The CB1000R, Honda’s Neo Sports Café flagship, receives subtle cosmetic changes for 20YM, further enhancing its premium feel and commanding road presence. Replacing silver accents, the now all black triple clamp and stem are complemented by a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround. Colour changes to the rear spring and front brake discs are capped off with a striking silver racing stripe running up the spine of the fuel tank.
The bike will be available in three dynamic colours, with Candy Chromosphere Red and Graphite Black being joined by the new Matt Pearl Glare White scheme.
Motorcycling has seen many shifts in riders’ expectations of their bikes – what they do, how they look and how they make them feel – over the last decade. And Honda has never been afraid to apply its technology, engineering and imagination to create motorcycles that inhabit new spaces in the marketplace.
The CB1000R is one such bike – standing out from the crowd by moving away from the standard super sports-derived big naked formula to create a motorcycle that melds exhilarating function to a form that offers a radically fresh, visually stunning two-wheeled aesthetic. It’s a motorcycle that looks, feels and performs very differently from what’s gone before.
In creating this identity, Honda’s development engineers re-assessed the hard-core Sport Naked-Streetfighter underpinnings of the previous CB1000R (2008 – 2017), elevated its performance parameters and added the unexpected. Steered by retro- industrial minimalism, they stripped everything back, moved away from ‘RR’ inspiration and instead used a host of textured metal finishes and an ultra-minimalist look under the design theme of ‘Neo Sports Café’. The result is a machine with a unique identity, a fusion of Sport Naked and bare-boned Café Racer inspirations.
Freshly conceived from the wheels-up the CB1000R is designed to be exciting to ride – and fully capable of chasing much more focused machinery down on a twisting back road – while instilling an innate pride of ownership. Whichever way it’s approached – aesthetics, emotions, performance, technology – the CB1000R is a hard motorcycle to ignore.
Mr S. Uchida, Large Project Leader (LPL) CB1000R
“As Honda, our intention is always to look to the future and to be ready to lead. Hence, as the Naked sector’s requirements mature, we knew that we had to go much further than giving the new CB1000R a boost in real world performance. Customer expectation and interests are about much more than just ‘how fast?’. We wanted to build in not only exhilaration and emotion to each experience of the CB1000R, but also real pleasure in owning, and showing off, such an individual machine. So we travelled in a new direction and are very proud of the result – both when out on the road and when admiring it in the garage!”
Mr Valerio Aiello, Design Department, Honda R&D, Rome
With the Neo Sports Café aesthetic we wanted to create a new stylistic dimension, different from the muscular streetfighters of the last few years, and at the same time, far from the simpler café-racer style. Compared to the original concept, the various models of the Neo Sports Café range retain their original essence but naturally each one differs, in the use of different layouts and engines. We used ‘noble’ materials, such as metal, to enhance the technical elements, with compact and essential shapes. Even the colours go in this direction.
The end result is that none of the bikes from the competition resemble the Neo Sports Café range and, like them or not, they are easily recognisable as Hondas. The competitors have classic or very modern motorcycles in their ranges, but in my opinion, not something that goes in the wake of both styles.
2. Model Overview
Introduced with a major model change in 2018, the CB1000R elegantly combines more with less. It gives its rider a huge amount of usable engine performance, with the control of a cutting edge Supersports machine, while the innovative, minimalist styling injects it with a whole new attitude.
Its four-cylinder engine is tuned to make 16% more peak power than the previous CB1000R (2008 – 2017) at just over 10,000rpm and 5% more torque right through the mid-range, where it’s most useful – and most fun. It is also 4% shorter geared, to extract even faster acceleration from the power-up.
With the increase in output comes Throttle By Wire (TBW) with 3 preset riding modes plus a USER setting. Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) work together across the presets to offer optimum benefit to the rider dependent on conditions. The exhaust transmits a raw-edged howl as revs rise.
The CB1000R is 12kg lighter than the previous street-fighter-focused design making for a 20% improvement in power to weight ratio. It’s also smaller, yet has a more relaxed riding position. And supporting the radical look is a box section mono backbone steel frame, with Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD suspension up front and a Showa monoshock at the rear. Radial-mount front brakes, ABS and a 190-section rear tyre complete the chassis’ specification.
