The Honda CB1000R, a legendary model from the company, had its latest iteration, the 2018 Honda CB1000R, unveiled today at EICMA in Milan. To escort the CB1000R onto stage for its debut was none other than five-time world champion Mick Doohan – a Honda legend in his own right.

Although there were performance upgrades that we will address in a moment, the most noticeable change in the big CB is its embrace of the Neo-Sports Café Concept we reported on here. Moving away from the typical naked superbike formula, Honda’s designers have added what they call “retro-industrial minimalism” which brings a variety of metal finishes that merge with ”an ultra-minimalist look under the design theme of ‘Neo-Sports Café’.”

2018 Honda CB1000R

Our man in Milan, Editorial Director Sean Alexander, says that crowds immediately formed around the good-looking new CB after its unveiling.

Honda Neo-Sports Cafe Concept Revealed At Tokyo Motor Show

This new approach plays out in the form of a more compact, trapezoidal profile. Starting with a 90mm (3.5 in.) shorter headlight and ending with an abbreviated tail section (thanks to the first ever for Honda swingarm-mounted fender), the overall look is that of a shorter motorcycle. To aid in the abbreviation, the pillion hand holds are underneath the tail unit. All of the visible metal, from the muffler heat shield to the tank/seat interface to the radiator guard, highlights the angular profile. Burns will be happy to know that the gas tank has no visible seam.

2018 Honda CB1000R cockpit

Certainly this qualifies as a minimalist cockpit.

Hidden under that sculpted metal is a new mono-backbone steel frame which uses split-tightening aluminum pivot plates (for a 2.5 kilograms (5.5 lbs.) weight savings) to clamp the 14.7mm shorter single-sided swingarm, which is now 574.2mm (22.6 in.). Rake is a sporty 25° and trail is 3.9 in for quick handling. While the wheelbase is 10mm longer than the previous generation, the big CB’s weight dropped by 26.5 lbs. with a 48.6%/51.5% front/rear weight bias. That in addition to the crankshaft center being 5mm higher adds to the CB1000R’s side-to-side agility.

Supporting the new chassis is a Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston unit (SFF-BP) while a fully-adjustable Showa shock handles the rear. The front tire remains a 120/70 ZR17 item, and the rear becomes a 190/55 ZR17. Braking comes courtesy of dual radial-mount four-piston calipers squeezing 310mm floating discs. Out back a two-piston caliper handles a 256mm disc. Of course, two-channel ABS handles the braking modulation when you need it.

2018 Honda CB1000R front brakes

Snazzy wheels and radial-mounted Tokico calipers clamping 310mm floating discs.

The CB1000R’s engine is a 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine, sharing its architecture and layout with the CBR1000RR. While bore and stroke remain 75mm x 56.5 mm, compression ratio is to 11.6:1 (an increase of 0.4). The pistons are now forged, as on the CBR1000RR SP.

All of the flow into and out of the cylinders has been revised. The airbox and ducting were updated for smoother routing of air into the engine. An 8mm larger throttle body measures in at 44mm, and both the intake and exhaust valves receive higher lifts, 8.5mm and 8.1mm, respectively. The exhaust is a 4–2–1 unit, which feeds via 4 short catalysers into a main chamber before sending gasses out through a dual chamber muffler. Honda claims torque from 5,000 rpm and higher is boosted by a link pipe that joins the two main pipes just before the catalyzers. In addition to the performance upgrades, the exhaust system is 9.9 lbs lighter and has a new, throatier note at 5,500 rpm and higher.

While the tuning was focused on torque in the 6,000–8,000 rpm-range for real world power delivery, the reworked for 2018 engine now reaches a peak of 107 kW (143.5 hp) at 10,500rpm and 104Nm (76.7 lb-ft) at 8,250 rpm – both measured at the crankshaft. However, thanks to shorter gearing, the power delivery will come on even stronger in the mixed-speed environment of the urban jungle. Even with the increased power and shorter gearing, Honda claims improved fuel efficiency with 40.5 mpg.

Additionally, Ride-by-Wire (RbW) has been added. Of course, ride modes have also made the bill with three pre-set modes (Rain, Standard, and Sport). Three engine characteristics are controlled by the ride modes: Engine Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). A user-adjustable mode is also available allows the user to create their own P,EB, and HSCT recipe and save it for future use.

