2015 Honda CB1000R Review, Perfectly Honda !!

The first time I saw the Honda CB100R, I couldn’t get over how small it appeared, seeming at first to be sized more like a 600 than a thou. A walk around and you can’t miss the single-sided swinging-arm, which is sprayed in white paint–while I thought it looked a treat when bright and clean, I couldn’t help but picture it lathered in chain lube and road crud, slightly putting me off the concept.

Closer inspection of the unit highlighted some manufacturing blemishes from the casting processing and all the welds – these aren’t really noticeable with traditional black, and I know I’m being very picky, but that’s how closely I like to look at things. I’m not a great fan of the faux carbon fibre graphics on the tank and radiator shroud, or the styling of the headlight. But hey, if we all liked the same things, wouldn’t life be boring ?

So let’s get a bit more upbeat... I put a lot of miles on the Honda CB1000R, and from the off I was really chuffed with the ergonomics. The wide and tall-mounted bars thankfully aren’t straight, having a reverse bend to them which ensures your elbows tuck in to your torso and limit your exposure to buffeting. The seat is 825 mm tall, but because of its narrow profile at the front I found I could comfortably plant a foot on the floor. I liked the position of the pegs too, which gave me plenty of room and encouraged a relaxed knee angle.

I found the clocks a little too low, which made picking out the speed on the all-digital dash less easy, and I was disappointed not to see a gear indicator or economy gauge. I was more pleased with the positioning of the brake and clutch levers, which are adjustable for span. Honda CB1000R lacks a lot of other buttons to press, being relatively devoid of tech in this company, which does keep things clutter-free, and I like the feeling that I’m more connected to the bike. There is ABS of course, and the Nissin calipers proved more than adequate for all of my riding.

One of the Honda CB1000R's biggest strengths is its handling; throughout the test I was constantly blown away at how easy the Honda was to ride, proving to be very agile and forgiving in the bends. It’s not the kind of bike to catch you out, regardless of the speeds you’re riding at, and the stability of the Honda is very impressive, never feeling twitchy or awkward. I also found myself a big fan of the engine thanks to its versatility and general performance. It would pull smoothly from 2000 RPM in sixth gear, delivering linear and predictable power. Likewise, when I wanted to get a wriggle on, the motor was more than happy to oblige. The gearbox was impressively slick and the fuelling was seamless, especially in town environments.

My time with the Honda CB1000R has been very pleasurable and it’s really impressed me in so many ways. If anything, it’s surprised me – I saw the other machines on the test and expected to be wowed by the exotic Italians, blown away by the Suzuki or maybe even feel an affinity to the Super Duke, seeing as I have a long-term test KTM Super Adventure. The Honda didn’t inspire me at first, but I guess I should have expected that really – it simply works very well. If you’re obsessed with detail, or just want something to show-off on, maybe it’s not the first choice, but as a more practical machine it’s got an awful lot going for it.

If I were in the market for a naked bike – despite a few niggles – this would sit at the top of my wish list, as I could easily imagine putting plenty of miles on it with some light luggage.

Pillion's Perspective

The Honda’s pillion seat won some points for being low and easy to step onto, but not much else about it was worthy of praise. The small seat was hard and slippery, made worse by high pegs and inadequate grab holds located underneath the seat pod. Sitting right at the end of the sub-frame, sharp acceleration could make you feel like you’d fall off the back.

Honda CB1000R Specs

Engine : Four stroke, Inline Four, DOHC 16-Valve, Liquid-Cooled
Capacity : 998 cc
Bore x Stroke : 75 x 56.5 mm
Compression Ratio : 11,2 : 1
Induction : Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
Max Power : 123.4 HP @ 10.000 RPM
Max Torque : 100 N.m @ 9.000 RPM
Transmission / Drive : 6-Speed / Chain

Frame : Cast Alumunium Mono Backbone
Front Suspension : 43mm HMAS Upside Down Forks, Fully Adjustable
Rear Suspension : HMAS Gas-Charged Monoshock, Adjustable
Front Brakes : 2 x 310 mm Disc, 3-Pot Calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes : Single 256 mm Disc, 1-Pot Caliper, ABS
Front Tyre : 120/70 - ZR17
Rear Tyre : 180/50 - ZR17

Wheelbase : 1.445 mm
Seat Height : 825 mm
Weight : 217 Kg
Fuel Capacity : 17 Litres

Price : £9,999