Too Early to Tell
Whether or not the CB1000R will become a staple in Honda’s lineup is yet to be determined. For 2011, dealers will have a small supply. So small in fact that those who are looking to purchase the CB will have to do so upon request. And at $10,999, it’s yet to be determined how many will actually submit that request.
Based on how well the bike handles though, and based on how unique its styling is, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the bike around for an extended period of time. We firmly believe it has what it takes to avoid the same demise that past naked bike offerings from Honda have suffered. SR
At a glance, the CB1000R to me is one of the better looking naked bikes, with clean lines and a somewhat concealed exhaust. But while I did have a nice time riding her, I was hoping — and expecting — for more. While the seat isn’t uncomfortable, there isn’t much room to move around as you have a few inches to slide back before you’re hitting the rear seat. The ergo’s were a bit tighter in the legs than I would have liked and the engine lacked a bit of power down low — although it is pretty strong on top. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast riding the CB through the canyons, where the nimble bike works really well, just not so much on the highway. And for the cost of the CB1000R I guess I just expected more.
These past couple of months, I have ridden naked more than I would probably like to admit. Naked bikes that is. I’m not complaining though, as it has given me a great opportunity to see where these bikes stack up against each other. I have to say that the CB1000R impressed in a number of categories too. Its extremely quick steering and stable chassis make it great fun in the canyons. And its crisp throttle response and great midrange make it pleasant around town, although the footrest position makes longer rides less palatable and the wind protection had me holding on dearly when confronted with heavy wind gusts. At the end of the day, I think it’s good to see another bike added to Honda’s lineup. For me, it’s a sign that things are looking up for the industry.
During my first few miles on the CB1000R, the Honda was pushing all the right buttons: quick, revvy engine, coupled with sharp, agile handling and reasonable comfort. Everything was all sake and cherry blossoms until I hit the highway on the way to the twisties; there I found the CB to have a lot of vibration at cruising speeds, with short gearing and some probably EPA-related fueling issues causing a lot of surging at 75 mph. And then with maxed-out suspension settings in the canyons, the Honda just felt a little too numb and nervous in front when pushed. I dunno — for a $10,999 naked, I kinda like my love affairs to last a little longer than that.