.
Other than this, the new Hornet 2.0 is smooth, rides and handles well and is a really comfortable premium commuter motorcycle. The motorcycle is up for sale and will definitely attract young customers. If we compare it price-wise, the Hornet 2.0 goes up against the likes of the Bajaj Pulsar NS200, TVS Apache RTR 200 4v and the Yamaha MT-15.