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Honda CB Hornet 160R 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Jan 07 2020 Share this blog

The CB Hornet 160R is Honda’s answer to the highly competitive performance commuter segment. The motorcycle was launched as a direct reply to the dominating Pulsars during its time. A lot has changed after that and many of the automakers have realised what they were missing and now this segment has become a battlefield where the most loaded one wins!

In this sea of motorcycles, Honda offers its robust engineering and involving riding characteristics in a complete package as the CB Hornet 160R. It is priced from Rs. 86,500 with a host of features in a compact package. The air-cooled engine is potent enough to pump out 14.9 bhp and 14.5 Nm of torque without breaking a sweat.

The competition has grown and now have updated their line-up with the latest features. It takes on Suzuki Gixxer 155, Yamaha FZS, TVS Apache RTR 160 4V and Bajaj Pulsar NS160 which have all made their mark in this segment with a fair share of unique features. The “Hornet” needs to sting hard here to make a statement.

Pros

  • Refined Honda Powerhouse

  • Low maintenance seal chain

  • High on efficiency

Cons

  • Dull looks as compared to competition

  • No engine kill switch

  • Stiff suspension for a commuter

What’s New

  • Remains unchanged from 2019

What is the power source for Honda CB Hornet 160R?

How smooth is the motor in this Honda?

Hondas are known for their smooth exploitable power and the Hornet fits right into it. You will be happy with the flexible nature of this engine that will constantly remind of Honda precision and craftsmanship. This air-cooled unit manages to chuck out around 15 bhp and 14.5 pound-feet of torque which helps you commute with ease.

The torque curve comes in early and thus gives you an edge in bumper to bumper traffic, as you can travel with a shorter twist of the throttle. Its advantage with lower kerb weight also helps here, as it provides a better power to weight ratio which not only adds to the performance but also efficiency.

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 86500- Rs. 95542

Rs.94,195

Rs.1,00,212

Rs.99,950(Drum)

/Rs.1,03,000(Disc)

Rs.1,02,700

Engine 

162.71cc Air-Cooled SI Engine

160.3 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

155 cc Air-cooled 2-ValveSOHC Engine

159.7 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

149 cc Air-cooled 2-Valve SOHC Engine

Power 

14.9 bhp

@ 6500 RPM

15.28 bhp

@ 8500 RPM

13.90 bhp

@ 8000 RPM

15.80 bhp
@ 8250 RPM

12.23 bhp

@ 7250 RPM

Torque

14.5 Nm

@ 6500 RPM

14.6 Nm

@ 6500 RPM

14 Nm

@ 6000 RPM

14.12 Nm

@ 7250 RPM

13.6 Nm

@ 5500 RPM

The performance-oriented commuter segment is one that demands the best of both worlds. This one has ample power from a commuter perspective and also comes in cheap which is what the common man wants. Despite having a competition with oil-cooled engines and tad bit more power, this Honda wins you over with its no-nonsense performance in an accessible package.


Is this Honda quick in accelerating through traffic?

Acceleration of the Honda CB Hornet 160R is linear and the low end is meaty, thanks to the torque surge coming in early. This helps in filtering through traffic with ease without putting any stress on the engine.

The engine works in full form throughout despite being air-cooled without any hiccups and also is quick to 60 kmph. The carburettor setup is precisely tuned to provide maximum performance without compromising on efficiency figures.

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Engine

162.71cc Air-Cooled SI Engine

160.3 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

155 cc Air-cooled 2-ValveSOHC Engine

159.7 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

149 cc Air-cooled 2-Valve SOHC Engine

Transmission

5-Speed

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

0-60 kmph

5.08 s

5.35 s

5.85 s

4.73 s

5.97 s

Top Speed(kmph)

115

112

115

114

116

Top speed is the least required criteria for a commuter motorcycle. A performance one, however, should possess good sprint skills and all of the above offerings are pretty quick in that context. TVS Apache RTR 160 4V with its bumped up power figures and precise Fuel injection manages to undercut the rest in acceleration but it doesn’t make a lot of difference which is visible in the real world conditions.


How does the braking characteristics change with the trims?

There is a lot to take about brakes in the Honda CB Hornet 160R because the main differences between four variants available for sale are the brakes. Honda’s impressive Combi braking System is also adapted in this offering, which can be also pitched in as an alternative for ABS. This system has a common cable which engages on depressing the brake level, much like the braking in arcade racing games! one key for the whole system.

Two base variants get drums at the rear which are also equally potent as the higher disc-equipped ones. The single-channel ABS, however, gets a bit glitchy as it activates unnaturally. This makes braking unpredictable and takes time getting used to.

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Front / Rear

Disc/Drum or Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/

Drum or Disc 

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

276

260

N/A

270

282

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

130(Drum)/220(Disc)

230

N/A

130(Drum)/

200(Disc)

220

Kerb Weight(kg.)

138-141

148

140

149

137

80-0 kmph(m)

36.30

39.54

31.47

41.51

36.44

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Automakers have moved away from drum brakes and now provide disc brakes at both ends as standard. But a few offerings like CB Hornet 160R and Apache RTR 160 4V still come with drum brakes at the rear, in base variants. Single-Channel ABS is also used due to cost constraints and it is more than efficient for sub 200 cc motorcycles.


