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2011 Honda CB1000R: MD First Ride-Part Two

Honda has taken some flak recently for a relative dearth of new US models. But it has tried to redeem itself of late, particularly with the new CBR250R. “New” is a relative term. There was plenty of excitement when Honda announced the CB1000R back in 2007 in Milan, but the bike has been sold in Europe since that time without any importation to the US market. Should we get excited about Honda’s decision to bring a three-year-old model to the US for 2011?

Motorcycle manufacturers develop their own personalities. I’ve been riding long enough, and ridden enough motorcycles, that I sometimes feel I could identify a manufacturer if I could ride a new bike blindfolded (not recommended). I might be able to tell you it is a Honda, for instance, based on the sensations I get, some of which are hard to put into words.

Honda built a reputation with my generation, as well as many younger riders, based on thoroughness in both engineering and design. That quality came through when you rode Hondas. All other things being equal, there was a certain sense of refinement and ease-of-use. The bikes were not always the fastest, or the most exciting to ride, but the sense of predictability and seamless performance was more often appreciated on two wheels. A Honda Accord might bore an enthusiast automobile driver, but an open-class Honda motorcycle could blow a Porsche Turbo off the road, and the added sense of control was a big plus for most riders. So much so that Honda motorcycles developed fierce brand loyalty. An emotional state frequently expressed by our readers, although sometimes more recently in the form of frustration or disappointment (… “Honda doesn’t care about motorcycles anymore” or “Honda doesn’t care about the US market anymore …”). That loyalty is often grounded in riding experiences aboard Honda Standards, i.e., the “CB” family.

Is that heritage evident in the 2011 CB1000R? Somewhat to our surprise, and delight, it certainly is. First, let’s talk about the technical details.

Honda likes to purpose-build its engines. In the past, it rarely took an engine from a sport bike and put it in a different model, for instance, but that philosophy changed with the development of the CB1000R. The market was demanding standard-style motorcycles ( “nakeds”, if you will) with sport bike-spec engines and chassis elements. Honda intended to meet this demand with the introduction of the CB1000R.

The engine is directly derived from an earlier-generation CBR1000RR. Displacing 998cc, the fuel injected, in-line, four-cylinder features four valves per cylinder and a compression ratio of 11.2 to 1. Power is delivered through a relatively close-ratio six speed transmission.

A gravity die-cast aluminum frame designed specifically for this model carries a single-sided swingarm and, for Honda certainly, modern and somewhat daring styling that surprised enthusiasts when the traditionally conservative company unveiled the bike in Milan.

The suspension is also more sport bike than traditional “standard” in its specification. A 43 mm fork is fully adjustable for compression, rebound and spring preload, while the rear shock has spring preload and rebound damping adjustments. The brakes are beefy-looking 310 mm discs in front, clamped by radial-mount calipers, and a single disc in back. There is no ABS, and no link function between the rear and front brakes.

Honda claims the curb weight (with all fluids, including a full tank of gas) is 485 pounds. This is very close to the claimed 481 pound curb weight of the Kawasaki Z 1000. Not stellar, but not too bad when you consider that the four-an-a-half gallon gas tank means the bike starts out at a claimed dry weight south of 450 pounds.

The ergonomics of the CB1000R are again representative of careful development by Honda. We had three different test riders, ranging in height from roughly 5’6″ to close to 6 feet tall, and each of them commented on the comfortable ergonomics. None of the modern naked bikes have a completely traditional standard – style seating position. Typically, the pegs are much higher these days, but we were pleased to find more than adequate legroom on the CB1000R, and pegs that felt lower than some of the competition. The handlebar also put each of our test riders in a near perfect, semi- upright riding position for a fast un-faired bike.

Compared to many open-class naked bikes, Honda went with a smaller 5 1/2 inch rear rim with a 180- section rear tire ( as opposed to the 190s found on some of the other bikes in the class). We felt this had a beneficial impact on the bike’s handling. In keeping with the CB tradition, the CB1000R is very easy to ride. Clutch action while pulling away from a stop is smooth and predictable, and the bike has ample, usable low-end power that seems to build smoothly until the bike hits its power peak at roughly 10,000 RPM.

