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2011 Honda CB1000R: MD First Ride – Part One

 

This is a very brief report on our first few days with Honda’s 2011 CB1000R. Part two will include an extensive ride review, as well as all of the specs and technical details of this bike. 

It seems that everyone has been waiting for another big naked from Honda to carry on the tradition of our Bike of the Century, the CB 750. The retro-style CB1100 is not available in this market, but it certainly caused a lot of US riders to salivate when it was announced. Honda is particularly proud of its CB lineage, of which the CB1000R is an important part. 

The CB1000R is new to the US market, but it has been available in Europe since the 2008 model was unveiled in Milan. It is an extremely modern looking naked. There is nothing retro about this bike, including the CBR1000RR – derived engine, the fully adjustable suspension, the radial mounted brakes, the single-sided swingarm and the gravity die-cast aluminum frame. 

There is nothing retro about the way this bike performs, either. We have to say that our first impressions are more than favorable. It is not that we didn’t expect something special from Honda, but this bike has been traveling under the radar to some extent, particularly since it was introduced to the European market so much earlier. 

The only thing arguably retro about this bike is the seating position. Honda knows how to nail a comfortable rider triangle, and they have done so with the CB1000R. We will have a lot more in part two. Stay tuned.

71 Comments

  1. steve says:

    yea if you own only one or 2 bikes having the flexibility that allows for high speed interstate travel as well canyon carving makes sense. I arrived at that compromise via an fz1 with its small fairing. The speed tripple i had was enormously fun but sucked blasting up to a hundred, forget about a comfortable 75 mph cruise.

  2. Norm G. says:

    since it’s part-one, i reckon these are just some quick photos. i think the bike looks brill. part ZED, part agusta, part benelli TNT. i believe there’s an unwritten rule in motorcycling thats says, anytime you have a bike with a SSA…? you always view a picture of the right-hand side before making a final decision.

  3. Eddie says:

    Yes Honda, please bring the CB1300F Super Four to the States.

    Perhaps I’m getting old, but a side for the rare exception all the new bikes of the last 5 or 6 years have left me disinterested. It seems like every recent sportbike or sporting standard has been styled by someone greatly influenced by the Transformers. And I can’t buy a bike that I think is ugly no matter how practical it maybe.

    I would imagine there are alot of aging Gen-X sportbike riders here in North America who’d like to have the option of buying a new modern sporting standard like a CB1300F.

  4. Steve D says:

    The radiator shroud cover boomerang treatment is atrocious.

    • Tom Barber says:

      My reaction was the same. At the very most, a simple minimalist cover that naturally fits the side of the radiator should be all that is needed. But the sides of the radiator itself look clean, and it doesn’t look like anything is needed to cover it at all. The hose is always the ugly part. It looks in this case that they could have done it with a constant radius making up 1/4 of a circle, and then something to cover and clean up the clamps would be all that is needed there.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The radiator shroud cover boomerang treatment is atrocious”

      but oh so convenient when hunting in the outback… :)

  5. harry says:

    MCD wont get off the motorcycle to write part two, Me thinks.

  6. Tom Barber says:

    That thing at the bottom of the headlight, presumably a circular arrangement of LEDs, reminds me waaaaaaay too much of Woody Allen in the movie Sleepers, when he wore that robot getup and had that round metal thing in his mouth.

  7. Mr. Mike says:

    I like the Cylon Centurion headlight but I’m also looking forward to the day when people and robots merge. Interesting to see this compared to a Z1000, although the $500 price difference gives it a disadvantage from the start even though it is a Honda.

  8. Neil says:

    I only sat on it but I have owned four Nighthawks so I am definitely interested in this bike. It actually really looks good in red. And the white one in Europe looks nice too. Plenty of motor. Heavy enough not to get blown all over the place on the highway. If you look at all the modern Japanese inline nakeds, they all have this futuristic look and for me it’s a good thing. It says Japan. It’s not a Bonneville. It’s not my Sportster. I had an FZ1 in 2002 and that was nice but the windscreen was not aerodynamic. I will buy one if I get the $$$ together. I am also a BIG fan of the CB1100F but…

  9. PN says:

    I saw and sat on this at the CW Int’l MC Show and liked it. The waspish headlight takes some getting used to, as does that squarish exhaust, but you can’t see either when you’re on he bike! I do hope it comes to the US. The local dealer is ordering 2 CBR 250s, which surprised me, and one is already sold, but I’m not sure they’re going to try to bring in the CBR1000. I also like the new Yamaha FZ8 and the Street Triple and the Moto Guzzi Breva 1100. Neither the FZ1 nor the new Z1000 quite do it for me.