How fuel-efficient is this commuter-friendly Honda?

Efficiency is a strong point for commuter motorcycles and is also its selling point because, at the end of the day, a common man would want an efficient ride over anything else for his daily hustle and bustle. Honda achieves it with its low-consumption engine which is efficiently made with minimal friction loss to maximize fuel efficiency.

The 12-litre fuel tank can provide you with a week’s runtime and can even be stretched a wee-bit more with relaxed riding. The low kerb weight is also crucial in providing these impressive efficiency figures. The robust and low friction components used as internals for the engine helps you test the Hornet’s limit without losing on efficiency.

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

City(kmpl)

41.20

40.3

42

49.30

50.92

Highway(kmpl)

52.32

48.0

53

55.47

56.10

Overall(kmpl)

42.85

42.60

50.58

50.0

50.94

Fuel Capacity(Litres)

12

12

12

13

12

A 12-litre fuel tank is the standard value for this segment except for TVS Apache RTR 160 4V which houses an extra litre under its chiselled tank. The two motorcycles in his lot which are long overdue for a proper update are the ones low of efficiency figures. Bajaj and Honda need to work on their offering and provide the masses with a solid product to vouch for.

How good is the handling on the Honda CB Hornet 160R?

Are the riding dynamics city friendly?

Honda provides the CB Hornet 160R with a very robust chassis that can take corners with confidence. Suspension at both the ends are well balanced and tuned to provide a comfortable ride with its stiffness more towards the softer side. The rear mono-shock is positioned directly under the rider which gives a much more composed ride quality.

The bumps are neutralised easily and the motorcycle stays stable even at higher speeds and corners. The Nissin brakes are progressive and don't hamper handling characteristics on the go. The CBS unit works just like an infant ABS unit which keeps the motorcycle in a straight line even in hard braking.

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Chassis 

Diamond

Diamond

Single-Downtube

Double-Cradle Split

Diamond

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

100/80-17

100/80-17

100/80-17

90/90-17

100/80-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

140/70-17

140/60-17

140/60-17

110/80-17(Drum) or 130/70-17(Disc)

140/60-17

Front Suspension

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Rear Suspension

Mono-Shock

7-Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

7 Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

Mono-Shock

7-Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

The low centre of gravity helps you to flick the motorcycle with ease and thus provide with confidence-inspiring handing attitude. The wide rear tyre helps in satisfying the fun seeker in you with a more lean angle at corners.


How comfortable is the seating on this Hornet?

The CB Hornet 160R is the sole survivor of this segment with a uni-seat and that is a bold move in a “performance” commuter category. The seat is pleasantly comfortable but is on the stiffer side due to thinner padding. You sit upright with a slightly leaned position to provide that sporty touch. It doesn’t fiddle with comfort and the footpegs are also rear-biased to maintain a relaxed rider’s triangle that won’t create fatigue even in the long run.

The suspension setup is well balanced and doesn’t give you the jerks. No vibrations whatsoever from this Honda, like any other Honda, as these engines are known for their smooth character. The chassis eliminates any of the vibrations and there are enough stress points on the motorcycle to neutralise these. The CBS system makes sure that you don’t feel the jitters during hard braking and help you comfortably and linearly bring the Hornet to stop.

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Seat height(mm)

790

805

795

800

790

Ground Clearance (mm)

164

177

160

180

165

Kerb Weight(kg)

138-141

148

140

149

137

Starting System

Kick/Self

Kick/Self

Self

Self

Self

The lower centre of gravity also helps provide a more stable ride which translates to better handling and a comfortable haven to spend your day on. You are also provided with a kicker, which helps in case the battery dies out. The low saddle height also makes it comfortable for shorter riders to commute with ease.

Does the Honda CB Hornet 160R look sporty?

How does the looks complement its performance?

Yes, the Honda might look sober at first but this is a motorcycle that needs closer inspection to highlight its edgy features. You can bring in the reference of honda’s middleweight offering, the CB 600F from which design cues have been taken here, especially the headlamp assembly. The handlebar is laid out wide and is positioned lower, which helps attain that sporty riding stance. Honda offers the CB Hornet 160R in five striking colours which will surely make it stand out from the crowd.

The fuel tank has a sculpted design and looks muscular with loads of plastic claddings with carbon-fibre texture. The LED headlamp looks simple and it’s distinctive “X” tail lamp that would make itself evident from afar. Honda has, however, cut corners here with build quality which is evident from the switchgear and panel gaps. But then again, these sacrifices come in with price constraints.

Aesthetic Features

  • Unique “X” shaped tail lamp

  • Edgy graphics which complements its muscular look

  • Petal discs and alloy wheels add to its character

  • Center bulge looks muscular on the tank

  • Aluminium cover for the muffler

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Length (mm)

2041

2017

2020

2035

1990

Width (mm)

783

803.5

800

790

780

Height(mm)

1091

1060

1035

1050

1080

Wheelbase(mm)

1346

1370

1335

1357

1330

Kerb Weight

138-141

148

140

149

137

Honda is the most sober-looking of the lot and that is mostly due to the uni-seat which it has. A split seat setup makes a motorcycle look more sporty and that is the case here. The contrasting alloy strips are a clean touch that gives it a more flowing feel. Its blacked-out engine helps maintain the all-black look and thus add to the sportiness.

