I was on a break from all forms of two-wheelers for over a year. And that wasn't a self-imposed exile. My family astrologer wasn't happy with some planetary positions and declared that my passion for two-wheelers could spell doom for my well-being. Now, I am a big motorcycle enthusiast but it's difficult to afford one on a typical journalist's salary. Needless to say, my parents flatly refused to make any contribution to my motorcycle fund. After all, the family astrologer has probably seen my horoscope with more passion than the lord almighty himself.
However, my prayers didn't go unanswered as bhagwanji had made different arrangements for me. Just two weeks ago, a brand new Honda CB Hornet 160R was allotted to me as my long-termer. Understandably, it got me as excited as a kid in toy store. Yes, I know it isn't a superbike that will get my pulses racing or make others green with envy. But, after such a long hiatus, it's just what the doctor ordered. And since it's a Honda, I can rely on it more than some of my best mates.
Truth be told, I love it's design which has a near perfect blend of aggression and distinctiveness. In today's crowded premium 150cc-commuter motorcycle segment, the CB Hornet's signature design helps it stand out amongst it's peers. Even my friends are yet to get over it's aesthetic appeal and can't get enough of the stylish alloys, muscular and neat looking tank extensions and the unique X- shaped LED tail light.
On paper, a single cylinder engine which makes a maximum of 15.9PS and 14.76Nm doesn't sound interesting. But the CB Hornet has sufficient pep to keep things interesting on my daily commute from my folks' home in Chembur to the OD office in Lower Parel. You can comfortably trundle along in Mumbai's infamous rush hour traffic in third gear without even the slightest hint of protest from the motor. On those rare auspicious times, when the traffic has thinned out and I manage to find fifth gear with the speedo hovering at the 80kph mark, the butter smooth engine seems to be meditating.
However, everything about the CB Hornet isn't perfect as I happened to find out during a weekend ride to Pune. The engine starts sounding gruff as the revs climb higher and beyond 6000rpm it gets hoarse to the point that I feel like backing off. Make no mistake for it can cruise comfortably all day long at speeds around 90kph. But as the speedo needle crosses 100kph, a fair amount of vibrations can be felt on the handlebar and the footpegs, which is unlike any Honda motorcycle I have ridden before.
Apart from this one irritant, I am yet to find any other flaws. Over the next few weeks, I will be spending more time with the Honda CB Hornet 160R and will be riding it down to Goa to get to know it intricately. Read more about it in the next report.
Date acquired: June 2016, Odo reading (when acquired): 1,300km, Odo reading (current): 2,200km