The 2018 CB1000R’s styling takes a bold – and distinct – new direction.
Its proportions are now much more compact, with a trapezoid silhouette. The overhang of the distinctly-styled round headlight is 90mm shorter and the swingarm-mounted rear numberplate/mudguard unit (a first for Honda) allows for an extremely short, sculpted aluminium tail unit incorporating neat under-slung pillion hand holds.
Conspicuous by its absence is plastic – there are only 6 exterior parts constructed from that material, the largest being the svelte front mudguard. By contrast, what really makes its presence felt is the use of premium metal finishes throughout the machine, drawing on the long, café racer tradition: parts such as the burnished aluminium radiator shroud and airbox cover, the machined engine cases, cylinder head and sprocket hub, and the lustrously painted flangeless steel fuel tank.
All lighting is LED and the thin round headlight (with its metal-tone painted rim) employs a horseshoe-shaped light ring as well as distinctive two-bar light signature. The rear light is also a semicircular light bar that fills in solid when the brakes are applied. The T-shaped instrument panel – finished in the same metal-tone paint as the headlight rim – integrates into the top yoke, minimising bulk and the ignition switch is positioned at the front of the fuel tank.
The CB1000R has a new a mono-backbone steel frame. It uses split-tightening aluminium pivot plates – which save 2.5 kilograms – to grip the signature single-sided swingarm, which is 14.7mm shorter at 574.2mm.
Rake is set at 25° with trail of 100mm. Wheelbase is 10mm longer at 1455mm with wet weight of 212kg – 12kg lighter than the outgoing model. Weight bias is 48.5%/ 51.5% front/rear. Helping the CB1000R’s side-to-side agility, the crank centre height is 5mm higher.
The rider triangle is relaxed, with a ‘natural crouch’ afforded by the 12mm wider tapered aluminium handlebars sited 13mm higher than the previous design, matched to a seat height 5mm taller at 830mm. The flangeless fuel tank too is broad-shouldered but heavily cut-away to allow plenty of knee room.
The adjustable front fork is a Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston unit (SFF-BP). It contains all the damping function in one leg, reducing weight, while delivering compliance, comfort and control across a broad range of riding conditions. The Showa rear shock adjusts for spring preload, compression and rebound damping.
Up front dual radial-mount four-piston front calipers bite 310mm floating discs, matched to a twin-piston caliper and 256mm rear, and 2-channel ABS. A 190/55 ZR17 rear tyre sits on a 6.0-inch rim, replacing the 180/55 ZR17. The front tyre remains a 120/70 ZR17.
A ‘CB1000R+’ version will also be available, with even greater aspirational appeal. It comes with quickshifter, heated grips and a range of premium accessories that flesh out the CB1000R’s styling: metallic meter visor and seat cowl, front fender panel, hugger panel and radiator grill.
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