Tim O'Brien | Dec 12, 2008

Have you noticed friends, how arse-up things are at the moment?

Can’t remember quite such a period of general and widespread arse-upness. Everywhere you look arses are poking up out of the ground. Our banks… yep, there’s an exposed arse or two taking a pounding there; and stockbroking firms, my god, right now those joints are a veritable sea of arses.

But, sure, you don’t need The Dirk to tell you that when things turn craptacular, you either find a cardboard box to sit in for a while, or you find something solid to hang onto to soothe the soul and reaffirm your faith in the world.

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Something solid like Honda. Now there’s something you can rely on. Honda won’t drag you along in a great big conga line into the shit. Nope, Honda is as reliable as sunrise: blistering machines, beautifully engineered, and solid, friends, solid.

Take the new naked CB1000R, Honda’s replacement for the venerable Hornet 900 – grunt-laden no-nonsense looks, brutal power. Before you throw the leg over you know that this bike is more reliable and trustworthy than your bank manager. Hondas are like that. (And for god’s sake, don’t throw the leg over the bank manager unless she looks like Catherine Zeta Jones.)

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It’s been a wait, we’ve had the Hornet 900 for more than five years now, but the muscular CB1000R has the looks and the numbers to suggest the wait was worth it.

With a dynamic edgy design, slim tail cowl and ‘forward position’ seating (a bit Buell-like here), the CB1000R strips ‘big’.

With ‘street’ duties falling to the Fireblade-inspired 998cm3 liquid-cooled fuel-injected engine, the CB1000R has been tuned for maximised low-to-midrange performance, but with stronger and more immediate power extending further up the powerband.

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The result is nearly 30 percent stronger performance over the Hornet 900 – muscles to match the looks then.

Its laden with technology (you’d be disappointed if it wasn’t); the CB1000R comes with magnesium head, nickel-plated Allen-head bolts and ACG covers, a light-action hydraulic clutch, semi-underslung stainless steel exhaust system, four-spoke 17" wheels, triangular multi-reflector headlight integrated into bikini cowl, fully adjustable 43mm inverted front fork and cast aluminium Monoshock Pro-Arm swingarm.

There is also an ABS version featuring three-piston front brake calipers and advanced antilock brake system.

So, here’s a naked bike for troubled times, and at your Honda Dealer now.

The CB1000R comes in Standard and ABS versions that retail for $18,190 and $19,190 (plus on roads) respectively. (You reckon I can get it past the gorgeous Dolores… “Best time to buy Gorg’… none better.” Yeah, she’ll wear it…)

Ride free friends. The Dirk.

Specifications and Features

  • Colours: Dragon Green Metallic, Pearl Nightstar Black
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled four-stroke 16-valve DOHC inline-four
  • Bore & Stroke: 71 x 58mm
  • Displacement: 998cm³
  • Compression: 11.2 : 1
  • Fuel management: PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
  • Ignition: Digital transistorised with electronic advance
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 litres (including four-litre LCD-indicated reserve)
  • Starter: Electric
  • Clutch: Wet, multiplate with coil springs
  • Ignition Timing: 5° BTDC (idle) ~ 50° BTDC (10,000min-1)
  • Headlights: 12V, 55W x 1 (low) / 60W x 1 (high)
  • Clutch: Wet, multiplate with coil springs
  • Final Drive: #530 O-ring sealed chain
  • Frame Type: Mono-backbone; cast aluminium
  • Front Suspension: 43mm inverted HMAS cartridge-type telescopic fork with stepless preload, compression and rebound adjustment, 120mm cushion stroke
  • Rear Suspension: Monoshock with gas-charged HMAS damper featuring 10-step preload and step-less rebound
  • Front brake: 310 x 4.5mm dual hydraulic disc with four-piston (Combined three-piston) calipers, floating rotors (*ABS) and sintered metal pads
  • Rear Brake: 256 x 5mm hydraulic disc with dual-piston caliper (ABS) and sintered metal pads
  • Kerb weight: 217kg (F: 106kg; R: 111kg), 222kg (F: 108kg; R: 114kg)
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