Honda probably thinks it's too weird for Americans, and maybe it is. But I, for the record, don't have a problem with weird. Maybe American Honda will surprise all of us and stick the CBR1000R into its 2010 Redbook. Stranger things have happened. The 09 DN-01, for instance. But for now at least, the only new Honda motorcycle yours truly is ready, willing and able to lay down cash money for is a European refugee.
What's not to like? Those who've actually ridden one – the guys at Bike magazine in the U.K. for instance – say the 08 debuted stronger than a CBR1000RR between 3000 and 6000 rpm. Beyond that, it allegedly cracks 140 mph on top. Fuel mileage is decent with an average in the mid-40s. The package is agile enough, steers accurately through the twisty bits and accelerates more enthusiastically than naked European benchmarks such as Aprilia's Tuono and Triumph's Speed Triple. And unlike Honda's eminently capable yet totally underwhelming 919, this one proves naked isn't necessarily synonymous with stripped…or boring.