A special edition Hornet with few cosmetic updates

Ever since its commencement of innings in the Indian market, Honda has been finding one lucky chance to strike the gold in the 150cc commuter segment. Since the launch of the first product in its segment, Honda Unicorn to the CB Trigger, Honda hasn’t been able to create a product in the 150cc segment which could set the benchmarks in the segment. The reason was simple – All the 150cc motorcycles which Honda did came up with didn’t had an aggressive stance as that offered by its rivals in the same segment, which forced Honda to rethink their strategies for this space.

And then, Honda finally came up with one such motorcycle in the form of CB Hornet 160R, the first ever sporty looking 150cc motorcycle which indeed gave some serious threats to the established players in the segment like the Yamaha FZ-S and Suzuki Gixxer. It happened to be the first ever success story for Honda in the premium 150cc commuter segment, owing to its sharp and macho looks as well as a list of nice features.

Now, in order to make the motorcycle a bit more interesting buying proposition, Honda has come up with a special edition version of the CB Hornet 160R. This limited edition model boasts of some cosmetic features, which make the motorcycle a bit smarter looking than the standard one. Here’s our comprehensive review of the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition.

2016 Honda CB Hornet 160R Special Edition
  • Year: 2016
  • Make: Honda
  • Model: CB
  • Displacement: 162 cc
  • Top Speed: 68 mph
  • Price: INR 85912

STYLING

2016 Honda CB Hornet 160R Special Edition Exterior
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The [Honda-https://www.topspeed.in/cars/honda/] CB Hornet 160R was easily the first ever 150cc motorcycle from Honda which has come out of Honda’s philosophy for this segment, of having staid looking motorcycles with conventional design lines. The new CB Hornet 160R Special Edition carries the same interesting design cues and sharp lines as that of the standard version of the motorcycle, which were absent on any of the Honda motorcycle till date.
From the front, the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition has the same angular looking headlamp with twin pilot lamps at the top corners. The face of this motorcycle is very reminiscent of the CX-01 concept which Honda showcased at the Auto Expo 2014 in Delhi. The bikini fairing also comes with a petite looking matte finish visor placed at the top of the headlamp, like on the standard version. So, there is no difference between the standard CB Hornet 160R and this special edition model, when viewed head on.

However, it is the side profile where the changes begin to be more prominent. The distinctive looking fuel tank, which is full of sharp lines and very large fuel extensions, now comes with tribal graphics, which are nice to look at and add some character to the profile. Even the tank extensions as well as side body panels come with some mild touches of the same graphics. As on the standard version, the 3-D logo for Honda is placed on the tank extensions on the either sides. Another big change on the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition is that all the silver finished panels on the standard version, like the side plain body panels, heel plates and exhaust cover now come finished in black which give a darker appeal to the motorcycle. The V-shaped panel situated below the fuel tank extensions, which come painted in silver color in the standard model, here comes finished in the secondary color of the paint schemes on offer. In addition, the rear split pillion grab rails are also black in color, unlike the silver colored ones on the standard version. The alloy wheels here do come with pin-striping job. The short and stubby exhaust pipe has been retained from the standard version as well. The side body panels seem to get amalgamated to the rear side body panels, which are designed simply but end up in a very distinctive looking X-shaped LED tail lamp at the rear. The visual appeal of the 140mm section rear tyre adds some zing to the rear profile of the motorcycle.

The instrument console is the same unit which has been doing duty on the previous CB Trigger and CB Unicorn 160, as well as on the standard CB Hornet 160R. The trapezoidal shaped fully digital unit has digital readouts for speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meters, fuel gauge and clock. The build quality is impressive, but the cheap switchgear (absence of engine kill switch) borrowed from the cheaper commuters is a letdown.

PERFORMANCE

2016 Honda CB Hornet 160R Special Edition Exterior
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Honda has chosen not to fiddle much with the powertrain and has decided to bank on the same 160cc engine, which does the duty on the standard version of the motorcycle. The four stroke, single cylinder, carbureted, air cooled, 162.71cc engine is good enough to produce 15.8 PS of power and 14.76 Nm of torque, which easily makes the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition the most powerful motorcycle in its class of 150cc naked streetfighters.

