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Honda Hornet 250 – Product Information

Honda Hornet 250 – Product Information



In the domestic light motorcycle market, the excise tax was abolished in 1989, and after two revisions of liability insurance premiums, the advantage over motorcycles diminished, causing a significant shift to the 400cc class and further reduction of replica models. Due to the contraction of the market due to, the number of new notifications has been declining since peaking in 1988. In addition, the market for naked motorcycle models has been on the decline for the past few years, and since it is compelled to compete with 400cc naked models, the market composition ratio is overwhelmingly 400cc class. Occupy the share of this category.
However, the market has been revitalizing since the launch of V-TWIN MAGNA in 1994, and the genre of large scooters is steadily increasing.

Against this market background, as a 250cc naked model that can support a wide range of users while maximizing the advantages of mini motorcycles, Honda is a classless undercarriage like a liter bike and low / middle rotation. Introducing HORNET, which exhibits a torquey response with improved output characteristics in the range and realizes an unprecedented riding feel, as a model that has a strong impact on the motorcycle market, further activity in this class in the future We will try to achieve this.


Aim Of Development

In the development of HORNET, in the modern age of naked and custom categories, it is interesting for more people to realize the overwhelming presence and riding feeling that makes you feel the fun of a new motorcycle. I thought that it was one of the points that I could relate to.

Specifically, while maximizing the advantages of mini motorcycles, while following the basic concept of Honda’s naked road sports, “PROJCET BIG-1,” we hope that a wider range of people will find this attraction. With the concept of “impactive naked road sports that transcends the class,” we aimed to create an impactful form and a new riding feel.
Then, the powerful wide radial tires that break the conventional 250cc class are used to emphasize the strength of the undercarriage, and the newly designed mono-backbone frame has been adopted to achieve a powerful and dynamic appearance design. By doing so, HORNET has been realized with an overwhelming presence that goes beyond the boundaries of mini motorcycles and motorcycles.

The specific development goals of HORNET are summarized in the following four points.

  1. Suspended new balance design with classless impact
  2. A riding feel that combines the feel and stability of a big bike with light maneuverability
  3. The torquey response required for riding with wide tires
  4. Comfortable low-frequency sound felt from idling and sensual in-line 4-cylinder sound in high rpm range

This is the “new riding feel” that HORNET aims for.

Then, as a reference exhibit of the HORNET that embodies these at the ’31st Tokyo Motor Show’ in 1995, as a naked model with a strong impact and new values ​​that conventional light motorcycles could not have. Received positive feedback from the people.

Sport is hot and touching.


When deciding on styling, we started development with a method that is not bound by the conventional naked road sports framework, with the development theme of “Impressive power while having fun riding”.
First, the origin of the pursuit of styling was the adoption of wide tires. The fun of riding and the appearance of the design brought by these wide tires are the important points that determine styling, and this is where HORNET’s styling concept of “new underbalanced and balanced design” was born.

For concrete design work, we created a “new balance design” from classless impact and suspension consciousness. In addition, this time, the side view, which is the conventional method, is adopted in order to fully express the glamorous body where the compact engine and powerful undercarriage, the overhanging part and the constricted part emphasize each other in the optimal car class as 250cc. Not only the design sketches of the above, but also the sketches of the down view were carried out at the same time from the beginning of development to thoroughly study the styling. In particular, this down view was focused on because the rider’s line of sight when approaching the motorcycle. And from that atmosphere, the naming was decided to be HORNET = wasp.

At the mockup stage, we shaped the shape while making detailed confirmations with the feel of the palm and the feeling of actually straddling it, and completed a design that realizes a volume feeling and slimness more than originally imagined.
The design from the volume-rich fuel tank that juts strongly to the left and right to the seat line that has been narrowed down in a flowing manner improves foot landing, and the rear cowl that is strongly narrowed toward the tail and the right lower surface are placed. The up muffler is designed to give a strong impression of the torquey response, and the functional beauty unique to HORNET.

And, due to the tonal appearance brought by these, HORNET’s unique “new balance design” was born, which has the image of running and a strong impact, while maximizing the functions.

* HORNET: Naming that reflects the power of classless driving along with the body line with intonation that is symbolized by hornets.

* HORNET: Naming that reflects the power of classless driving along with the body line with intonation that is symbolized by hornets.


Riding Feel

When seasoning the riding, we proceeded with the development with the theme of “250cc light maneuverability and reliable response of the big bike”.

In particular

  • Realization of a light maneuverability unique to 250cc that combines ease of use in urban areas with outstanding cornering performance in winding
  • A handling that is reminiscent of a big bike that combines moistness, stability, and solidity, and has a solid response even when banked.

In order to realize these two conflicting elements, we thoroughly pursued the following three points.

Wide tire adoption
In order to ensure agility, responsive handling and stability, we have selected radial tires exclusively for big bikes.
As a result of numerous tests, by combining the lightness of the front 16 inches (130 / 70ZR16) with the wide tires (180 / 55ZR17) on the rear, it is possible to achieve a more comfortable wheel grip than the conventional 250cc class. By holding it, it is possible to achieve a sense of stability and security.

Dimension has decided the basic specifications of “lightness and response” by advancing the head pipe position to reduce the shared load on the front, raising the engine mounting position and exerting force in the roll direction.

In order to achieve a satisfying handling, we sought a rigidity balance that matches the rear wide tires. Specifically, while improving the rigidity of the swing arm side, the newly designed mono-backbone frame improves the torsional rigidity, and the point of the torsion center is closer to the head pipe center than before, giving a moist feeling. We have obtained an exquisite rigidity balance and dimension that achieves both stability and stability.

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