Honda CB1000R goes American!

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“Why, oh why won’t Honda import the awesome naked Fireblade to the states? All we want is a naked superbike without compromised performance!” Well stop your bitching, Honda heard it and is bringing in the CB1000R starting in the spring.

The Honda CB1000R is a naked roadster that’s designed and manufactured in Italy and uses an aluminum backbone chassis that supports a de-tuned CBR1000RR engine. The inline-four makes 124bhp and 74lb/ft and has to power a total package that weighs 217kg/478lbs (wet). Suspension is fully adjustable front and rear and features 43mm upside-down forks and radial brakes. No dollar price has yet been announced.

Unveiled at EICMA exactly three years ago, American Honda has, until now, stated that it couldn’t sell the CB1000R here due to the high Euro-to-Dollar exchange rate. We’re not sure what’s changed, but we’re awfully glad that it has.

With the CBR250R and now the CB1000R in addition to the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR, the American Honda model range is filling back up with bikes that we want to own.


  • Kevin

    Wes, you guys are killing me. This gives me more faith to believe the CB1100 may make it stateside.

    • s0crates82

      fingers crossed, dude.

  • ike6116

    Beast mode activated.

  • s0crates82

    looks like a fz1 with a naked headlight kit, and a single sided swingarm conversion.

    dig the swingarm.

  • pplassm

    Well. One out of four ain’t bad.

  • robotribe

    Well color me surprised. I’ll wait to see a price before any happy dancing commences.

    • Beast Incarnate

      Gotta agree. Here’s the sad thing: of the 10 or so people who said they’d buy this in a heartbeat, all but one or two have already moved onto other bikes. For those last few, the naked landscape has shifted significantly since the CB1000R launched. I hope that this bike does well.

      Does anyone else feel like Honda’s just being jerks at this point? It’s a roller coaster ride from hell. Yay! Boo! Woohoo! Oh god no! Holy crap!

      • robotribe

        If Honda has shown us anything, starting with the FURY(!), it’s that they’re more reactionary than strategic, and by “reactionary” in there case, I mean consistently LATE to actually react. I like this bike. I really do. But, as you’ve already stated, interested American buyers like myself and others, perhaps fell in love with this bike THREE YEARS AGO and have probably moved on since then.

        Even before this Honda gets to U.S. shores, it’s already lining up behind the Monster 1100 & Streetfighter, a new Z1000, and re-worked Speed Triple and Aprilia Shiver; all of them are competing for the same customer that Honda IGNORED for three years now. The ONLY way to grab attention from those other bikes is to price the bike as a competitive bargain, which, going by their track record in that regard is, sadly, unlikely.

        I don’t think they’re being jerks. This, as well as the “adventure” bikes, that “crossover” thing and the faired Hornet 600 all smell of one thing to me:


        • Les

          They do seem to be about 5 years behind the ‘trends’. Case in point : the new v-strom/bmw 1200 honda thing. I’m trying very hard to forget I ever saw that.

          Ah, the olden days when honda lead instead of following far behind. cb750, the goldwing, the hurricane, the rc30. What have they become except a survey group making middle of the road crap trying to offend no one and offending everyone as a result.

          I personally trace the decline of honda to the introduction of the Rune model.

          Grow a set honda and do something bold.. and i don’t mean another #$*@$ Rune or Fury.

          • robotribe

            “What have they become except a survey group making middle of the road crap trying to offend no one and offending everyone as a result.

            Therein lies the problem. What does the Honda motorcycle brand represent currently in the USA? Kawasakis and Suzukis are bang for the buck (comparatively). Yamahas hang their hat on engineering and racing pedigree. Honda bargains? Only in 2 y.o. or older models that sit on the dealership floors. Honda technological evolutions that change or push the rest of the industry? Shamu didn’t deliver it, and let’s not forget about the revolutionary DN-01 all the promise it delivered on.

            With specific regard to the U.S. market, Honda is lost. Every kid who even had half a boner for a CBR600 moved on a couple years ago. IMO, the CBR250 has a chance to succeed, but Honda doesn’t have a new, head-turning flagship/halo bike over here to ignite people’s passions, let alone keep enough folks interested. Given the current economic climate, that’s just another kick in their collective nuts.

  • Steve781

    Givi better get on engineering a wing rack mount kit for this thing.