The superbike-derived motor has tuning for street use, and is plenty fast, but hardly intimidating. We did not put our test unit on the Dyno, but our seat-of-the-pants assessment lines up with several dynamometer runs we have seen for this model in Europe. Expect roughly 110 hp at the rear wheel. This is delivered below 10,000 RPM, however, whereas a very healthy 600 supersport might deliver similar peak horsepower somewhere north of 13,000 RPM. We certainly weren’t complaining about a lack of power when we were riding it. The smooth throttle response allowed us to get on the gas relatively early coming out of corners, and this certainly added to the fun we had carving corners.

It was the handling of the bike, quite frankly, that blew us away. The CB1000R has a very light, nimble feeling. It features a fluid, almost effortless transition from upright to full-lean in corners … seemingly reading your mind as you flip the bike through a series of bends. We don’t doubt that much of this has to do with careful mass centralization by Honda, and the purpose-built frame that, through the use of the special die-casting method, features variable wall thicknesses and relatively light weight.

It also has much to do with the suspension settings and tires chosen by Honda. The OEM Bridgestone BT-015 tires seem to have that perfect profile that allows the bike to roll side-to-side so smoothly, and predictably. The suspension was excellent. Once we slowed the rebound of both the fork and the shock slightly, and added one click of additional spring preload in the back, we were in heaven. One of our test riders owns the current model Honda CBR1000 RR, and he commented more than once that our test bike had suspension settings, compliance and control superior to that he found on his own motorcycle. The ergonomics and handlebar placement also play into the handling equation, of course. Slowing down for that next corner entry was a piece of cake with the responsive powerful brakes. Together with the nimble feeling on twisty tarmac, the bike was rock steady at higher speeds in a straight line.

Like any other open class naked, lots of motor and speed combined with a relative lack of wind protection to make the bike uncomfortable for long stints on the freeway. We found ourselves looking online for aftermarket fly screens (and there are plenty) to take that wind pressure off the rider’s chest.

So who is the CB1000R for? Is it for traditionalists, who are begging Honda to bring over the CB1100 and its twin rear shocks, complete with a near perfect retro design? Is it for aging sport bike enthusiasts who want a more comfortable riding position? Is it for all those “Honda guys” who have been dreaming about the perfect “Honda standard”? Or is it simply for all those riders who think they might like a new, fast CB with modern engineering and styling … hold the Retro?

We can’t answer these questions for you, or for other potential customers.  Nor can we counsel you on your sense of rejection, or that “jilted boyfriend” feeling you may have over Honda’s perceived recent neglect of your motorcycling needs.  We can only tell you that this is a fast, comfortable, fun motorcycle that made all of our riders smile and laugh . . . and that I could immediately identify it as a Honda if I rode it blindfolded.

Take a look at Honda’s website for additional details and specifications for the 2011 CB1000R.  It is available in one color (shown) at a U.S. MSRP of $10,999.

CB1000R With Aftermarket Slip-On Exhaust

65 Comments

  1. Lorry says:

    I own a CB1000R, got it new Oct 2010 fitted with Oggy Knobbs, Akra ‘Open’ pipe without the baffle and Power Com V, and Givi tank bag that uses a bracket bolted onto the fuel cap. I had the 2005 CB900 Hornet and loved it but had a few issues high weight and throttle, tested the CB1000R felt so smooth, quick and easy to ride. Great handling, brakes, ergos and looks really good especially now it has the Akra pipe, have heaps of photos of my bike everywhere I go.
    I went for a ride over the weekend nice sunny weather my partner on her VTR 250 so I must ride slow and I still had a great time. I have done 7hr rides through the country side on open roads and quick rides in the city and the bike just does it, want to ride fast twist the wrist or just cruise put it up a gear, the bike can do it all and still be comfortable with good fuel economy 250km per tank.
    If you like the bike buy it. If you if don’t get something else.

  2. MarkT says:

    I really wanted to like this bike. Were I blind, I would!
    The bike has too many incongruent styling elements: The wheels, the “exhaust” and the space-age bodywork all dont fit together. The other issue is the lone, lame color.

    Here is a thought: Try the wheel style off the new VFR, the exhaust style off the Diaval and get rid of the lame body work…and build it in Nitro Yell orLime Green…Orange, even…

    It will nor happen, but a Speed Tripple will!

  3. Craig says:

    Honda Guy says “good luck” Good luck indeed, Honda Guy.

