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Test ride review: Honda CB1000R
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Test ride review: Honda CB1000R

Abhishek Wairagade

Super nakeds haven’t made it big in India yet. You see, our streets are filled with idiots and the litre-class nakeds come with a handful of power. However, Honda has done something no other manufacturer has tried yet: putting a full-blown litre motor in a retro style machine that still goes like a bullet (not the Made in Chennai one)! Behold the all-new CB1000R.

“It looks even more badass with its retro styled headlamp that gels well with its power cruiser-ish minimalistic approach”

The Honda CB1000R is one if the coolest looking motorcycles

One of the coolest motorcycles of the current Honda line-up, bookings for the CB1000R have already started. And not the regular version, but the full blown Plus which gets heated grips, aluminium fender panels, windscreen and a bi-directional quickshifter! The previous gen CB1000R was always popular on our roads for its stubby looks and punchy inline-four motor. The latest gen takes the game a step further. Honda has started with a completely clean slate for this one, be it the design or the underbody. It looks even more badass with its retro styled headlamp that gels well with its power cruiser-ish minimalistic approach. Honda says that there are only six plastic panels on the bodywork; the rest are all brushed aluminium and it works oh so well! The detailing is exquisite and you even get cooling fans on the back of the headlamps, something seen only on vintage classics! The cluster isn’t TFT based but looks classy with its minimalist white on black theme.

“The Sport mode is extremely fun and there is this relentless surge of power throughout the rev range, which goes all the way up till the 11,000rpm limiter”

On the go

The ride mode toggle is the easiest ever witnessed on any motorcycle. Typical Honda then. However, the Cee Bee isn’t all about aesthetics. The 998cc inline four makes 144bhp and 104Nm from its 2006 Fireblade-derived motor. Coming with an inline four, the power delivery isn’t peaky. I tried running it in Rain mode thanks to the onslaught from the rain gods and it didn’t disappoint. The Sport mode is extremely fun and there is this relentless surge of power throughout the rev range, which goes all the way up till the 11,000rpm limiter. It urges you to do so in every gear, the shrill howling inline-four showcasing the bike’s character to the T. It gets snatchy in Sport mode though. I mostly rode it on the highway, encountering some fast sweeping corners. The suspension was a bit on the softer side and the Cee Bee wallows through corners but come on, this isn’t a thoroughbred racer like the Tuono, is it? The forks, though, are completely adjustable so that problem can be sorted too. My only concern was the big feelers protruding off the pegs.

It’s not a lightweight either (212kg) but it’s here to create a niche market for itself and not compete with the likes of the Speed Triple or even the Z900. An uber-cool, retro-styled, litre-class naked….there isn’t anything like it out there! Priced at Rs 14.46 lakh (ex showroom, Delhi), the CB1000R could well be the best inline four naked in the country!