Comparison test all-rounder Honda Hornet 900, Triumph Speed Triple, Yamaha FZS 1000 Fazer
Uncovered, light and strong: Honda Hornet 900. The compact 1998 Fireblade four-cylinder with a new field of operation. No pension. Then heat up the Triumph Speed Triple and Yamaha FZS 1000 Fazer.
Powerful all-rounders and naked bikes are very popular. No wonder. Those who like to do without plastic regalia and a super sporty, but not particularly comfortable sitting position, but not a good chassis and plenty of steam, will be well served here. Like the Triumph Speed Triple presented in 1997. A trendsetter. Lovingly cared for over the years, it became the secret flagship of the English. The triplet is the best-selling triumph in Germany. This is unlikely to change in the next year, after all, the Speed Triple is starting immediately with the modified and nominally 120 hp three-cylinder of the super sports car Daytona.
The Yamaha FZS 1000 Fazer convinced 2001 with good tests, which is mainly due to its extremely strong, only slightly modified YZF-R1 drive, but its sales figures remained slightly behind the ?? mind you ?? optimistic expectations of the importer. A good 21,000 marks is not a sticky stick. You had to see that at Yamaha too? and reduced the price for the 2002 model from 21,165 to 19565 marks. A measure that the ?? old owners ?? the fazer certainly doesn’t taste good because it depresses the resale value. That was inevitable for Yamaha, at the latest since Honda announced the basic price for the Hornet 900: 17,192 marks, a declaration of war. With the clear mission: to regain lost market share. The chances are good. Because Honda, unlike the avant-garde X-Eleven, did without design experiments and dedicated the Hornet to the essential: driving pleasure.
The Ardèche valley, one of MOTORRAD’s preferred test areas during winter, with a grippy asphalt strip, winding in every imaginable curve radius, with rough bumps and changes in surface, is as if made for this trio. Here the very different characters have to show what they have up their sleeves. Strong motors, for example. None of the three suffers from underpowering. Honda did well to fundamentally overhaul the engine of the 1998 Fireblade for its new use in the Hornet. The technicians mainly took care of the cylinder head and the valve train. They also replaced the carburettors with manifold injection. The result: measured 109 hp, around 15 less than with the Fireblade, but at the same time a significantly more homogeneous torque curve. After all, naked bikes don’t need sheer top performance; top speed can be seen as a purely academic value. What is required is a brisk acceleration from the lower speed regions.
This is exactly what the Hornet has. What is documented in formidable draft values. The 900 can easily keep up in this regard. And that despite the fact that it competes here against the truly not weak Speed Triple and the 1000cc Fazer, which with 10.2 seconds from 60 to 160 km / h even outshines the world’s most powerful production motorcycle, the Kawasaki ZX-12R . How does the Honda manage that with 109 hp? Very simple: when fully fueled, it weighs only 219 kilograms, and it has a very short secondary gear ratio. The Hornet needs just four seconds from 60 to 100 km / h, steals a good second from its organ-donating Supersport sister in an imaginary duel, and loses only tenths of its two competitors. Which is why the Honda can count itself among the most powerful production motorcycles. Hardly anyone offers better performance for the money.
Depending on your taste, the Hornet therefore enables two fundamentally different driving styles. Option one: turn off the gears. It works wonderfully because the engine grabs a lot even above 6000 rpm. Much more recommendable: Option two. Only move up to the speed levels briefly, enjoy the spontaneously appealing and gripping engine even in low speed ranges and step to your heart‘s content through the superbly switchable and precise transmission. Guaranteed pleasure. Also because of the almost aggressive growling that can be heard from the two raised rear silencers.
The Triumph prefers variant one with its gnarled, hard-shifting, but also accurate transmission. Not because she suffers from consumption at low engine speeds, as in the first test (MOTORRAD 23/2001). Since the English showed below 4000 / min ?? very atypical ?? little life. The Speed Triple loves speed because its three-cylinder, despite all the modifications, i.e. less peak performance in favor of even more homogeneous power delivery, cannot or will not hide its origin. The Daytona engine is not only characterized by more horsepower (measured 119) compared to the drive of its predecessor, but also by a significantly increased revving speed ?? and a sound that is still beguiling. Thank goodness also another characteristic of the triple: the almost perfect load change behavior. The two four-cylinders should cut a slice of it. Silky smooth, almost free of play, as if it had a toothed belt drive, the Triumph accelerates.
Yamaha FZR 1000 Fazer ?? the contrast of this comparison. Doesn’t like hectic people at all. Pulls their teeth quickly, not just because of their clearly noticeable load change reactions. In view of their really strong drive, they are hardly surprising. Almost 140 measured horsepower and a maximum torque of 106 Newton meters demand respect. Actionism brings absolutely nothing? except sweat of fear. With the Fazer, there is strength in calm. Aside from all driving performance measurements, she proves unobtrusively, but very impressively, that she is still the boss in the ring. Spurts to the next corner, which require one or two gear changes on the Triumph and the Honda? even if it’s just because it’s just fun ??, the ultra-potent Yamaha takes care of it in one go. That is easy on the nerves, lowers consumption ?? and also increases the range. Well, thanks to their moderate consumption of well under seven liters, Honda and Triumph also save you from driving to a gas pump too early. Nevertheless, the carburettor-equipped Yamaha beats both injectors, albeit just barely. Replenishment is only due after around 400 kilometers, with the Fazer sweeping the country roads with an average consumption of a good five liters of normal.