  4. KAWZIES says:

    Honda made a nice clone here of a second generation Z1000 a year AFTER the 3rd generation has been out. Why buy this instead? I see absolutely no reason. The Z also handles great but to coin a Brit phrase it has a STONKING powerplant that provides more than just 110 horses. 11 grand for this thing? No one’s gonna buy ‘em. Too weak, too expensive, too late to jump on the naked bandwagon. The doddering old farts at Honda strike again, with a wet noodle. Honda-For Those Who Want Reliability And a Scosh of Fun!!!

  5. Tom Barber says:

    I’m in the mood to opine some more. Engineering and design evolve over time. As time progresses, it becomes possible to do things in a way that is functionally better, and at a practical cost, whereas to do the same thing several decades earlier would have been prohibitively costly. Okay, the exhaust pipe on this bike has a somewhat slab-like appearance. But for me the thing that stands out is the functional improvement of a pipe that is tucked in out of the way. Pipes are like plumbing in that they are inherently unattractive, and the challenge is with how to sculpt them into something aesthetically pleasing or else find some way to hide them. In recent years manufacturers have experimented with placing the pipe up under the seat, especially for bikes with single-sided swingarms. But the disadvantage of that is manifest, except of course to Eskimos. This is an alternative approach, and it seems to me that from a functional standpoint, it is by far the best solution. The pipe is no longer in the way, and the rider does not have to sit directly on it. It is tucked in cleanly, smartly taking advantage of space that is available to be taken advantage of. The lower edge of the bike looks cleaner than a typical bike looks. It is not converted into a thing of beauty in the way that many pipes on many bikes are, but it is not overtly ugly in the way that dirty, rusty, exposed plumbing with welding seams and clamps is overtly ugly. All in all, I think it is a very smart, practical solution.

    I don’t mean to hammer on endlessly on the same point. I just think that this deserves to be said and said well, better than I said it previously.

    • Mickey says:

      Tom, I have to assume that if Akrapovak can make a pipe (bolt on) as attractive as they have, that the mfg, in this case Honda, could also make an equally attractive pipe (bolt on) and still meet noise requirements. I would suggest a little less up sweep than the Akra to clear for soft or hard bags, but not so much as to block the axle for easy wheel removal. Refuse to believe that this can’t be accomplished by someone with the rescources and engineering that these mfgs have. I too am not one to change pipes on a bike. The last one was on an early 80′s GS1100E, but I soon realized I couldn’t stand all that noise all the time. My current bikes a 2000 Honda 750 Nighthawk, a 2001 FZ-1 Yamaha and a 2006 Honda ST 1300 all have the stock exhaust and none of them are unattractive to me. Honda has done it before, certainly they can do it again…make decent looking pipes that is. I also refuse to believe, from an aesthetic stand point, that you find this pipe attractive.

  6. jamie says:

    i like that underside muffler guard, would double great as a snow shovel in the winter months.

    • Tom Barber says:

      Because that is the cover for the catalytic converter, it will probably be just as effective as now removal if you remove the cover, because then it will simply melt the snow as you move along.

  7. Captain Incredulous says:

    I own one of these bad boys and it’s by far the best bike I’ve ever owned. It’s the perfect all-rounder and it never fails to get me grinning like a lobotomy patient on crack when I flick that throttle. I’m used to naked bikes (had a tricked out XB12s Buell until recently) so the wind pressure isn’t much of an issue to me (even though it only really becomes noticeable above 190km/h). The only bike that will potentially knock the CB1000R off top slot for me is the new generation Z1000, but I haven’t ridden one (the fuel tank is too tiny IMHO) so I can’t comment on how it is. A buddy of mine is dead keen on the new Z1000 and reckons it’s the best thing he’s ever ridden…but he hasn’t ridden my CB1000R…;-D

    For all you guys whining about top-end power….you just don’t get this kind of bike…and most likely never will. It’s about having grunt EVERYWHERE…not just at the howling top-end. It’s about coming out of a corner in any gear and being able to twist the throttle and get response and amazing handling. Stick to drag-racing Busa’s….it will save me having to pass you in the twisties… ;-D

    Captain Incredulous

    • neil says:

      Well said, Captain. It looks fun to me and far better than my Nighthawks, Kawi ZR750, Buell M2 or Yamaha FZ1. I like naked bikes and I like the modern angles of the 1000R and I am from the 60′s!

