Hornet has been a very curious case ever since BS4 emission norms were enforced. This is because Hornet 160R was launched as a BS4-compliant motorcycle. Yes, it was the first BS4 150cc motorcycle from Honda.

So, the question which came up was – why was it cleared off with massive discounts when Supreme Court gave manufacturers only about two days to clear off their BS3 inventory till 31st March 2017.

What created further doubt was – a few days back, just like its other BS3 motorcycles (like Unicorn 150, Unicorn 160 etc), Honda introduced the 2017 Hornet 160R.

The first version of Hornet 160R was BS4 compliant

We connected with Honda to get a clarification on this and asked – “If Hornet 160R was a BS4 compliant motorcycle why did they clear off its inventory in those days of BS3-clearance.” They informed that due to ‘lack of AHO (automatic headlamp on)‘ they had to clear off Hornet before 1st April 2017.

This is a little confusing because in the Supreme Court’s order, they banned BS3 compliant motorcycles from getting made, sold or registered from 1st April this year. Nowhere did they talk about AHO. However, there could be an underlying assumption that pre-manufactured non-AHO motorcycles could also not be sold in that jurisdiction.

Read specs and details of 2017 Hornet 160R

2017 Hornet Power Drop

Another query a lot of our readers asked when we shared this story of 2017 Hornet’s launch – ‘what is the reason of drop in power in 2017 Hornet 160R‘ and we were also confused – ‘why would Honda touch an already BS4 compliant engine – and that too to reduce power?

2017 Hornet 160R has also gained new colours

The reason cited by Honda for Hornet’s power drop is again ‘AHO‘. They say that since the headlight will be on all the time, it will draw more power from the engine and this has resulted in the power drop for Hornet 160R or for that matter of fact, all the other motorcycles including Unicorn 150, 160 etc.

Also Read: New Details on Honda’s Second Motorcycle: Faired Hornet 160F?

I am still not fully convinced about this theory but this is what may be the reality!

Next Read: Hold on… Is it Honda XRE 190 (or XRE 160) and Not XRE 300?

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An avid biker, I moved out of the software world to work completely on following the automobile scenario in India. With BikeAdvice, I try to share my small learnings with my brethren out there. You can follow me on Facebook.


  1. That’s true. I have been Discussing about this dumbest idea called AHO for a long time and had even shared my opinion on how much it would affect the mileage of a bike thereby making the concept of environment friendly BS4 bikes a total waste, yes without AHO BS4 is just great but not with AHO. As confirmed by Honda, AHO not only needs more petrol it eats up the power of the bike too. Another drawback of AHO that I am copy pasting here from one of my old disqus comments – “How many times have you communicated to the rider on your opposite side with the pass switch, indicating him/her to pave way for you first. Now, in a scenario where the headlights of all the vehicles are switched off and one guy signals using pass light then its clearly visible to the rider on the opposite to come to a decision in day time(At night its different). If all the bikes headlight are switched on (AHO) and one rider uses the pass light then its really difficult for the person on the receiving end to notice this and the question of safety arises here.” Its better that this dumb idea called AHO is axed, as Riders we all know how to switch on a light and when to use it effectively.

    • It is impossible for a headlight to draw so much power and that when max RPMs. As this article doubts and Honda didn’t confirm, the most likely reason would be the Hornet may not have been BS4 compliant even though it was being sold like that.


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