Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

Thrilling to both look at and ride – that was the intention when the Italian-built Honda CB1000R was designed by senior Honda R&D man Paolo Cuccagna. Manufactured at its Atessa plant near Rome, Honda proudly championed the CB1000R’s Non-Japanese influence when it first went on sale in 2008, saying the streetbike was modelled and created by Europeans, for Europeans.

The Honda CB1000R was Honda’s answer to rising demand for naked bikes in the European market and though the Japanese wouldn’t admit it, the CB was a replacement for the Hornet 900. It differed from the Hornet by being of higher spec and delivering stronger performance.

Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

Like the previous big-bore Hornet 900, the CB1000R features a similar frame to the smaller Hornet 600, in this case a cast-alloy mono backbone. And, as with the 900, the Honda CB1000R is powered by a CBR1000RR Fireblade engine, this time using the 998cc 2007-spec motor. Retuned for more mid-range power using different cams and pistons, its throttle bodies and inlet and exhaust ports are all smaller. The crankshaft and gearbox are also subtly different, as is the ECU. The CB1000R actually has more bottom end and mid-range power than the 2008 Fireblade sportsbike engine.

The chassis parts include fully adjustable, 2008-spec Fireblade forks reworked to suit the street-bike’s typical customers. Two models of the bike with differing specs of brakes were available. The Honda CB1000R C-ABS version featured linked anti-lock brakes, with the other variant equipped with non-ABS radial calipers. The bike has a single-sided swingarm, like the one fitted to the 2002 VFR800 V-TEC, controlled by a rising-rate monoshock.

Still on sale, the Honda has only changed in detail during its life. In 2012, thicker tapered handlebars and a prettier, redesigned LED headlight were fitted. And from 2014 all machines came with the C-ABS.

What's It Like To Ride ?

Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

Despite its attractive Italian-influenced styling and the fact that it’s actually built near Rome, there’s still little doubt that the Honda CB1000R is a Japanese bike. Whether you think that’s a measure of praise or criticism will depend on your taste in bikes. It can take time for the CB to have any longer term effect on you, even if its excellent performance does impress you within minutes. If you’re looking for character, you might find it’s just a bit too polished, plush and refined.

From the moment you nestle into its seat, you can appreciate the streetbike’s obviously detailed and thoughtful design. Having one of those typical fatigue free, one-size-fits-all riding positions so typical of the marque, the 1000 immediately cossets you lovingly. Get under way and that impression of ease and comfort continues. The excellent behaviour of the suspension, engine and brakes is quickly apparent and better still is the overall poise and balance. Although the Honda CB1000R is clearly a machine with strong performance, it’s just as adept at doing feet-up U-turns in a car park as it is at tackling a twisting back-road at high speed.

There’s little need to rev the impressive motor hard to get it to deliver good, clean drive, even in the taller gears. Excellent low rpm manners allow very relaxed progress and short-shifting through the excellent gearbox brings all the speed you’ll need in the vast majority of circumstances. It’s an appreciably more flexible engine than the Fireblade’s. With a smooth and predictable increase in power available throughout the rev range, the Honda CB1000R’s engine is very practical and usable. Exploring unknown routes or coping with situations needing constant changes in speed is a simple and straightforward task.

Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

Revving the motor harder brings very impressive results too. With a quoted 123bhp on tap, covering ground quickly isn’t much of a task for the Honda CB1000R, as you can imagine. Even when you’re using the engine harder, it still retains its good manners and composure with no troughs or peaks in the power delivery to present complications. This is a very strong but friendly powerplant with plenty of smoothness and sophistication.

The feeling of security, regardless of how much or how little of the engine power you’re sampling, is enhanced by the assured and predictable nature of the chassis. It really helps to make the 1000 the easy-going and unchallenging machine that it is. It is not actually that light but at a quoted 217 kilos in wet trim, it’s still a very manageable motorcycle and with a riding position that allows easy physical control, you always feel in charge of the Honda CB1000R. Showing it who’s boss, regardless of what speed you’re riding, is rarely taxing – though of course its naked design means longer periods at sustained high speed will end up feeling strenuous in time.

Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

I’ve ridden the Honda CB1000R in a variety of weather conditions and environments and always felt right at home on it, trusting it implicitly to deal with any demands, either anticipated or otherwise. Big players in developing this level of faith are the highly impressive CBS linked brakes. Combined with the very effective ABS arrangement it’s difficult to do anything other than stop the Honda quickly and very safely. Quite apart from having plenty of power, the distribution of the pressure to the front and rear brakes is handled very competently. You have to bungle things quite badly to get either end to trigger the ABS. Though when that does occur, the system deals with affairs very promptly, almost instantaneously allowing the wheels and tyres to rotate and grip once more.

Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

As is the case with many specific areas of the bike, components working really well in conjunction with others helps to assist their performance even more. That’s certainly true of the suspension boosting the ability of the brakes. Both forks and rear shock have a real quality feel to their action, offering that fine balance of comfort and control that only well set-up units can. They, in turn, allow the tyres to do an even better job thanks to the wheel control keeping them mated to the road so well. It’s a chain of excellent components working in almost perfect harmony and it epitomises the Honda’s overall design.

Listing and highlighting the numerous dynamic qualities of the stylish Honda CB1000R is one thing though… singing praises for the all-important wow-factor that makes the appeal of any bike feel more complete, is trickier. Whenever I rode it, I was always impressed with the Honda – not hard, as it does so much so well – but compared to some European rivals in the naked bike class, like a Triumph Speed Triple for instance, it can feel a little less endearing. To some that won’t be an issue, but in a group where character is often regarded as more of a priority, the ‘Honda-ness’ of the CB1000R might be viewed by others as a flaw. It might be a street-fighter, but it definitely fights by the Queensberry Rules.

What to Look For

Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

Street-fighter-styled bikes have a reputation for attracting those with hooligan tendencies. The more refined Honda is different and generally owned by more sensible riders in their 40s and 50s. Enjoying the Honda CB1000R’s usability and versatility, they tend to look after their bikes well and have them serviced by dealers. The finish is robust and bikes in poor condition are rarely seen, so if you are interested in one of those, then bargain hard with the seller.

Early Honda CB1000R models finished in green aren’t well-liked, especially by dealers. Don’t pay as much for those and check to see if the paint is original. Several ’08 and ’09 bikes were repainted in more attractive colours. They can lower their value, particularly if the quality isn’t good or if the colour isn’t matchedwell. HRC replica paint jobs are easily the most popular and add as much as £200 to the value of the bike.

With a very good reputation for reliability, you’d be unlucky to have any problems with a Honda CB1000R. Mileages are generally low, as a typical annual total is only around 3000. Even so, a well-kept and regularly serviced bike will easily do 50,000 trouble-free miles or more. Normal checks will reveal plenty about the bike. Check how keenly the bike has been cleaned. Without a fender extender or rear hugger, bikes used in poor weather can get very dirty in hard-to-access places and their cleanliness gives you a good impression of the owner.

Used Bike Guide : Honda CB1000R

Just as good a guide are the sort of extras fitted – chain oilers, huggers and fly-screens suggest a more sensible owner. Garish paint schemes, stickers, and loud end-cans tell a different story. Though it’s a must do anyway, make more of a point of checking these bikes for harder use and crash damage. Scuffed hero blobs and bar ends, chewed up tyres and notchy head bearings are giveaways.

With its fairly strong performance, running costs can be higher if you ride the Honda harder. But all consumables last well withmore sensible use. Up to 60mpg is possible with care. Check the service records carefully. Most bikes are dealer serviced, but as it’s easy to service at home and some owners choose this option. You need to see receipts to verify this work. Valve clearances should be done at 16,000 miles, but often don’t need adjusting.

Specs :

Engine : 998cc, Liquid Cooled, DOHC 16-Valve, Inline Four
Power : 123 HP (92kW) @10.000 RPM
Torque : 74lb-ft (100N.m)@8.000 RPM
Gearbox : 6-speed
Final Drive : Chain
Frame : Cast Alloy Backbone
Front Suspension : 43mm Inverted Telescopic forks, Fully adjustable
Rear Suspension : Rising-rate monoshock, Adjustable preload and rebound damping
Front Brakes : Twin 310mm discs, Three Piston C-ABS calipers;
Rear Brakes : 256mm disc, Twin Piston C-ABS
Front Tyres : 120/70-17
Rear Tyres : 180/55-17
Seat Height : 825 mm
Kerb Weight: 217 Kg
Fuel Capacity: 17 Litres

Values : £3500 - £8500