    • Zombo says:

      It is available in the U.S. in limited quantities for pre-order only like the Yamaha Super Tenere . So if you’ve got $10,999 and want one fill out the form on the Honda Powersports website . Don’t see why Kawasaki doesn’t offer the W800 the same way , then the people serious about owning one will buy one and Kawasaki won’t be stuck with excess inventory when people claiming they’d buy one keep their money in their wallets .

      http://powersports.honda.com/2011/cb1000r.aspx

      • Mr. Mike says:

        Besides the cost of inventory, bringing a new model to the US market represents a pretty sizable investment. From what I understand the manufacturer has to do whatever the feds want them to do to get it approved, they have to commit to carrying parts for many years and they have to train their service techs. To make this pay they have to be fairly confident that they’ll be able to sell enough units to cover this investment before they even start to make a profit. Honda seems very cautious in this regard which is why they seem to stick with what works: cruisers, sport bikes, dirt bikes, tourers, and ancient cash cows like the XR650L.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Besides the cost of inventory, bringing a new model to the US market represents a pretty sizable investment. From what I understand the manufacturer has to do whatever the feds want them to do to get it approved, they have to commit to carrying parts for many years and they have to train their service techs. To make this pay they have to be fairly confident that they’ll be able to sell enough units to cover this investment before they even start to make a profit. Honda seems very cautious in this regard which is why they seem to stick with what works: cruisers, sport bikes, dirt bikes, tourers, and ancient cash cows like the XR650L.”

          YYYYAHTZEEEEE…!!!

        • Zombo says:

          @ Mr.Mike ; That’s very true . Also the currency difference between the Euro and the U.S. dollar keeps certain bikes like Honda’s new Transalp (manufactured in Italy) from coming here because of the high price it would have to be sold at which would obviously result in low sales . A friend of mine who works at a dealership and I had a discussion last week about certain models that would sell for maybe two years in the U.S. then drop off to next to nothing – the CB1100F and W800 being two of those models . So that’s another reason certain bikes aren’t brought to the U.S. , but we both agreed along with the shop owner that Honda has their head up their you know what and needs to wake up !

          @ Norm G. ; Posting drunk again I see .

  10. Nozzle says:

    Hi – my mate just got one of these. It is a very accomplished piece of kit. Its not for me though – 4cylinder motors just dont have the grunt of a twin (I am a KTM 990R Duke fan, and a RC51 rider).

    the seating position is very upright – and is slightly disconcerting in corners (elbows are extended and you feel very top-heavy) but this may just be in need of some acclimatization on my part.

    you can hustle it through the bends – but i felt that the back may (and i mean MAY) be too soft on compression (which cannot be adjusted).

    The motor is entirely linear – no power-band in site.

    Something that some folks love, and others hate (I am in the former camp) is that you do not see the bike when you are seated on it. It is like you have been strapped to the front of the Starship Enterprise and are zooming through space.

    The motor could do with more power – its putting between 102 and 109 horses on the back wheel (according to most tests – for what they are worth).

    The suspension is fairly plush – average rider represents about 47mm static sag (balanced front and rear). Stiction is low (approx 5mm).

    The styling grows on some – others love it immediately. The bike looks great in black – with the rider in black (and some white hi-lights in the leathers and helmet).

    Quality product!

    • Tom Barber says:

      So, if you take two twins and fit them to a common crank, you’ll get less grunt? Maybe its about the bore/stroke ratio rather than the number of cylinders, and maybe if the goals at the outset are for stronger low-rpm performance, it is not especially difficult to do this with four cylinders rather than two, in which case there will generally be the additional benefit of a smoother engine.

      If your elbows are extended, this probably has more to do with the angle/orientation of the grip part of the handlebar, rather than the seating position.

      All internal combustion engines have a power band, as it were, although the spread of power does of course vary considerably from one to the next.