2018 Honda CB1000R+

Behold the 2018 Honda CB1000R+ in all its accessorized glory.

But wait! There’s more! Honda has an accessorized CB1000R+ that features the following factory accessories pre-installed: heated grips, aluminium front fender panels, aluminium rear hugger panels, flyscreen with aluminium inserts, single seat cowl with aluminium inserts, radiator grille,with CB1000R logo, and quickshifter.

While this all sounds pretty exciting, we have a smidge of bad news. The 2018 Honda CB1000R and CB1000R+ will not be available stateside until the summer of 2018. Or you can simply move to Europe where it will arrive in early–2018 if you can’t wait.

Follow the rest of our 2017 EICMA show coverage

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  • Junker

    Definitely like the look better than most of these — especially the FZ-10.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Same.

    • Tinwoods

      Disagree. This looks nice, but the FZ10 looks like it was written for a man to ride, not a metrosexual, which this thing sort of does.

  • Allison Sullivan

    Yeah. I don’t know that I’m going to hurry to trade my 2013 in on that.

    • Born to Ride

      Eye of the beholder miss. If the 2013 had looked anything close to that I would have one in my garage. Pleasure to disagree with ya.

  • gjw1992

    A bit heavy and while the power sounds more than adequate it won’t win bragging rights. But looks good and just might be a real modern cb900.

    • Born to Ride

      If they had balls they’d have slapped in the 2008 cbr1000 engine as it was and called it a day, but I’m sure this thing will have more than enough power and midrange for days. Truely modern roadster to bring the CB nomenclature into the 21st century.

  • StripleStrom

    Honda made a Speed, not Triple! Just missing a headlight, and has too many cylinders.

  • Craig Hoffman

    It is looking like Japan has a pulse again. Cool!

  • Alaskan18724

    Here I was, all set to pull the trigger on the new Z900RS. Then Ducati surfaced the Scrambler 1100 Sport, that sort of scratched the Yamaha DT250 itch for grownups. Now this. Holy crap. One thing’s for sure–it’s time for a new motorcycle. Best new model year in forever.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      I’ll make that anonymous!

    • Born to Ride

      The scrambler 1100 is more intriguing than lust inspiring for me. I’ll probably buy one in 4-5 years used for fun. I thought nothing was going to top the Z900rs this year, and then here comes Honda with this neo-retro-bleeding-edge-classic thing with all it’s fit n finish perfection. Ugh, it looks so expensive…

      • Alaskan18724

        Couldn’t have said it better. I…want…so many. Might just go buy a leftover Lowrider S and park it in the living room so I can look at it when I’m not riding. Smell it cooling down. But that Honda….wasn’t prepared.

        • Born to Ride

          I’d love to own a Low Rider S. I would never pay for one though. At least not what delusional Harley “enthusiasts” think they are worth.

          • Alaskan18724

            They are pretty, though….And I think they’re discounting. Given HD’s market performance recently, it’s likely to happen….

    • Alaskan18724

      And now the Z900RS Café. In Lime Green, no less. Is it wrong to want to lick it?

  • AM

    Evans, anything on available colors?? I hope black is not the only option.
    hmmm…Not sure about the single leg fork with all the adjustments of preload, compression and rebound. Sure a bit heavy but Tuono is 175 lbs. A truly naked that Honda was missing.

    • Evans Brasfield

      I think it’s only black.

    • denchung

      Colors remain to be confirmed. American Honda has only released images in black while Honda Europe has photos in black and gray, but also a couple of photos (rear shots only) showing a red tank. This likely suggests Honda is still trying to figure out which colors to offer which markets.

  • Old MOron
    • Born to Ride

      Happy to eat crow on this one. The production bike is gorgeous. I’m gonna guesstimate a 15k price tag for all that though.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Get rid of that exhaust. U-G-L-Y, with a capital Ugh!

        • Born to Ride

          How many bikes with stock exhausts do you have?

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Zero (only one bike right now). But the stocks are going back on soon. And of the other two bikes upon which I changed the pipes, one I changed back after one season, and another the new owner changed back.