  • miles_prower

    Woah! Best news today. When I used to live and work in Europe, Fireblades were the standard standard. Glad the model is finally making it stateside.

    Speaking of Italian and Honda, I wish Honda would import this Japanese bike. It looks “Italian” in a super-obvious way.

    <a href=""Honda VTR with Trellis Frame.

    When I was first learning to ride, I wanted one of these, but I eventually bought a Yamaha dual-sport before settling on the “real thing” a year later.

    • miles_prower

      ^^^ Meant to say “Glad this naked CBR1000R model is finally making it stateside.”

  • miles_prower

    And ouch, my html skills suck today.

    Honda VTR with Trellis Frame.

  • X1 Mike

    Beauty is only skin deep but ugly is to the bone. I’m really sick of the origami inspired Japanese bikes. I would never buy a bike on looks alone but that thing makes my eyes bleed.

  • John

    Finally. a Honda imports a UJM! Yippee????

  • John

    PS – how am I supposed to know that’s not a Kawasaki Z1000?

    • Grant Ray


    • Beast Incarnate

      You may have inadvertently tapped into the marketing strategy: confusion.

    • the_doctor


  • shawn.bassplayer

    Interesting…. I first read “…All we want is a naked superbike without compromised performance!” Then 2 sentences later I read “…an aluminum backbone chassis that supports a de-tuned CBR1000RR engine.” To me, this says it’s a naked superbike WITH compromised performance. NO?

    Now I’m not saying this thing can’t perform. This thing is probably a beast and surely can tear up any road in America. But still…. it is what it is. A naked bike that’s a detuned version of it’s superbike brother.

    • Beast Incarnate

      Shawn – It’d make more sense to say “re-tuned” so that it doesn’t sound like you’re just dicking the bike up instead of shifting focus from top end power to low end and midrange. But oh well. The only way to get what you’re asking for is to roll your own. Everything in the naked segment that doesn’t have a purpose-built engine is de/re-tuned. Those with purpose-built engines won’t win a HP shootout with the superbikes, nor do they try to.

      • shawn.bassplayer

        Absolutely agree. But I do find that these naked bikes DO have compromised performance. Their brakes tend to be a little softer. The suspension is usually a little cheaper. The weight is always more.

        They still kick ass…. but they aren’t the bikes that their superbike versions are.

        It would be nice to get a naked version of a superbike. If they want to re-tune the engine for better midrange… sure. But why does it have to weigh more?

  • Duke Boyne

    Now do it with a liter v-twin.

    • stratkat

      dude, its called a Super Duke and it lives!

      • miles_prower

        Or a Ducati Streetfighter w/ 133 HP and 72 ft-lbs at the rear wheel.

  • JimSmiffy

    I hate how Honda de-tunes the nakeds. What a turn off. They did that with the 919 when it made its way over here. I can’t help but think that costs them more sales than de-tuning bolsters.

    • Beast Incarnate

      Who doesn’t de-tune their naked bike that borrows a motor from another of their bikes? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. The problem comes into play when the de-tuning takes an exciting engine and makes it bland; Honda’s certainly suffered from that in the past.

      • 2ndclasscitizen

        Since Aprilia has lopped a couple of hp off the new Tuono, it’s only BMW left holding the full-power-naked torch.

    • swfcpilot

      We often put too much emphasis on the peak HP and torque numbers when it’s the overall powercurve that matters. You don’t really want to be going 150 mph on a naked bike all that often so the upper peaks shouldn’t matter that much. On a 04 Honda 599 that I had with nothing but a flyscreen for wind protection, 120 mph was getting way into the “hang on tight and stay low” corner of the envelope. Knowing that, it only makes sense to retune the engine to produce more torque down in the 2-6K rpm range than the pure sportbike engine even if the highest peaks are lower. Makes for an easier motor to live with day to day and express your around town hooliganism!

      • Beast Incarnate

        I think that’s an industry wide problem. As Wes mentioned with the Triumph Adventure 800, the manufacturer only released peak numbers, so that’s the grounds consumers use for comparison. If they would release a dyno curve instead, offering a picture of power delivery, maybe there would be a shot at shifting perceptions away from the focus on peaks.

  • John

    An 800cc V4 naked = cool.

    A V2 NAS based naked = cool.

    An I4 with a mini fairing = 80s.

    An I4 with angular mini fairing = 90s

    I wonder who is going to win the whole Bush/Gore thing?

