CB1000R is a used bar­gain

Is there still a place for this less ag­gres­sive naked bike?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week in Mcn - By Tony Hoare TONY HOARE, CON­SUMER ED­I­TOR

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.

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