            Of all of the bikes I’ve owned, only three got aftermarket pipes, and that was just experimental.

            Why?

          • Born to Ride

            Just pointing out that the exhaust is usually the first thing to get chucked, especially with all these newer steel breadboxes that they are bolting to the bottom of our bikes.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I prefered the stock pipes on all of my bikes for many reasons. Looks was often one of them. Shame they must make ugly pipes now.

          • Tinwoods

            That used to be the case, but not so much any more because you get next to no performance gains.

        • Tinwoods

          Ugly to you, beautiful to me. Opinions. We all got ’em. That and today’s stock exhausts are better performers (or at least on par) with the ridiculously expensive (and illegal on the street) aftermarkets pipes.

      • Old MOron

        Ouch, that high price tag is the only thing that could ruin it!

        • Born to Ride

          Is it that high though? With the euro naked bikes pushing 20 large OTD pricing, why is a bike that’s a step back in performance, but a step forward in quality and reliability not worth 14-15? Just because we associate Japanese bikes with affordability?

          • Old MOron

            I got my S1000R for less than that. Came with ride modes, electronic suspension, cruise control, etc., etc.

          • Born to Ride

            Yes but your S1000r stickers for more than that no? Getting a good deal doesn’t mean that the bike wasn’t expensive to begin with.

          • Old MOron

            Yeah, I was annoyed that they seemed to import only the fully-loaded bikes. But after discounting, it works out okay. And it turns out that the electronic suspension, speed shifter, cruise control, etc. are nice things to have. I could live without them all, but I wouldn’t expect to pay so much in that case.

          • Tinwoods

            And, sadly, though it’s got all those nice electronics, the BMW S1000R is the ugliest, most uninspired looking bike in its class.

    • Max Wellian

      It lost its color. Enough will the all black already. Aside from that, they did a nice job of revamping the Suzuki Bandit.

  • JMDGT

    Bravo Honda. It is about time.

  • darngooddesign

    Note to the editor, you have listed two different “Front tires” in your specs.

    • Evans Brasfield

      Fixed. Thanks!

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        I thought it was a Niken!

        😂

  • Gabriel Owens

    Price will be ridiculous and they will languish on showroom floors. Honda perfection.

    • Gruf Rude

      Okay by me – just means that patience will be rewarded with a screaming deal.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Yah, how do you think i got my cb1000r

    • Born to Ride

      I could see paying as much as 14-15k for this. Think about what Ducati charges for an equivalently equipped and similarly performing(on paper) bike that comes with a shit gearbox and horrendous cooling and emissions equipment routing.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Surely it will be in MT-10 range.

        • Born to Ride

          Better suspension, a SSSA, and fit n finish worthy of MV Agusta(in pictures). I think not. But I was wrong about this bike before, I’d welcome it again.

  • Sentinel

    I was hoping the new CB1000R would end up being a more versatile, standard type bike. I’ll have to go with the new Kawasaki Z900RS over this one.

    • Born to Ride

      How is the Z more versatile than this? They are both elemental roadsters.

    • Campisi

      This does everything the Z900RS does whilst also being a current piece of design. Younger riders aren’t looking for a retro ride so much as they’re looking for minimal pieces of modern form. It’s something manufacturers may carry forward without the Harley-esque constraints.

      • Born to Ride

        As a younger rider, I find them equally appealing in design ethos, but Honda appears to mop the floor with Kawasaki in execution. I look at the Kawi and I see a wonderful classic Japanese roadster brought into the modern era. It is simple, it is clean, it will get the job done and look good doing it. This Honda is a step forward, it is a 21st century bike with a heart of UJM gold, it exudes quality and craftsmanship from the single sided swingarm to the brushed aluminum paneling to the slatelike instrument cluster. The Kawi gives the appearance of a nice bike, the Honda shows itself as a premium bike.

      • Sentinel

        You make some good points there, but that’s not quite the whole picture. See my reply to “Born to Ride” here for the rest.

        • Campisi

          Counterpoint to all of that stuff you said elsewhere: the Honda’s cooler than Kawasaki’s oldster bike, man.

          • Sentinel

            lol

        • Born to Ride

          Hey man, no need to quotation mark my handle, “Sentinel”.