    • swfcpilot

      Of course if you mean the VFR’s V4 engine, it’s downright fugly when the fairings come off of those twin side mounted radiators. Still, I have seen a couple of cool looking conversions…

  • Rucuss54

    A Honda made in Europe= expensive here.

    • swfcpilot

      Yep. That was just one reason that the 599 and 919 didn’t sell very well. Honda said they wouldn’t sell the 599 at a loss (made in Italy), so because of the euro exchange rate it cost $1000 or more than its competitors.

      • cdsv

        And it still had carbs.

        • Beast Incarnate

          Don’t remind me. Those 599 carbs had no love for me.

  • Les

    This bike would be a blast to ride around the city.

    The back wheel looks kinda neat, though the design doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the rest of the bike. +1 for single sided swing arm.

    However…my over all feeling is it’s damn ugly and full of the ‘modern style’ which is crap on a stick, imo.

    I wish this trend of alien insect transformer robot headlights would die the death it deserves (still crying over the new speed triple face). The same can be said for god ugly bloated pipes. What is all that crap between the can and the headers for?

    Reminds me of the ‘boombox’ on my old hawk GT nt650s.

    The last bit of ugly I’ll point out is the MX radiator shrouds. wtfo.

    Honda needs to look at it’s designers and then shoot them all in the face. Too much japanamation viewing going on there, IMO.

    And so ends another honda rant from a disillusioned fan boy. Maybe i’m getting old and should just buy one of those god ugly superscooters (no not the vfr1200) and leave the rock and roll to the kids.

    • Nepenthe

      “The same can be said for god ugly bloated pipes. What is all that crap between the can and the headers for?”

      To pass emissions and noise regulations. Multiple catalytic converters, valves, air injectors, evap cans, more sound-deadening material than before, etc.

  • UrbanRider

    Really interesting comment thread.

    As someone who is under 30 I don’t have experience of their iconic bikes of the 70s and 80s. My perspective is largely moulded by having a dealership next to our store in London.

    Their shop is frequented by customers who need ‘work horses’. They don’t have the air of a premium brand to my mind.

    I completely agree they seem reactive as opposed to strategic.

  • DoctorNine

    Don’t like the Cylon Warrior flyscreen/headlight.
    Don’t like the wing things on the radiator.
    Don’t like the bolt on cover thing on the exhaust.

    DO LIKE everything else.

  • Liquidogged

    I’m starting to sound like a friggin broken record around here, but this bike looks horrible.

    I bet it’s a blast to ride though. Plenty of motor, decent suspension and brakes, a little heavy but not too bad. You’re not looking at it when you’re riding it…

    • stratkat

      i feel the same way dude, there is just nothing out there that excites me, sad times.
      i would be sadder still if i didnt love my present bike.

    • Wes Siler

      I’m with you. Design and motorcycles don’t seem to work together terribly well, which is a shame. Less surprised, squinty eyed, coke snorting oddballs and more beauty please.

      • Liquidogged

        I think part of the problem is this innate desire to re-invent the wheel… designers seem convinced that everything must be SO NEW and SO FRESH which ends up looking so bland. See the new Triumph street trip headlights. Was there anything wrong with the round headlights? No. Would there be anything wrong with just putting a nice round headlight on this bike, or the monster, or the diavel? No. My two cents is moto designers need to figure out how to utilize shapes that humans are hard-wired to connect with (circles, flowing lines) when they are doing all these new-fangled designs. But to do that they need to believe that different for the sake of different is not better.

        Hey, who put this soapbox here…?

    • Beast Incarnate

      I get the feeling “style” is one of the things that gets put on the board when they’re trying to differentiate themselves. Knowing their bike will be similar to other I-4 nakeds, it becomes an issue of design. Sadly, this is what’s caught on. I say that owning a 2010 Z1000.

      I’ll say this: I can’t blame them. The only people who ever admired my gorgeous 599 were a select bunch, like you see here at HFL. My heavily-styled transformer of a Z, on the other hand, gets ten times the positive attention from everyone else. It’s a conundrum.

  • CafeRacer8509001200

    A quick release Givi set up and wishing Shoei still made fairings like the FM2 I had on my 550 Katana many many years ago.
    That would make an awesome little sport tourer without feeling like I had to buy out the Aerostich catalog.