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Everybody Get Naked!: A Flurry of Naked Standards for the USA Market: CB1000R, Aprilia V4R Tuono,BMW R1200R and F800R

Why, O, why do they do it? Despite naked standards being a tiny percentage of total bikes sold in the USA, OEMs insist on bringing new models in to a mostly unappreciative market. The reason why is clear to moto-journalists—the product planners, marketer’s communications staff and management are undeniably enthusiasts, and a big, fast, nice-handling and comfortable bike is what they (and we) want to ride. Tragically, sales are usually disappointing. You’d think that a global recession would be enough to kill all development of anything not sportbike or cruiser, but happily (for riders and journalists), it’s not; behold, four exciting and interesting nekkid models for our Fruited Plains and Purple Mountains.

CB1000R

First up is the Honda CB1000R. It’s actually not a new model — it was introduced in 2008 for the Euro market—but it’s gotten some updates for 2011. The basic formula is a sound one: single-backbone aluminum frame with single-sided swingarm holding the nothing-wrong-with-that 998cc fuel-injected motor from the ’06-’07 CBR1000RR. It is, (some of you would say, “of course,”) given the tuned-for-torque treatment to make it more street-friendly, but it’s still making a claimed 123 horsepower at the crank; dyno reports peg it at about 110 hp at the wheel. Front suspension is a three-way adjustable 43mm inverted fork; a preload and damping-adjustable monoshock with HMAS linkage handles things in back. Braking is done with radial-mount, four-piston calipers and 310mm discs (traction fans, despair: it doesn’t look like we’ll get an ABS model for the USA). Tires are standard-sized sportbike radials, with a 180-section rear. A 25-degree rake and 56.9-inch wheelbase show a middle-of-the-road approach to handling. The bike is a claimed 484 pound wet weight for the Euro model. Updates for 2011 include a fatter aluminum handlebar and a new marker lamp.

Honda won’t release pricing until around Veteran’s Day, but we can make a guess. The 2010 CB1000R is anywhere from 67-80 percent the price of a CBR1000RR in European markets. The 2010 CBR1000RR is $13,399; 75 percent of that is just over $10,000. Kawasaki’s Z1000 is $10,599; I’d expect Honda to price its model at a few hundred dollars more.

We’ve seen a lot of criticism of Honda on our discussion boards. It seems our readers are losing faith in Honda producing exciting, interesting bikes, but it seems that the global Honda motors is putting more pressure on American Honda’s handlebars. The PCX scooter and CBR250R entry-level sportbike seem more like world products than products tailored to the USA market, and seeing this Euro-designed and built machine here in the USA makes me think the trend will continue, with one global product lineup being the final result.

Tuono V4R

Different frame and tuned-for-torque motor is one way to build a naked, a tried-and-true recipe Honda and other Japanese OEMs have been following for a while. Aprilia goes a different way. Starting with the original Touno, Aprilia has just removed the fairing, slapped on some superbike-style bars, sliced a grand off the pricetag and called it a day. And we love it.

That continues with the 2012 Tuono V4R. The starting point is the 65-degree V-Four-powered RSV4R superbike. It is a little revised from the full-honk 180 hp mill in the RSV4R, with different gear ratios and slightly different tuning that brings the torque peak down 1000 rpm and also loses 18 hp (boo!) from on top. Still; 162 hp isn’t bad for a naked. The rest of the package is basically the same bike as the track-oriented superbike, with radial-mount calipers, 320mm floating brake rotors, and titanium-nitride-coated tubes on the fully-adjustable 43mm inverted fork. From there, Aprilia’s people removed the upper cowl, designed a little bikini fairing similar to the current Tuono’s, added a fattie motocross-style bar and said, “here, ride this.

Some of the most interesting features are also on the V4R Tuono’s brother, the RSV4R Factory APRC SE. That’s a lot of letters for a bike model, but what you need to know is the APRC stands for Aprilia Performance Ride Control, a joystick-controlled electronics package that measures wheel speed, ground speed, the bike’s pitch, yaw and roll angles and probably hat size and inseam to keep the tires firmly on the ground under all conditions. The traction control is eight-way adjustable and also includes two other features of great interest to hooligans. The first is wheelie control, and it’s not what you think; instead of keeping you from doing wheelies, as you may find on many recent sportbikes, it helps the rider make smoother, more-controlled landings from what will probably be a perpetual state of one-wheeledness on the new Tuono.