      • Born to Ride

        He can tell by looking at the spec sheets that the Z is more tractable and comfortable, despite the non-existence of any first ride reviews for either bike and the CB1000r being known for its tractability and relative comfort to its competitors…

  • Born to Ride

    Holy crap, right when I thought I knew what I was buying, Honda goes and does exactly what I wanted them to do. God dammit bobby, now I need to wait for the shootout.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      Like a monster steed with a fiery anus, flat out through the eye of a beer can and up your daughter’s leg.

      • Alaskan18724

        Dang, boy!

      • Born to Ride

        Easy now, it’s not Labor Day yet…

      • appliance5000

        Thompson – is that you?

  • DAVID

    Let’s see RW around 120 HP sounds good if it’s under 450 lbs priced well under 13K. Looks good for a change…… YES the japanese has there engines the best but damn there styling is just but ungley.

    • Born to Ride

      Lol wut?

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      “Their”

      • Born to Ride

        Really? That’s what you chose to correct out of that mouthful of nonsense?

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          Space is limited! lol

          • Campisi

            It… really isn’t, though.

  • spiff

    This looks like it may be pretty cool. I like the fact that everyone is skinning the open class naked cat their own way.

    • Jonathan Berndt

      as it should be too. this lockstep brands following with the cruisers, adventure bikes ad nauseam, has been killing me! Honda has had years of insipid designs. i understand the need to bring new blood to the brand, but they practically cut off those of us who want performance.

  • Matt Gustafson

    Very nicely done. I sure hope that this is a sign that Honda is getting its mojo back.

  • christian

    good times, when people are mostly happy with Kawi Z900RS, then Honda release this.

  • Brian Clasby

    Great – another bike to want, and i do!

  • Starmag

    Meh. This seems like a 919 variant. Z900RS is much better for me.

    • Born to Ride

      This bike makes the Z900RS seem kinda meh to me now. Especially with rumors of a $12k price tag for the Z floating around teh interwebs.

      • Starmag

        I concede this is way better for me than the crushed paper last model of the CB1000.
        If the Z is 12 and this is 15, is the extra 35hp that will rarely be used, worth it to you?

        • Born to Ride

          For me it’s not about the horsepower, it’s the apparent build quality. This bike looks like 15 grand to my eye: it has the SSSA and open wheel, the brushed aluminum paneling, the beautifully beefy triple clamps, and the Honda Fit n finish. The Z is a really nice and really pretty bike. But it looks like 10 grand. That’s not an insult by any means, it just doesn’t scream “I’m expensive and top of the line”. I don’t really care about status symbols, but this bike has the appearance of something to be proud of, more so than the Z for me. YMMV.

          • spiff

            I don’t think these two bike are pitted at each other, though they may end up that way in the show room. Honda is trying to make a unique cool open classer without pushing the hp race. It is still going to be faster than needed. Kawi is making a retro styled mid sized. Just about the horse power needed.

          • Born to Ride

            I don’t see how they wouldn’t be cross shopped. Unless you are buying the Z900 for nostalgia purposes only, they basically are direct competitors.

          • spiff

            I’ve been thinking about where this bike fits. I think it will be pitted against the MT-10 and Speed Triple.

          • Born to Ride

            I was recently thinking that it appears to have a philosophy of use most resembling the Speed Tripler. I think performance and refinement wise, that will be the benchmark for it to surpass. The speedie has been the open class comfort king for some time now, and has been polished to a sheen with this last iteration. I considered buying one(forged wheels model) in the past, but it is a square peg that doesn’t fit into my motorcycling needs and doesn’t inspire enough lust to overcome that fact. I’d love to see the comparison of the two.

  • Tanner

    way over done. the various parts don’t look like they belong together

  • Matt Howerton

    I really like this one too. My last naked big bore was a 1985 Honda V65 Sabre. I loved that big old girl. Was still riding it up to 2012 but had too many close calls with blind drivers that last summer living in Albuquerque and I traded it for a boat. Wish I still had it now that I no longer live in a city and moved to NW Montana. My bad.

  • Nida Samur
  • Daniel Benjamin

    They have hit the nail on the damn head. Other OEM’s take note- you can make a round headlight look futuristic.