Per­for­mance on track

Motorcycle Sport & Leisure - - Test Ride -

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.”

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