2023 Honda CB750 Hornet review – The legend returns

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet review – The legend returns

The 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet is an old name revived with an all-new design and parallel twin-cylinder 90hp engine

THE Honda Hornet is a name synonymous with the bit of a middleweight heyday in the late 90s and early 2000s. Joined with bikes like the Bandit, Fazer, and Z750, naked roadsters of the era put enjoyment at the centre of everything they did. And that name is back for this coming year, as the 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet arrives.

That ethos is something that Honda is looking to revive for 2023, with an all-new, thoroughly modern Honda CB750 Hornet. Gone is the inline four-cylinder engine of before, and in its place is a parallel-twin cylinder with a 270-degree crank and a 90.5hp power output that is within spitting distance of the original bike’s peak figure. To the purists out there, the move to a parallel twin will already make this bike a failure. To those that were on the launch in Almeria last weekend, it’s a step in the right direction that you have to ride before passing comment.

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet price and colours

The new CB750 will be landing in UK dealers with a sticker price of £6,999. It’ll be available in four colours: Pearl Glare White, Graphite Black (which both feature a Metallic Red Flame frame and anodised red forks), Matte Iridium Grey Metallic, and Mat Goldfinch Yellow.

Honda CB750 Hornet representative PCP example



36 x

Final payment

Customer APR




£ 89.00



4,000 p/a

Subject to status. 18 yrs +. Full T&Cs apply.

The table above is a representative example to give you an idea of the PCP cost. Please speak to your nearest Honda dealer or check out the Honda website for more information.

Accessory packs

There are also some add-on accessory packs to choose from, featuring a bundle of extras for a discounted price. The Sport Pack is £555 excluding fitting and includes the Quickshifter, fly screen, rear seat cowl and rider footpegs. The Style Pack is £410 excluding fitting and features Bar end weights, handlebar upper clamp holder, tank pad, wheel stripes and crash bungs. Finally, the Touring Pack costs £765 excluding fitting and comes with rear panniers, a tank bag and a seat bag. The quickshifter on its own can be bagged for £240 excluding fitting, or it can be added to any of the above packs that don’t already include one.

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet engine

The new bike is built around a brand new engine platform, one that is going to be shared across this and the recently announced XL750 Transalp. It’s an interesting design, with the internal architecture being one of the first things you notice. It is an extremely oversquare engine, with a bore and stroke of 87mm x 63.5mm respectively. Those are numbers that should create a peaky delivery, with not much going on at the bottom end, and the party only starting when the needle nears the redline. That isn’t the case though, and it only too few hundred yards out of the hotel to figure this out. With 54.8lb-ft of peak torque on offer at 7,250rpm, the new Hornet is not what you’d call a torque monster, although the curve is very neat, and only begins to tail off when the revs rise and peak power (90.5hp) is reached. What you get is a punchy low-end delivery, with genuinely usable mid-range torque and a nice rush to the redline as the bike gets into its stride. It’s tractable and easy to ride around town, shifting up a gear when you want to push on out of town.

The jury is out on whether it might be a tad too much for some new riders, and personally, I think nearly 100bhp in a lightweight naked like this is just on the cusp. And in any case, Honda has also brought out a 47bhp version making the new Hornet A2 licence compatible and more accessible if needed.

Connecting the engine to the road is a slick and easy-to-use six-speed gearbox that is joined by an F.C.C. leaning segment slipper clutch. The gearbox is a gem, with close ratios, effortless shifting, and an easy-to-find neutral – something of a rarity in the two-wheeled world! The slipper clutch is a nice item, managing downshifts well and giving the bike a supremely light clutch lever.

All the machines at the launch were fitted with the optional quickshifter system, a £240 add-on you can pick up on the Honda accessory website. Like all quickshifters, it really only comes into its own out-of-town, matching engine revs and wheel speed much better the harder you press on. For those that prefer you can switch the system off altogether, or tweak the way it kicks into the next gear.