The engine, like that on the CB Unicorn 160 as well, has a powerful mid range as well as meaty top ends, which makes this motorcycle a treat to ride on open roads, and at the same time, the vibrations are well controlled too. The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox with shorter gear ratios to make this motorcycle a more fun to ride bike as compared to the previous Honda 150cc motorcycles. The top speed rated for the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition is 110 kmph.

RIDE AND HANDLING

2016 Honda CB Hornet 160R Special Edition Exterior
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There is nothing new in this department for the new Honda motorcycle, as the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition retains the front telescopic forks as well as rear monoshock from its standard version. The suspension is already regarded as one of the best in its segment for being a perfect balance between being sporty and being commuter-ish. The suspension is fine tuned to make you comfortable for both city commutes as well as long highway rides.

The chassis is also easily the best one on any 150cc Honda, with class leading dynamics, all thanks to the new set of meaty tyres, sizes of which are same as that of the Yamaha FZ and Suzuki Gixxer. Also, the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition shares its petal disc brakes – 276mm disc at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear – with the standard version of the motorcycle, the bite of which is sharp and effective. The motorcycle also comes with the optional Combined Braking System (CBS), the patented system of Honda, which makes the braking experience even more reassuring.

PRICE

Honda is always known to price its products well above its competition, by banking on its brand value in the Indian market as a premium manufacturer. Same philosophy has been carried out for the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition – the motorcycle comes in two different variants, STD and CBS, in the same way as the standard version of the motorcycle. While the STD variant is priced at Rs. 81,413, the more premium CBS variant will set you back by Rs. 85912 – Rs. 1000 more than the respective variants, which makes the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition the most expensive motorcycle in its segment, though not by a huge margin.

The CB Hornet 160R Special Edition has been launched in two different color options – Striking Green and Mars Orange, both of which come with matt grey as the primary color scheme.

COMPETITION

Currently, the biggest competition which the Honda CB Hornet 160R Special Edition will be facing in the Indian market will be from the Suzuki Gixxer, which has gained huge popularity for all the right reasons. Both the motorcycles are equally eye pleasing to look at – while the Gixxer is more of muscle, the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition focuses on sharp lines and does come with some very interesting design cues like X-shaped tail lamp, which make it look a bit more futuristic. Though, the Gixxer scores more on equipment front and better switchgear.

Suzuki Gixxer

2014 Suzuki Gixxer
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The Suzuki Gixxer is powered by a four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder, 155cc engine which pumps out 14.8 PS of power and 14 Nm of torque, which makes the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition a bit more powerful motorcycle in comparison. But it is the ride quality and dynamics where the Gixxer fares better, all thanks to meatier suspension units and more rider focused ergonomics. Though, in terms of braking, the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition easily outclasses the Gixxer, thanks to petal disc brakes and Combined Braking System.

CONCLUSION

2016 Honda CB Hornet 160R Special Edition Exterior
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With the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition, Honda wants to keep the momentum going on which it initiated with the standard version of the motorcycle. It was the CB Hornet 160R which has changed the face of Honda in the 150cc commuter category, and Honda wants to utilize this opportunity to the fullest by making it an even more interesting motorcycle. There is no doubt that the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition is the best attempt by Honda in this segment as far as design is concerned, but it’s a shame that the motorcycle has a bare basic switchgear which doesn’t come with the engine kill switch, which has become mandatory in this segment.

The 162.71cc engine, though, has managed to bring a huge smile on your face, with its punchy power delivery. The ride quality too is quite impressive and the new set of chunky tyres make sure that your motorcycle runs good and looks good as well. All in all, the CB Hornet 160R Special Edition is easily the best 150cc motorcycle till date by Honda, and has the potential to shake up the segment and set new standards as well.

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  • * Low quality switchgear
  • * premium pricing
  • * not much changes over the standard version
Riju Ganguly
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