Last week I had my first “proper” road ride of the new 2018 CB1000R and thought I might share a few observations. I’d ridden it previously at Rockingham on a Honda training day (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!) and I was very familiar with the previous model having regularly commuted on it, toured through France and Spain to Gibraltar on it and I even managed to write one off at Silverstone on another Honda track event, not the bikes fault I might add! As you can probably tell I am quite a fan of the CB1000R.
First impressions of the new bike are impressive, it’s a lot livelier with more power in combination with reduced weight, and it just loves to rev! Big “H” claim it gets to 80mph quicker than the Fireblade, I wouldn’t argue with that, it certainly is quick. I’m not just referring to straight line stuff either, once I’d dialled in a bit more damping and preload on the rear shock, it held a tight line. Prior to this there was a bit of understeer, not the bikes fault but my enjoyment for all things calorific. I wish I’d had the opportunity to play with the suspension at Rockingham, where on the track it was way too soft for me, which manifested as understeer and a lack of cornering clearance, the “hero blobs” took a bit of a pounding as a result!
There are multiple options for power, torque and engine braking and the bike I tried had the optional (for the standard model) quickshifter. This bike has no problem lofting the front wheel and with the quickshifter keeping it there as well! Full power, minimal torque control and medium engine braking were my favoured settings.
The brakes are equally impressive, a couple of times my enthusiasm got the better of me and I had to call on them to get me out of trouble, I found out the hazard lights flash if you brake really hard! I was on unfamiliar roads and entered a few bends too hot, even when trail braking the bike held its line, the old model would’ve struggled if you tried this.
I must admit I wasn’t that happy with the styling on first sight, but it has really grown on me now. The rear number plate bracket is my least favourite part of the bike and I was pleased to talk with R and G who are shortly releasing a tail tidy for it – which I have already ordered! The optional rear seat cowl balances the overall look of the bike as well. The old model is now looking a bit dated in comparison.
I believe this model to be superior to the old bike by some margin, but don’t take my word for it, the bike I tried was our 21st Moto demonstrator so come and have a go and make up your own mind.