The only negative I can find with the bike’s engine and delivery is in the set-up of its ride-by-wire throttle. Like many modern bikes featuring a RBW system, the initial opening and closing of the throttle can feel a bit clumsy, especially around town. Trickling along the seafront in Mojacar, you had to be absolutely precise or risk lurching forwards out of roundabouts in a fairly unprofessional manner. To try and dial out some of the clumsiness I tried all three of the pre-set riding modes, and while the softest Rain mode did help slightly, the problem wasn’t totally cured.

Countering the negative I mention above is a very big positive that comes from the exhaust note of the CB750. It features a trick twin-pipe design, something we’ve seen on a number of Honda models over the years. The upper, larger exhaust outlet handles the bass, while the smaller, lower opening handles the mid-range and treble. They are tuned to produce a rasping yet gutsy exhaust note, and as parallel twin engines go, it sounds bloody great. And it’s no accident the Hornet sounds so good, with Honda’s engineers testing around 100 iterations of the system before landing on this design.

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet engine modes and electronics

To keep the Hornet up to speed with the mid-weight competition, Honda has brought four riding modes for you to play with, Rain, Sport, Standard, and the user-configurable User to choose from. It doesn’t really need much explaining, with Rain being the softest with the highest traction control intervention, and Sport being the most direct with the lowest intervention. The user mode is the only one that allows you to tweak the engine braking control, power delivery and traction control, and it also allows the rider to turn off the traction control altogether. It’s worth adding that the traction control and ABS on the new bike are not lean-sensitive, and the wheelie control is integrated into the traction control system.

One nice addition to the bike is the ability to play with the optional quickshifter’s sensitivity, a level of adaptability that is normally reserved for much pricier motorcycles. The system allows you to alter the amount of load required to shift into the next gear, with three levels to choose from. It allows riders to tweak how hard they need to press the gear lever to trigger the quickshifter.

The whole TFT dash and electronics package on the new CB750 is very similar to that found on the latest generation Fireblade and Africa Twin, although on this bike it has been simplified making it a much easier thing to use. The myriad of buttons on the lefthand switchcube are now gone, replaced with four directional buttons, and ‘Mode’ and ‘Function’ buttons. This new simplified design makes changing modes and tweaking settings a much easier task, and it’s much less of a faff to dig deeper into the system to change the themes and styles of the TFT.

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet chassis, brakes, and handling

With its clean-sheet design, the new CB750 features an all-new steel diamond frame. It’s a lightweight item, weighing around 2kg less than that found on the CB650R. It’s been tuned to deliver a light and agile handling dynamic and is backed up by 25 degrees of rake and 99mm of trail. That front-end geometry is joined by a 1,420mm wheelbase, around 30mm shorter than the CB650R. Those numbers, combined with a 190kg kerb weight, resulting in a supremely quick turning and highly agile machine.

At slow speeds, the handlebars feel feather-light, almost as if backed up by some kind of invisible power steering system, and around town the acres of steering lock allow for sub-three metre U-turns. If you are looking at the Hornet as a bit of an allrounder for use in the city and further afield, you won’t be disappointed. In town, it’ll scythe through traffic and tight spots with ease, and once you hit a decent twisty, its direct steering and aggressive geometry make for pinpoint accuracy and insect-like agility. My only real gripe with the handling was a tendency for the bars to feel a little too light when really pushing on. Riding back to the hotel in the afternoon, I pushed on above 100mph on a decent long and smooth straight. The bars didn’t actually start to rock or shimmy in my hands, but you could feel that an amount of nervous tension had begun to build in the front end of the chassis.

The suspension system on the new CB750 comes from Showa, with Separate Function Big Piston Forks at the front, and a mono-shock and Pro-Link set up at the rear. There is no adjustability at the front, with only manual pre-load adjustment at the rear. Overall the road manners of the bike are okay, although you do get the impression that Honda has aimed more at sporty handling than rider comfort.

