Barely having cocked my leg over the new Honda CB1000R, I find myself riding it off to Honda for its first service, I arrive with 601 miles on the clock, perfect.
With the engine nicely warmed up on the 20-mile ride over, its straight onto the work bench to have the engine oil drained out.
With the bike up in the air, it’s a great chance to give it a good look over. Things I notice straight away is the oil filter is on the right side of the engine under a neat little cover for easy access. The old days of fitting them under the middle of the engine behind the exhaust system, where all the crud gets fired up off the front wheel are gone, much better idea.
New filter on and oil filled back up was pretty painless, especially when someone else is doing it. Most of the first service was a detailed check, tighten, top up and lubricate, especially the chain, it just wanted a clean and lubricate. I also needed a slight adjustment using the C-spanner that comes in the tool kit, which is still the same as the original one that came with the original Honda VFR750.
Service over, I had ordered some of Honda’s luggage, Honda Neo Sports café saddle bag and tank bag. The tank bag fits very simply, the two screw in the top of the tank are removed and replaced with slightly longer ones with that are used to secure the tank bags two front fixings, with magnets at the back to keep it secure. The saddle bag can only be fitted with the pillion seat, not with the Honda seat cover, as it relies on fixings on the underside of the pillion seat to attach the rear straps and the front ones attach to the pillion footrest arms.
The saddle bag is a good size, and can be extended if need be, the tank bag on the other hand is rather tiny, but useful for odds and sods when you’re wearing full leathers and have no pockets. All sorted it was off back to the office, taking in some the back roads. The bike felt tight again, super smooth gear changes and that warm feeling inside when you’ve given a motorcycle a bit of a treat.
Finally here, the Honda CB1000R+ arrives
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new Honda CB1000R. I knew it was on it’s way, but before I would get the key, it was going to be pressed into action, taking part in MCN’s 250 up against the new Triumph Speed Triple.
So, I had to wait just that little bit longer and, to be honest, those two days felt more like a week, but then finally I get my hands on it!
The finished product has turned out to be even better than I thought and up close the bike oozes quality. Each part is very nicely made, beautifully finished, but above all, looks very considered - resulting in a bike that really flows (well, except the rear number plate mounting, but I will just have to get used to that).
Straight away, I realise a problem, having been out on the test the bike has already clocked up 550 miles, so I had 50 miles before it had to go in for its first service, and the place was 20 miles away - better get it booked in!
My first ride was stacked with anticipation, having studied all the bikes vital statistics; 143bhp, 77ft-lb of torque, four-cylinders inline with 16 valves and a quick shifter. All this added up to something that rather excited me.
Sitting on the bike turns out a better fit than I first thought. With my 6ft1in frame and long legs, the scalloped-out sides of the meagre 16.2 litre tank, the high bars and slightly rear set pegs feels relatively roomy.
Engine running, I take a quick look around the rather modern looking clock display to familiarise myself. Fuel? Yes. Modes? It's in user - I’m sure that’s fine. Right, into gear and off!
Straight away the ride feels light, nimble, firm but still comfortable. Before I know it, I have used up all six gears and still searching for a seventh (which unfortunately doesn’t exist). As for power, I’m not really feeling the anticipated 143bhp, let alone my much loved 77 ftlb of torque. What’s going on?
I decided to go against the typical bloke thing and refer to owner’s handbook. Ahh, low and behold, the error of my ways. This ‘user mode’ that I didn’t fully understand is where you can set the levels of Engine Power, Engine Brake, and Honda Selectable Torque Control (which can be switched off) to your own personal preferences, rather than using the Honda presets of 'sport, standard and rain.'
With my new-found knowledge and the bike set to full power, full engine braking and minimum torque control. Five minutes into the ride and the difference is remarkable, I now had the bike I had wished for! Now to keep playing with more of the electronics...