All Tests – The CB1000R is ready for this summer! – Used HONDA

The CB1000R is ready for this summer !

All Tests - The CB1000R is ready for this summer! - Used HONDA

Many were waiting for the Hornet 1000, but it’s finally a CB1000R that Honda is launching this year to attack the maxi roadster segment. A big league where you have to have the weapons to win … This is what we tried to verify: test.

Absent from the maxi roadster segment since 2006, Honda took its time replacing the Hornet 900. And while everyone was desperate to see the Hornet 1000 arrive, the world number one offers a brand new model: the CB1000R, not to be confused with the family Superbike, the CBR1000 (RR)…

Unveiled and examined from all angles at the last Milan International Motor Show (read), the CB1000R had once again made an appointment with journalists in Milan – ah, Lombardy, its lakes and its sun! – to make his very first official turns of the wheel.

Milan: Honda certainly did not choose this city by chance! First of all, Milan is one of the highest places in fashion: it makes sense to present a model there who wishes to become "the star of the small roads" like the one "terraces" !

And we have to admit that on this last point, Honda has set the bar high with its new CB1000R! Drawn "in Europe, by Europe and for Europe", insists the manufacturer, the CB1000R has a look at the height of the competition but also – this is the other side of the coin – to make the Hornet 600 pale. !

The Italian touch of Paolo Cuccagna, European leader of the project which already officiated on the Hornet 2007, is very present: the single-sided / rim assembly, in particular, is admirable, well highlighted by the short pot – sober or austere? – and a high, short and tapered rear part.

Why the single-sided ?

"For competition, a "classic" swingarm is what makes it best, we see it in MotoGP"Says Tetsuya Kudoh, chief product development engineer for Honda Japan when interviewed on site,"but the single-sided arm provides ample performance on the road and offers a better look".

In fact, the adoption of the single-sided arm was obvious: "this is an element that came up most often in our studies, many people wanted a single arm", confirms Gilles Michel of Honda Motor France.

Until now reserved for nasty English (Speed ​​Triple) or Italian (Monster or Brutale) roadsters, the single-sided arm therefore allows the CB1000R to stand out from the rest of Japanese production … For now ?

This same rear part – triangular – blends perfectly with the front optics – triangular -, which overlooks the new speedometer unit, also particularly worked … and aesthetically successful.

We will note all the same two small errors of taste, even if of course "the tastes and the colors are not discussed": the plastic tank protection comes unnecessarily invade the beautiful tank, while the two screws fixing the top of this same tank act as real "black dots" just under the pilot’s nose !

Capital of fashion therefore, Milan is undoubtedly in the running to obtain the title of capital of traffic jams too! And that’s good for the new Honda, which was able to show one of its main assets in these heavy traffic conditions: its disconcerting accessibility !

Certainly, nowadays, most of the new models compete for "ease of handling"! But with its contained weight (217 kg all full), its well-designed saddle that allows you to touch the ground without worry, its thin tank, its handlebars placed relatively high and its lever settings (front brake but also clutch), the CB1000R does everything to put his pilot at ease !

Very easy in town

From the first hectometers, the links are forged and we quickly reach the urban "outposts" … namely the many red lights in Milan! Starting is very easy: the smoothness of the clutch and the flexibility of the Japanese 4-cylinder propel the CB1000R far ahead of the flood of cars and other large-wheeled Italian scooters. !

The ease of use of the engine at low speed should also be emphasized: at low speed, the engine derived from that of the 2007 Superbike world champion (read our) shows astonishing flexibility. Even if we think about it, the version fitted to the CBF1000 already excelled in this type of exercise (read our). But lighter than the road (which weighs 250 kg), the roadster is even more lively and accepts to resume without flinching almost from idle.

The acceleration is therefore both measurable and gentle and even if the driver suddenly feels like opening wide to overtake, no sudden change disturbs his driving. It is the same when you cut the gas suddenly.

This engine approval is a definite asset for the CB1000R in an urban environment, to which can be added its well-staged gearbox which is just as smooth to use, as well as its good turning radius. After this first Milanese test, validated high on the glove, heading for Lake Como !

Milanese nightingale ?

By borrowing, under an increasingly threatening sky, the highway which leads to the great lakes, the new Honda reveals a second facet of its personality: without noting of abrupt runaway on the part of the sympathetic 4-cylinder, the access to the middle of the tachometer offers its share of sensations…

Between around 4000 and 7000 rpm, the CB1000R accelerates vigorously and the rider should hold on tight. Here again, the Honda roadster scores points, offering these speeds very satisfactory for a 1000.