The other gizmo is called Aprilia Launch Control. This cues the motor to deliver full power to the rear tire as soon as the clutch is released. It’s not really clear how this works from the press release, so stay tuned for reports on the RSV4R Factory APRC SE (Piaggio, do I have to type that out every time?). Oh, and there’s an electronic shifter too.

The sad news is the new Tuono won’t be in USA dealers until the end of 2011. There is no pricing yet, but I’m thinking somewhere around $16,000.

BMW R1200R and F800R

Of course, BMW kind of invented the big, powerful, torquey naked standard, or at least is best known for building big, powerful roadburners since David Robb was in diapers. And that tradition continues with two redesigned variants of the R1200R.

Lightweight, sweet-handling and torquey, the original R1200R is one of my all-time favorite rides. For 2011, it’s made even better with the dohc cylinder heads from the HP2 and R1200GS, good for a claimed 110 hp (BMW gives power numbers at the wheel) and 88 ft.-lbs. of torque. Redline gets stretched out to 8500 rpm to broaden the powerband. Also, the instruments are now reworked with two round binnacles for the tach and speedometer, and the muffler is shortened. As with the prior model, ABS, traction control and other electronics are available options, as are enough luggage and touring accessories to make the R into a competent tourer or commuter.

That retro look of the instruments is extended with the R1200R Classic. Nobody’s going to mistake it for an R90S, but with wire-spoke wheels, a chrome exhaust and a classy racing stripe, it does harken back to the classic Beemers of the ’70s. USA pricing and availability has not yet been released, but the 2010 R1200R starts at $12,795.

I drooled over the F800R when it was announced in Europe in 2009. And why not? That F800 motor is cheap, cheerful, silky-smooth and plenty powerful at 87 hp. At 450 pounds wet, it was 50 pounds lighter than the R1200R. Plus, it had a chain drive and a comfy-looking, upright seating position—but it wasn’t available for the USA.

That was then. BMW has finally decided we can handle the F800R. It will appear in BMW dealers around January, with an MSRP of $9950. Options include ABS, heated grips, tire-pressure monitors and more.

All those bikes—plus the new Speed Triple — give potential nudists a lot of choices for 2011. Will that be enough to spur buyers into showrooms? We’d be surprised if it did, but we look forward to riding a lot of very cool motorcycles this year.

86 Comments

  1. Jay Mack says:

    Suzuki came out with the Bandit 1250S a few years ago, a naked standard. I don’t know why it didn’t sell, it was only $7,800. It got discontinued and now, next year, they have it coming back with a fairing and bags, but not naked. Go figure.

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  2. Joe D says:

    I still prefer my Benelli Cafe Racer. Everything about it is perfect. Nice to see the other folks playing catch up.

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  3. Mike says:

    Why does Honda wait until 2011 to give us what Europe got in 2008? I guess it is better than waiting TEN tears like they did with the NT700. They release a bike with shaft drive, optional hard luggage and then fit a 4.8 gal. gas tank? I still say Honda has lost their way and whoever is head of product development should be canned immediately. Great fit, finish and reliability will only get you so far. Motorcycles are about excitement, they aren’t appliances.

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  4. Jeremy in TX says:

    Nice to see the OEMs sending some nice nakeds this way. I like the Honda very much (looks better than the Z1000 IMHO), and I have always been a fan of the 12R. (BTW, that is probably the “low” seat option for those worried about how the 1200R will treat your “moon units”). I’ve seen pics of the F800 with different color schemes, and it looks much better than the hideousness pictured above. The new Tuono, while totally awesome, is way beyond my skill level and just beyond my pain threshold with regard to how much I am willing to pay for something with two wheels and no doors.

    My favorite naked remains the Monster 1100, though.

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  5. Montana says:

    “Of course, BMW kind of invented the big, powerful, torquey naked standard, or at least is best known for building big, powerful roadburners since David Robb was in diapers.”

    What!
    Somebody give Gabe a raise so he can buy better drugs,
    or at least a book on 1970s motorcycling history!

