HONDA CB1000R Black Edition (2021 - on) Review
- The friendliest of super nakeds
- Solidly built and great to ride
- List price helps its appeal
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Though more than fast enough and far from shy when it comes to rideability, the 2021 Honda CB1000R is the least super of the super-nakeds.
- Related: Best super naked motorbikes
The 143bhp inline four looks a bit humdrum next to attention-grabbing loudmouths like the Ducati Streetfighter V4.
But for 2021 Honda have upped its appeal with tweaked fuel injection, sharper styling, cunning tech and new multi-spoke wheels. It replaces the 2018-2020 Honda CB1000R.
At £12,999 OTR, is the CB1000R Black Edition the naked we should all be buying?
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The CB has limited shuffle room, but the riding position has a pleasing mix of super-naked attitude and daily-use comfort. It’s designed for dissecting B-roads rather than chasing lap times and with a compact, light chassis with delicate steering and accurate handling it’s fun and easy to master but the shock still goes ‘boing’ if you’re going with gusto. The brakes are decent without being overly impressive.
Fast and fun but not overwhelming, light and accurate without sacrificing rideability, the Honda CB1000R might not be as rowdy or as focused as some of its sportier opposition but it delivers a polished and inspiring road ride.
The Black Edition does have a couple of issues, though. First, its capable chassis still deserves a better rear shock and the throttle is still too on-off…
EngineNext up: Reliability
Measuring 75 x 56.5mm, the 998cc inline four can trace its ancestry back to the 2004 Fireblade. No wonder the exhaust has a Blade-like rasp. It’s the same unit as previously used in the CB1000R, with the same 77lb.ft at 8250rpm and 143bhp at 10,500rpm.
Yes, it’s plenty fast enough. The exhaust has new flow sensor gubbins and the injection settings are altered to give a more polished delivery and improve response; but, as before, the throttle is snatchy in Sport mode (or in Rider with full power selected), especially in the lower half of the revs.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The light-swallowing hue is everywhere, from the Honda’s bodywork, fork stanchions and subframe to every millimetre of the exhaust. I normally roll my eyes at blacked-out schemes, but there’s something appealing about how the CB is shrouded in utter darkness, yet its components and profile are clearly defined. The Black Edition bikes get ‘CB’ machined into the handlebar clamp and a slick-feeling two-way quickshifter.
It’s also fabulously well-made and presented, and now has more than enough attention-grabbing technology. I think the restyle has made it better looking.
It’s a typically solid chunk of motorcycle from Honda and feels sturdy and reliable.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
At a quid under £13k, it’s significantly cheaper than a Ducati Streetfighter V4 (£17,595) or an Aprilia Tuono (£15,500). It also undercuts the new Triumph Speed Triple RS by a couple of grand, but these machines are at the top end of the super-naked league table with a lot more horses on offer.
When compared to more similar machines, let’s call them ‘softer’ nakeds, the Black Edition doesn’t look quite such good value for money. Yamaha’s faster, growlier, equally usable MT-10 is £500 less and Suzuki’s Katana is £11,499. But you could just go for the base-model CB1000R Candy Chromosphere Red at eleven-and-a-half or so instead…
Weird that its main rival is, kind of… itself!
There are four riding modes (Sport, Standard, and the customisable Rider mode) linked to three levels of traction, engine braking and engine power.
The updated CB also has a 5in colour TFT display. The same as used on the revised X-ADV and Forza 750, it has oodles of info available on four layout choices – and can be controlled with speech operation.
Download an app, connect an intercom, and you can use your voice to dictate messages, make phone calls, control music, ask about the weather forecast, or get navigation. A panel on the right-side of the display shows what’s going on and gives turn-by-turn directions.
The traction control allows graceful power wheelies in Sport mode, but just as you feel like a superhero it suddenly jumps in and cuts the power – BANG. It’s then a couple of seconds before the engine will pull or rev properly. The fastest starts actually come with the TC set to full, when the CB1000R just stays level and zips off.
New multi-spoke wheels add a touch of class to the new CB1000R and give the understated CB a little something to boast about.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled DOHC In-line 4 cylinder|
|Frame type||Steel mono backbone|
|Fuel capacity||16.2 litres|
|Front suspension||Showa SFF-BP USD fork with 120 mm stroke|
|Rear suspension||Monoshock with gas-charged HMAS damper featuring 10-step pre-load and stepless rebound damping adjustment with 131mm stroke|
|Front brake||310mm double disc 2-channel ABS|
|Rear brake||256mm single disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear tyre size||190/55 ZR17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||47.7 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£9,500 - £13,000|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||144 bhp|
|Max torque||76.7 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||170 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2008: CB1000R launched. Features retuned ’06 Blade motor producing 130bhp, a single sided swingarm and funky styling. A fine machine, but lacked soul and performance compared to its rivals.
- 2018: Revised CB1000R with more power, electronic rider aids, a new chassis, bigger back wheel, new styling and as step up in build quality.
- 2021: Revised CB1000R with Euro5 complaint engine, redesigned headlight and radiator shrouds. It also got a new cast aluminium subframe and seven-spoke wheels.
- CB1000R Plus (or +) Has a quickshifter, heated grips, brushed aluminium front mudguard and rear hugger panels, a fly screen, single seat cowl and radiator grill with CB1000R logo.
- CB1000R Black Edition (as tested here)…
MCN Long term test reports
Official Guy Willison 5Four special Honda CB1000R unveiled
Honda UK have yet again teamed up with customiser Guy Willison to create another short run of specials. This latest model, limited once more to just 54 individually numbered units, is built around a stock CB1000R with no changes to the chassis, engine, or electronics (barring the addition of an OE q…
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CB1000R (2021 - on)
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