HONDA CB1000R (2008-on) Review

Published: 15 August 2008

"The only thing the CB1000R lacks is a bit of soul"

Honda CB1000R bike review action

"The only thing the CB1000R lacks is a bit of soul"

  • At a glance
  • 998cc  -  130 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  209 miles range
  • Medium seat height (825mm)
  • £9,299

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Forget the dinosaur CB1000 of the early nineties, or the now defunct 900 Hornet, the CB1000R is a whole new bag for Honda, designed with Europe, using a retuned version of the 2007 FireBlade engine and with 2008 FireBlade forks and brakes, a beautiful single-sided swingarm and fabbo styling. In fact the only thing the CB1000R lacks is a bit of soul and the noise you get from a Brutale or Speed Triple. But for ninety-nine per cent of the time it’s a better bike in every respect.

- Check out hondacb1000r.com for a forum chock-full of info, knowledge and advice on all things CB thou.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Honda CB1000R’s suspension is softer than, say, the Triumph Speed Triple’s, but, for many give the perfect blend of feel and comfort. Most don’t want a bike that’s rock hard, just one that lets you know what the wheels are doing and one that doesn’t pitch around under power or braking. The Honda gets it bang on. It may lag behind rivals on track, but in the real world, where cops are hiding in trailers with speed guns, the roads get ever busier and the surface isn’t racetrack smooth the Honda CB1000R is a brilliant unfaired bike.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Honda CB1000R uses a 2007 FireBlade unit that has been retuned for maximum torque and midrange. It’s similar to the CBF1000 engine but gives stronger performance. As such, 130bhp is plenty but it’s more about the torque and the way the power is delivered that impresses. It comes on clean and fat to the point where sixth gear will pull 30mph with no shakes just clean drive. That said it doesn’t howl or really get you excited. It has the looks of something really aggressive but it never really wants to kick off. In comparison to the Speed Triple it’s not quite as raw, but that makes it easier to ride than all its rivals.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Like with the equipment, the Honda CB1000R’s quality, like most Honda’s truth be told, is right up there with the best. Paint is thick and creamy, metal finishes excellent and the only slight doubt regards reliability, simply because the bike’s so new and proven.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

At £6950 (£7450 with ABS) the Honda CB1000R is impressive value, especially considering its spec and the Honda badge, in the naked litre-bike category, undercutting the more basic Speed Triple and Tuono comfortably. Find a Honda CB1000R for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Honda CB1000R is a top quality bit of kit in every respect. The forks are taken from the 2008 FireBlade but feature different internals. Brakes are taken from the 2008 Blade, too, but use smaller 310mm discs, different master cylinder and brake lines. Flashy LCD clocks are, Honda claim, the most sophistated and expensive to produce they’re ever made and then there’s that stylish and clever single-side Pro-Arm rear end…

Owners' Reviews

21 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB1000R (2008-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
4 out of 5

So much....

30 June 2012 by hondated

wanted to like this bike because to me it looks gorgeous and with the straight bars should be practical.However for and I must emphasis for me as I am sure many others don't I found it to be very uncomfortable. The problem I had was the magic... Read more triangle ie seat bars and pegs position.I felt that I was being pushed forward too much and even having had a gel pad placed in the seat I could not get comfortable.The end of the bars seemed to be looking upwards which also made it and I emphasis again for me uncomfortable and to make matters worse I seem to have brought one that had vibration through the bars which also made riding it a chore.The other issue I had was that the pegs seemed to be too high for me and after 50 miles my knees started to ache.It must be said though that I am a 61 year old man so that could be a big contributary factor in the issues that I had as well.On a positive note its a Honda so has Honda quality it looks gorgeous corners like a dream and the engine is a dream and even with a standard exhaust sounds brilliant.So in summary I would say if you are considering buying one don't be put off by any of my negative points as it may have been just me but do make sure that you have a good long test ride and also consider what you want the bike to do.Foolishly having brought it I thought about touring in France and I am sure you can do that in fact I know that you can but if you want to do that rather than mainly ride it local then get a GS etc or perhaps like me buy Tiger 1050

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

HONDA CB 1000R/2010

07 August 2011 by dannywest

The CB 1000R is a very good bike, out of the box... but with the correct tuning it is a really great bike. Take off all the extra weight, stock exhaust, de cat, rear pegs , tail light lump, etc , install a power commander 5 and a full akrapovic... Read more exhaust system and prepare to ROCK . Now you can feel its,true power actually about 114 to 120 bhp..and smooth,excellent handling and beautiful soundtrack ,plus now it is also about 15 kg, lighter,add some new Dunlop SportSmarts, and enjoy.!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Big Brother Hornet

