When my SV650 started to fail me, another project arised..
The Hornet was a an unplanned project, it started in an unusual way, and had never been something I was looking for..
It started with a phone call, my Dad called me, and said that he had been offered a 600cc Honda Commuter by one of his friends, it was a rolling chassis and a box of bits, he had the V5, there was one previous owner and it only had 13,000 miles on it, it sounded fun, and could be potentially promising.
As soon as he said he wanted £400 for it, it was sold..
Once I figured out the logistics, and got it home, it was time to see what was there, and what was missing, apparently it had been apart for a respray, and never put back together, or painted.
The more I took out of the boxes, the more in luck I thought I was. I had every panel, a head light and tail light, the clocks, the tank, at this point, I thought there might even be nothing at all missing
The MOT history confirmed that it had been off the road since at least 2013, as that’s when the previous one ran out, there had to be something wrong with it.
I slowly assembled the bike in my spare time over the next few weeks, constantly waiting for something to be beyond repair, of something important or expensive missing from it.
Around half of the panels were sanded, so I had no choice but to respray them. £60 later I managed to get an almost perfect colour match to the original panels, you would have never known unless I’d told you.
Before actually painting the bike, the moment of truth came, does the bike even run?
A good carb clean, fresh fuel, and a much needed full service and plugs as well as a new battery, it lived! It turned over a few times, then started with ease, I let it run for 5/10 minutes, and it ran like clockwork.
Then it leaked out all of its petrol.
It was a relatively easy fix, I nicked the washers out of the fuel tap on my Dad’s Fireblade after he suggested they looked very similar, and it was good to go again.
It turns out that a leaking fuel tap was a common issue with the early Hornets, being registered in 2000 it was one of the older ones, issues addressed, it was time to get it painted
The paint was easy enough, and the finish turned out really well, for something done in the lane outside my garage.
Everything done and seemingly ready to ride, I was ready to flip this bike to fund whatever came next, I really wanted something more modern than I’d had before.
But as everyone knows, things never go how you plan them, and my SV650 let me down one too many times.
The Hornet flew is MOT, as I’d expected, it was such an immaculate bike, I put the SV650 up for sale, and within a few days, the Hornet started it’s new life outside of it’s previous retirement.
I put it back on the road at 13,700 miles, I rode it from mid July, to the end of December, when I put it up for sale at 19,900 miles
In that timescale it did everything from commuting every day, to Hoggin the Bridge, to Silverstone to the Moto GP as well as plenty of trips around the Brecon Beacons
It only let me down once, the same issue that it had when I put it together, it had a petrol leak..
I couldn’t blame it, it had a hard 5 months of being abused and neglected in all conditions, but thankfully the replacement fuel tap was cheaply-ish (£75) and easily available, with it being brand new from Honda. It was back on the road within 2 days.
I think the Hornet is quite easily the most straight forward project to date.
I then sold the Hornet on to fund the Duke 390 when Fowlers pre-registered a load of them, which I’ve posted a long term review on.
I made a nice amount of money back from the Hornet, after selling it at £1600 and it costing less than £600 to get on the road- including buying it.
I still see it around now and then, as the buyer was pretty local to me, however it’s now lost its lovely twin can system, in it’s place is an Akrapovic knock-off and it also has some interestingly(hideous) bright orange wheels as well as gold Renthal bars, and a street fighter styled headlight.
I’d buy it back in a heart beat if I saw it for sale again.
In hind sight, I think I should have held onto it as a winter hack, as I’m always on the lookout for another at a bargain price, it’s a good do-all bike that has great reliability, fuel economy, handing, and is comfortable..
There’s always another one out there, or with wishful thinking I’ll find mine for sale as a project again!
Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment box below..