      That sensation of feeling like you are sitting on the front edge of the bike is something that I get after riding bikes with fairings and then taking a ride on a bike with no fairing. It is an odd sensation, but you quickly get used to that. Some people prefer the way that the air flow is smooth rather than the turbulence that you almost always get with a fairing, although many newer bikes have fairings with vents that control the flow of air behind the fairing and come close to eliminating the turbulence. Rain comes through as well, but it seems a good compromise between the forcefulness of the air and the smoothness.

      I agree that 105 peak ponies at the wheel is not quite enough and that they took the re-tuning for mid-range performance a little too far. When the manufacturers do this, they almost always take it too far.

  11. Brent Meeker says:

    Somebody thinks it’s more practical because it’s detuned relative to a CBR1000RR. They’ve apparently never had to hang onto the bars of a nude (not “naked” – look up the difference) bike for a few hours on the interstate. I just don’t understand the infatuation with fairingless bikes. Highway speeds around here average 75 to 80mph. Taking the fairing off a bike is about as practical as taking the windshield out of your car.

    • DFH says:

      Why would you bias your choice of motorcycle to suit riding on the interstate? Surely the reason for buying a bike is the liberated joy of riding on an involving, unravelling ribbon of tarmac with the atmosphere swirling around you. Want to spend your time in screensaver mode on the slab contemplating cup holders? Buy a Camry… they come with windscreens.

      • Mark says:

        Obviously Brent knows what he likes, and it ain’t a Camry? Why are you worried about his choice?

        • Doc says:

          Mark, if Brent likes a windshield/fairing, there’s nothing wrong with that. But what’s wrong with having a bike without a fairing? It’s all about niche marketing today. Why not sell a bike that could be all these things? You want a sportbike? Put some rearsets, drop the bars, and put some sort of fairing on it. Voila! Want a standard? Then do nothing. Touring bike? Put a windjammer on it, bags and trunk, you have a touring bike. That’s the way it used to be. Roll your own. When I looked at a new CB750F Supersport at my local Honda dealer in 1980, it had a Windjammer fairing on it. I had them take it off before I took delivery. I didn’t want a touring bike. But alot of people bought them that way. I wonder if bike prices today wouldn’t be somewhat cheaper if there were not so many niche models.

        • DFH says:

          I’m not worried. I just don’t understand the infatuation for sticking umpteen kilograms of plastic over a motorcycle to make its operating experience more car-like on a freeway

          • Doc says:

            I feel the same way. I just purchased a W650 with 818 miles and remembered the reason I bought one in 2000. It’s a pure delight to ride and it has a timeless, classic look that most of these bikes in 5 years will look dated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Honda. Bring in the CB1100F and I’ll buy it.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I just don’t understand the infatuation with fairingless bikes. Highway speeds around here average 75 to 80mph. Taking the fairing off a bike is about as practical as taking the windshield out of your car.”

      it’s euro that’s all. those bits and pieces cost money when dropped. those bits and pieces cost money to manufacturer. those bits and pieces then add to the msrp of the vehicle. we enjoy a waaay cheaper msrp for the same bike here in america. if you think bikes are expensive…? try to buy an S1000RR cross pond and see what the “privilege of ownership” costs ya and it’ll all become clear.

  12. Joe says:

    There are alot motorcycles in this category including the Speed Triple, Yamaha F1 ,Ninja 1000 and Ducati. Other than the usual Honda hype and overly generous media coverage that Honda always gets from the moto-magazines the specs on this bike show it as an also ran.

  13. Doc says:

    From what I’ve read and seen, it’s a great bike. But, I have to be able to look at it and not get that feeling when you bite into something sour. I’ve emailed you, I’ve called you and I have even answered your questionaire on your website a few months back. Now I’m pleading with you Honda. Bring in the CB1100F and I will buy it!!!!! Hell, I’ll buy 2!!!! This thing, no matter how great, just won’t do it for me.

    • kpaul says:

      I agree Doc the CB1100F is beautiful. :) Take a risk Honda. Hell you sold that Zune or Rune thing :) This bike looks like it was designed by a committee. :(

  14. Honda Guy says:

    Hey guys just a heads up: These bikes are extremely limited due to low import quantities. Honda did do a Pre-sold unit priority fill, but still did not fill dealer’s orders. If you are interested get to your local dealer FAST! Happy Hunting!