    Report this comment

  6. Alain says:

    I really like the CB1000R… just thinking of getting one. What I really like from Honda is: their products don’t look too flashy and it’s a Honda!!! yeah you heard me, I don’t like it when it’s too flashy…loll

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  7. Mick Doohan says:

    backbone frame ! That’s probably why the cb1000r is so detuned. The chassis could not handle an engine putting down CBR1000 numbers. 110 rwhp is pathetic for a 4 cylinder 1000 in the year 2010. Combined with almost a 500lbs wet weight, and it’s a slow porker. Save the extra 4 grand get the tuono. Disregarding looks, which are subjective, it will ride the best out of all the bikes on this list. It’s an RSV4 with handlebars and a bikini fairing.

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  8. The other Tim says:

    Why do we in the USA only get the BLACK CB1000R? Does anyone remember the nice ‘Acid Green’ that we saw a few years back? Why do the OEM’s continue to think BLACK is the only way to sell a bike in the USA?

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  9. GMan38 says:

    Honda showed a red, white and blue version of the new CB1000 at the Milan bike show. Honda, I dare ya to bring that color scheme to the U.S. I DARE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. PN says:

    I like the R1200R Beemer! That CBR Honda? Not so much. That wasp-face headlamp is weird. A real eyesore. Somebody in the Honda styling dept. saw “Alien” too many times.

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  11. markf says:

    Love the Aprilia! Ni pig old round headlight! Is it really naked?

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  12. Neil says:

    The Beemer 800 is fugly. The Honda looks like “yeah park it right there in the garage in back of my car”. Nice. “Take me to your leader”. The 1200 is ok but where did they get that seat? That looks like no one’s ass I know will sit there. And that curve in the front looks like it will take out my moon units at a moments notice. The Aprilia looks mean and yeah I’d love it, but can I afford it, Mister average mid level white collar worker out there with a mortgage and…??? So for me the Honda wins. Plenty of get up and go for me.

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  13. PeteP says:

    Love’m or hate’em, at least we’re getting a bunch of new bikes this year!

    I like the CB1000R, also the R1200R. I do not get the new Tuono, though. All they did was lop off the lower fairing and windscreen. Looks unfinished. Yes, appearance matters.

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  14. Roadrash says:

    I wonder why they didn’t leave the belt drive on the F800R?

    I know modern o-ring chains aren’t that hard to live with, but

    I really liked the belts on the Buells I owned.

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  15. GP says:

    I love the return of the nekeds! But, Please bring back the long, wide, *flat* seats, so I can actually carry a passenger without hearing them complain! Some of us like our performance, with a side of two-up comfort!

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  16. Alright, very nice group of machines varied in power output and if the FZ1 were included the perfomace and ergo are so perfect on it would have to be at the top of the list.
    I’m 76 and love this bike.
    Don in Iowa

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  17. Brian Carroll says:

    Has some eccentric billionaire secretly offered a prize for the most hideous exhaust system on a production motorcycle? It’s the only explanation I can come up with for what we are seeing.

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  18. Joe Sixpack says:

    A backbone frame? My CB-1 has a perimeter frame. Honda missed the mark again.

    The Tuono is just ugly.

    The r1200r has the weediest bars this side of my son’s 20 inch bike.

    The f800r is nice. No one will buy it in the US.

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  19. Carlos K13R says:

    Nothing like a naked bike… I have a bmwk1300R, fantastic!!!

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    • MikeD says:

      Yeah, i have read that is one APE of a bike, but sadly they took it away from us(U.S.A)
      A used 1200 doesn’t sound as comforting anymore when u know there’s a 1300 that could be here. Sigh.

      Report this comment

  20. Dean says:

    Gotta love being Naked!!

    I may have to dust off the checkbook. Lighter, more comfortable, but honking fun… Maybe my Vstrom1000 needs a little brother! Or I’ll get a crashed crotch Rocket and do it myself..

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    • Dean says:

      P.S. Even though these bikes will never sell like cruisers or sportbikes here, are they losing money if they only sell a thousand or so per year?? Sales are sales! Bring it on!

      Report this comment

  21. DocStrange says:

    Fantastic article — Naked standards are a class that has everything anyone who loves to ride would want, but they somehow don’t seem to rise to being a class that people recognize and are proud of. Most of the (to me, irritating) retro-bikes we see so much of now are, after all, naked standards. But, what? We need some faux nostalgia vibe to enjoy these bikes?