  8. Pablo says:

    I can’t believe there are people on this forum whinging about the $10,990 price tag. We have this bike in Aus for a few years now and the best discounted price i have seen is $15,000! Also take into consideration that $1 AUS dollar buys 1.07 US dollars and you can start to apriciate how lucky you guys are in the good ol USA. $10,990 is a bargain!
    The exhaust looks a lot better in the flesh than in the pics and a fender eliminator realy looks great on the CB1000R.
    The price makes me want to move to the USA ;)

  9. ROXX says:

    It’s amazing to me that so many of you lose focus on that exhaust (which most of you would replace anyway) when Honda left a hideous excuse for a passenger seat on this thing.
    Come on Honda; a MotoGP style tail section on a Standard style bike???

  10. Don S. says:

    Come on, Tom B. You don’t find the exhaust, “The least bit unattractive”? Man, I wouldn’t repeat that once, let alone twice, like you did above!

    • Tom Barber says:

      Hey Don S., I feel at liberty to reiterate that I do not find the exhaust the least bit unattractive. Just for you, because you’re special!

  11. Eric says:

    I saw this bike at the IMS a few months back – very nice. Only problem, is that it’s a bit small for my dorky frame. Did like it though as it was comfortable – just not much room to spare for luggage/passengers/beer coolers :-)

  12. Scott says:

    I’m truly sick of these angular, faceted, transformer style bikes. Good motor, frame, suspension, ergos–wonderful! Now just put a smooth tank and tail, big round headlight and exhaust on it and sell ‘em.

  13. Gene says:

    I thought it looked nice in person when I saw it at the DC show. A single-sided swingarm is just classy. But I think I will wait for a comparison with its rivals before making any decisions. That is unless I decide that I want some fairing and I just get a Ninja 1000.

  14. Michael says:

    Good write up.

    I’d have to see one in person before I judge it. It’s pretty ugly in photos.

    “Retuned for midrange”, how often do you hear that? I believe this version of the ’04-’07 1000RR motor is down at least 35 peak horsepower. Why on Earth do they go through the trouble to do that?

    • Tom Barber says:

      That would mean that the ’04 – ’07 had 145 hp at the wheel. I don’t have the numbers at my disposal and I’m too ornery to take the time to try and sort it out, but you’re probably very close to the correct number. Personally I think that they get carried away with re-turning for enhanced mid-range performance. But there are certainly perfectly good reasons for doing it without reason, and it would be impossible to judge fairly without having actually ridden the bike. If I were to bet, I would bet that if I rode it I would wish that it had more peak power. But I also like that feel of instant acceleration you get when the engine is just loafing along in a high gear at low speed and you just barely move the grip. So it might be good. Only a test ride will reveal accurately. Even with the re-tuning, the peak power is probably comparable to a late ’80s CBR1000 Hurricane. Maybe.

  15. Dirck Edge says:

    Added two photos of the exhaust side at the end of the article, including one with an Akropovic slip-on attached. The top photo is a severe, peg-grinding lean angle that you will never see under normal circumstances, unless you are taking photos of the bike mid-corner like we did.

    • Tom Barber says:

      Thanks for adding the extra photos. You can see that the stock pipe isn’t quite as conspicuous as it seemed in the other photos where the bike was leaned over. The broad surface that is exposed when the bike is leaned over, faces mostly toward the ground and is not obvious. It makes a big difference. I think the stock pipe is clean, attractive, and exceedingly practical. It will be especially appreciated when it comes time to replace the tire. The Akropovic makes a nice alternative for people who don’t like the stock setup and are inclined to replace it. To my eye, the stock pipe presents a much, much cleaner appearance, especially along the low edge of the middle section of the bike.

      • eddie says:

        disappointed to see that the Akro pipe also uses the passenger footpeg, which is one of the first things id want removed

    • Tom Shields says:

      Thanks, Dirck. It looks much better with the Akro slip-on.

      I notice that the bottom of the stock pipe cover is painted black to minimize its bulk.

    • Dave says:

      Look at the way Honda chose to mount the catalytic converter to the even ends of the header. A proper slip-on would connect there,eliminating the cat. and saving real weight/adding real power. Honda is “begging” us to do it. :-)

  16. Brian says:

    yup.. That slip on makes a huge difference.. Just lose that monster of a license plate holder and I would be wishing I had 11K to drop.. I grew up a Honda guy and this bike is the first one in a while that has caught my eye..