3. Key Features
3.1 Styling & Chassis
- Neo Sports Café minimalist design shows off the metal
- Ultra-compact, trapezoid silhouette
- A lightweight mono-backbone steel frame
- Adjustable Showa front and rear suspension
- Dual front radial-mount four-piston calipers
- New touches for 2020 include an all black triple clamp and stem and a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround
- Three new colour schemes
- A ‘CB1000R+’ is available with pre-fit premium accessories and quickshifter.
The CB1000R’s styling takes a bold – and distinct –direction that deliberately marks it out of the Naked bike mainstream. Every aesthetic detail of the CB1000R has been finessed, and the overall design, its style and powerful stance, merge retro minimalism with the elevated performance package of the engine and chassis.
Its proportions are ultra-compact, with a trapezoid silhouette. The overhang of the distinctly styled round headlight is 90mm shorter than the previous model and the swingarm-mounted rear numberplate/mudguard unit (a first for Honda when the bike was originally launched in 2018) allows for an extremely short, sculpted aluminium tail unit incorporating neat under-slung pillion hand holds.
Conspicuous by its absence is plastic – there are only 6 exterior parts constructed from that material, the largest being the svelte front mudguard. By contrast, what really makes its presence felt is the use of premium metal finishes throughout the machine, drawing on the long, café racer tradition: parts such as the burnished aluminium radiator shroud and airbox cover, the machined engine cases, cylinder head and sprocket hub, and the lustrously painted flangeless steel fuel tank. For 2020 an authentic racing stripe along its spine add further street credibility.
Replacing silver accents, the now all black triple clamp and stem are complemented by a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround.
For 2020 The bike will be available in three dynamic colours, with Candy Chromosphere Red and Graphite Black being joined by the new matt Pearl Glare White scheme.
All lighting is LED and the thin round headlight employs a horseshoe-shaped light ring as well as distinctive two-bar light signature. The rear light is also a semicircular light bar that fills in solid when the brakes are applied. The T-shaped instrument panel – integrates into the top yoke, minimising bulk and the ignition switch is positioned at the front of the fuel tank.
The CB1000R employs a mono-backbone steel frame. It uses split-tightening aluminium pivot plates – which save 2.5 kilograms – to grip the signature 574.2mm single-sided swingarm.
Rake is set at 25° with trail of 100mm. Wheelbase is 1455mm with wet weight of 212kg – 12kg lighter than the outgoing model. Weight bias is 48.5%/ 51.5% front/rear. Helping the CB1000R’s side-to-side agility, the crank centre height is 5mm higher.
The rider triangle is relaxed, with a ‘natural crouch’ afforded by the 12mm wider tapered aluminium handlebars sited 13mm higher than the previous design, matched to a seat height of 830mm. The flangeless fuel tank too is broad-shouldered but heavily cut-away to allow plenty of knee room.
The adjustable front fork is a Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston unit (SFF-BP). It contains all the damping function in one leg, reducing weight, while delivering compliance, comfort and control across a broad range of riding conditions. The Showa rear shock, with new black spring for 2020, adjusts for spring preload, and rebound damping.
Up front dual radial-mount four-piston front calipers bite 310mm floating discs, matched to a twin-piston caliper and 256mm rear, and 2-channel ABS. A 190/55 ZR17 rear tyre sits on a 6.0-inch rim, replacing the 180/55 ZR17. The front tyre remains a 120/70 ZR17.
A ‘CB1000R+’ version is also available, with even greater aspirational appeal. It comes with quickshifter, heated grips and a range of premium accessories that flesh out the CB1000R’s styling: metallic meter visor and seat cowl, front fender panel, hugger panel and radiator grill
- CBR1000RR derived four-cylinder engine
- Strong torque and response in the mid-range
- Throttle By Wire brings with it 3 rider modes
- Three levels of Power, Engine Brake and Honda Selectable Torque Control
- 4-2-1 exhaust saves weight and emits a raw-edged howl
- Assist/slipper clutch fitted as standard
The CB1000R’s 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine provides a healthy dose of both power and torque: 107 kW @ 10,500rpm and 104Nm @ 8,250 rpm compared to the previous version’s 92 kW@ 10,000rpm and 99Nm @ 7,750rpm. Bore and stroke remain 75mm x 56.5 mm but compression ratio is up 0.4 to 11.6:1 and the pistons are now forged rather than cast.