What are the features onboard?

Honda has a host of unique features in the Hornet which differentiates it from the rest of the competition. The CBS is a toned-down version of an ABS unit which helps in braking by engaging both the brakes on a single lever. This helps give it a composed character and keep the rider safe in grave situations.

It is also equipped with an all-digital display which is crisp and bright even in the harshest of sunlight. The rear mono-shock is adjustable and can be fine-tuned according to the rider’s need. The only differences which the different variants possess are just because of the braking setup and are listed below as well. It also changes the kerb weight as well.

Variant

Standard

CBS

ABS Standard

ABS Deluxe

Ex-Showroom Price

Rs. 86,500

Rs. 91,000

Rs. 93,042

Rs. 95, 542

Highlighted Differences

Base variant with Disc/Drum Setup

Combi-Braking System

Disc/Drum

Disc/Disc

The various differentiating features are listed below which gives the Hornet its value for money proposition. The only differences over the various trims are the changes in the braking department which juggles between the CBS and Single-Channel ABS.

Motorcycle

Honda CB Hornet 160R

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 86500- Rs. 95542

Rs.94,195

Rs.1,00,212

Rs.99,950(Drum)

/Rs.1,03,000(Disc)

Rs.1,02,700

Features

Combined Braking System

Oil-Cooled

LED Taillamps

Double-Barrel exhaust

Adjustable Rear Suspension


Hazard Switch

Stiffened Chassis

TFT Digital Instrument Cluster

SHOWA tuned suspension setup

Midship Muffler


Fully Digital Meter

Edgy Pulsar styling

Dual-Exit Exhaust 

Glide Through Technology

Rear tyre hugger


Split-LED Headlamp

Split-seat

Split-Seat

Dual-tone seat

Attention seeking Chrome treatment


Rear Mono-Suspension

Rear-tyre Hugger

Rear Tyre Hugger

Tyre hugger

Under-cowl


Petal Disc Brakes

Split Engine Cowl

Standard ABS and Rear Disc

Engine Guard

Negative LCD Instrument Cluster

All of the above offerings treat us with a varying package that has its perks. The 160cc segment is a hotspot and sales are increasing at an extravagant pace. This is the reason for such fierce competition and the pack of features offered for it.

Safety features on the Honda CB Hornet 160R?

Honda offers the best safety package in the Hornet for a sub 200cc motorcycle. It gets the in-house Combined Braking System which can be defined as an infancy stage of the ABS in terms of functionality.

The single-channel ABS unit is also available in the top-end variants, which omits the CBS. Honda would have bumped up on the safety front if they had provided or updated the Honda CB Hornet 160R with LED lighting all-round.

How does the Competition add up against this Hornet?

Honda CB Hornet 160R vs Bajaj Pulsar NS160

The only other motorcycle of the lot that has not been updated since its entry into the Indian Market. Bajaj offers the same NS200 package but with a smaller less powerful pot which makes all the difference. It has the big bike feel but Honda provides us with a much better and refined engine that is smooth in operation and also doesn’t rattle under pressure. We vouch for the Japanese here as it offers more for less and the only thing which you have to sacrifice is the big bike feel which Pulsar provides.

Honda CB Hornet 160R vs Suzuki Gixxer 155

Suzuki has always produced reliable and involving motorcycles, be it there litre-class offerings or the humble commuter series. The Gixxer shares a lot with its litre-class brother other than the name. It has the same level of riding involvement and that is also the reason for its success. Honda and Suzuki have a lot in common as in this case, both are low on power but high on rider involvement. This is a tough choice but if you are on a real cash crunch, then Honda makes a good gamble otherwise nothing beats a humble-looking Suzuki that performs, unlike anything.

Honda CB Hornet 160R vs TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

The most feature-packed motorcycle of the lot, Apache RTR 160 4V has undergone a major overhaul for 2020 and is evident in the amount of first in class features on offer. We would go for the Apache as it offers a lot and the premium is underrated for the offering. It is high on power and also looks the part.

Honda CB Hornet 160R vs Yamaha FZS

The experienced one of this segment had taken over the market by shock and storm in 2008, which was a bold move. This move was rewarded with the best beginner motorcycle tag and still provides with the same zeal. Yamaha has also updated its FZ line-up for 2020 and that gives it an edge over the ageing Honda. A foolproof winning formula helps it justify the premium as well.

Where does the Honda CB Hornet 160R stand against the vast competition?

Honda makes no-nonsense motorcycles which are utterly reliable and offers a robust build. But they lag in updating the line-up when its competitors are all in a rat race to provide with the best in the segment. This makes the Hornet the least updated motorcycle in this segment and that's not a good thing.

There are a lot of wholesome other offerings in this segment which makes the CB Hornet feel its age and we would keep it for the last unless Honda plans to surprise us with a long-overdue update.

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