By on March 3, 2021

 

CB1000R

Consider the Honda CB1000R, everything you need and nothing you don’t. Beyond the naked bike school of thought, the CB1000R is unbridled joy, without the race replica look of a sport bike, nor the flash of a cruiser.

This time around, Honda further refined what they call the Neo-sports cafe concept. With the emphasis on light weight, great handling, and a powerful engine, they didn’t neglect styling either. Unchanged from 2020, the CB1000R’s steel frame uses pivot plates to secure the single-sided swing arm with an adjustable Showa shock and 5.2-inches of travel. Its 57.3-inch wheelbase incorporates 24.7-degrees of caster angle, with a 43mm Showa SFF-BP fork, adjustable for preload, rebound, and damping, with 4.7-inches of travel. Dual four-piston caliper brakes with 310mm full-floating discs are used up front, and a single 256mm single-caliper rear. Cast aluminum seven-spoke wheels are wrapped with a 190/55ZR17 tire in back, and a 120/ZR17 tire up front. With a tank full of gas and all required fluids, the CB1000R tips the scales at 467 pounds, and that’s with 4.3 gallons of gas, weighing a little more than 27 pounds.

A 998cc, DOHC 11.6:1 compression four-cylinder engine resides in the CB1000R’s frame. At 11,500 RPM, the redline begins, and at 12,000 RPM, you hit the rev limiter. PGI-FI settings for 2021 have  been enhanced for smoother power delivery, and improved throttle response. Mated to a 6-speed close-ratio transmission, the bike’s tuning sweet spot is the 6-8,000 RPM range, which is great for roll-on acceleration and overall performance. A three-level, adjustable quick shifter was added for 2021, for faster, smoother up-and-down gear changes while on the fly.

On a test ride of the 2020 model, the CB1000R didn’t disappoint, and I believe the ’21 version would be equally as exhilarating. The balance is what’s most appealing, and it feels as forgiving as it is accommodating to your riding style. Mine is decidedly more relaxed than years ago while working on a bike publication, but that being said, it can provide plenty of thrills with a quick twist of the wrist.

Just as Henry Ford once said, you can have the 2021 Honda CB1000R in any color you want, as long as it’s black. To be more precise, in Honda’s case it’s graphite black. This isn’t limited to the tank, fenders, and other body parts, it’s the entire motorcycle, and outside of a bit of aluminum visible here or there, that’s it. The spoked wheels are black, and so are the forks, exhaust, mirrors, exhaust, and taillight housing. Limited only by model year, in 2021 you’re only going to get a 2021 CB100R in black, and unless Honda feels the need to come back midyear with a different exterior color, you’ll be able to spot a ’21 model easily.

One other thoughtful touch for 2021 is the addition of a USB socket under the seat, for smartphone charging.

Base MSRP is $12,999, with a $450 destination charge.

[Image: Honda]

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29 Comments on “2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition – Ride It Like You Stole It...”


  • avatar
    stuki

    “everything you need and nothing you don’t. ”

    Aside from around 100 more horsepower than you “need,” on any bike without a fairing protecting you from the windblast those extra 100 horses enable…..

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I like pretty much everything about it except the ungainly exhaust and Torquemada-approved passenger pillion and foot pegs.

  • avatar
    wolfwagen

    Is it me or is this a pretty good review from Jason?

    The only thing I would have reworked was the last sentence in the 2nd pargraph about the gas tank.
    YMMV

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It’s a great review, assuming he actually rode the motorcycle. And I’m going to guess he did not. If he didn’t, then this is no different than a critic giving a four-star review to a movie he never actually watched.

      Mr. Sakurai, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        How about you read the article?

        “On a test ride of the 2020 model, the CB1000R didn’t disappoint, and I believe the ’21 version would be equally as exhilarating.”

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Ah, then, I stand corrected. But here’s the problem: when you start your article with “this is unbridled joy” you should mention that you’ve actually ridden the thing, versus dropping that tidbit far down in the story.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “…the CB1000R is unbridled joy…”

    How would the author reach that conclusion without having ridden the motorcycle? Far as I can tell, the only thing he rode was his office chair, as he rewrote Honda’s press release. Feel free to correct me if I got the wrong impression.