The engine has been tuned to deliver its torque with strong character especially in the 6-8,000rpm range, where it bulges significantly, generating an exciting and engaging riding experience. It’s also a useful aid for rapid roll-on acceleration in real-world overtaking conditions. The redline begins at 11,500rpm and the rev-limiter cuts in at 12,000rpm.
When re-assessing the engine for the re-born CB1000R in 2018 development concentrated on improving gas flow into, through and out of the cylinder head. Compared to the old unit valve lift is higher with inlet at 8.5mm and exhaust 8.1mm (as opposed to 7.9/7.8mm). A 44mm diameter throttle body (up 8mm) feeds larger diameter inlet ports; the shape of the combustion chambers is also revised. The airbox, ducting and air filter present a much more simplified and smoother route for airflow into the engine, reducing pressure loss all the way from the outer ducts to the throttle body.
Allied to the boost in outright performance numbers was an important 4% reduction in gear ratios, for greatly improved acceleration through the gears between 30-130km/h. The assist/slipper clutch is super light and helps manage hard downshifts.
The exhaust adds to the CB1000R’s mid-range muscle and weight reduction. It’s a 4-2-1 design, feeding via 4 short catalysers into a main chamber, which then feeds a dual chamber muffler. A link pipe joins the 2 main pipes just before the catalysers, boosting torque from 5,000rpm up. The exhaust note has been tuned internally, meaning that as the revs rise past 5,500rpm it takes on a significantly deeper, more raw tone.
Throttle By Wire (TBW) allows the rider maximum control over what is a powerful engine wrapped in minimalist motorcycle, via 3 preset riding modes plus 1 USER mode (selected from a switch on the left handlebar).
There are three levels of Engine Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) available; HSTC can also be switched off.
Three riding modes offer different combinations of each parameter.
RAIN mode employs the lowest Power setting, medium amount of EB and high HSTC. The lower levels of power and torque are focused on the first 3 gears.
STANDARD mode uses the middle setting for Power, HSTC and EB. It knocks a little output out of first and second gear, and uses a power curve that sits just below that of SPORT mode, with reduced torque at partial throttle openings. It also allows for small rear wheel slides and the front wheel leaving the ground.
SPORT uses high Power and lowest levels of EB and HSTC to deliver 100% power through all six gears, maximum torque at all throttle positions and minor intervention from HSTC.
The USER mode allows the rider to choose between the 3 settings for each parameter and save the setting for future use.
Other information available to the rider is a shift-up indicator on the top right corner of the dash, which either flashes white with increasing frequency as rpm passes the preset value or goes yellow-amber-pink as a visual guide to change up. Further functionality options in that space are an ECO riding indicator, gear position indicator and riding mode indicator.
The engine returns fuel efficiency of 16.7km/L.
4. Accessories and ‘CB1000R+’
A range of Genuine Honda Accessories are ready to customise the CB1000R. They include:
Aluminium front Mudguard Panel
Aluminium rear Hugger
Alcantera rider and pillion Seat
Wheel rim Decal
Engine Case Protector
Tank Bag & ATT
Rear Seat Bag & ATT
A ‘CB1000R+’ version is also available with a wide range of ‘factory-fit’ accessories including heated grips, aluminium front fender panels, aluminium rear hugger panels, flyscreen with aluminium inserts, single seat cowl with aluminium inserts, radiator grille with CB1000R logo, and quickshifter.
5. Technical Specifications
|Type||Liquid-cooled DOHC In-line 4 cylinder|
|Valves per cylinder||4|
|Engine Displacement (cm³)||998cc|
|Bore and Stroke (mm)||75mm x 56.5mm|
|Max. Power Output||107kW @ 10,500rpm|
|Max. Torque||104Nm @ 8,250rpm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||16.2 litres|
|Clutch Type||Wet, multiplate clutch|
|Type||Steel mono backbone|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||2120mm x 789mm x 1090mm|
|Caster Angle||25 degrees|
|Type Front||Showa SFF-BP USD fork|
|Type Rear||Showa BRFC (Balance Free Rear Cushion)|
|Rim Size Front||Cast aluminium|
|Rim Size Rear||Cast aluminium|
|Tyres Front||120/70 ZR17|
|Tyres Rear||190/55 ZR17|
|ABS System Type||2 channel|
|Front||310mm double disc|
|Rear||256mm single disc|
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS|
All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice
** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.