2011 Honda CB1000R | Doin' Time

Staffers' Ride

Photography by Andrea Wilson

Wrist: Joe Neric
MSRP (2011): $10,999
Miles: 4213
MPG: 33
Mods: Beowulf radiator guard, Rizoma engine guards and mirrors, Yoshimura frame-sliders, R&G axle sliders and fender-eliminator kit

How much am I enjoying my long-term Honda CB1000R? I’ve already cleared a berth in my garage where I hope to permanently stable it once this little year-long test is over. I still have to convince Honda to sell me the bike, and persuade my wife to let me take out a loan, but I’ll cross those bridges when I come to them. The CB’s power has me hollering in my helmet every time I ride it, and it’s as comfortable as can be. I’d even go so far as to say this is the best bike I’ve ever ridden!

Since the CB is so dear to me, protecting it from damage is a primary concern. I’m a cautious rider, but crash protection is always a good idea. Rizoma (www.rizoma.com) makes excellent engine guards, but at $359.39 for the set they’re pretty pricey. You get what you pay for, though, and the case covers fit perfectly, complement the engine’s appearance and are plenty beefy. I also ordered some Yoshimura frame sliders ($109.95; www.yoshimura-rd.com).

To complete the Honda’s line of defenses, I obtained front and rear axle sliders from R&G Racing ($102; from www.twistedthrottle.com). Not only will these keep expensive hard parts off the ground if the bike goes down, but the rear sliders enable the use of an ordinary paddock stand with the CB’s single-sided swingarm.

I never saw the point of installing a radiator guard until Ari told me about a rock punching a hole in a testbike’s radiator. Since I don’t want to make roadside radiator repairs, I opted to install a guard. Beowulf Performance Products manufactures stainless-steel radiator guards that slip over the cooling array and are secured with the stock bolts ($75.68; www.beowulf-performance-products.com). The screen features a laser-cut “CB1000R” logo in the center, which is a nice touch. Just be prepared to wait several weeks for delivery.

One of the few unappealing parts on the CB is its rear fender, so I lopped it off. I replaced it with an R&G fender-eliminator kit ($139), which took some dexterity and patience to install. Replacing the mirrors with machined-aluminum units from Rizoma ($238.70) makes the cockpit look as sleek as the tail. Damn, this thing is looking good!

As it sits, the CB1000R is so fun to ride that I’ve nearly worn out the stock Bridgestones. I’ll be replacing those shortly, and hopefully adding a slip-on exhaust to cut some weight and add some power.

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