More than 50 years ago, Honda introduced its first motorcycle equipped with an inline four-cylinder engine. The CB 750 was born in 1969, which forever changed the history of motorcycles and the motorcycle market, making Japanese brands famous and leading many European manufacturers to decline.
Since then, four-cylinder engines have won over millions of fans around the world and have become a “trademark” of Japanese manufacturers. As the largest cubic capacity naked bike and also the most powerful CB produced by Honda today, the CB 1000R continues the legacy of the Japanese brand’s four-cylinder motorcycles in this new generation.
Although it has not undergone radical changes, as it arrived here in 2019, the 2023 CB 1000R brings improvements to a bike that already fulfilled its role well. In other words, being a naked with agility to ride in the city and good performance and some comfort for a weekend ride.
Despite being a naked motorcycle derived from the supersport Fireblade, the CB 1000R can be considered a sensible streetfighter. Without the excesses of the Ducati Streetfighter V4 or the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, the CB 1000R proves that you don’t need all the power of a 1000cc sports bike in a naked, yet still deliver strong, balanced performance and a great look. attractive.
More powerful and less polluting
The most noticeable changes on the 2022 model are visual: the air filter housing covers and radiator frames have a new design; the headlight adopted a teardrop shape and the alloy wheels gained more spokes and lost weight.
The engine also underwent a tuning in the power system, to meet the rules for emission of pollutants, which came into force in Europe this year and will take effect in Brazil from 2023. Interestingly, it gained power, just over one horse and went on to deliver 142.8 hp at 10,500 rpm. In my opinion, more than enough on a motorcycle without any aerodynamic protection and intended for use on streets and roads.
But what really matters is the torque felt from low revs. Impressive how the CB 1000R can be driven as if it were an “automatic” motorcycle: on the road, to ride “in good”, you can keep high gears and you don’t even need to make downshifts in the six-speed gearbox.
But if you like high spins, don’t worry. Above 8,000 rpm, the engine shows where it came from – from the eighth-generation CBR 1000RR Fireblade (2012) – and delivers that punch in the gut that only four cylinders are capable of.
At that time, the fun thing is to shift gears close to peak power and enjoy the stretches and stretches of this CB 1000R Neo Sports Cafe on the winding roads of northern São Paulo and southern Minas Gerais, where I rode about 200 km with the new naked.
It is also possible to make it more spicy, or more peaceful, through the piloting modes. Rain, Road and Sport alter power delivery, traction control and engine brake actuation quite noticeably. And you can even customize the User mode to your liking.
Sport and comfort tailored
But the riding position and ergonomics say more about the character of the CB 1000R than the engine inherited from the Fireblade. The wide handlebars are high enough that the rider doesn’t lean too far forward, just enough to “pierce” the wind at 120 km/h and not feel his back after a ride.
The footpegs, centered and positioned well below the rider, are a little high, not as much as in sports, but they force you to flex your legs. The seat offers comfort for a short ride – up to 200 kilometers – before it starts to bother you.
But it’s in the details that the CB 1000R honors Honda’s tradition of making bikes that are pleasant and easy to ride. The levers and controls are positioned in such a way as to favor ergonomics.
The brakes offer safe braking and just enough to stop the CB 1000R’s 200 kilos, but without the brutality of sports. The slip clutch, on the other hand, requires almost no effort to engage, but on winding roads the quickshifterexclusive to the Black Edition version, shows its advantages with quick changes and precise couplings.
The chassis also mixes comfort and sportiness, as is the case with the entire model. Neo Sports Cafe. The inverted telescopic fork at the front and the single-link rear even absorb some imperfections from the streets of small towns, but guarantee a stable and comfortable handling on the road.
In the curves of Minas, together with the Michelin Power 5 tires, the cycling set inspired confidence to put the CB 1000R in the curves. Do you know the type of motorcycle that goes where you want? Well, this is Honda’s 1,000 cc naked, following in the footsteps of its predecessors.
If, in terms of performance and cycling, the new CB 1000R lives up to Honda’s long tradition of producing four-cylinder motorcycles that are pleasant and easy to drive, in terms of technology, the model innovates.
It makes the debut in the Brazilian market of the Honda RoadSync connectivity system, which allows you to connect Android smartphones with the motorcycle’s dashboard – as long as you have an intercom or a set of Bluetooth speakers, with microphone, in the helmet.
That’s because the system works by voice controls, to avoid distraction. After all, on a motorcycle you can’t keep looking at the commands on the screen and pressing many keys. So, to access smartphone functions, the Honda Smartphone Voice Control System (HSVCS) requires the installation of a dedicated app and microphone. Intuitively, it is possible to receive messages, search for destinations or even know the weather forecast.
A very interesting novelty at a time when we depend on the smartphone for almost everything. I think that the system created by Honda and others will still evolve a lot, mainly in the processing speed, and I hope it won’t be a distraction for motorcyclists anymore. But, I confess, taking a trip through the winding roads of Minas listening to a good playlist is quite fun.
After riding, once again, with the CB 1000R, I conclude that it is the best choice for anyone who wants a four-cylinder, 1,000 cc Japanese naked, in the Brazilian market. After all, it is as powerful as its main competitors – Kawasaki Z 1000 and Suzuki GSX-S 1000 – and is in the same price range, that is, above R$ 70 thousand.
The “standard” CB 1000R, sold in red and a beautiful matte silver, has a suggested price of R$71,900; while the exclusive Black Edition is priced at R$ 79,970 – in addition to the black paint and exclusive details, the version has a small fairing on the dashboard, a single seater option and the exclusive quickshifter.
In favor of the Honda model, in my opinion, is the more pleasant look, which mixes touches of modernity with minimalist lines, while Kawasaki and Suzuki bet on a more aggressive and futuristic design, which refers to Japanese designs, in their nakeds of a liter.
In addition, the CB 1000R features very refined electronics to ensure driver safety. Now, it has gained enhanced smartphone connectivity. One more point for bignaked from Honda.