Performance on track
MSL handed over the CB1000R’s reins to TT-rider Mike Booth from our sister publication Fast Bikes to put it through its paces around the Ascari circuit in Spain. Here’s what his kneesliders told us that MSL’s leather jacket and jeans couldn’t!
“To be fair, I can’t see that many CB1000Rs ending up on track. That’s not to say they aren’t more than capable of taking on circuit work, it’s just that with hero blobs that long, most circuit owners would be worried about them ploughing a trench through their tarmac at every apex! It is due to this, not so much its handling, that the CB1000R’s track ability is slightly curtailed in standard trim. Well, in right-handers anyway.
“Up the pace and on track the CB displays the same secure feeling in bends as it does on the road. It’s no lightweight, but luckily its wide bars give you a decent amount of leverage to haul it into bends and drag it up and over when you want to flip-flop from side to side. You can get your knee down just before metal starts to scrape, which is good, but there isn’t much more left and it would be a shame to cartwheel such a pretty bike into a gravel trap due to over exuberance. I have a feeling a set of sticky tyres would be wasted on this bike, although the standard Bridgestone S21 tyres are a little too firm for spirited track riding.
“Surprisingly, the standard road suspension settings seemed pretty good on the track. The fact you can adjust the damping in the beefy forks and shock bodes well for summer track days, but I’d be a little cautious when it comes to the ABS system.
“So few modern bikes allow you to disable the ABS and I have a sneaking suspicion that the CB1000R’s may start to get upset when used hard on track, especially one with lots of serious braking such as Cadwell Park. There is plenty of power there, but this is a bike designed for road use and that generally means the ABS gets a little perturbed when you start to hammer it. The same thing happens with the Suzuki GSX-S1000, so you may need to work out where the ABS fuse is if you are planning on track-daying the CB.”