Braking power is provided by Nissin, with mid-spec but perfectly adequate four-pot calipers and 296mm discs up front, and a single piston sliding caliper and 240mm item at the rear. The front brake lever feel is great and like most of the Nissin shod mid-weights on the market, there’s plenty of power to be found should you need it. The rear brake is just as good, providing a surprising amount of power and allowing you to tighten with very little effort should you need to. The 2-channel ABS I found less inspiring, and it seemed to take very little to have the indicators flashing and the system triggering, bleeding all the pressure from the lever in the process. It’s something that new owners will need to learn to live with, as the ABS system is non-adjustable and doesn’t include the option to switch it off.

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet comfort

The first impression I got when I hopped on the Hornet was that it was quite compact and fairly sporty. It’s got a very low seat – 795mm – and fairly high pegs that translate to a sporty lower-leg position. The upper body ergonomics though are quite easygoing and place you in a relaxed yet engaged position. After a day on the bike, I wasn’t suffering from the numb backside I normally get, and was ache-free in my legs and lower body. I originally thought Honda had jumped the gun when I saw the Touring Pack of accessories, but having now ridden the new bike, they might be onto something. With around 200 miles to a tank (if the claimed MPG is true) and a high level of comfort, possibly best in class, this could actually make it a viable short-distance tourer and weekend explorer. Slap on some heated grips and a slightly taller screen and you’re well away!

What we liked about the 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet:

  • The new 750 engine is a gem exciting and accessible
  • Exhaust note is fantastic
  • Quite possibly the most agile Japanese middleweight naked

What we didn’t like about the 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet:

  • Snatchy throttle at low speed around town
  • No option to adjust ABS intervention or switch the system off
  • Optional quickshifter although included on some bikes in the class

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet verdict

It shouldn’t really come as any surprise to hear that the new Hornet is a very good little bike, after all, Honda has been leading the way in the mid-sized naked class for some time. What is genuinely exciting with this bike though, is that it’s a step into a new realm of middleweight bikes, where it joins the likes of the MT-07, newly announced GSX-8S, and even the more expensive, yet still comparable, Tuono 660. Each of them goes about the job of winning people over in a slightly different way, with the Yamaha bringing the fun factor, the Aprilia the technology, and the Suzuki that outlandish styling. The Hornet though is a slightly more mature take on what a mid-weight naked can be, and don’t think by mature I mean boring. This bike is certainly not boring. It’s not got the giggle factor of the MT-07, or the trackday ability of the Tuono, but I have a feeling that in the long term, it might just be the easiest of all of them to live with.

More information on the new Hornet can be found on the Honda UK website.

Honda Hornet Video Review

2023 Honda CB750 Hornet specs


Engine Type

Liquid-cooled OHC 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and uni-cam

Engine Displacement


Bore x Stroke (mm)

87mm x 63.5mm

Compression Ratio


Max. Power Output

67.5kW (90.5hp) @ 9,500rpm

Max. Torque

75Nm (54.8lb-ft) @ 7,250rpm

Max Speed

205 km/h

Oil Capacity






PGM-FI electronic injection

Fuel Tank Capacity


CO2 Emissions WMTC

100 g/km

Fuel Consumption

23km/l - 4.35l/100km


Battery Capacity

12v 7.4Ah


Clutch Type

Wet multiple, Assisted slipper clutch

Transmission Type

6 speed Manual Transmission

Final Drive



Frame Type

Steel diamond


Dimensions (LxWxH)

2,090mm x 780mm x 1,085mm



Caster Angle




Seat Height


Ground Clearance


Kerb Weight


Turning radius



Suspension Front

Showa 41mm SFF-BPTMTM USD, 130mm travel

Suspension Rear

Monoshock damper, Pro-Link swingarm, 150mm travel


Wheels Front

5Y-Spoke Cast Aluminium

Wheels Rear

5Y-Spoke Cast Aluminium

Tyres Front


Tyres Rear



ABS Type

2 channel

Brakes Front

Dual 296mm x 4mm disc with Nissin radial mount 4 piston calipers

Brakes Rear

Single 240mm x 5mm disc with single piston caliper



TFT screen








Type C

Auto Winker Cancel


Security System


Additional Features

ESS, 4 Riding Modes