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Honda Reveals Specifications for 755cc Parallel-Twin Engine Expected in New Hornet (with video)

A new, mid-displacement naked bike from Honda has been the subject of discussion for more than a year now. Recently, Honda published renderings of the concept Hornet, but there was no information on the engine. That has changed. The engine powering the Hornet “concept” is a 755cc parallel-twin with four-valve heads and 270-degree crank. Honda says it makes 92 horsepower at 9,500 rpm and 55.3 pounds/feet of torque at 7,250 rpm.

The horsepower and torque numbers make this an impressively powerful engine for its given displacement. For reference, the 1,084cc parallel-twin in the Africa Twin model makes a claimed 101 horsepower. If this bigger engine had the same specific output per liter of displacement as the new Hornet concept, it would make 132 horsepower rather than 101. Simply put, the 755cc twin described by Honda is a thoroughly modern, powerful design that is reminiscent of a KTM 790 Duke in engine performance.

No further details were provided by Honda, but we expect the production Hornet model based on this concept to be unveiled later this Fall. Stay tuned.

We have the following quote from Honda’s Fuyuki Hosokawa, test project leader for the Hornet project, followed by a video:

“The Hornet has always been a very special motorcycle for Honda. Exciting, engaging performance has always been matched to lithe, agile handling.

“Before starting this project, we thought long and hard about what kind of performance we wanted to give to the rider. We knew that it was essential to keep the classic Hornet top-end power ‘hit’ and at the same time, as a new generation Hornet for modern times, we wanted the engine to have a really strong torquey feel and ‘throbbing’ sensation at low to mid rpm. Our aim has always been to match these to the lightest, most agile handling possible, to make every ride, even in town, as engaging and fulfilling as possible.”

“To get the kind of performance and lightweight handling we wanted, we knew we had to develop an all­-new short-stroke twin­-cylinder engine, with a 270-degree crankshaft. This would not only deliver that top-­end rush, but also the sporty low­-down torque, ideal for riding in urban environments and powering out of corners on the open road.”

51 Comments

  1. Lorne says:

    Oscar, you’re now getting close to an NC750X… I hope they keep the power in the 90+ range (but with the Honda expectations- reliability, low maintenance, good mileage etc..)

    • Oscar says:

      Um… no. The NC750X generates 54 hp and 51 lb-ft of torque. I said I expect the Transalp 750 to generate 70 hp and 54 lb-ft of torque.

      16 additional hp is nothing to sneeze at.

      Remember, the Transalp needs to compete with the Tenere 700. That includes price. There’s no way you’ll get 90+ hp, AND reliability, AND low maintenance, AND good milage, AND low end torque for off-roading, AND a price to rival the Tenere 700.

      Honda’s engineers are pretty damned good, but they’re not miracle workers.

      • Mick says:

        Yamaha is an engine design juggernaut. Honda thinks they are too. My guess is that the unit will make about five more horsepower than the nine year old Yamaha engine and take advantage of being able to forgo the electronic packages that seem to be becoming mandatory for engines North of 90hp now days. An electrics suite would ruin the “AND a price to rival” part of the deal.

    • Oscar says:

      I just looked up the specs again, and since 2021, the NC750X generates 59 hp and 51 lb-ft of torque.

      That would still equal an increase of 11 hp, or 19%. That’s still pretty good.

      • Dave says:

        The NC750X’s engine is intentionally built to a lower peak power in he name of efficiency. Those bikes are reported to pull 70+mpg while still making plenty of torque and mid range power to pull them around. In that sense they are extremely high performance engines.

        I’d bet the 11hp they gain costs a great deal more real-world efficiency, which many will tolerate, especially us ‘Yanks.

  2. FrankW says:

    The F800 was not a bland engine, it had an amazing amount of heft in the lower-middle rev range and my favourite trick was to undertake cars that were doing 70mph when I joined the motorway, zooming past them at what seemed like warp-speed. Honda don’t really have a lightweight machine full of blood and guts so this could be for me – I want an excuse to splurge out on a bike to celebrate 50 years of motorcycling and I started out on a small Honda twin, so it would be a fitting purchase. Otherwise it will be an MT-09 or perhaps a CB1000R though that is a bit out of my price range and a touch heavier than I would like.

  3. Gary says:

    Promising bike. Toyota is proving stodgy motor companies can kick up their heals on occasion. Here’s hoping Honda follows their lead.

    • joe b says:

      I saw the Chevrolet ad, where they pointed out they dont make lawnmowers, while the announcer walked past a Honda mower. Insuating they were a car company, and somehow that made them better. Insinuating Honda is stodgy, and using one of Honda’ campaign ad lines, “Follow the Leader”, is kinda like the chevy ad. All this while Honda aka Red Bull is winning in F1, created Asimo, and currently sells an airplane, of their own manufacture. It does seem, without MM93 their MotoGP effort is stalled, lets see how he does on his way back this weekend in Motegi. Most people refer to Honda, as a racing company, that also sells cars, and some other stuff, like motorcycles.

