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 ‘what if…?’.Imagination to create motorcycles that inhabit new spaces in the marketplace.
The CB1000R is one such bike. Introduced through a significant model change in 2018, Honda’s development engineers re-assessed the hard-core streetfighter underpinnings of the previous model.
and steered by retro-industrial minimalism, stripped everything back. The resulting machine, born under the banner of ‘Neo Sports Café’, was a new fusion of sport naked and bare-boned Café Racer inspirations.
It stood out from the crowd by moving away from the standard super sports-derived big naked formula. Melding exhilarating function to a form that offered a radically fresh, visually stunning two-wheeled aesthetic.
Combining more with less, the reborn CB1000R gave its rider a vast amount of usable engine performance, with the control of a super sports machine.
Exciting to ride, and fully capable of chasing much more focused machinery down on a twisting back road, from whichever way it’s approached. Aesthetics, emotions, performance or technology – the CB1000R has proved itself a rigid motorcycle to ignore.
Minor cosmetic updates for 2020 further enhanced its premium status. Now, for 2021, the CB1000R moves forward significantly, both in terms of style and rider engagement.
Visually, the 2021 CB1000R’s lines are more aggressive. Forward-set with shrink-wrapped new details like the exposed aluminium subframe, radiator shrouds and airbox covers, flowing in holistic, dynamic harmony.
The headlight, too, evolves in shape and now slants back, while intricately crafted new wheels add to the engineering prowess on display.
While the chassis is unchanged the engine earns revised PGM-FI settings, smoothing power delivery, and EURO5 compliance.
A new, full-colour TFT instrument display offers Honda Smartphone Voice Control System, linking the rider to their smartphone function. And there’s also a USB charging socket under the seat.
The 2021 CB1000R will be available in the following colour options:
- Candy Chromosphere Red
- Mat Ballistic Black Metallic
- Matt Beta Silver Metallic
The Black Edition
While the new CB1000R is a motorcycle hewn into purposeful beauty, Honda’s engineers chose to go several steps further with the new Black Edition.
With a hand-built, custom look, the Black Edition starts on the same manufacturing line as the standard CB1000R.
Then takes a detour into a moodier aesthetic territory and some extra, desirable, accessories.
Apart from a few machined aluminium details – on the wheel spokes, swingarm plates, engine covers and handlebar clamps. Everything on the show is black: the headlight bezel, fly-screen, fork stanchions, radiator shrouds.
And airbox covers (with an anodized finish), exhaust and muffler. Deep Graphite Black paint adorns the fuel tank and pillion seat cover.
A quickshifter too is standard-fit. A machined ‘CB’ logo adds a finishing touch,
Styling & Equipment
- Aggressive, ‘mass-forward’ stance heightened, with sleeker styling front to back, and new cast aluminium wheels
- Honda Smartphone Voice Control System links the rider to their smartphone via Bluetooth and 5-inch colour TFT screen; USB charging socket under the seat
Honda’s ‘Neo Sports Café’ design aesthetic was created not only with a fondness for the past but with an eye on the future as well, with ample scope for variations to the theme.
As such, it is not standing still for 2021; the CB1000R takes the impressive styling statement made in 2018 as a springboard and turns up the dial.
The distinctive Neo-Sports Café look is unmistakable, but the drama unveils, and stance gets even more aggressively hunched forward. And diagonally down, around the striking, black-finished engine. New 7-spoke cast aluminium wheels add an intricate, head-turning finish.
From tip to tail the flow is harmonious. The instantly-recognizable instantly-recognizable round headlight now sits in a teardrop style surround.
And lays backwards between the forks; the burnished aluminium radiator shrouds are much more compact and angled into the direction of travel, a design cue mirrored by the airbox covers.
The sinuous aluminium subframe, completely redesigned, is now finished in aluminium (rather than black) highlighting the stark minimalism of the rear. And not to miss an aesthetic detail, the number plate mount is also smaller.
While it may turn heads and stop traffic with its revised looks, the day-to-day practicalities are present, and real-world ease-of-use improves with the new CB1000R.
The instruments now comprise a 5-inch, full-colour high-visibility TFT screen, which offers four types of speed/rpm display – according to rider preference.
As well as fuel gauge/consumption, riding mode selection/engine parameters and Shift Up indicator. Management is via the buttons on the left handlebar.
Also incorporated into the interface is the new Honda Smartphone Voice Control (HSVC) system,.Which links the rider to their smartphone while on the move and allows voice management of phone calls, email, music and navigation.
