2011 Honda CB1000R | Doin' Time

Fresh Meat!

By Joe Neric, Photography by Kevin "monkey Business" Wing

WRIST: Joe Neric
MSRP (2011): $10,999
MILES: 1579
MPG: 34
MODS: Depends for Men

What the hell did I get myself into this time? I’m in over my head—again! What am I talking about? See that bike up there—that’s my new long-term ride. When I heard that Honda was bringing the seriously sexy CB1000R to America, I remember telling Catterson, “I bet that’ll knock your Kawasaki Z1000 off its pedestal!” But read the comparo on page 50 for yourself...

Why does this feel like the deep end? Because literbikes scare the crap out of me! Which is why I was chasing the new FZ8 for a while before Yamaha said no; not enough testbikes to go around in this economy, yadda, yadda, yadda. I thought it might look weird to have three Honda long-termers in a row, but c’est la vie.

I’m comfortable with the power of an 800cc four-cylinder. Tack on 200cc and roughly 20 more bhp and we’re talking about a completely different animal. I still consider myself a relative beginner, but as Cat reminded me recently, “After three long-term bikes and 30,000 miles on the street, you’re no rookie.” Thanks, boss, but I still feel like one sometimes—like when on the way to work Ari Henning passes me on the rear wheel for the fifth time this week. Get a haircut, you hippie!

I’m not going to pass up this opportunity. I’ve liked naked bikes ever since I was a kid. To this day, the first image of a motorcycle that pops into my head is the silhouette of a standard. Like a Honda CB750—the direct descendent of this CB1000R. It’s strange that naked bikes don’t sell well in the U.S., but that’s another story.

The few Americans who do appreciate naked bikes know the CB1000R has been sold in Europe for a few years. My previous NT700V long-termer taught me valuable lessons about sourcing parts for bikes initially released in Europe. It will be a challenge finding parts for the CB Stateside, so I may be shopping overseas once again. Luckily for me, this Honda is cool right out of the box. When I told Cat I was getting one for a long-termer, he shook his head and said, “Damn, you can’t have a cooler bike than me!”

Like I said, I’m in over my head.

By Joe Neric
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