What? a 1000cc naked bike? This only spells one word; Fun! … and maybe a little wind in your face! This is what motorcycling is all about; sitting on the open road, with nearly nothing in front of you.
Naked bikes in South Africa have not yet kicked off and I don’t know if the concept ever will. The majority are either adventure bikers or superbike pilots (they fly low), however, a naked bike makes perfect sense if you need a bike that you can ride to and from work in the week, but go play with in the twisties on the weekends.
When we were handed the keys to the CB1000R I was very excited. I love naked bikes. There is just something about the styling and the “don’t mess with me” attitude it oozes. For starters, the CB got glares and stares everywhere we went. Maybe it’s the single sided swing-arm or maybe that futuristic front light or even a combination of the two. One thing is certain; the package works exceptionally well from an aesthetics point of view.
Swing your leg over this beast and you can’t help but think how tiny this bike is. It feels nimble and agile and this is just from sitting on it. The high street fighter bars and the slightly high up foot pegs immediately put you in that attacking position. You are not quite upright, but also not leaning too much over the front. You sort of get the idea that this bike can get you into a lot of trouble with the law if you abuse your right hand.
The cockpit is full LCS, the light blue backlighting looks gorgeous at night and it’s just nice to have something a little futuristic. It features a trip/odo meter, clock, fuel gauge, speedo and rev counter. The usual Honda stuff is there too, like the engine temp indicator and an array of warning lights.
The engine is a 998cc mill from the previous generation CBR1000RR. It’s been slightly retuned to produce a better and stronger midrange and power is rated at 92kw and 100nm. It’s not earth shattering but it works well as an overall package. It will provide a decent thrust in any gear at any speed. Even riding around in top gear at 80kph and twisting the throttle will see you into the sunset.
The gearing has been slightly altered to that of the CBR1000RR and there is nothing wrong with that. I don’t see the point of a naked bike needing to do 150kph + in first gear. This makes clowning around in town a lot more fun and provides ample torque when the roads get twisty. We saw 120kph at about 4800rpm in top gear. The red line is rated at 10500rpm so do the math and see what the bike is capable of.
The CB1000R features a 17l fuel tank with a 4l LCD indicated reserve. Our fuel consumption tests returned about 15km/l with a combination of twisties, open road and town riding – two up. The bike is rather fuel efficient around 120/140kph but anything above that turns you into a wind sail and also reduces the consumption, tenfold.
The bike really shines when the roads start to get twisty. The bike has a quick turn in and is very flick-able for a bike of its weight (217kg dry) and feels a lot more like 190kg. The brakes are Tokico 4 pots upfront with 310mm rotors. The rear is a 2 pot unit with a 256mm rotor. Our model was not fitted with abs and, thus, did not feature the linked braking system. The brakes worked well and never locked up under really hard braking. The tires are 120/70/17 and 180/55/17 Bridgestone Battlax tires and, as usual, take a while to warm up. Once warmed up, they do perform flawlessly.
The CB1000R has some stiff competition with the likes of Kawasaki’s Z1000, Triumphs Speed Triple and KTM’s 990 Super duke. I think the Honda is a clear winner at a price of R105 995.