And can be caught again before the next bend easily and in a controlled manner. Your braking system is still suspect. Very closely followed by the Honda system and the brutally gripping Triumph brakes, which, however, are not so easy to dose. Another plus point of the Yamaha: its chassis, especially the elegant fork, offers a good compromise between comfort and stability. The rear of the Fazer, on the other hand, could use a little more height. Especially in pairs, the Yamaha is not particularly front-wheel oriented. Although this benefits the traction on the rear wheel, it makes target accuracy and handling more difficult, especially since it always gives a somewhat doughy, indirect feeling when turning due to the rubber mounts of its handlebars.
The Triumph, on the other hand, gets straight to the point, cannot and does not want to deny its descent from the original Daytona. Despite a longer spring in the shock absorber than in its predecessor, it has very little positive spring travel at the rear. The same applies to the fork, which is why the spring elements work permanently in the progressive range. On the one hand, this restricts the adjustment range of the chassis and is also detrimental to comfort; on the other hand, it promotes closer contact with the roadway. The noticeably forward-facing, at the same time comfortable seating position fits in perfectly. This is especially appreciated by very tall contemporaries who feel a little lost on the petite and narrow Hornet. Ordinary people, on the other hand, are happy about the low seat and the all-round successful, because casual ergonomics of the Honda. Popular: the Fazer chest of drawers, only annoying edges in the tank are annoying.
Braking reveals the limits of the non-adjustable fork on the Honda. Although it has sufficient damping, the spring is a little too soft, which is why the fork goes on block. However, only with a hard pace and a lousy road surface. Because the chassis data of the 900s almost match those of its 600s sister, nobody can seriously expect that the Hornet will ultimately be as stable as the Fazer. She seems a bit more nervous overall.
The Hornet does not show you what it is like when it comes to handling. Not even the very good Triumph in this regard. The small and low Honda dances almost playfully through every imaginable radius, remains precisely and neutrally on course, presents itself in a good balance that is so typical for Honda. Triumph and Yamaha ride more stable, but the Speed Triple requires a more active pilot who uses his upper body to constantly tell her who is in charge here and where to go. Otherwise, the Triumph with its 190 rear tire likes to stand up especially on waves or steps at the apex of a curve.
On the other hand, their freedom from leaning is exemplary, on public roads only the paintwork of the front fairing, which is subject to a surcharge, suffers, while the Yamaha footpegs work much earlier, and even the silencer at exuberant speed in right-hand bends. For the Honda with their high? let’s let that melt on the tongue together ?? Four-in-two-in-one-in-two exhaust system not an issue.
In general, the equipment of the Hornet is good, considering the low price. U-Kat plus SLS for the environmental conscience, exclusively for the German version. According to Honda, it easily undercuts the Euro 2 emissions standard. The immobilizer is standard. There are also useful accessories: a small windshield, fall protectors and a main stand, for example. The Fazer has it ex works. However, despite the price reduction, it still costs a whole lot more than the Honda. A somewhat effective windshield wouldn’t be bad on the Yamaha. That is also offered? extra charge. And, now it’s getting political, a Kat is missing completely, the Fazer only has an SLS.
D.he Triumph has recently been showing off the full range: G-Kat and secondary air system, for which MOTORRAD got the full number of points. And it turns out to be quite fully equipped, now even with a timer. All of this is of course a bit more expensive, a good 21,000 marks. But the Speed Triple is a cult. And that is priceless. Does the Honda Hornet 900 also have what it takes to become a cult star? Sequel follows. Soon in the next comparison test. The assembled naked bike gang with the ringleader Suzuki GSF 1200 Bandit is already lurking.
1st place – Yamaha FZS 1000 Fazer
The all-rounder from Yamaha is and remains the top dog, not just because of the price reduction. There seems to be no herb at the moment against their powerful and at the same time smoothly acting four-cylinder, the epoch-making torque values speak volumes. This convenient bundle of energy only proves to be rather stingy when it comes to fuel consumption. What the Fazer enables ranges of almost 400 kilometers. A value that makes many a thoroughbred tourer green with envy.
3rd place – Honda Hornet 900
Hornet 900 or “The Art of Leaving Out”. Honda would not have been expected to have such a heartbreakingly unreasonable fun bike. Respect. Significantly cheaper than Triumph and Yamaha, it convinces above all with an almost playful handling. The excellent driving performance speaks volumes. Your perfectly coordinated four-cylinder, the transmission and your braking system are a stunner. Small weaknesses, such as her fork that is too softly tuned, are therefore easy to see.
2nd place – Triumph Speed Triple
The concerns of the Speed Triple community are unfounded, because Triumph strictly adhered to the purity law when revising the bestseller. Her dry charm is still inspiring, she is not a soft and cuddly cat. Your new three-cylinder engine is no longer quite as bearish as the old one, but has increased its power significantly from the middle speed range. It deserves the title “Best Speed Triple ever.”
Honda Hornet 900Triumph Speed TripleYamaha FZS 1000 FazerDrive performance Top speed Solo228244251Acceleration Solo 0-100 km / h2,932.90-140 km / h184.108.40.206-200 km / h11.510.29.7Throughout Solo (with pillion) 60- 100 km / h 4.0 (5.0) 3.9 (5.7) 3.6 (5.6) 100-140 km / h 4.3 (4.8) 4.0 (4.6) 3, 2 (4.5) 140-160 km / h 5.0 (6.6) 4.9 (5.8) 3.4 (5.2) Speedometer deviation display / effective 50/100 / Vmax55 / 107/24052/105 / 20249/98 / 210Fuel consumption Fuel typeNormalSuperNormal at 100/130 km / h4.9 / 6.24.6 / 5.94.9 / 5.4 Country road65.75.5 Theoretical range Country road317368382
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