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Honda CB900F Hornet - Super Bad or Super Bland?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by VtrElmarco, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. It has to be one of the least desirable bikes Honda has made. It’s kind of squat looking and painted in a conservative grape colour that neither offends nor excites and it looks like its been designed by a committee of advertising types who wear pink shirts with oversize sunglasses. The CB900F Hornet is like your sisters ugly friend. Not much fun to look at.

    Till you ride it.

    I cannot wipe the grin off my face as I practise wheelies (poorly) at every green light drag race. I comfortably wave goodbye to a Ferrari driven by a balding dentist and which after doing the sums I discover is 45 times the price of the bland old Hornet. I laugh with reckless abandon as I strafe cars on the freeway at a 100 mph in the old language. This boring motorcycle as turned me into a service-station-robbing-hooligan and I love it.

    What makes this bike so much fun is that it is built to a budget. Honda have scrimped and saved on the suspension, brakes and control levers to keep the price of the Hornet well down compared to the far more exciting yet expensive versions of naked bikes from KTM, Aprilia, Ducati and even Kawasaki. This makes you want to ride it like you stole it because you just don’t care too much about it.

    The engine from the old Fireblade which in marketing speak HAS-BEEN-RETUNED-FOR-BETTER-MIDRANGE-TORQUE-AND-POWER is turbine smooth in it’s power delivery. The full bore 954RR motor would have even be better just re-geared for a lower top speed but that is another argument for another day. It can pull hard from 3000 rpm all the way to it’s conservative 9500 rpm redline. It’s a beautiful piece of Honda engineering and a joy to wring the neck of but don’t try to ride with very small throttle openings at low revs, because the fuelling is rubbish and jerky down low. It may also be choked a little bit with excessive muffling that makes it sound like a weak Taiwanese vacuum under load. I am unsure of exhaust options for the Hornet but some other riders may be able to provide details on their setups.

    Mated to this jewel of a motor is the usual Honda perfect gearbox that is very easy to use but is unfortunately let down by rubbish rearsets and controls. Clutchless changes are a doddle, but something really special could be made with a better set of controls with less slop in the linkages. I will place a disclaimer on this and state that I have gotten very used to the RSV gearbox which has the gear lever bolted directly onto the gearbox shaft providing a very precise feel to the gearbox.

    Suspension and brakes are adequate, and a simple set of braded lines would be all that’s needed to improving the slowing, and the suspension could easily be tuned for an individual rider then left alone. It turned easily due to the big bars but had a little bit of a wallow while on the side of the tire. Nothing un-nerving and all up its dead set easy to ride fast around town.

    So what can I say about the big Hornet. It made riding it around town and absolute blast but it didn’t make me want to ride it like my Aprilia. It’s hard to explain, but if you are on a tight budget, and want a naked bike, you could do no wrong in going with the CB900F. Spend some extra on braided lines, better controls and some suspension tuning, and you would have something very special. You can then hit the road and blast past learners and the elderly laughing with maniacal glee…
  2. Isn't it funny how people don'y rate the hornet9 until they actually ride one and then.....................WOW!!! :LOL:
  3. is that an offer to swap next ride? :grin: :wink:
  4. When I grow up I wanna be a 954 :p
  5. :rofl:

    Thats Gold ,as also true. :bolt:
  6. I dunno what yer on about, they're a bag of shit.
  7. :shock: You rode your sister's ugly friend? :LOL:
  8. I spose beauty is in the eye of the beholder coz I dig the looks of the Hornet.

    Ever since the day they were released I've imagined owning one and it took till recently in november last year that I traded my Harley on one and haven't looked back since.

    Its rekindled the passion for riding I had all those years ago when I first got my bike licence.

  9. Mmm this is the reason I refused to test ride one before full license, I had a strong feeling I'd feel in love with it, and that just wouldn't be cool! :LOL:

    In fact it might be dangerous trying one even now, I don't want to regret the SV! :oops: :grin:
  10. +1

    :roll: Don't know the attraction of a castrated fireblade engine on spice rack frame?

    But beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
  11. I owned an SV650S for about 18 months and had sensational fun on it. The bike it replaced was a hideously fault riddled Buell X1 which was also sensational fun but just broke way to often.

    Anyway I've pretty much always been a Vtwin kinda bloke (or parallel twin W650) or singles so it was with trepidation that I tried an inline four. (although I did own the very first model of the GSX750R waaay back in 85. Very peaky power delivery. Nothin' below about 7500rpm and then everything all at once)
    But I dig the smooth turbine like power delivery and can see myself staying with big 4's for a long time.
  12. I hate that red they paint them in, doesn't do it for me.

    Sarcasm > PP obviously.
  13. laugh. Well I reckon it looks great! :p

  14. I test rode one of these out at the Hart day - loved it. Even I could manage to lift the front wheel! But, already had my heart set on a v-twin :wink:

    Hope the yellow machine is up & out soon Mark :)
  15. i reckon they look sexy. such a neat package:
    - tucked-away exhaust pipes
    - clean finish from a side view
    - good old fashioned single headlight.

    for a naked bike, how many look any better than a hornet?
  16. ahh the horny one.......its so good at doing everything if only everyone who had a bike license tested one we would have an unstoppable swam of hornets.......

    go the hornet!!! :cool:
  17. I'm a big fan of nakeds.

    These are my other two current favourites.


  18. That colour's fine, it's that deep, maroon-ish red they have that doesn't do it for me.

    This one:

  19. they are a grouse bike for sure - fairly sleeperish but with enough street cred in the right hands

    if i swap another front end into the f4i, i will put the f4i front end into the hornet for more adjustability

    the back bone frame sucks balls but i does achieve it's purpose
    the combined front and rear pegs are pretty annoying... i will probably change to a front pegs only set up

    the only colour i ever liked was the candy blue
    once i saw a pearl white hornet 250, i knew i wanted mine the same

    i will have to go white or polished rims too i suppose