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HONDA CBR1000F (1987-1997) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

So bland it makes Katie Melua look like a brazen rock chick

Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Riding

So bland it makes Katie Melua look like a brazen rock chick

  • At a glance
  • 998cc  -  135 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  160 miles range
  • Insurance group: 14 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (780mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The sports-touring Honda CBR1000F was always in the shadow of more exciting motorcycles, yet had a decade long production run. It had its good points, such as a comfortable riding position, good build quality - except for early camchain tensioner problems - and respectable handling. But the Honda CBR1000F is so bland it makes Katie Melua look like a brazen rock chick.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Honda CBR1000F's suspension is slightly mushy, especially the non-adjustable front forks and the rear shock tends to get sloppy when the motorcycle is pushed hard, letting the back end bounce around. As a touring motorcycle, the Honda CBR1000F offers a nice, plush ride for two people. As a sports motorcycle it's just too soft, too vague.

Engine 3 out of 5

Compared to its contemporary rivals like the Kawasaki ZZ-R1100, or Suzuki GSX-R1100, the Honda CBR1000F lacks real kick-in-the-pants power. It is a deceptively fast motorcycle, but it feels a bit flat somehow and never really gets your pulse racing. Early Honda CBR1000Fs suffered camchain tensioner problems, but there was a Honda recall on them and most were fixed rapidly.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Honda CBR1000Fs can rack up a huge mileage, 60-80K is typical before any serious signs of engine wear. Apart from the suspension getting soggy, the chassis also wears well, so the Honda CBR1000F makes a very good budget touring motorcycle. It's hard to go wrong with `em.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Most bikers would rather buy a big 80s/90s motorcycle with some soul, some aggression, but there are those who like the sheer quality of the Honda CBR1000F and its understated ability in real world riding situations. If you want a big 1000cc bike, but don't actually want to ride very fast, the Honda CBR1000F is damn near perfect. Find a Honda CBR1000F for sale.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The Honda CBR1000F has a comprehensive dashboard, excellent lights, brakes, comfy saddle, bungee hooks and passenger grab rail. It even has a centrestand - praise the Lord. The Honda CBR1000F is a well thought out package and the later models feel more durable and better finished than the early ones. 

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1987
Year discontinued 1997
Original price -
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £120
Performance
Max power 135 bhp
Max torque 66 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.3 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type 16v, in line four, 6 gears
Frame type Steel twin beam
Fuel capacity 998 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 230kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 296mm disc
Rear brake 255mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1987: Honda CBR1000F launched.
1989: Restyled Honda CBR1000F appears, with `bamper damper' crash protection, new bodywork, tweaked engine.
1993: Honda CBR1000F gains a linked braking system (CBS), plus more styling updates.                                                                                                  1997:Honda CBR1000F discontinued.

Other versions

None

Owners' Reviews

11 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR1000F (1987-1997) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CBR1000F (1987-1997)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 4.2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Big red monster

25 June 2018 by Big Jock

Very comfy perfect riding position for someone over 6ft 5in only problem is a very spongy rear shock.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brakes very keen, perfect braking.
Engine
5 out of 5
Still plenty of power easily accelerate past 100mph.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
All rebuilt as a project, very well built.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Seems to drink lots of fuel, only getting 30 mpg and not the claimed 46mpg.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Bridgestones front and rear. The rear could do with being a bit wider especially for someone my height and weight.
Buying experience

Private, the last owner rebuilt it as a project bike and did a very good job.

5 out of 5

Classic bike with lots of heart and will last forever

12 June 2018 by Catfish

I would absolutely recommend this bike to a friend. I would then show them the advantages to gear ratios. Zero to a hundred in the city is all you need. It's much easier to talk your way out of an 80 mile an hour ticket then a160 mile an hour ticket. Sprockets and ratios are just a way of discipline. This bike by new standards is very heavy at about 560 pounds. Seat height can be a plus for short legged people that are wanting a 1,000 CC bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
When you take away some of the speed from the top end as I have 0 to 80 will impress anyone. Corners extremely well. Suggest not to be your first bike. Take time to learn the way the bike responds it is a bit different than other sports bikes. Because of the positioning of the handlebars and the seat a comfortable ride was not more than an hour.
Engine
5 out of 5
28 years old and still going extremely strong. At Bike Week in Florida you can definitely keep up with the more expensive bikes with the gear reduction in sprockets. Let's face it, no one's doing a 160 mph or 180 mph, the police are everywhere during Bike Week. But light to light this bike will take almost anything.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
The engine is extremely well-built. The downfall is the alternator is not capable of turning the RPMs that the engine is. So if you over rev you will be buying an alternator. Alternators are getting hard to find and when you do find them they are $600 to $800.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
It is now a 28-year-old bike. I have ridden it for four years and replaced the alternator, voltage regulator and front forks with tyres front and rear. Replaced sprockets taking away top end and giving me a 0 to 60 mile an hour that will kick you in the seat of the pants. Top end is now 100 mph. With sprocket reduction wheelies and loss of traction in corners when advancing throttle become very easy. I have only had one other bike of this size which was the XXR 1100 and I would rate them almost equal for road performance but the XXR was easier on my back for long distance. The XXR costs more by far, and the maintenance per year is higher. I broke two overhead valve change on the XXR and have had no problems with the 1000F. It is a classic bike and maintenance is part of the game of owning this age of bike. The advantage is the price on the older bike. Half as much as a new bike or less. Disadvantages finding parts. If you take it to a big dealer they will tell you that they cannot get parts on anything 7 to 10 years old. That leaves you doing the work on your bike yourself and buying parts through retailers or online.
Equipment
5 out of 5
The way the seat is built it is very comfortable for two people. Just be aware the girl on the back is going to be complaining that her butt is showing to the world.
Buying experience