    • DHill says:

      I have to parrot Brian’s comments, every iota. I used to nearly worship Honda, but they’ve prompted nothing but yawns from me for too many years.

      The cartoonish appearance that so many motorcycles have taken on in the last decade has only made more of a traditionalist out of me, but this bike has just enough conventionality to catch my eye, and pique an interest otherwise long-buried.

  17. Steve says:

    I like the stock pipe. That aftermarket slip on looks and sounds ratty. It’s hard to beat factory tuned exhaust by professional engineers. It’s easy to find a dealer that will sell you something for hundreds of dollars that is chock full of compromises you don’t really want though.

    • Tom Barber says:

      I totally agree. I’ve never been able to appreciate the after-market pipe business. Maybe you lose a few pounds, but not enough to be worth the trouble. Maybe you get a little improvement in performance, but when so, it is mostly just a couple of percent at the top end, that results from shifting the power band to higher rpm, and which hurts the “drivability”. Usually they are louder, which is my gripe. I’ve changed seats and handlebars and fairings and have installed heated grips and made other changes that took lots of time, but the only time that I ever had any inclination to replace a stock pipe, the reason was so that it would tilt up less in the rear and make more room for side luggage.

      • harryfxr says:

        Are you two serious I mean really you are kidding aren’t you. The stock pipe on my Honda XR 600 was heavier, power robbing and fit very poorly compared to the FMF system I replaced it with. The exhaust note while a few dB’s louder then stock is completely acceptable unless you don’t like the sound of a 4T single. Also I can guarantee you that Donnie Emler has professional engineers working for him particularly since they develop OEM exhausts for many manufacturers.

        • falcodoug says:

          I am with you Harry. The only bike I have ever left the stock pipe on was an older BMW.

  18. Motowarrior says:

    Has it really taken Honda 10 years to put out a 2001 Yamaha FZ-1? With 15 fewer horses at the rear wheel?

  19. Tom Barber says:

    Kudos to Dirck for an excellent write-up. This article is top shelf in every respect. He set the stage with a very good discussion of what Honda means to a whole generation of Honda fans, and the discussion of the bike itself had a lot of useful insight and detail. This article is at least the caliber of the articles in the most popular printed magazines you find on the newsstand. Thanks, Dirck.

    One thing that I would like to mention, specifically to everyone who has commented on the pipe being unattractive, is that motorcycledaily has gone out of the way to reveal the pipe in the pictures they gave us this time, possibly overcompensating for the fact that in Part 1, none of the pictures were of that side of the bike. In all of the pictures that you see here, of that side of the bike, the bike is leaned over such that the pipe seems a good deal larger and more conspicuous than when the bike is more nearly upright. If you search for other pictures elsewhere, and find one where the bike is more nearly upright, you will see what I mean.

    Personally, I think that this pipe has a clean look. It seems to be tucked in for the most part, giving a cleaner profile than occurs with the conventional placement, and without it being stuck up under the seat. It seems to me a good, practical solution, especially in consideration of the single-sided swingarm. It will be especially appreciated when it becomes necessary to remove the wheel for tire replacement. It is very practical, and to my eye at least, very clean. I expect that as time goes on, many people who are indifferent to it at first will come to like it, and those who do not like it at first will likely develop indifference to it.

    Interestingly, the forward 3/4 of what seems at first to be the pipe, looks like a shroud, in which case it will be both functional and cosmetic. If so, it probably is not difficult to remove the shroud, but personally I would not be inclined to do that unless what you see with it removed looks as clean as what you see with it on. I am curious to know what is behind that shroud, especially since the whole thing is roughly centered at the location of the catalytic converter. Presumably, the air exiting from the converter takes a path that initially goes to the front end of whatever is behind that shroud.

    The part that I would be most inclined to remove is the goofy boomerang shaped pieces on the side of the radiator. And there appears to be lots of other smallish pieces of plastic stuck on here and there, that collectively give the bike a cluttered look, and that I would do without except that if you remove all that stuff, it will look even worse. I don’t think that they did a particularly good job with all this cosmetic stuff. I see the same thing with the Crossrunner.

