Naked bikes are fast eating into the sales of supersport machines overseas. Having an up-to-date, modern naked on sale alongside a litre-class flagship goes without saying. For the past ten years, Honda have persevered with the current CB1000R, a sweet and friendly naked bike but one that ultimately looks and feels a little tired next to its newer rivals.
Reports suggest that Honda could have a brand spanking new version of the naked 1,000cc machine at the EICMA show in November. Some international renderings give the bike a retro design theme, but with the presence of the retro, air-cooled CB1100 family, we expect the new CB1000R will carry a sleek, modern theme based on the handsome new Fireblade.
As with most naked litre-class bikes, the next-gen CB1000R should use an engine based off the current CBR1000RR Fireblade, but in a lower state of tune. Given that the current 1000R makes just 125hp, we expect a significant boost in power to somewhere around the 150hp mark, bringing it up to spec with rivals. It’s fair to expect a raft of new electronic assists from the new Fireblade as well as ride-by wire throttle.
The current crop of litre-class nakeds are effectively split into two sections, with bikes like the Kawasaki Z1000 and Suzuki GSX-S1000 occupying the more cost effective spectrum while the Aprilia Tuono 1100, BMW S1000R, KTM 1290 Super Duke R are more powerful, feature higher levels of kit and come at a higher price point. Where Honda will position the new CB1000R remains to be seen and we wouldn't be surprised to see it straddle both sides of the segment like Yamaha’s new MT-10.