The CB1000R, Honda’s Neo Sports Café flagship, receives subtle cosmetic changes for 20YM, further enhancing its premium feel and commanding road presence. Replacing silver accents, the now all black triple clamp and stem are complemented by a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround. Color changes to the rear spring and front brake discs are capped off with a striking silver racing stripe running up the spine of the fuel tank. The bike will be available in three dynamic colors, with Candy Chromosphere Red and Graphite Black being joined by the new Matt Pearl Glare White scheme.
Motorcycling has seen many shifts in riders’ expectations of their bikes – what they do, how they look and how they make them feel – over the last decade. And Honda has never been afraid to apply its technology, engineering and imagination to create motorcycles that inhabit new spaces in the marketplace.
The CB1000R is one such bike – standing out from the crowd by moving away from the standard super sports-derived big naked formula to create a motorcycle that melds exhilarating function to a form that offers a radically fresh, visually stunning two-wheeled aesthetic. It’s a motorcycle that looks, feels and performs very differently from what’s gone before.
In creating this identity, Honda’s development engineers re-assessed the hard-core Sport Naked-Street-fighter underpinnings of the previous CB1000R, elevated its performance parameters and added the unexpected. Steered by retro- industrial minimalism, they stripped everything back, moved away from ‘RR’ inspiration and instead used a host of textured metal finishes and an ultra-minimalist look under the design theme of ‘Neo Sports Café’. The result is a machine with a unique identity, a fusion of Sport Naked and bare-boned Café Racer inspirations.
Freshly conceived from the wheels-up the CB1000R is designed to be exciting to ride – and fully capable of chasing much more focused machinery down on a twisting back road – while instilling an innate pride of ownership. Whichever way it’s approached – aesthetics, emotions, performance, technology – the CB1000R is a hard motorcycle to ignore.
The CB1000R elegantly combines more with less. It gives its rider a huge amount of usable engine performance, with the control of a cutting edge Supersports machine, while the innovative, minimalist styling injects it with a whole new attitude. Its four-cylinder engine is tuned to make 16% more peak power than the previous CB1000R at just over 10,000rpm and 5% more torque right through the mid-range, where it’s most useful – and most fun. It is also 4% shorter geared, to extract even faster acceleration from the power-up.
With the increase in output comes Throttle By Wire (TBW) with 3 preset riding modes plus a USER setting. Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) work together across the presets to offer optimum benefit to the rider dependent on conditions. The exhaust transmits a raw-edged howl as revs rise.
The CB1000R is 12kg lighter than the previous street-fighter-focused design making for a 20% improvement in power to weight ratio. It’s also smaller, yet has a more relaxed riding position. And supporting the radical look is a box section mono backbone steel frame, with Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD suspension up front and a Showa monoshock at the rear. Radial-mount front brakes, ABS and a 190-section rear tyre complete the chassis’ specification.
The CB1000R’s styling takes a bold – and distinct –direction that deliberately marks it out of the Naked bike mainstream. Every aesthetic detail of the CB1000R has been finessed, and the overall design, its style and powerful stance, merge retro minimalism with the elevated performance package of the engine and chassis.
The CB1000R’s 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine provides a healthy dose of both power and torque: 107 kW @ 10,500rpm and 104Nm @ 8,250 rpm compared to the previous version’s 92 kW@ 10,000rpm and 99Nm @ 7,750rpm. Bore and stroke remain 75mm x 56.5 mm but compression ratio is up 0.4 to 11.6:1 and the pistons are now forged rather than cast.
The engine has been tuned to deliver its torque with strong character especially in the 6-8,000rpm range, where it bulges significantly, generating an exciting and engaging riding experience. It’s also a useful aid for rapid roll-on acceleration in real-world overtaking conditions. The redline begins at 11,500rpm and the rev-limiter cuts in at 12,000rpm.
When re-assessing the engine for the re-born CB1000R in 2018 development concentrated on improving gas flow into, through and out of the cylinder head. Compared to the old unit valve lift is higher with inlet at 8.5mm and exhaust 8.1mm (as opposed to 7.9/7.8mm). A 44mm diameter throttle body (up 8mm) feeds larger diameter inlet ports; the shape of the combustion chambers is also revised.