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Rating 9 9

Honda CB1000R

30th Sep 2009 7:00 am

The CB1000R’s muscular looks are backed by its superbly refined engine that provides ferocious, yet novice-friendly performance

  • Make : Honda
  • Model : CB1000R

The raw, sharply sculpted CB1000R exhibits traits of its European descent. As compact as a regular Indian-built 150cc motorcycle, the CB1000R visibly concentrates the bulk of its mass low, and in the proximity of its centre of gravity. This muscular Honda deploys few decals other than a familiar pair of wings adorning its tank. Black is predominantly used, with a number of nickel-plated allen-key bolts that add a glimmering contrast around the engine bay.

Its diminutive front mudguard is sporty, and sits just ahead of a prominent ‘Z’-shaped radiator cowl. Between its two fat inverted telescopic forks sits a thoroughly modern, conical headlight with a chin set blue-tinted circular lamp.

The CB1000R uses futuristic LCD instruments that are blue backlit in three adjustable states of dimness. These offer a bar-style rev counter and fuel gauge, digital speedometer, engine temperature and clock, as well as odometer and twin-trip functions apart from the usual gauges. This bike is practically burglar-proof thanks to the HISS feature—Honda’s Ignition Security System which prevents the engine from firing up without its original keys.
A wide, flat handlebar mounts palm-friendly grips, really top-of-the-line, reach-adjustable buffed alloy levers and top-notch switches that provide a hazard warning button and engine kill switch. As on most superbikes, riders cannot switch off the CB1000R’s headlight which will only toggle between low and high beams.

The smart-looking fuel tank provides an aircraft-style fuel-filler and a superbly integrated tank pad that leads smoothly into the riding saddle. A light step separates the rider from passenger, and you need to look hard to locate this bike’s neatly tucked grab recesses. The rear seat covers a tiny lockable storage cubby.

You can’t help but marvel at the CB’s stubby four-into-one silencer, which sits just ahead of a completely exposed rear wheel. There’s a massive single-side swingarm on the other side. The CB1000R is available across India in two paint schemes—metallic green and black. It goes without saying that this big Honda comes with an outstanding attention to every design detail.
The CB1000R’s four-stroke engine is basically a modified version of the brilliant Fireblade optimistic unit. Its four liquid-cooled cylinders sit in the traditional in-line-four configuration. The pistons, valves and dual overhead camshafts are altered. As is fueling — Honda’s renowned PGM-FI electronic fuel injection system — now with single injection for each cylinder, as opposed to dual injection on the Fireblade. The ignition system is computerised on this bike and magnesium alloy is used for construction of its four-valve-per-cylinder head. Keeping excess torque at bay is the CB1000Rs Intake Air Control Valve (IACV) while an oxygen sensor and 300-cell catalytic converter work to keep engine emissions at a minimum.

The CB1000R directs its 125bhp of power at 10000rpm to the rear wheel via a hydraulic-assisted clutch and six-speed gearbox. The first three ratios in this ’box are geared shorter than on the ’Blade, which in part explains the CB1000R’s furious acceleration. Shifts up or down this transmission are well weighted, with a positive feel accompanying each change. 

This is an engine with a soft exhaust beat, nowhere near as gruff or aggressive in note as a CBR. Idle is a quiet burble that builds into a typical in-line scream, as the revs shove smoothly towards a 10,500rpm rev limit. This equator-size power band is creamy smooth. This makes the flexible Honda a truly rideable machine in crowded urban Indian conditions. Engineered for precisely this sort of an enjoyable city riding experience, another CB highlight is flawless fueling, which always sees the big power plant fire cleanly and without any steps or hiccups.
Still, make no mistake; cracking the whip on a CB1000R brings more than just a hint of litre-class brutality into its acceleration, with the front wheel eager to leap off the ground with its strong low to mid-range region.

The CB1000R rockets to 100kph in a blistering 3.39 seconds, thereafter making the sprint to 160kph in 7.03sec and breaching the 190k mark in 10.23sec. Top whack is in the vicinity of 230kph.

A gravity die-cast aluminium alloy frame holds the CB1000R together, with top-class suspension used both at the front and rear. While the bike engine is a stressed member of the frame, both its front and rear suspension are fully adjustable, with upside-down telescopic forks working in front and a monoshock at the rear. There’s a curvaceous, single-side swingarm that provides good viewing of the bike’s 17-inch alloy rear wheel and massive 180/55 section radial tyre.

This superbike seems to have got its ergonomics spot-on. So perfect and stress-free is its riding position that you wouldn’t want to get off the hot seat. The riding saddle is decently padded, while its handlebar is flat and wide enough to make for easy city maneuvering.
Ride quality is fair, and adjustable to wherever a rider desires. Incredibly easy to flick around in traffic, it’s still solidly planted and precise to pilot while carving up high-speed corners. The CB1000R offers such prodigious levels of handling and control as to often feel like an extension of the rider’s body. Always confidence inspiring, this unmatched handling comes backed by fantastic brakes as well — radial-mounted four-piston caliper 310mm floating discs up front and a single 256mm disc at the rear. Our best stop from 60kph to rest during testing the brakes was 15.6 metres and 1.8sec, with exemplary feel through the levers.

A lack of any front fairing makes riding the CB1000R at sustained speeds over 160kph a problem, which on the brighter side shouldn’t pose any issues in India, given that our roads seldom allow such a liberty.

ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Fuel Petrol - - - -
Installation In-line four - - - -
Bore/stroke 75/ 56.5mm - - - -
Compression ratio 11.2: 1 - - - -
Valve gear 4 per cylinder, dohc - - - -
Power 125bhp at 10000rpm - - - -
Torque 10.2kgm at 8000rpm - - - -
Power to weight 576bhp per tonne - - - -
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Type 6-speed - - - -
Gearbox 1-down, 5-up - - - -
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front 310mm discs - - - -
Rear 256mm disc - - - -
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Upside-down telescopic forks - - - -
Rear Monoshock, single-side swingarm - - - -
BODY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Wheels 4-spoke alloy, 17 inches - - - -
Tyres 120/70 front, 180/55 rear - - - -
Honda CB1000R
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