I bought from an individual, it this was the love of his life. He was very meticulous at keeping it absolutely original. It would never sit in the sun more than an hour if not being ridden.

5 out of 5

The Beauty of a CBR1000F

11 February 2018 by Pete

Over the last twenty years I've read many overly-pained reviews about the CBR1000F. Back in the day when the first GSXR1100 came out, the CBR thou was overshadowed, yes. I remember the day very clearly. But at 23 years old I bought my first '90 FL - unknowingly at the time, the quite rare colour version of red and white straight stripy decal with a black seat and gold rims. As it turned out, the '89 FL evolved into the standard White and Blue with Black seat, White and Red with Blue seat, and Red and Black with Black seat versions. These were the 'sorted' FL, FM and FN versions Before the later ABS version came out in 97/98. I now own four Hondas, six including the Accord and the lawnmower. Having ridden many other makes and models, I can't shake the sheer engineering and finish of this particular Honda. More than once I have read about the 'sloppy rear handling' and I just don't agree. Bumpy 80-mph exits are where this beast excels, not fails! My '98 Blade cannot compete with the planted feel of the thou - even now. Before people start to think I don't know what I'm talking about, I've covered the bridge to gantry in just over one minute slower than the fastest lap ever on a motorcycle - 8:25 - on my '98 Blade - in 1998!. 25 years ago at 23 years old, my first 1990 CBR1000FL was the nicest bike I'd ever ridden. but now, my second and latest, 1989 one-previous-(collector)-owner, 4,294-mile museum piece, now concours example (white & red with blue seat), is still my favourite bike of all time. Don't ride it much as keeping it pristine. I don't think it's long before it'll be worth £20k. I love it more now than my first one. Will take it to the grave. I truly believe it's the best example in the world today purely as it's like looking at a brand new '89 F plate bike in the shop, and I guess there isn't another one out there detailed as well as mine. Probably the world's most underrated (and in my view undeservedly slated) motorcycle of all time?

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
In 1993 went to South of France in TWO days from Zeebrugge. Comfort wise, could have turned round and come back the same day, no probs. 100% perfect comfort.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth-to-the-point-of-boring - until you notice the speedo! 30mph to 160mph in top, and flawless, beautifully carbureted power delivery - only comparable now to fuel injected bikes - ahead of its time!
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Beautifully engineered parts - they simply don't make motorcycles like this anymore. Heat-reflecting side panels, a car-bonnet like tank stay for holding up the tank while doing your plugs, the way all the fairing panels slot together with millimetric precision. The headlamp drain hole on the side-stand side (bet no one knows that)! The massive front indicators - just lovely. The awesome 130bhp, magic carpet -like swoosh. The silence of the (standard) exhaust. Many friends have joked how weird it is that on full-bore overtaking when racing along, they cannot hear my bike when it passes them. No camchain tensioner rattles - Silkolene Pro-4, say no more.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Low costs!
Equipment
5 out of 5
Fat seat and tank for long time in the saddle. Michelins back then nice, but now only use Conti Sport Attacks for all my bikes. Those are utterly fabulous for dry weather (for wet weather, don't ride fast or stay at home - simples!)
Buying experience

Unridden for 5 years and complete fuel system damaged from old tarred petrol. Bought as non-runner, without a key (owner recently deceased, probate, etc), from Lings Honda. Ordered them not to touch it. A steal at £2,700!

4 out of 5

Big Bertha

02 November 2016 by Chris

Reliable, fast and relatively comfortable even for pillion. Able to make 300 km out of a full tank. Bad points are that it's heavy and the weight distribution too much on the front. Not a lot of character also.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
It's not made for small people and it takes a little experience at slow speeds. Stop for half an hour every empty tank. Linked brakes are a good point.
Engine
4 out of 5
Good power across the rpm range. Can take it from 1000rpm in 6th without a problem. Only weakness is that it has not a lot of character.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
The helmet clamp is nice to have, good protection against wind, can take almost every tyre and still be capable at a fast-paced ride. I dont feel like I needs more equipment... maybe a clock?
5 out of 5