17 March 2011 by maillotjaune7

I had a 2008 CB600FA for 2 years which had the CBR600 engine tuned for midrange. I loved that bike! BUT then I saw the CB1000R at the NEC and just thought WOW. It looks stunning with sharp slick lines. The single side swing arm is mint....I fell in... Read more love. I test road it and found it so easy to ride. The instrument panel is awesome, everything about it is class and stylish and up to date. I opted for the Sienna Red with Extreme graphics and also got a cracking deal from John at Hunts Honda Manchester. Got some extras with make it better too, under tray kit, R&G tail tide, 3D graphics, Hand fuel tank protector and some R&G crash bungs. The engine provides smooth acceleration, very quick off the mark, loads of torque. Its not for thrashing over 100mph because of the buffeting of wind buts its a smart commuter or Sunday blast around/show off bike.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A VERY GOOD BIKE

04 November 2010 by Anonymous

I first saw this bike at the bike show.Then I was down the local dealer when they were doing demo rides back in 2008.Did not take much notice and only had a demo on one this year.I had bike for one hour and rode it in town,country and on... Read more motorway.I found seat a bit hard but since I have sat on one which had the optional gel seat and that is far more comfy.I would go for non cbs/abs as it has better front brakes,less weight and less cables etc.The engine was great it had power where you want it .Power in the midrange off the throttle with out a flat spot with a very smooth engine.It got to 120mph quick and I done a top gear roll on from 70mph and it picked up well.combine this with low weight and the bike is quick to turn in .Very little wind protection though but it is a naked after all.But after market screens are avaliable. Good build quality and good accessories and very easy chain adjustment and you have one very good bike.The only thing I wish it had was a centre stand and a bigger headlight cowl like the fazer which I have ridden but found it revvy with power at top end.This is my favourite naked bike until I saw the kawasaki z1000sx on mcn and this looks very good as well.Honda is supposed to be updating the cb1000r for 2011 and I hope they get it right.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Power, Style & Handling

26 August 2010 by Carlosoul

Great around corners this bike is, you look and it turns, no effort needed at all, the low centre of gravity Honda has attempted really pays off. Power is great as the torque has been increased at the low end making it accelarate like a... Read more banshee. Style is wonderful, the looks you get say it all, I've had groups of people standing around it on ocassion (have had some mods though, but not many)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Brilliant Bike

27 July 2009 by thermick

This bike is the business as far as I am concerned. I am too old for the crouched riding position of sports bikes, with the CB1000R I can sit upright and go like the clappers. Things that put a smile on my face are the blistering acceleration, the... Read more incredible easy handling, good brakes, aggressive looks, good fuel economy (average over 10 miles per litre). My only complaint is that compared with my previous bike (CBF1000)the mirrors leave a big blind spot behind the rider where a following custodian of the law could hide. The engine is so smooth and the fuelling is spot on. The exhaust is fairly muted but then you do not need to be making a lot of noise in order to get a move on and I don't get complaints from my neighbours. If you are thinking of buying a CB1000R go and have a test ride and start smiling.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
2 out of 5

Pretty but Dull

29 April 2009 by EdsETV

Currently run a Tuono 1000R and liked the look of the new Honda CB1000R and decided to take a test ride. Glad I did as, whilst it looks good, has safe handling and good brakes, it feels gutless in comparison. I cannot believe it is 130horses and... Read more hopefully one of the mags will dyno its output. It may be unfair to judge it after a short ride but it lacks any knd of personality or emotional pull. Easygoing would be a good description but is not what this class of bikes is about. So no sale and I will wait until hopefully Aprilia do an RSV4 Tuono ;-)

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Test ride first!

21 February 2009 by ipcress

Took this bike for a fast ride on A&B roads in dry conditions. Linear power delivery no top end rush, handling on A roads no problem however when pushed hard on a good surfaced, crested B road the limitations of its suspension became apparent. From... Read more airborne on landing the front end complains and the need for a steering damper is clear. Brakes, no complaints there. On balance a bit dull and when pushed hard shows its limitations. Sorry Honda need to try harder.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Perfect

20 December 2008 by simonxg

As a new rider with little experience the Honda is perfect, predictable, easy to ride but with enough grunt to be exciting at the same time. Love it. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

dont bellieve the hype

11 October 2008 by pussy liqueur'

Done 2000 miles now on this bike a good bike yes but could have been so mutch better 130bhp ? reality 110bhp feel like ive been ripped off thanks 4 screwing me out of my hard earnt cash HONDA Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 21 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £9,299
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 130 bhp
Max torque 100 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.14 secs
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 209 miles
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled DOHC 16 valve inline four cylinder. Fuel injection. Six gears.
Frame type Aluminium spine
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 217kg
Front suspension 43mm upside down front forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Single rear shock, fully adjustable
Front brake Twin 310mm front discs with four-piston calipers
Rear brake Single 256mm rear disc with dual-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2008: Honda CB1000R launched.
2011: Honda offer CB1000RA [£9.375], CB1000R Extreme [£8,985] and CB1000RA Extreme [£9,575]

Other versions

None.

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