The sensation of acceleration is however attenuated by the discretion of the pot: not only is it short, but it is not a "Milanese nightingale": whatever the speed, the CB1000R hums more than it sings and lovers of beautiful music will have to equip it with an adaptable to amplify its vocalizations. And why not that of the XESS version, offered at the beginning of the year by Honda Italy (read) ?

Although this is not his favorite terrain, the CB1000R does a pretty good job of getting out of the way on expressways. Stalled at 140 km / h counter in sixth, the pilot does not benefit from any protection but enjoys good times and excellent road holding. Even on vile Italian motorway connections, the CB1000R calmly maintains its course.

Impeccable cycle part

Its inverted 43mm fork ("identical to the new CBR1000RR", underlines the manufacturer) offers a remarkable compromise between rigor and comfort, just like the rear suspension. And for those that this compromise would not fully satisfy (it leans a chouilla more towards the comfort than the sport), they will always be able to play with the adjustments of the two elements: preload, compression and rebound at the front, preload and rebound at the rear.

Over the kilometers, therefore, the attention of the tester is focused on other subjects than the impeccable cycle part of the bike. He thus discovers that if the mirrors are free of vibrations, they suffer from too short supports which penalize the vision..

Another problem that points: the saddle – yet "more padded than that of the Hornet", indicates Raphaël Harrach, engineer in research and development at Honda Europe -, obliges to move away his buttocks from the tank to gain in comfort.

Fortunately, once the secondary network is approached, everything is back to normal: the wind pressure is less annoying, as is the saddle, on which you can move easily. Wedging the knees under the ridges of the tank, the angles are taken gradually: the sides of the BT015 are still virgin !

Like the large curves of motorways, the laces of the small roads of Erba and its region are swallowed without the slightest concern. The front axle is particularly neutral and allows the pilot to quickly gain confidence in his new toy.

Progressive cornering

Corrections of trajectories are easily done and slight interventions, to the throttle as to the brake lever, only slightly modify the behavior of the CB1000R. Its brakes are also like the engine: not excessively biting, they react to the finger and the eye – but still especially to the finger! Can be dosed, they are very powerful in the second half of the race.

On the very winding roads taken during our test, we take full advantage of the 99 Nm delivered at 7,750 rpm while the 125 horsepower developed at 10,000 rpm are rarely released. On a more rolling track, the "real" pilots of the free world will perhaps find the maximum power of the CB1000R too light, but the common people will be entirely satisfied by its full mid-revs..

In France therefore, the 106 legal horses should be enough to satisfy the large panel of customers to which the CB1000R is aimed: "the clamping will be entirely electronic in order to keep the same sensations, except at the very end of the rev counter", confirms Gilles Michel from Honda France.

When the first drops of rain appear (as it was too quickly the case during our test!), The linear and predictable character of the 4-cylinder – but which has a real character all the same! – then becomes a precious ally.

It’s in the same rain – first fine, then quickly pouring! – that one realizes that the information appearing on the three digital screens is not always readable. Drops stagnate on it and prevent a quick reading of the many data provided by the CB1000R, including, unfortunately, the speed displayed in the left dial…

New for 2009 available in July 2008

Easy and "sensational", the CB1000R is therefore likely to hit hard when it unloads in July in French dealerships. All the more so as this "new 2009" (it is not a 2008 model, as the laws of marketing decided!) Is positioned at 10,300 €, ie the low price range of maxi roadsters: Honda is certainly remembers the cautious reception given by French bikers to the Hornet 600, when it was launched with a high price.

Available in Dragon Green Metallic (yes yes, it’s green!), Pearl Nightstar Black (black), Sword Silver Metallic (silver) or Pearl Cool White (white) in its standard version, the CB1000R will be offered in black or silver in its standard version. its ABS version (4-piston caliper without radial fixing) one month later, in August 2008, at a price of € 10,900.

"This is an effort from Honda, because the price difference between a standard and ABS version is normally € 450 for a 125 scooter, € 600 for a medium displacement (Hornet 600, CBF600 …) and € 1,000 for a large displacement (previously the Varadero 1000)", explains Bruno Chemin, Honda France communications manager..

With its CB1000R, the world number one is therefore brilliantly reinvesting the maxi roadster segment: full of torque, easy to access and capable of maintaining an imposing pace on any type of road, the new Honda just lacks a bit of voice. It remains to be hoped that the French bridle will not distort his sacred temperament !

Finally, the new CB1000R may pose a commercial problem for Honda because if, from a dynamic point of view, the Hornet CB600F defends itself very well, aesthetically the CB1000R gives it a hell of a blow of old … When will a CB600R, capable of frankly relaunching Honda sales in France? To be continued … Stay connected !

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