The good folks at Honda Canada brought along a not-available-in-Canada CB1000R to our March Press ride in Georgia, where us Canadian hacks got to ride most of the new-for-2010 Honda models.
|This is no low-key machine, but more of an aggressive naked sport bike, with looks, roadholding and all-out performance to back it up. (Photo: Honda)
Any moniker from Honda that ends with an R is bound to be something special, and the CB1000R is just that. This litre bike has been available in Europe for several years now, where it goes up against other performance roadsters such as the Yamaha FZ1, Kawasaki Z1000, Buell 1125CR, Ducati Monster 1100
and Streetfighter, Triumph Speed Triple
, KTM Super Duke
, and the incredibly seductive MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR. Rarefied air indeed, but the CB1000R is well born, and has consistently scored in the Top 3 in category comparos over there.
Honda Canada was evaluating the possibility of adding this bad-ass R for 2011, rather than just bringing an extremely enjoyable toy for the journalists to thrash about. Most testers liked the bike better than the cheaper and milder but oh so effective CBF1000 already sold here, the extra 20 horses and more sophisticated suspensions making for a better performing machine on and off the track.
Another CBR1000RR-engined bike – that’s good!
As with the CBF1000, the R uses a 2007 version of the RR drivetrain, toned down – no, almost crippled – to 125hp at 10,000 rpm, and a nice flat torque curve that peaks out at 75 lb-ft at 7500rpm.
Flawless Honda genetics show up in the easy to use 6-speed gearbox, with revised wider ratios, a chatter-free clutch and easy to modulate and light lever pull.
Simple and effective chassis and suspensions
Like the F1000 sibling, the R is built up around a “Monobackbone” chassis, a smart solution that provides the necessary stiffness, as well as light weight, low cost and ease of manufacture. The 43mm inverted fork features adjustable pre-load, compression and rebound. At the back, the mono shock only offers adjustable preload and rebound only. Chassis rake and trail settings are definitely oriented towards agility and responsiveness, approaching the RR level but a little more stable nonetheless, with a short wheelbase to add to agility in town as well as in corners.
|This shot shows how squat and centered the CB1000R is, with all the benefits of mass centralization. (Photo: Honda)