    I bought my R1150R slightly used. Now I’ll lust after this year’s R1200R (finally a vibrant paint color!) until I can afford one a few years old. Heh, I guess I’m joining a chorus of cheapskates waiting to buy one…

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  22. MikeG says:

    If the CBR had 145 rear wheel horsepower, it would sell. Neutered bikes are much less interesting. Sorry, you blew it once again Honda(and I am a die hard Big Red fan).
    Mike

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    • MGNorge says:

      I don’t agree. Maximum horsepower isn’t the key for me to enjoy a bike. Both my bikes make considerably less power than the CBR will have and I’m having a blast. Many of these bikes are capable of exceding the speed limit on freeways in first gear. To utilize maximum power you’re in ticket-ville!

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      • Justin says:

        I don’t mind the reduction in throttle-body diameter, as that should help with low-speed power, but the reduction in compression ratio I do resent. At least they didn’t sleeve the cylinders…

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        • MikeD says:

          Good point, why mess with compression when it helps so much in producing Torque?
          Sometimes i would love to seat down for hours with powertrain engineers from each OEM and MILK every little drop and detail of the reasons behind every little modification they do.

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          • Justin says:

            The cynic in me thinks the decision was made just to ensure that bike doesn’t have performance to even approach the latest CBR1000RR. Also the promise of low-octane pump gas, for the rare motorcyclist that cares about the extra dollar per tank.

            The optimist merely remembers that pistons and ECU chips can be replaced. As far as I can find, the bore and stroke are the same.

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  23. Brian says:

    I think Japan finally got the memo… If you want to sell a naked sportbike, It has to still perform somewhat like a sportbike. You can’t detune it to the point of sub-600 power, hang cheap, non-adjustable suspension parts on it along with left over brakes from 5 years ago and call it a day. Good power, sporty egros (Without going full race) and quality suspension and brakes seem to be what the people want.

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  24. JettA says:

    Hey, I just bought a new Monster 1100 a few months ago, and it’s the most fun bike I’ve owned. I think these all look great. Maybe as the American motorcycle market matures (as in wiser, not older) these bikes will find a lot of happy homes. I think they all look great — especially the V4 Tuono!

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  25. Bill says:

    Nice now what can they do about the price ?????

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  26. Bo knows says:

    Ooooohhhh, that R1200R looks great!!!! I must be getting old…

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  27. Jay Mack says:

    The R1200R looks like it still has the “on your danglies” riding position that I had to go so far to correct on my 2000 R1100R. I don’t know why they do that. Germans must not have anything to worry about.

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  28. Vrooom says:

    Unfortunately the Portland weather just doesn’t lend itself to a naked. Of 6 bikes, my only naked is a Tuono, and it primarily sees track day usage. Very good looking bikes though, except that F800 BMW.

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  29. Stinky says:

    OOOOHHHH BABY! It’s great to be a biker in this century. I hope lots of people buy these so I can buy them slightly used. I have a $10,000 redline on my payment book. As long as they don’t put throttle by computer on them I can live with them. Hope their gas tanks are over 4.5. I love twins, curious about triples, bored with fours. Don’t own a bike with a fairing, unless you count an S fairing on my Beemer, and the little screen on the Ulysses. Let’s get naked, fairings are for old ladies to park at church.

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  30. Justin says:

    What’s wrong with this picture (BMW R1200R)? Looks like somebody at the Bimmer factory forgot to add the ugly!

    Maybe I just need to see more pictures. Is the headlight bucket shaped like a dead baby or something? Because the bike in these photos looks pretty good…

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  31. Steve P says:

    A CBR 1000 set up like the new Ninja 1000 would be a very appealing bike.

