Hogs in the ‘hood: Honda Hornet 919

Honda Hornet 919 spotted in the 'hood...

Honda Hornet 919 spotted in the ‘hood…

There was a period of time when I was obsessed with the Honda Hornet 919.  A fairly bullet-proof, naked-style bike, these motorcycles were in the family of the Suzuki SV650, in terms of reliability of value…

Honda Hornet 919: naked style for a new age…

The Honda Hornet 919 is no Ducati, but then again, maybe that's a good thing...

The Honda Hornet 919 is no Ducati, but then again, maybe that’s a good thing…

The lineage of this bike dates back to 1979, when the Honda CB900F was introduced.  The original bike was Honda’s attempt to advance beyond their success with the CB750, and compete with the other manufacturers who had moved on to Dual Overhead Cams.

The 2nd generation of the Honda CB900F, released between 2002 and 2007, was known by several names, the Honda Hornet in Europe, but simply the Honda 919 in the U.S., based on a patent by AMC car company for their [arguably] ugliest car.  Let’s not create a debate here, between the Hornet and the Pacer please…

So for the purposes of this post, and not worrying about AMC’s lawyers, we will refer to this bike as the Honda Hornet 919.  The standard, naked-style bike was somewhat of a “test” to see if Honda could capitalize on older sportbike riders who now wanted a less aggressive seating position, but with the same balls of a sportbike.

The new design included a liquid-cooled, fuel injected 919cc engine, with a six-speed transmission that red-lined at 9500 RPM.  At the time, the Honda Hornet 919 had the lowest weight in it’s class, with a healthy power to weight ratio.  The Honda Hornet 919 sits perfectly between a sportbike and a cruiser, and offers a more comfortable ride and better city or commuting accessibility.

Although early adopters of the bike complained about the lacking suspension, in 2004 both front and rear were upgraded with adjustable control.

this Honda Hornet 919 comes complete with a dust mask...

this Honda Hornet 919 comes complete with a dust mask…

This particular Honda Hornet 919 was spotted in northside Williamsburg, complete with a dust mask.  So either this rider really wants a Zero bike, or is just being cautious about flu season…

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