  4. TP says:

    I’m glad Honda gave it some beans. If it looks better than the early depictions, I’d be interested.

  5. Fastship says:

    When Husqvarna got hold of BMW’s F800 engine to create the fantastic NUDA they adjusted the crank throw to 315-degree offset and utterly transformed a quite bland engine into a snorting, raw and exciting one which, when combined with a semi moto chassis made for a unique bike which to date, has never been matched.

    Of course, such a bike is diametrically opposed to the brand (bland) values of Honda. A missed opportunity by Honda. Again.

    • VLJ says:

      And how many of those things did Husqvarna ever manage to sell?

      Pretty sure Honda knows their market.

      • Dave says:

        ..and I’ve never heard anyone describe a CBR1000, CBR600, CB650r or CB1000r as “bland”.

        For a group who always derides “insect” styling and most of the other modern motorcycle traits,, I’m surprised Honda doesn’t have more fans on this site.

      • Jim says:

        “Pretty sure Honda knows their market.”
        Since when?

        • VLJ says:

          Since forever. That’s why they are usually the worldwide leader in motorcycle sales.

          They sure didn’t listen to their VFR buyers, however. They owned that market, and lost it completely.

          • Dave says:

            But they did listen to VFR buyers. We asked for it to return to what it was before 2002 and in 2014 they delivered exactly that. And almost nobody bought it. It isn’t enough to ask, riders have to buy.

          • VLJ says:

            In no way was the 2014 iteration the return to glory that everyone had been asking for since the destruction of the classic VFR recipe in 2003.

          • Dave says:

            It absolutely was. Same weight, same power, same delicious V4, plus a “just right” tech update. If you disagree than you’re probably not a VFR customer in the 1st place, which is perfectly ok. I realize there was a vocal minority out there asking for another 25-50 hp but that’s not a VFR anymore, on to the Ninja 1000 with them.

            I think they just mis-read the market which transitioned to the more adventure-styled bikes like the Tracer 900. There were lots of VFR-like sport tourers that also didn’t fare well.

  6. Silver says:

    Didn’t Yamaha call dibs on the 270 degree crank?

    Anything Yamaha can do Honda can do blander.

    • joe b says:

      Actually it was Phil Irving, in 1951. If you are going to quote history, at least get your facts straight.

      • todd says:

        You may want to check again. Pretty much all British twins used 360 cranks since they wanted to use a single carb most of the time and a single ignition. They were also used to dealing with that primary imbalance with counterweights like on the singles. Maybe others looked at the 270 twin but it wasn’t until 1996 with Yamahas TRX/TDM engine that anyone ever produced a 270 degree twin.

  7. Chris says:

    The 270 degree crank will make this engine special, it changes the character to sportier

  8. Grover says:

    That sketch is probably not even remotely close to what the end product will look like. Honda is very conservative when it comes to design and that’s a good thing! Do you really want an ugly KTM face on your Honda?

  9. dt-175 says:

    i still think bob hansen was right, bu he probably would have liked this too.

  10. Dave says:

    It’s nice to see we’re coming back to our senses with the cc/hp chase. 92hp from this displacement is a conservative enough tune that it should be very smooth and tractable across the rev range and get decent mileage. I hope they build it into something nice.

  11. John says:

    On the one hand, I’m a bit disappointed in Honda for their blatant ripoff of KTM for the engine and styling (if the sketches are accurate). On the other hand, I have to admit I would probably buy the Honda over the KTM. It’ll probably be more comfortable, more reliable and cheaper.

    • Mick says:

      One thing I would like to more blatant ripoff of KTM is more of these sorts of engines with dry sump systems that eliminate the deep oil sumps on the bottom.

      Isn’t it odd that praises are being sung about an engine that makes 122 horsepower per liter? For me it means that the thing should be reasonably torquey and at low 90s output the the thing might be available without a huge nanny package.

      For perspective there is the 200 plus horsepower per liter 600cc sport bike of the past or the 180ish figure many of the liter bikes hover around.

      Then there is the Langen two stroke at 300 horsepower per liter that eclipses the current crop of MotoGP bikes in street legal trim. The race version of the same engine approaches 400 horsepower per liter.

      In the end however we are still looking at a Honda. For me they have sort of become the Schwinn of motorcycles. They may have done things for me in the past. But they have no future. Honda dealers have joined the likes of Harley and Indian as buildings I have absolutely no reason to enter.

      Well, maybe for an engine for a pontoon boat. They do pretty well at that. Credit where it’s due.

      • Dave says:

        Never heard of the Langan before. Sounds like they’re only making 100 of them. Have you sent in your deposit?

        • Mick says:

          I would rather have a 500 that makes just a little bit more power. I like a nice fat and stupid two stroke that just goes when you gas it.

