Honda continues to drop teaser snippets regarding development of its Hornet concept. Now we know it is destined to be powered by a completely new parallel twin eight-valve single-cam engine developing 68kW (91hp) at 9500rpm and 75Nm of torque from 7250rpm.
Based on those figures, it should have traditional Hornet top-end sting but also should buzz away nicely in the midrange for day-to-day worker drone duties. Honda’s other existing 750cc parallel twin is a low- and midrange optimised engine aimed primarily for fuel efficiency and ease of riding.
Like most modern parallel twins the new motor will feature a 270° crank, the uneven or pulsing firing order mated to a carefully optimised exhaust producing a “high-performance note”.
Honda says that the engine will be a good match for its streamlined aggressive appearance.
The company describes the new mill as compact and lightweight with a free-revving character and exhilarating top-end punch, perfect then for the Hornet continuation bike. But for day-to-day duties its strong low and midrange punch should make it a versatile machine.
Leading the Hornet project is Fuyuki Hosokawa who was responsible for the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade programme. He commented “The Hornet has always been a very special motorcycle…with engaging performance…matched to lithe, agile handling.”
He said he wanted to match the broad engine performance with “the lightest, most agile handling possible, to make every ride engaging and fulfilling”.
To achieve the Hornet goals, “we knew we had to develop an all-new short-stroke twin-cylinder engine, with a 270° crankshaft. Its solid output across a range of revs should prove “ideal for riding in urban environments and powering out of corners on the open road.”
We are likely to see the new Hornet soon, probably at the EICMA show. And a retuned version of the new 750cc engine will likely turn up in the revitalised Transalp as well.