    This strikes me as a nice bike overall, and certainly a more desirable bike than the likes of the CB1100. I can take or leave the retro styling of the CB1100, even though its particular flavor of retro styling is not an especially good flavor to my taste. But I just don’t like that old-fashioned tubular cradle frame, nor the dual rear shocks on either side of the bike, nor the air-cooled engine for that matter.

    The CB1000R is very definitely a nice offering from Honda, and for most riders a more practical alternative to the CBR1000RR. I think that the Crossrunner is an even more practical bike for most people, even though there are aspects of it that annoy.

    It is probably silly to even mention the CBR1100XX in the same breath as these bikes, but it needs to be said that none of these bikes come within a country mile of measuring up the CBR1100XX, which has not been sold in the USA in seven or perhaps eight years. Manufacturing of the XX was halted completely three or four years ago. Dirck wrote about Honda’s reputation for thoroughness in engineering and design, and if any one model in their history epitomizes more than any other, it has to be the XX. With aftermarket handlebars, windscreen, and Givi side luggage, it was an comparable high-speed touring machine, and in the right hands, could carve canyons with the best of them. It goes without saying that Honda would not have halted production of this bike if the sales had not declined, which says that people who bought it mostly wanted the very fastest bike and bought Kawasaki or Suzuki instead. This is unfortunate. The XX was a greatly misunderstood bike. Honda really, really should have offered a variant of it set up at the factory more for touring. Instead, we got the ST1300, which was more like a Goldwing than a sport bike. I don’t begrudge Honda for the ST1300, and I can understand why many people like it, but I think that it was a horrific mistake on Honda’s part to not have spent a little bit of money to test the waters with a more touring-oriented version of the CBR1100XX.

  20. Mr. Mike says:

    I must be getting old or totally out of touch. MSRP of $10,999 for a UJM is waaay out of line…

  21. Jamo says:

    It’s not for me. I’d prefer a little wind protection, like on the Tiger or the Suzuki 1250 or even the Kawi. And I don’t like the looks or getting it three years after Europe for a new bike price.

    • Neil says:

      It “looks” modern like a knife cutting through the wind. This is 2011 after all. I would like the CB1100F myself but I am from the 60′s. The Bandit, Tiger and the Kawi Ninja are all quite a bit heavier. Naked is more motorcycle and less car for me.

      • John H. says:

        Really? The Tiger 1050 weighs(wet) about 15lbs more… and that’s with ABS, bags, and more fuel.

  22. Eric says:

    I still ride the Honda 919 that I bought a few years ago… partially based on Dirk’s own review of the 919 on this site. I was pleased to discover the review was pretty much spot on, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting on MD’s review of the CB1000R.

    It sounds like it would make a great replacement for my 919, but I still can’t decide between the CB, the Speed Triple and the Z1000.

    But, Dirk, I gotta call you out on one thing… Honda “rarely” uses sport bike engines in other models? Really? The Hornet (599 stateside) has a CBR600RR motor. The 900RR donated the motor for my 919. Some markets (mostly Europe I think) get the XL1000V Varadero, which uses the liter twin from the Superhawk. Europe gets a few additional variations of softly tuned CBR engined bikes like the CBF1000, CBF600, etc. And now the CB1000R, obviously. In fact, I’d venture to say that Honda does this sort of thing more than other Japanese manufacturers (How many non GSXR’s have GSXR sourced engines?)

    • Neil says:

      Z1000 – Grunt has been bumped from 125 horsepower to 138 horsepower (at 9,600 rpm), and torque improved from 72.7 lb-ft to 81.1 lb-ft (at 7,800 rpm.) – so it has more than the Honda. I actually liked the lazy power of my Nighthawk 750 when compared to the nervous power of the first generation Z1000 that I tested. I felt like the throttle would open itself over the smallest bump in the road. So I like Honda power.

  23. Mickey says:

    Another viable option for replacing my aging gen 1 FZ-1. Price is right in line with the Ninja 1000 and they seem to have similar weights, horse power and final drive. The Honda does have the ugliest muffler so far IMO.

    Dirck, I think some valuable info that would add to your ride reports, would be a passenger report (some of us do have spouses that like to ride along, and knowing how the rear accomodations are would be great) and also taking a look and seeing how hard it would be for us to get to the oil filter, drain plug, do a chain adjustment or replace spark plugs, ie: do common serices ourselves. Just a thought.