          I still have fond memories of my 1989 KTM 350EXC. It was a 500 with a smaller bore, making it a long stroke 350. You could click into forth gear and ride technical woods all day long going from near zero to around 50mph. It didn’t even have a power valve. Yet it had decent ice race power, ice racing being very power demanding. It was left side kick. So some guys didn’t like it at all.

          Having a 300hp per liter street bike would be a cool conversation piece and all. But two of my street bikes are Ducati air cooled two valvers and the third is a thumper. All of them are nice a stupid farm animals that just do what you ask. I’d rather have a two stroke cut from a similar cloth. My YZ250s have 295 kits and my 300XC is set up for grunty goodness. I usually opt for a 300cc trials bike but I think that I might actually preform better on a 250. Go figure.

          • Dave says:

            Can’t wait for perfect. If something close is out there the only meaningful signal you can send is to purchase.

            I only know a few off roaders. The play bikers say they like bigger bikes. The guys who ride and race for real like smaller ones. A couple,of them tried KTM’s 300 some years back and got off of them mid season to get back on a 250 and a 250f.p, respectively. The one of the 250 2T said he wished there were a 200cc kit for it.

          • Mick says:

            A couple of friends of mine have KTM 200s and love them. They are cult bikes. Why KTM doesn’t make more of them is beyond me.

            Langen is only making 100 two strokes. They don’t need me to buy one. They will sell them all no problem.

            I have been watching the Yamaha RZ/Banshee engine aftermarket for a possible future project. But I am not really happy with what is available. It’s unfortunate that there are so few engines for people who are not total wizards to work with.

            Where I wizard I would make a V-twin case for a couple of Honda CR250 cylinders. The later ones had servo driven power valves and made power so smooth that the press slammed them for being slow. Never mind that people got better laps time with them and that they were winning the dyno shootouts.

            The people back in the day wanted “hit”. “Hit” was long really provided by rich throttle slides bringing the main fuel circuit on line a little early. This caused a rich blubber just before the engine came on the pipe and there is your “hit”. None of my dirt bikes have the stock throttle slide. Most people rather actually spend more money for a JD jetting kit which helps mask, but does not eliminate, the problem. Odd that. A lot of guys hold onto their stock throttle slides like changing the means certain death.

  12. EZMark says:

    Us old guys are more excited about the prospect of a 750 Transalp and it’s more humane seating position.
    Let’s see if Honda can bring us that without the stupid “detuning” they are so fond of doing.

    • Oscar says:

      I expect the Transalp to be tuned like the Africa Twin. That means about 70 hp and 54 lb-ft of torque. That would make the engine reliable, long lasting, low maintenance, able to handle lower octane gas, and still competitive with the Tenere 700.

      • Ezmark says:

        I test rode an Africa Twin and was pretty underwhelmed with it for a modern 1000cc twin.

        • Dave says:

          I’m guessing you test rode on the street? I can imagine proper off-road bikes usually aren’t inspiring on the pavement. The kinds of power that makes one think “wow!” on the street is problematic in the gravel and dirt.

        • todd says:

          The 701 or 690 Enduro would be so much of a better choice off-road and still be faster around town than the Africa Twin. I would only concern myself with really long highway duty where the lack of wind protection and thin seat starts to get the monkeys moving.

        • Oscar says:

          That’s pretty decent performance for my taste. Another advantage I forgot to add is that (like the T7) it won’t require electronic wizardry to make it rideable off road.

          For those who prefer “oh crap!” power, and electronic wizardry, KTM has the bikes for you.

          • Ezmark says:

            My buddy had a VFR750. I had a 96 Magna that was “detuned for low end torque.”
            In any measure of performance including top gear roll-on’s, his VFR would demolish my Magna.
            So where was the low end torque I was supposed to be getting?
            You can have both top end and low end.

          • Dave says:

            “So where was the low end torque I was supposed to be getting?”

            If the specs I’m reading are right, it didn’t really make any more low end torque but it should’ve had a flatter torque curve and better mileage. What is did have was 25 less peak hp, shaft drive and 50+lb more weight to move. Great cruising bike but never meant to win races against things other than HD sportsters.

  13. Jeremy says:

    Tidy looking little package. I’m interested to see what they put it in.

  14. Ho-Li Qao says:

    If Big H can improve on their NC750XD, then they must be magicians!

    • Bob says:

      The NC motor would be improved by adding pedals.

      Sure, it’s super practical (which I do like), but this thing might be the least inspiring and entertaining motorcycle engine ever built.

      Anything would be an improvement.

    • Neal says:

      Such a great bike, I love mine. It doesn’t look great on paper but it just works so well and is so easy to live with, and it sounds awesome.

  15. John A Kuzmenko says:

    Sounds good.
    Wish we could have heard the engine without the music.

  16. joe b says:

    When it finally arrives, it will most probably be something really really nice.

  17. ABQ says:

    Well okay now. I am impressed that Honda opted to give it a healthy amount of power. Now even the nicest people on a Honda can scare the snot out of me.

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