CB1000R is a used bargain
Is there still a place for this less aggressive naked bike?
What we said then
‘The CB1000R looks aggressive but it never really wants to kick off. If it were in a fight, it would be the good-looking one talking its way out of it, but knowing secretly that it could handle itself should it need to. In the real world, where roads are getting ever busier and the surface isn’t racetracksmooth, Honda have made a brilliant unfaired bike.’ MCN launch report | April 23, 2008
But what is it like now?
The last time I rode a CB1000R it left me dizzy. That was admittedly less to do with the bike and more the kamikaze pigeon that timed its head-height flight to 70mph-impact perfection.
Today there are no stars before my eyes, either from avian headbutts or from this 1000cc naked. It’s a brilliant bundle of composure, discipline and controlled speed – but in a world of super-nakeds it’s a little out of its time.
It’s a bloody good bike, picking up cleanly from small throttle openings and lengthening its stride as the LCD rev counter clips 6000rpm and straining off into speeds that will soon have neck muscles protesting.
Eight seasons of action and 10,000 miles of use is enough to make some bikes feel tired, but the CB1000R feels as fresh as those white and yellow things that pop up through the lawn. The suspension on this one feels suitably compliant and provides a bullish, shoulders-up riding stance.
The hurdles at which the 123bhp detuned Blade-powered naked fell back in 2008 have only become taller and more demanding with the arrival of the super-naked generation. Those newer balls of fury, which fly off in a flurry of strained ligaments and racing pulses, make this generation feel a little staid in comparison.
This feels more like a big Hornet than a naked Fireblade. To many that’s a good thing. In fact, this is my kind of bike – plenty of grunt without the sort of shove that puts licences in jeopardy. Controlled, composed, fast and with a healthy dose of simplicity.
This is one of the last old-school nakeds. Simple clocks, no electronic catch-nets, preferring to deliver power in a way that many more modern bikes have ditched.
Any obvious faults?
All the CB pitfalls pointed out by mechanic Scott (right) are clear on this one. The steering head bearings move freely and sweetly, there’s no sign of leaking from the rocker cover gasket (and the battery reads the correct voltage with the engine sat at 5000rpm). The chain adjuster turns just as it should and even the rubber trim around the base of the tank is in good shape. The 10k mileage is enough to have kept everything moving correctly without wearing anything out.
Or worthwhile extras?
These sawn-off style Ixil silencers seem popular with CB1000R owners – this is the third I’ve seen locally in recent weeks with exactly the same arrangement. It addresses one of the primary criticisms of the bike at launch, which was that the CB was too quiet. The Ixil twin-outlet cans turn off the mute button without turning the CB into a screamer. Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres are almost new and suit the bike well.
I thoroughly enjoy my morning on this fine example of the breed before handing it back to the dealer to put back on their showroom floor. If you’re after a step up from something like a Hornet or a Street Triple, but don’t want the fullon frenzy of later nakeds like an MT-10 or Aprilia Tuono V4, then a CB1000 is an excellent shout. Q THANKS: To Webbs of Peterborough for the loan of the bike. It’s for sale for £5299. Find them at www.webbsmotorcycles.co.uk
Composed yet grunty, if unspectacular and a little dated, Tony Hoare is MCNÕS Consumer Editor Chain adjuster No dramas adjusting the chain on this one, with the right tools in the included toolkit. Tank rubber cover The trim around the base of the tank can peel away. It’s an easy fix, but it’s not needed on this example.