A helmet-mounted headset is needed, and the smartphone connects to the dash via Bluetooth; management of HSVC is also possible using buttons the left switchgear. There’s also now a USB socket under the seat, for smartphone charging.
The CB1000R’s rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) function. Under hard braking, the hazard lights flash to warn other road users a hard stop is in process.
The indicators also auto-cancel; rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation.
- CBR1000RR derived, four-cylinder engine with Throttle By Wire
- Revised PGM-FI settings smooth delivery and response
- The motor is now EURO5 compliant
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 pm. Bore and stroke are 75mm x 56.5 mm with compression ratio 11.6:1.
The redline begins at 11,500rpm and the rev-limiter cuts in at 12,000rpm; the only changes for 2021 comes with optimized PGM-FI settings – smoothing power delivery and improving response – and EURO5 compliance.
This engine is tuned to deliver its torque with a characteristic ‘ramp’ 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 airbox, ducting and air filter present a smooth route for airflow into the engine, reducing pressure loss from the outer ducts.
A 44mm diameter throttle body feeds air/fuel mixture into large diameter inlet ports and carefully-shaped combustion chambers.
Inlet valve lift is at 8.3mm, exhaust 8.1mm. The pistons arrive from forged aluminium.
Short gear ratios ensure exhilarating acceleration through the gears between 30-130km/h. The assist/slipper clutch is super-light and helps manage hard, rapid downshifts.
The exhaust adds to the CB1000R’s mid-range muscle and lightweight. It’s a 4-2-1 design, feeding via four short catalyzers into the main chamber. Which then provides a dual-chamber muffler.
The exhaust note has internally turned, meaning that as the revs rise past 5,500rpm, takes on a significantly more resonant, more raw tone.
For EURO5 compliance, the 02 lambda exhaust sensors have been replaced with Linear Air Flow (LAF) sensors in the downpipes to allow for much more accurate measurement of the spent gases. The engine returns a fuel efficiency of 17.1km/L.
- Three default rider modes plus USER customization option
- Three levels of Power, Engine Brake and Honda Selectable Torque Control
Throttle By Wire (TBW) allows the rider maximum control over the CB1000R’s powerful engine via three default riding modes plus 1 USER mode. Managed between the left handlebar and the TFT screen.
There are three levels of Engine Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) available. The rider can switch off the HSTC. The riding modes offer different combinations of each parameter.
RAIN mode employs the lowest Power setting for the least aggressive power delivery, medium amount of EB and high HSTC. The lower levels of power and torque delivery are focused on the first three gears.
STANDARD mode uses the middle setting for Power, HSTC and EB. It softens the power delivery a little out of first and second gear.
And uses a power delivery just below that of SPORT mode, with reduced torque at partial throttle openings.
SPORT uses the highest Power delivery and lowest levels of EB and HSTC to deliver 100% performance through all six gears. Maximum torque and power at all throttle positions and minor intervention from HSTC.
The USER mode allows the rider to choose between the three settings for each parameter and save the environment for future use.
- Strong, lightweight mono-backbone steel frame, adjustable Showa SFF-BP forks and rear mono-shock
- Dual, radial-mount four-piston callipers and 310mm floating front discs
The CB1000R’s chassis is unchanged for 2021. And employs a mono-backbone steel frame and uses split-tightening aluminium pivot plates to grip the signature 574.2mm single-sided swingarm. Rake is at 25° with a trail of 100mm.
The wheelbase is 1455mm with a wet weight of 212kg. Weight bias is 48.5%/ 51.5% front/rear.
A ‘natural crouch’ is by the open rider triangle of wide, tapered aluminium handlebars matched to an 830mm seat height.
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 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 adjusts for spring preload, and rebound damping.
Upfront, dual radial-mount four-piston front callipers bite 310mm floating discs, matched to a twin-piston calliper and 256mm rear, and 2-channel ABS.
The new, intricately designed cast aluminium seven-spoke wheels exude bold elegance; the rear tyre (sitting on a 6-inch rim) is 190/55 ZR17, the front a 120/70 ZR17.
A full range of Honda Genuine Accessories are available for the CB1000R, and include:
- Tank pad
- Pillion seat cover
- Front fender cover
- Alcantara pillion/rider seat
- Bar ends
- Engine cover
- Radiator grill
- Wheel stripes
- Heated grips
- Luggage base
- Rear seat bag
- Tank bag