  15. Mike says:

    Somebody has to find a cure for what is causing these tumors that pass for exhaust systems. Virtually every bike has had these abominations bolted to them in the lasr five years and it has to stop. Holy Cripes is that thing uglying up what would be a pretty cool looking bike.

    • Matt says:

      You said it. Damn the EPA, bikes don’t burn near the petrol a car does nor are there as many on the road. Bikes don’t need catalytic converters. I wonder how many pounds could be shaved off that thing without that stupid metal box under it. Or how many dollars could be saved by not having to remove that atrocity and reprogramming fuel circuts to do without it. And there is nothing attractive about angular metal rapped around a tube.

      • Tom Barber says:

        Whoa, dudes, take a couple of chill pills. The pipe itself is not unattractive, and the shape of the pipe has nothing per se to do with the catalytic converter, which is virtually hidden underneath the bike. So is Mike talking about the pipe, or the catalytic converter? Matt obviously thinks that Mike is talking about the converter, and maybe so, but the converter is virtually hidden and has nothing to do with the aesthetics of the pipe that is on the other side of the bike, not visible in these pictures, but visible in pictures that you can find elsewhere. The catalytic converter is about as moot as it could possible be. It weighs very little, and it adds very little cost. Why would it cost less to program fuel management in a bike without a converter than a bike with a converter? If you eliminate the O2 sensor then the algorithms that have to be implemented are a little simple, but this is common stuff nowadays. There isn’t much downside to a catalytic converter, but I also doubt if there is much upside, because I think that there isn’t much incremental benefit as compared to fuel injection in its simplest form, for motorcycles, given that there are far fewer of them and that they use less fuel. So there is probably not much upside, and there isn’t much downside. As such, there just isn’t anything there to get excited about one way or the other. I would just as soon that it weren’t there, and that would be my preference, but it isn’t anywhere close to the top of my list of pet peeves when it comes to motorcycles. At the top of my list are ergonomics and vibration, and the catalytic converter doesn’t even appear on the list unless I make it a long list, in which case it shows up down near the bottom of the list.

  16. Youth says:

    We need some UJM triple. In the past, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki had them even though Yamaha was only one with 4-stroke triple.

    Why not do it again? They can take 1 cylinder off 1000 cc and call it 750 triple. It worked for BMW K75.

  17. Trpldog says:

    Gentlemen – two words

    Speed Triple.

    Not a UJM.
    Triple cylinder – music to the ears.
    Wonderful flat powerband with mucho torque right off idle.
    Handles great.
    Fully adjustable suspension.
    Single-sided swingarm.
    Started riding in 1973 – the 1050 Triple is the best kept secret out there.
    Don’t take my word on it – one test ride.
    Oh, did I say it wasn’t a sanitized UJM…

    • ziggy says:

      They’re great but will never be as smooth, flexible, and reliable as this honda.

      • Trpldog says:

        Smooth? Granted, a triple will never be as smooth. But hey, I like lumpy oatmeal.

        Flexible – define flexable.

        Reliable – one Triple I personally know has over 100,000 miles on it.

        Honda, nah.

        • ziggy says:

          Flexible – linear power and lower vibration – and a much more comfortable riding position fro riders 5’9 and above.

          It is simply much easier to ride, all day, at any pace on the Honda.

          Reliable – I am not talking about aggregate miles, but the amount of servicing, cost, time, opportunity cost, time for parts sourcing, parts cost, etc. that goes with owning a Triumph vs. a Honda.

          For the most part Hondas last longer with lighter maintainance and less overall cost in a motorcycle’s lifespan.

          There’s a reason why no one else builds triples. Despite their many good qualities, the engines are more stressed than a v twin or inline 4, which lends itself to uneven metal fatigue.

