Honda CB1000R Black Edition – Review
Honda’s CB1000R is possibly the best-looking naked bike on the road. That single-sided swingarm is gorgeous, the short seat and machined engine casings make it look industrial and the aggressive stance gives it a mischievous and reckless attitude.
Strictly speaking, it’s not just a naked bike or a muscle or even modern retro, Honda has decided to create a new category called Neo Sports Cafe. The banner of ‘Neo Sports Café’, is a fusion of sport-naked and bare-boned Café Racer inspirations.
This version is the Black Edition, which means Honda has lavished additional attention on the bike, resulting in a hand-built, custom look. There are some machined aluminium details on the wheel spokes, swingarm plates, engine covers and handlebar clamps and just about everything on show is black: the headlight bezel, fly-screen, fork stanchions, radiator shrouds, airbox covers and exhaust end can. Deep Graphite Black paint adorns the fuel tank and pillion seat cover and looks like black liquid.
The CB1000R’s 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine is based on the 2006 Fireblade engine. It makes a useful 143 bhp @ 10,500 rpm and 104 Nm @ 8,250 pm. It revs to 12,000 rpm but has pretty linear power delivery, meaning you can surf the torque in the mid-range, 6-8,000 rpm and you don’t need to wring its neck. In fact, I found the power curve to be fairly flat, or let’s say smooth. There’s also a standard-fit quickshifter.
You have 3 default rider modes to choose from and 1 user mode to save your own custom settings;
RAIN mode employs the lowest Power setting for the least aggressive power delivery, medium amount of EB and high HSTC. The lower levels of power and torque delivery are focused on the first 3 gears.
STANDARD mode uses the middle setting for Power, HSTC and EB. It softens the power delivery a little out of first and second gear, and uses a power delivery just below that of SPORT mode, with reduced torque at partial throttle openings.
SPORT uses the highest Power delivery and lowest levels of EB and HSTC to deliver 100% performance through all six gears, maximum torque and power at all throttle positions and minor intervention from HSTC.
USER mode allows the rider to choose between the 3 settings for each parameter and save the setting for future use.
The 5-inch, full-colour TFT screen shows fuel gauge/consumption, riding mode selection, engine parameters and Shift Up indicator and you have 4 types of display options. All of this is controlled through buttons on the left handlebar.
Honda has bolted Showa forks to the front. These are a Separate Function Fork Big Piston unit (SFF-BP). It contains all the damping function in one leg, reducing weight.
There’s a preload and rebound adjustable rear shock too.
Up front, dual radial-mount four-piston front calipers bite down on 310 mm floating discs, and at the rear, a twin-piston caliper and 256 mm disc. There’s 2-channel ABS which isn’t lean-sensitive and neither is the rest of the electronics package for that matter.
Type – Liquid-cooled DOHC In-line 4 cylinder
Valves per cylinder
Engine Displacement (cm³) – 998cc
Max. Power Output – 107kW @ 10,500rpm
Max. Torque – 104 Nm @ 8,250rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity – 16.2 litres
Fuel Consumption – 17.1km/litre / 40.2 miles/gallon
Frame – Steel mono backbone
Seat Height – 830mm
Kerb Weight – 212kg
Front Suspension – Showa SFF-BP USD fork
Rear Suspension – Showa monoshock
Front Tyre – 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tyre – 190/55 ZR17
ABS System Type – 2 channel
Front Brakes – 310mm double disc
Rear Brake – 256mm single disc
Instruments – 5” TFT screen