    Come on, TTAC…this nonsense is happening every day with this guy. He needs to get his act together or the site needs to move on from him.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    This is what Harley needs to build. Reliable sporting bikes that appeal to younger riders. Add into that smaller “middleweight” spoerty bikes and ADV bikes. Large lumbering cruisers and road sofas are boomermobiles that no one else buys.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    OK, I’m getting real tired of the pop-up Lexus ad. More importantly, why do we have a motorcycle review on a car site? In case the TTAC editors don’t know, there are actual motorcycle websites. I realize this concept might be difficult for the editors to understand but riders to go to motorcycle websites to read about motorcycles. Not cars, motorcycles! This is just lame.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t mind motorcycle content, but calling this a “review” is quite a stretch – unless I’m very mistaken, this author’s behind never touched the seat of this bike.

      Again, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Sakurai.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        Jason rode the ’20, and the ’21 hasn’t changed much. We’ve updated the article to reflect that he has ridden the 2020 and has experience with it, though this is not review, but rather a news story in which the author has had some seat time that’s instructive and informative.

        As you know, reviews are always labeled as such.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Thanks, Tim. I read the first two sentences, which didn’t mention that he’d actually ridden the bike, and assumed he hadn’t. If this were my piece, I’d have added that fact right up front to avoid the impression I (and many other readers) got.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfwagen

      Agreed

  • avatar
    gozar

    Why are commenters saying the reviewer didn’t ride the bike, when he writes, “On a test ride of the 2020 model, the CB1000R didn’t disappoint…?”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I like this bike no extra cladding and just as basic as you can get in today’s world. With the 4 cylinder I bet this is a real thrill to ride. The price tag is a little steep but then I haven’t bought a bike in years. Honda does make outstanding bikes and their engines are among to best and most reliable.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lou_BC–Agree. Wouldn’t hurt to have an inexpensive no frills sport bike in the 400 to 500 cc range especially for younger riders starting out. The speed is not as important as the ability to handle the bike. I had a red 1980 Suzuki 450GS with a café racing like fairing that was a quick and a good handling bike.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I like it, but it looks like it has the suspension travel of a dual sport.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lou_BC–Thanks I did not know that. It would be more fun to ride something with less stuff but long distance it would be different. How many younger riders could afford 12k for a bike? Could see many young riders buy used instead but then that is true with cars and trucks as well.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    Most haven’t noticed, because the shapes have evolved over years, but these naked bikes look like ass. If people think they look good, it’s either because they love Manga, or they’re comparing the looks to last year’s models. They’re visual nightmares, with dozens of overdesigned elements and little visual relationship between the components and their functions. It’s tiring to look at them.

    Oh, and get off my lawn.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    If electrifying cars is a good idea, electrifying motorcycles would be a better idea, because:
    • Motorcycles (generally?) weigh less than cars, and motorcycles *typically* have shorter range than cars, so smaller battery pack is required
    • Smaller battery pack = less $$
    • Smaller battery pack = faster recharge time

    https://luxe.digital/lifestyle/cars/best-electric-motorcycles/

    [For the price of three of these Hondas, you could own the fastest motorcycle on the planet.]

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’ve never ridden an electric motorcycle, but if they are half as fun as electric bicycles, they’ll be awesome.

      It seems like a lot of motorcycle owners are very bound up with the idea of being loud, though.

      • 0 avatar

        Electric motorcycles are twice the fun of electric bicycles. I’ve ridden the Harley Livewire and they are fun, fast, smooth & quiet, but the big problem is range. The range on the Harley Livewire is 147 miles city, but only 70 miles at 70 MPH. Harley claims both the standard plug and Level 2 option take around 12 hours to fully charge the LiveWire,they don’t have level 3. I ride with friends on weekends and our usual rides are between 100 & 150 miles for the day, so an electric bike wouldn’t work for people like me. The Harley electric bike cost $30,000 which is way too much for it’s limited range.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I prefer the looks of the classic Honda 750 and the classic Norton and Triumph but for a modern bike this is not bad. To me it is less about looks and more about how a bike handles. Really don’t like a lot of ornamentation especially if it is a lot of extra plastic. Also I don’t like a lot of noise a little is ok but not too much.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    “Ride It Like You Stole It”

    And make sure to register yourself as an organ donor.

  • avatar
    mdanda

    A CB1000 is a death sled for enthusiasts only. Better to discuss the Honda CB300, which is a far cheaper and more rational vehicle. Another interesting topic would be alternatives to cars, such as electrics or the latest crop of 3-wheel motorcycles.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree with you on it being a death sled especially for inexperienced younger riders which is why a 400 cc to 500 cc would be more than enough. Not many new bikes available for the new inexperienced rider. My Suzuki GS 450 S was more than enough for an inexperienced rider and had enough acceleration to get out of a bad situation without losing control. I do give credit to Honda for coming out with a more base motorcycle but a 500 cc would be a good addition for those new riders and those of us who might want and would buy a less powerful motorcycle.

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