  24. Neil says:

    The horsepower and torque are close to a Honda 919 and FAR from the 178 HP of the new CBR1000RR, so if one wants that performance, they won’t get it here. And why not just get a 919? – That being said, I sat on the CB1000R at the New York Motorcycle Show and I liked it. I like the edgy look. Yes, I am from the 60′s and I like the retro CB750 of old and bikes like the Kawasaki W800 that we are not getting and the CB1100F that we are not getting. – The CB1100F addresses the issue of high pegs. This CB1000R will surely handle better than the CB1100F and it looks better than the 919 to young people. There are some 919′s for sale in my area so would I pay so much more for the 1000R? Upside down forks. Single sided swingarm. Exhaust easily changed. Ditch the chain guard and I like it. Some people will want a wilder motor but I rode a Kaw ZX10 and it was simply un-useable without getting a ticket. I idled it around over the speed limit. – Nice job Honda and good review Dirck and Evan.

  25. Tom B says:

    Superb write-up Dirck. Your intro expressed prefectly my feelings about Honda. The CB1000R sounds like a great bike to ride, if not look at (exhaust!).

  26. DoctorNine says:

    Honda did the most important thing in the US market, by bringing the new CBR250R here. This bike is a miss, though. As others have said, there is really do excuse for the ugly design on this machine. Especially since they could just as easily have given us the CB110F. I will never buy this atrocious design accident, but would have happily forked over cash money for a new CB1100F. And I’m not the only one who feels this way, I am sure.

  27. Eric says:

    I really like the basic concept of a liter sized standard but Honda would have done so much better to bring us the CB1100F instead of this ‘me-too’ model. Nice handling is, well, nice but the styling leave me flat, esp. that muffler – gad!

  28. rokster says:

    @ Randy, I want to cry every time I read about a new bike with “A NEW LOWER SEAT!!!”. WTF, where is it going to end? For guys like us the only solution will end up being supermotos or adventure bikes, which not all of us like. Come on man, if you have to have low seats, at least make normal seats an option.

  29. Brian says:

    Hmmm.. Any good aftermarket slip ons available for that yet? And maybe a fender eliminator kit? That would do wonders for the looks of that bike…

  30. Steve says:

    I wanted so badly to love this bike when I went to the motorcycle show to look at it. I have loved Honda’s forever and owned dozens, including a Hawk GT that I raced, a handful of CB’s, and most recently a 2008 CBR1000RR that was awesome but very appliance-like. I am 44 now so the CB1000R made sense, but in person it did nothing for me. Bland, boring, no way it would get my money.

    What did catch my eye? The Ducati Multistrada, I bought one last weekend in fact, the S Touring model with the amazing adjustable suspension.

    • neil says:

      A friend of mine just sold his 2010 Multistrada S and bought a Duc Paul Smart retro instead. My brother has an ’07 Multi which I have ridden many times. I like it, but the motor is still a racing motor and it likes to rev out and GO. Inlines by comparison and be just loafed along OR opened up as you desire and run well either way. I think the CB1kR looks like a bulldog waiting to be taken out for a run.

  31. muttskie says:

    Can’t get past the horrendous exhaust. And I can’t believe Honda couldn’t do better than that. What happened to the company that gave us the CB400F, CB1000 Six, earlier VFR’s, original Elsinores and even the Hawk GT. Jeez. No wonder I just bought a Street Triple R.

    • Tom Shields says:

      I agree – it’s a really good-looking bike other than that… that pontoon sticking off the right side.

    • Tom Barber says:

      The exhaust is more conspicuous in the pictures here where you can see it at all, because in every picture where you can see it at all, the bike is leaned over and you see more of the exhaust than you normally do, when the bike is upright. I do however appreciate the pictures that show it … in Part 1 of this review there were no pictures of the exhaust. But if you look for other pictures elsewhere, you will see that ordinarily the pipe is not as obtrusive as it seems in the pictures you see here. Personally, I like this pipe. I do not find it the least but unattractive, and in fact it is tucked in low at the side of the bike and takes advantage of space that is there to be taken advantage of, rather than reside in the conventional location where it is in the way at various times to include when you need to remove the wheel.