          • Tom Barber says:

            Hmmm. I agree with most of what you wrote ziggy. But I’m sitting on the fence with respect to vibration in a triple vs. an in-line four. With in-line fours, you can’t even say anything absolute about the vibration unless you specific with respect to whether it has counter balancing, and even with respect to the type of counter balancing, and even on the few bikes that use dual counter-rotating balancers, there are substantial differences in the effectiveness of the implementation, particularly with respect to the FJR, wherein the implementation is wrong. I like smooth engines, but I’m not sure that an engine that is balanced is less stressed and suffers less metal fatigue. The effect is similar to what would happen if the engine block were welded to a very large, heavy truck frame such that the block did not vibrate externally. It seems likely to me that the internal forces, the contact forces at the crank bearings in particular, will likely be greater than if the engine is mounted through rubber damping blocks. And if you compare a triple with an in-line four that has no balancers at all, I’m not sure that the in-line four would be smoother. A conventional in-line four has no “rocking couple”, i.e., the vibrational modes are strictly rectilinear, to/from the crank with the plane that bisects the cylinders. The fundamental frequency of the vibration is twice the engine rpm. A triple on the other is more like a boxer twin. The rectilinear vibration mode doesn’t occur, owing to the 120 degree spacing of the crank throws. It is like half of an in-line six. An in-line six has neither rectilinear vibration nor the other mode that is usually referred to as a “rocking couple”. If you take the three cylinders at one end, you still avoid the rectilinear vibration that occurs at fundamental frequency equal to twice the rpm, but you no longer have the two ends of the aggregate piston mass both moving away from the crank in unison and toward the crank in unison, so you get the rocking effect, similar to a boxer twin, although in theory not as strong as with a boxer twin.

  18. Stinky says:

    Now we’re talkin’. I’ve always loved these, Honda made some VERY good ones. Don’t seem to sell very well. I’m one of the culprits. I didn’t buy a new 919 either. I hope the price is right and they sell, doubt it though. It’d be a tough choice between, Monster, Speed/Street Triple. Wish they’d bring back a naked RC51.

    • MikeD says:

      They HAD a hell of a stout power plant/chasis combo on the RC51…all they needed was to work it and flex it and chanel it into various segments.
      Standard, Half-Faired Standard, Supermoto, Sport Tourer…u get the drift.

      A Man can always dream…(o_o )’

      On a related Note, They should export to the USA the CB1300 (Both Naked and Half Faired).

    • Bocker says:

      I bought the 919, loved it for 24k miles, sold it, regretted it, bought another and still have it. Now I’m seriously considering selling it to pick up one of these bad boys.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Wish they’d bring back a naked RC51″

      i wish they’d bring back the regular RC51. i swear, if HRC continued with the same development cycle as the now 1198 (SP3, SP4, SP5, etc.) i’m convinced ducati would not have had everything their own way in WSBK after ’02.

  19. Zuki says:

    It looks unattractive in these photos. I like the CB1000 from the 90s. I would not buy this new CB1000 but I’d definitely buy the CB1100!

  20. Tom Barber says:

    This appears to be an interesting bike, and certainly more practical than the CBR1000RR. A modest shift from peak power to more available power at lower rpm is a good thing, but usually when manufacturers do this they take it too far. Because doesn’t publish peak power and peak torque numbers, we can’t compare with the CBR1000RR and get a sense of how far they went with this.

    Yeah, the handlebar reach is improved somewhat over what you get with the likes of the CBR1000RR, but it still won’t come within a country mile of what would honestly qualify as a comfortable reach to the handlebar. And the foot pegs appear to be set very high. And the seat does not look like it will be especially comfortable except of course in comparison with the likes of the CBR1000RR. And the passenger seat is virtually nonexistent.

    But then I suppose that it would not have made sense to have made something too much like the Interceptor. And likewise there is that new bike derived from the Interceptor, but thus far there is no commitment from Honda to sell it in the USA.

    I like the single-sided swingarm, and even though the pipe looks odd, I like it.

    We still don’t have any new information from Honda about the concept bike derived from the VFR1200F. That seemed a very interesting bike, but if they have any plans for it to be a production bike, they are being tight-lipped about it. Even better would be that bike but with the engine scaled down to something around 800cc.

    Unless and until we see that bike derived from the VFR1200F, the most interesting new offering from Honda remains the Crossrunner, derived from the Interceptor, except there is no commitment from Honda to bring it here. And if they do bring it here, and notwithstanding that it will be the most interesting new offering from Honda, it isn’t especially attractive, and it is heavier than it ought to be, and you get that funky VTEC that just about everyone dislikes. If they would ditch the VTEC and take some of the extra weight off that bike, it would no doubt be an excellent, practical motorcycle. But we can’t buy it, so it is moot.

