Honda CB1000R - Blade undressed

Published: 06 November 2017

The CB1000R has been reborn with a Fireblade derived engine with radically new styling (for Honda) along with the CB300R and CB125R

After teasing us with the Neo Sports Café concept, Honda have released the CB1000R – a sports derived naked that eschews its RR heritage. The styling is radical - dominated by modernist brushed steel rather than the hyper aggressive plastics of old - but there’s still a beast within.

The CB1000R has a new Fireblade derived engine, which delivers 16% more power than the old model and 5% more torque in the midrange, so the power isn’t coming in the upper reaches like it does with the ‘Blade. Honda have achieved this in many ways but the chief reason is that the CB1000R motor has a longer stroke, compared to the Fireblade. It’s down geared too, meaning it’s quicker than the Fireblade to 80mph. As expected there’s a new exhaust strapped to the new block, which Honda say emits a raw-edged howl when the exhaust valve opens – although whether this exhaust will be as ear splitting is yet to be announced.

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Also moving over from the Blade is a new ride by wire throttle that has three preset riding modes plus a user customisable one. As you might expect, this brings all the riding aids present on the Blade. The CB1000R now comes with a slipper clutch and an optional quickshifter is available.

Taming the new found power is a brand new steel chassis and Showa suspension, which has helped the bike drop 12kg over the old model although at 212kg wet, it’s no featherweight. In comparison to the Blade, the wheelbase is much longer to make it a more stable ride. Radial front brakes, ABS and a bigger rear tyre complete the spec improvements. As well as the standard model, there will also be a CB1000R+ that comes fitted with a quickshifter, heated grips plus a range of other premium add-ons.

But this all begs the question: is it enough? It’s down on power compared to its Euro rivals but unlike the Blade, there’s no magical low weight figure to save it.

  • CB1000R
  • 998cc inline four
  • 143.4bhp @ 10,500rpm
  • 830mm seat height
  • 212kg (wet)

CB300R – the smaller sibling

For bikers stepping up from a 125, it’s one hell of a leap to the CB1000R, so Honda have designed the CB300R – a distillation of the Neo Sports Café concept into a smaller, less powerful package. As well as mimicking the style of the big bike, the CB300R also has some good components on board including 41mm USD forks, a radial front brake with hubless disc, LCD dash, LED lighting and an IMU-based ABS.

This is Honda’s first naked of this size to come to the UK, but the A2 market is crowded and the 31bhp of CB300R might be outshone by others going for the full 46.6bhp permitted.

  • CB300R
  • 286cc single
  • 30.9bhp @ 8500rpm
  • 799mm seat height
  • 143kg (wet)

CB125R – the baby of the bunch

Naked 125s are great to get you started but with the exception of the KTM Duke, do very little to get your heart racing but the new CB125R does just that. Taking all the styling cues from the CB1000R, the little 125 really looks the part. Honda say the engine is free revving and delivers plenty of low down grunt that, combined with the low weight, puts a real spring in its step. The rest of the kit is good quality too with 41mm USD forks and preload adjustable monoshock. Like the 300, it also has a radial front brake, IMU-based ABS, LCD dash and full LED lighting.

  • CB125R
  • 125cc single
  • 13.1bhp @ 10,000rpm
  • 816mm seat height
  • 126kg (wet)

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