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  32. steveinsandiego says:

    i’ve enjoyed riding various beemer 1200Rs and 800s, but they require far more maintenance than my 09 ninja 650r. they’re also more expensive. i think my dream bike may be kawi’s versys……

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  33. Kjazz says:

    Naked is cool. But the real story isn’t the removal of body parts here…….. it is the repositioning of the rider. These “nakeds” are more appealing to a broader group than clip on barred, full faired sport bikes. Whether you’re aging or not. The sit up appeal is huge. Better visibility, longer comfort in the saddle, and, sitting upright, an engine feels just as “rewarding” with a fraction of the ultimate HP figures that are required when your backbone is parallel with the line of thrust. I’ve learned this stuff by riding my Speed Triple (2005). Sit up standard motorcycles are awesome. Bring on more!!!!!

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  34. xootrx says:

    Honda’s 919 naked was a sweet running, awesome bike. Unfortunately, its upswept exhaust limited its use to the “street thug” category, where consumers don’t want sweet, they want nasty. This latest offering, if versatile enough, should appeal to riders looking for said versatility, as well as performance. If its use is limited, and it isn’t mean enough to back it up, it won’t succeed. Most of us know what we want from a bike. I prefer a standard, or “naked” bike. But if I can’t slap a windshield on it, throw some bags over the seat, and head out of town for a couple of days, I’m not interested.

    The BMW R1200R looks a little more mainstream than before, and with its improved performance, looks at bit more appealing. It also looks like it has the potential for personalization many of us want.

    Of course Triumph continues to be the exception. I think the reason their nakeds have succeeded is because they offer consumers (and not necessarily journalists) the most fun for the money. They’re limited to what they do, but they’re just plain fun to ride. However, there doesn’t seem to be enough buyers to support a flooded market of limited use bikes like that. The means the company offering the most bang for the buck, like Triumph, wins the market share, and everyone else is stuck in the “nice try” category.

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    • bock919 says:

      The CB100R might be the only viable replacement for my current 919, a 2002 model. I agree that it needs to possess the same versatility as the 919, as my 919 and I have accumulated many miles together. As for its exhaust, you can always remove the upswept stinky undertail exhaust and slap on the 900RR exhaust to give you a mean, low-mount option.

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      • Neil says:

        I was going to buy a 919 but one thing I did not like was the undertail exhaust and for the money to replace it I could just get a Kaw Z1000 or a Yamaha FZ1 instead, though the 919 looked better to me. Now the CB1000R is just what I want; a Honda and has all the right features.

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  35. Wendy says:

    LIke the big necked BMW. Got the right power plant, the lack of huge that saddles the GS, and can run forever. The priller is just plain nasty in a good way. And honda, gee, nice girls never get asked out.

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  36. jerrylee says:

    I prefer my bikes and women the same way and this category appeals to me. If only the world economy and my personal comfort level were better I’d start planning now to replace my aging tuono with the V4 version. I guess I could make a similar comment about category similarities!

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  37. Well done manufactures, it’s getting interesting again too bad i’m over sixty now and winding down but not dead yet.

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  38. Patrick D says:

    Sadly, the Honda has had the fun and interest polishedout of it as a riding experience. It goes nowhere near as well as it looks. Only Honda can make a 120 hp bike feel unexciting! It’s what alot of people want (dependable, no doubt quick), but it’s almost the complete antithesis to the Aprilia shown here.

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  39. Terp says:

    That new Touno is fantastic, but hopefully they will be able to keep the price down a bit. $16000 is more than the Minister of Finance and Home Affairs (wife) would ever approve….

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    • Gabe says:

      I guessed at $16,000 because the current Tuono is $1000 less than the RSV Mille. The current RSV4R is $15,000, but I jacked up the price a few grand because it seems Aprilia is only bringing in one model of RSV4 for 2010, and will probably up the price. Let’s hope I’m way off! $13,000 would be a tempting bargain.

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  40. Harry says:

    Naked is NOT standard. The naked Honda CB1000R and the 2012 Tuono V4R have sport bike height footpegs. Bad for the knees, uncomfortable. They could have lowered the footpegs but the stylish exhaust is in the way. The BMW R1200R is closer but still a naked, not a standard. Standard motorcycles dont have that ass in the air tailsection. These do. The comey R800R was shortchanged two cylinders. Where oh where has my CB1100 gone? I got the money but not to be wasted on something that will hurt my 60 yr old knees. A Concours 1400 stripped of the plastic and other b/s I dont want would be great.