    • ilikefood says:

      Well, how far would Honda have to go with tuning the CBR1000RR engine before the take it “too far”? How much power does the CBR1000RR make? 160HP? Even if they detuned it to 120HP, or even 100HP, that’s still plenty of power for the street. So the re-tuning or de-tuning won’t be a problem.

      • Tom Barber says:

        This sort of thing is entirely subjective, but generally when manufacturers re-tune an engine for mid-range performance, they give up too much peak power, at least for my preferences. But I agree that 160 hp at the crank is probably more peak power than I would find especially useful. Per the typical sort of re-tuning that manufacturers do, the peak power would probably drop to perhaps 110 hp, and for me that is too much. For this sort of bike and considering the size of the engine, if were tuned to where peak power drops to around 130 hp, I expect that this would be in the ball park for the sort of balanced performance that suits me.

  21. Dean says:

    I’m not sold on the headlight… Why does it remind me of some Cyborg from Buck Rodgers???

    I AM sold on the rest of the bike… Power, Handling, Comfort (relatively)… Nice!

    Can’t wait for the full review. Love the site!

    • Gary says:

      Looks like Honda is copying Victory on the headlight thing. That mess under the bike (cat converter) is complements of the US gov’t probably which won’t make much if any of a difference in clean air, and just make them more expensive. Yea, I know, all bike manufacturers have to put up with that.

      • Bud says:

        Wouldn’t want to see motorcyclists do their part to reduce pollution. Come on, Gary, those days are over.

      • Tom R says:

        If that “mess” under the bike was some sort of performance enhancement device istead of a cat converter, would it then be considered more attractive?

        Really, is it not too much to ask that each of us do our own little part for cleaner air? My last five bikes have had catalytic converters, and if it were not for the fact that the published specs and brochures pointed this out…I would not have even known it. This technology is pretty much seamless.

        • Zuki says:

          Catalytic converters are a band-aid fix from the 1970s that were literally only intended to be a temporary fix. Why not come up with superior combustion inside the cylinder and eliminate the need? Cats are lazy engineering in my opinion, and yes they are ugly and heavy.

          • MGNorge says:

            I’m not sure that superior combustion is attainable beyond what is now known? If anyone could clean up an engine without a catylist it would be Honda. There are just certain combustion byproducts that result from the combustion process. You have to keep in mind the costs. If it was even possible, at what cost? Would you want to buy if this raised the cost of a bike like this by a $1000? $2000?

          • Zuki says:

            The air-cooled Buells were getting by without them and meeting strict European emission requirements that other bikes needed a cat to pass. Buell gave credit to a very efficient combustion chamber design. I think the higher temps of the air-cooled engine’s combustion chamber helped a lot too. I’m sure a direct-injected liquid-cooled engine could be designed to get by without one. If not, then I wonder if there could be a better after-the-fact (combustion) solution? Don’t the cats themselves cost quite a bit to manufacture?

        • Neil says:

          Why do WE bikers have to clean the air when we already get 30+ – 50+ miles per gallon? It’s all the wives driving HUGE S U V’s all over the place that are the problem. Why do we, well not ME, accept so many SUV’s? To say that a bike needs a catalytic is like the 300+ pound guy with the burger and fries in his hands asking for better healthcare.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “The air-cooled Buells were getting by without them and meeting strict European emission requirements that other bikes needed a cat to pass. Buell gave credit to a very efficient combustion chamber design. I think the higher temps of the air-cooled engine’s combustion chamber helped a lot too.”

          hmmn, interesting comment zuki. going to have to look into that. like honda, BMW is another company who one would think would be able to accomplish such a feat IF it were possible…? and they’ve been “catting” their bike before “catting” was cool. thanks to car-side (which they also have) far and away more experience regarding 2-wheeled implementation than any other manufacturer. the modern air/oil cooled boxers are an example. rumor was a few years back that they were thinking about axing the historic flat-twin from the line-up (blasphemy) due to increasing emmissions standards that it would not be able to meet without a costly re-tool for water cooling…? last i heard, they were going to bite the bullet and redesign for water…?

    • Tom Barber says:

      This is an interesting discussion, with several insightful comments.