  32. Randy in GA says:

    I’d like someone else to weigh in on my issue just for consensus. All these testers look like they have 23″ inseams. I CAN’T TUCK MY LEGS UP UNDER ME ANYMORE. I am like an aging
    baseball catcher. I want a good universal (and sporty, and powerful) bike that I can spend ALL DAY on. That means a slightly more “chair-like” position. Not forward controls, not rear-sets… NEUTRAL! What is wrong with the standard CB ergo’s of old? (With SOME evolution to the sport minded). A 1000cc V-Strom comes to mind in terms of ergo’s, but with the CBR engine. Am I unique? Is there anybody out there with similar bodily requirements?

    • sliphorn says:

      The new Triumph Tiger 800 has a nice neutral riding position.

    • Don says:

      It sounds like you’re looking for a Tiger 1050 or Multistrada 1200, great motors/handling, AND neutral (all day) riding positions. These bikes are more like universals than dual sports.

    • blackcayman says:

      Randy – I’ve test riden the bike you are describing. It’s the Triumph Tiger 1050. The tallish suspension is very comfy over any road surface and the seating position is fantastic (I’m 46 yrs old – and life long standard lover-rider). The engine is sweet, smooth and powerful. The note from the Arrow equip’t model I rode was pleasing but not obnoxiously load. The wind protection is very good – it’s ride all day comfortable. I have an SV1000 N that I love except for 85+ mph wind that makes me feel like a sail – I am thinking Triumph may come out with a new 1200 next year for the Tiger/Sprint/ST??? Or maybe I’ll cash a big deal at work and just get the new Motus. Do yourself a favor, take a trip down for a test ride and see for yourself.

  33. i’m sorry but that exhaust looks like a goiter, on an otherwise fine looking bike… ;)

  34. Jeremy in TX says:

    It would be an appealing bike without that fugly cat & muffler setup. Wish it came with an ABS option and a different color choice as well, but at least Honda is finally stepping up its US offering. I will proabably go to the Honda dealership (somewhere I haven’t been in well over a decade) to check one out. However, I think it would be hard for me to buy this over a Speed Triple. I was excited about this bike four years ago when it first appeared in one of my motorcycle mags, but now there are a lot of good naked bikes to consider.

  35. falcodoug says:

    Is it better than a Tuono? because it looks alot like it.

    • mofoninja says:

      No where near as capable as a Tuono. It’s like saying, “Is it better than an RSV?”.

  36. Owen says:

    I’m pretty sure this bike is for me but trying to get one isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Back in early March I put a deposit on the one CB1000R that my dealer was supposed to get and last week I heard that they may not even get that one. Honda apparently can’t meet all of the dealer’s orders. C’mon Honda… you finally lure me back and now you can’t deliver?

    • jimbo says:

      I feel your pain. It may be related to the economy. Honda can’t get stuck with left-overs. Because they can only make too many or too few, they will almost certainly make too few.

    • Tom Barber says:

      Your dealer is possibly jerking you around. It would not be the first time that someone with more money than they know what to do with and who happens to want that bike simply made the dealer a better offer. Deposits generally are not binding contracts except for when the deposit is not refundable and when there are penalties for the seller if the seller does not deliver on the date spelled out in the contract. There is also good likelihood that the situation in Japan has delayed delivery, but this would only be a reason for a delay, not a reason for the bike not to arrive at all.

      • Owen says:

        I know for a fact they’re not jerking me around. I’ve been a customer of theirs for 25 years and I’ve dealt with the same guy all that time. He’s doing everything he can to get me that unit. From “Hondaguy” in the first part of this write up: “…Honda did do a Pre-sold unit priority fill, but still did not fill dealer’s orders.”

        • Honda Guy says:

          Owen,
          I’m not sure where you are from but a few more orders were filled and now showing up on dealer order statements as of Monday!

          Check around and good luck!

          • Owen says:

            Thanks for the update. I’m going to check with my dealer today. Maybe start making calls to other dealers too.

  37. Zach says:

    Good looking bike, overall. The huge exhaust can/heatshield/monstrosity ruins the right AND left side of the bike; it’s just THAT massive lol.

    And the rear wheel.. If you are going to have a SSA, please make the wheel a bit more appealing. In my opinion, that rear wheel looks like it was styled off a hubcap from a mid-90′s econo-box . Of course, everyone has their own opinion of what looks good.