Honda Hornet concept designers preview what’s in store

Think back to early April 2022. That’s when Honda Motor Europe España División Motocicletas (let’s say five times faster) first hinted that the Honda Hornet concept that debuted at EICMA 2021 was clearly deepening its development. A carefully planned social media campaign featuring clips inspired by the Hornet badge’s history with Honda, plus audio cues on what kind of engine to expect, has us all teased on the company’s Instagram.

It’s now early June 2022 and HondaMotosES is taking us all one step further in the design process. The team’s concept drawings, along with a promotional video featuring designer Giovanni Dovis, give a bit more insight into Honda’s headspace when defining what a Hornet should look like in 2022.

Fans of the old Hornet as a fun and lively little naked middleweight needn’t worry – Honda didn’t suddenly do anything crazy, like give it crazy fairings or something. Although we’re still only seeing sketches at this point, and not even 3D design renders, there’s a lot of angularity, sharpness and aggressive lines to the conceptualization of this new Hornet.

Where the previous generation Hornet was full of roundness and curves, from the headlight bezel to the rear, this new generation Hornet does a more convincing job of evoking a certain biting insect. The sharp, diagonal lines that cut through this bike’s profile are reminiscent of a hornet’s eager flight. Gone is the round headlight, in favor of a new cluster of pointed headlights reminiscent of the angular face of a real hornet. It’s hard to name a specific point about the design of the new Hornet, because there’s so many of them– including a tail so pointy, we’re not entirely sure it doesn’t contain venom.

The fuel tank is one place Honda designers freely admit to channeling their insectoid inspiration. Looking at it from above rather than in profile, it’s easy to see where Dovis says it was modeled after the wings of a hornet.

At this time, we also have to add that Honda is still referring to this design as the Hornet Concept – and there’s been no official word on when we can expect a production version. However, many concept bikes have been introduced over the years that have either evolved into production versions or gone nowhere. Usually if a concept is only destined to remain resigned to the design coffers of an OEM somewhere, the company in question doesn’t spend so much time hyping people up about multiple iterations of it it seems so clearer than ever that this Hornet Concept isn’t just going to stay a concept forever.

The three key words that, according to the Honda design team, illustrate this project are agility, dynamism and lightness. For what it’s worth, they also say that these terms don’t just apply to the design, but also to the actual machine they represent. As we don’t know any specifics yet, we can’t comment on the accuracy of these descriptors, but we look forward to finding out at some point in the not-too-distant future.

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