      I don’t see any sort of mess under the bike, and to my eye there is nothing ugly about the pipe on this bike. In fact, so far as these newer short/fat pipes go, this is possibly the only one that I find attractive. Unfortunately, you can’t see it here, because both pictures are of the same side of the bike.

      In order for catalytic converters to work correctly, the mixture ratio has to be nearly perfect. The bulk of the improvement in emissions is correctly attributable to fuel injection under computerized control, in its simplest form. If the catalytic converter is omitted, and even if the O2 sensors are omitted and the fuel injection is managed sans feedback, the reduction in unburned HC (and in NOx in the case of an engine running lean) should be nearly as good as what it is when O2 sensors and catalytic converters are used. I realize that “nearly as good” is not exact, and I would be inclined to say “nine-tenths as good”, but I do not know exactly how much incremental improvement typically results from using catalytic converters (which require O2 sensors and the use of closed-loop management, because you can’t burn up the smidgen of left over HC unless the left over HC and the left over O2 are in the right relative amounts). Suffice to say that the incremental improvement that you get, when you add catalytic converters and O2 sensors and feedback to the computer algorithm, is minor in comparison to the improvement that you get simply from replacing the carburetor with fuel injection done in the simplest possible manner.

      In a highly congested urban area, the aggregate benefit from using catalytic converters on cars and trucks is no doubt significant. With motorcycles however I question whether the incremental benefit is at all significant. In any typical urban area motorcycles are probably responsible for about 1% of the HC that gets burned. If they are all equipped with fuel injection in its simplest form, they probably will contribute roughly that same percentage to the total amount of unburned HC and leftover CO (carbon monoxide).

      So they probably don’t improve matters appreciably, but on the other hand the cost is nearly negligible. The typical catalytic converter used in the typical motorcycle probably adds no more than $25 to the manufacturing cost of the bike, certainly less than $50. You can buy full-size replacement catalytic converters for cars for not much more than $50.

      So they probably don’t accomplish much, and they don’t add appreciably to the cost of the bike. In cold climates in the cold seasons they help to keep your feet warm. In the summer the effect is the opposite. What is needed is a by-pass tube with simple flaps that you can control.

  22. Donkeymansteve says:

    Another Speed Triple copy.

  23. Tom says:

    Though it doesn’t look like a Harley knucklehead, it’s not ugly. Looks nice and comfortable and about ideal for ripping around town and commuting. What’s the price?

  24. Randall says:

    I really like the looks of this bike and it was pretty much the only Honda that interests me these days…the problem was that it’s much smaller than I expected. I’m 6’1″ and it was just too small. I’m not saying I wanted it to be as big as the old CB1000 but….

  25. Philip says:

    Cool! Can’t wait to read more!

  26. alex says:

    Cool bike! I wouldn’t change a thing, other than my inability to purchase a motorcycle due to insufficient funds. I’m wearing a wooden barrel held up by suspenders as I type this.

    • Tom Barber says:

      Well, if it was really that bad, you’d be using an old rope instead of suspenders to hold the barrel.

  27. ziggy says:

    This bike looks dull. Just like the 919 did. The 919 was among many bikes I rode and by far it was the most underrated. I’ll bet anything Honda has made this to be flogged. Rip that tial sectiion off and a few performance mods, and we’ll have a real winner here.

  28. Mickey says:

    oooh now you’re talking my language. I loves big I-4’s and I love Hondas. Although esthetically I’d prefer the CB1100F I wouldn’t kick this bike out of the garage for rolling over a cracker.

    Waiting anxiously for the ride report.

  29. Pablo says:

    Why is US only just getting this bike now? We have had this bike in Australia since late 2008. I owned one for just under two years and can asure everyone that its a great bike to live with. I droped a tooth on the front sprocket fitted a muffler which turned it from a very good bike to a great bike. I would encourage MD to give these simple mods a try as it realy does make this bike a masive difference to the bikes “punch” off the line and out of corners. Makes wheelies a lot easier too!

    • Dave says:

      The 2008+ model was made in Honda’s plant in Italy. Buying with the dollar against the Euro meant it would’ve been $15k USD, too much to sell well against the competition at lower prices. I don’t know what they’ve done (set up production somewhere else, take the loss in the shorts..) but it’s thankfully coming here. I think it’s a great looking bike but I’ve read it’s pretty heavy (over 500lb.).