1970s styling meets 2021 tech in new Honda CB1000F concept

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This computer image is our best look yet at Honda’s new CB1000F retro-styled roadster which was first teased by the Japanese company back in March.

The bike is based on Honda’s popular CB1000R ‘Neo Café’ roadster but with all-new styling touches inspired by the double overhead cam CB750F2 and its bigger brother, the CB900F, of 1979.

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As such it takes a similar approach to Kawasaki’s Z1-inspired Z900RS which debuted in 2017 as a faithfully retro-styled bike with completely modern, proven mechanicals. Honda have yet to confirm that the bike is going ahead. But the unveiling of the ‘CB-F Concept’ in the spring, combined with rumours from Japan, suggests a production version is imminent.

Back in March Honda said the machine came about as a result of revisiting its CB series’ illustrious history and by ‘thoroughly exploring what to preserve, and what to evolve’ in a future model.

It added: “The CB-F Concept is an ambitious fusion of cutting-edge technology with a design paying homage to the CB900F (CB750F in Japan).”

As it’s based on the current CB1000R, the retro F features the same liquid-cooled, DOHC, 998cc four, although, as with Kawasaki’s Z900RS, we expect it to be detuned slightly.

The F’s chassis, too, is almost identical to CB1000R’s, which features a lightweight, high-tensile steel spine frame complete with an aluminium single-sided Pro-Arm and thoroughly modern, multi- adjustable, inverted front forks. The four-piston radial brakes and modern 17in wheels are also expected to be lifted straight from the R.

Fuel tank and bodywork, however, are all-new and reports from Japan suggest the new CB1000F, which could go on sale at the back of next year, will feature a full suite of the latest electronic rider aids including ABS, modes and traction control.

Honda CB1000F fast facts:

  • Light fantastic The chassis is virtually identical to the R. It’s a light spine frame with Pro-Arm monoshock rear, quality inverted forks and powerful radial brakes.
  • Past master Retro styling is inspired by late 1970s DOHC CB 750/900F fours, particularly those raced in the US AMA series by Freddie Spencer, hence the silver/ blue paint.
  • Open wide say ‘R’ The engine is a 998cc liquid-cooled DOHC four from the CB1000R although we’d expect that bike’s 143bhp to be detuned to provide a fatter low and midrange.
  • Modern love Retro styling, maybe, but the F isn’t a replica, more a fusion of old and new, so expect the latest LED lights and indicators and TFT instruments.
  • Friends electric Modern powertrain/chassis/performance demands modern rider aids so we expect the F to have Honda’s latest traction control, riding modes and more.