Performance on a Budget with comfort all the way

22 October 2016 by mark benney

I bought this bike two years ago as a none runner. Did full strip and clean of carbs. And she fired up, felt a heavy bike to corner with Bridgestone tyres on. So fitted Metzler Z6 tyres what made it feel light in the corners. Then fitted a none baffle stainless steel exhaust system and a K&N air filter. With a shim in the carb needles. Now she is a beast

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Brakes I love, took a while as first bike with linked braking system Let down No adjustment on front forks. That said she handles her self very well in the corners. No more than 5mm chicken strip on rear
Engine
5 out of 5
Ok standard maybe 4 rating Change air filter to K&N and exhaust system you will get a great performing 1000cc at a budget price. Also a couple shims under to lift carb needles is advised if running none baffled. Then will be lifting the front wheel nicely up to 3rd gear
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Totally reliable bike. Not one issue in over 10'000 miles since rebuild
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I ride the bike hard and it loves it. I do tend to go through rear tyre every 3-4k front not much longer
Equipment
5 out of 5
The braking system, some hate it. But find it makes a 610lb bike feel a lot lighter when you are pushing her through the Sss
Buying experience

I bought Bike very cheap as none runner with low miles. Carb clean and charge of battery and she was ready for Mot

5 out of 5

CBR1000FP review

16 September 2016 by Chris Robbo

Drop forks in yokes 20mm + increase rear preload + add a better single sided can and place 1 thin washer under each Keihini carb needle to rick mid range + K&N Filter and you have a different bike. Just awesome. mine has 110 at the wheel standard and keeps up with anything on the road today,

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Road Pilot 4s are the best and go 180 wide at rear
Engine
4 out of 5
linear but needs a bit of fuel low down
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
just oil pads and filters
Equipment
4 out of 5
heated grips and bob heath screen extender
Buying experience

private ebay

4 out of 5

CBR1000FV 30 Thousand miles

04 August 2016 by Ben Bradley

This is the 4 the CBR1000F i have owned and is near identical to my last, yet it is some how a better machine. It has so subtle mods which have greatly improved the overall ride. Handle bar risers, K&N air filter and a pair of Delickivic end cans all set up to run at the optimum. It is super comfortable and has amazing lights for those wishing to venture out after dark. 2 niggles on this the Dual linked brake model. 1st the Dual linked brakes can sometimes dive the front end when using the rear only and 2nd could really do with a back lit clock for touring.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Ride is plush and i have done 400 miles in a day comfortably on the bike. Pillion comfort is also very good. Brakes are very strong if a little intrusive (dual linked system).
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth silky power delivery with loads of useable power and torque throughout the range. Deceptively fast three figure speeds will appear with ease.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Its amazing looks like a nearly new bike in comparison to the competition from the era
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Fuel economy is ok and will do around 150-160 mile before reserve on a run, round town around 120-130 before reserve.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Clear clocks and good switchgear, could really do with a built in clock to be perfect.
3 out of 5

1996 CBR1000F

18 February 2011 by MarkShelley

I own 6 bikes and have been riding for over 30 years so I have ridden a few in my time. I bought my CBR1000F last year with 56K on the clock. It is in amazing condition for its mileage and could easily pass for one with 40K less, such is the build quality. The engine has extremely linear power which for a sports tourer is just perfect in my book, particularly if you carry a pillion. Its natural home is on sweeping a roads and motorways as its high speed stability is teh best I have ever experienced and somehow what appears to be quite a low screen results in the best aerodynamics I have experienced with no buffeting to my helmet. I will not be getting a flip screen as it could only make it worse as it is perfect as it is, almost like sitting on a magic carpet. It reminds me very much of a bigger, longer VFR750, which is a good thing!

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

G Reg cbr1000f

29 April 2009 by rod1967

I rode one of these a few years ago and always dreamt of owning one , well that day came true on the 28th of April 09 , I SOLD MY ZXR750 due to wanting something more upright but still with a bit of power , what a dream to ride , I hope to own this for years to come .

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

CBR 1000 F-N 1992

17 April 2009 by fzr_paul

Got this bike last year and i have covered over 3000 miles on it in all weathers without any complaints from. OK this is not an out and out sports bike but it makes an excellent all rounder, riding position is good, suspension is ok if set up properly and will stay with the majority of sports bike if you learn how to ride it properly even 2 up. Will def recommend this for someone who wants a large capacity sports touring motorcycle.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 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

I dont know any better

12 February 2008 by scotsman4th

Ok, review probably seems a bit high (verging on favouritism)but as the title says, I dont know any better. It seems too good a bike not to have a review so thought I'd put in my tuppence worth. I only passed in March 07 and I'm now on my second one. I find it very comfortable for my size (6ft2) with a ride position that suits me. The 2 I've had have never let me down, were/was cheap and cheerful, handle fine for my experience and the engines Japanese so bullet proof. Again, I haven't the knowledge or experience to know any better, but I'd highly recommend them as a first bike. My 1994 is a lot better than my old 1989 one, lighter (but with less power), it seems to handle better and is building my confidence nicely.

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

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBR1000F motorcycle review - Side view
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