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    • William says:

      I agree, Naked is not Standard. My Kawasaki w650 is a standard, the Honda and Aprilia above just look like they are missing the fairing and the footpegs are too high for me also. I was also hoping Honda would import the CB1100. Now that is a good looking standard. I do hope that these offerings sell in good numbers though, because it will give the manufacturers incentive to bring us more standard bikes.

      I am just really glad the cruiser fad is passing.

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  41. falcodoug says:

    How to be content with the black Tuono at home when there is a black Tuono V4R calling my name. It’s just not fair I tell ya.

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  42. jimbo says:

    Holly crap! I can’t believe, after all these decades despairing their absence, finally the UJM and standards in general appear to be back, and with a vengeance! Good on every street bike lover! Good on the manufacturers. Finally they confront the fact of our age demographic and the fact that the machine must perform more roles than look sexy to justify it’s existence. It took damn too long, but I’ll take it decades late anyway.

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  43. michael says:

    Ok Honda you almost have it. Give me a vfr1200 striped and full power and I’ll buy it. Heck you can even call it a Sabre, and save face frome calling that 1300 thing a Sabre.

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    • MikeD says:

      While you are at it don’t forget to ask them (very nicely tho) to remove the -20HP SINK HOLE they willingly programmed on the Fuel & Ignition Maps for 1st and 2nd gears trying to protect our own asses from “too much POWAAA”…ain’t Honda a nice bunch of people acting like “Big Brother” telling u whats best for u ? Suckers…or maybe they are affraid of law suits from future mangled up scared shitless fallen owners ? Who knows.

      Others claim to protect the 90* bevel unit coming off the output shaft from granading itself…I say B.S, wouldn’t it be higher the load on it on the higher gears(less torque multiplication) ? and yet there(3rd,4th,5th,6th) is not restricted. Go figure.

      Anyways, ask nicely and maybe they will reach for the top drawer where they keep its Balls on a Jar and then dump them inside the crankcase where they rightfully belong.LOL.

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      • PeteP says:

        Why don’t you just cross the wires at the shift drum so the computer always thinks it’s in 4th? This would eliminate any top-speed limitation, too.

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        • MikeD says:

          Thats a quick and good solution to a Restriction that have never had to be there to begin with.
          Besides, doing that messes up your Gear Position Indicator always reading 3 or 4. Has anyone come out with a solution to it?
          If people are paying so much why can’t they have their cake and eat it too? I guess thats life. LOL.

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  44. ziggy says:

    I rode a Honda 919 back in the day wen they came out, and candidly, it was the best naked I’ve ever ridden. It was understated, and I could flog that mother****** like nothing else I’d ridden other than a motard.

    I have been bashing Honda all week on their recent “all-weak” bikes. But I am forced to admit that the CB 1000 has perked up my ears. Looks decent in an understated way, oozes reliability, and with the right state of tune and farkles, should be a pavement molester par excellance!

    That new Kawi looks good to save for that craptacular exhaust (well done Honda for avoiding that).

    Now if only Yamaha could fix the FZ1….

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    • JodyZ says:

      I rode a 2002 919 for two years and 18,000 miles. I loved that bike and I’ve been drooling over this Euro-only replacement since it debuted. I’d still have the 919 if the Japanese government would have allowed me to import my Japanese motorcycle into Japan when I moved back there in 2004. With a US release on the way, I hope a JDM model isn’t far behind, but I won’t hold my breath.

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    • Tok says:

      Avoiding it? The honda exhaust is almost as bad as the Kawasaki’s. And why would you put it there and ruin the appearance of the SSA?

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      • Ruefus says:

        Where you gonna put it? Left side? The chain and swingarm are over there. Center-up? I’m sure all the spaghetti piping would look great. Ruin the appearance? You can see over 80% of the wheel. Go look at a Ducati Street Fighter.

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      • Justin says:

        I kinda like the exhaust on the CB1000R. So that’s one more person than the number that like the exhaust on the Ninja 1000.

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        • MikeD says:

          +1…but i like better one version i saw on a Hornet600 some years ago that the header pipes where all almost the same length,running closer & paralell to each other giving it a WaterFall look like the Suzuki’s Stratosphere headers.

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  45. MikeD says:

    Good Times, Good Times Indeed!
    I look forward to someday be able to afford a(lightly used) DOHC R1200R or CB1000R.

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