HONDA CB1000R Black Edition (2021 - on) Review

Highlights

  • The friendliest of super nakeds
  • Solidly built and great to ride
  • List price helps its appeal

At a glance

Power: 144 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Medium (470 lbs / 213 kg)

Prices

New £12,999
Used £10,000 - £13,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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. 

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 & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Front brakes on the Honda CB1000R are 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…

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

You may think 143bhp isn't much for a modern super naked, but it's ample for us...

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 quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

There is beautiful detailing on the Honda CB1000R

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 rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

The Honda CB1000R's main rival is probably itself

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!

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Honda CB1000R clocks

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.

Specs

Engine size 998cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled DOHC In-line 4 cylinder
Frame type Steel mono backbone
Fuel capacity 16.2 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 213kg
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 -
New price £12,999
Used price £10,000 - £13,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 144 bhp
Max torque 76.7 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 170 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 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.

Other versions

  • 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)…

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