2021 Honda CB1000R First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Subtle updates to the Neo Sports Café flagship

Honda has updated the CB1000R for 2021, giving its “Neo Sports Café” flagship a slightly new look, a color TFT display and Euro 5 compliance, as well as a Black Edition variant. As of this writing, the new 2021 Honda CB1000R has only been announced for Europe, but we expect a U.S. announcement to come soon.

The updated CB1000R maintains the Neo Sports Café modern-retro aesthetic, with Honda giving it subtle changes that some people may not even notice. The radiator shroud and anodized airbox cover located below the fuel tank’s knee cutouts are new, noticeably smaller than on the previous version and angled forward. The rear aluminum subframe is a slimmer design but it keeps the seat height at the same 32.7 inches as the previous CB1000R.

The most notable design change is the headlight which now slants backward with a horseshoe-shaped LED. The rear lighting gains an emergency stop signal (ESS) function that flashes the hazard lights under sudden hard braking, though it’s unclear if that has been approved for use in the U.S. The CB1000R also gets self-cancelling turn signals that is based on measuring the speed difference between the two wheels rather than a simple timer.

Rounding out the design changes are the new seven-spoke cast aluminum wheels.

The 998cc Inline-Four is relatively unchanged, claiming the same peak performance figures of 143 hp at 10,500 rpm and 76.7 lb-ft. at 8,250 rpm. Honda also modified the inlet valve lift, setting it at 8.3 mm instead of the previous 8.5 mm while the exhaust valve lift remains at 8.1 mm. The PGM-FI settings were updated to help meet Euro 5 standards while smoothing power delivery and response, most noticeably in the 6-8,000 rpm range.

The 4-2-1 exhaust system is mostly unchanged, though for Euro 5 compliance, Honda did replace the O2 lambda sensors with linear air flow sensors in the downpipes to improve measurement accuracy.

The suspension is unchanged from the previous model, with an adjustable Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) unit up front and a Showa rear shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping. Likewise, the brakes are unchanged, with dual radial mount four-piston calipers and 310 mm discs up front and a twin-piston caliper with 256 mm disc at the back. The CB1000R comes standard with a two-channel ABS.

Honda replaced the outgoing model’s LCD instruments with a full color 5-inch TFT display. The CB1000R also receives a new Honda Smartphone Voice Control system which connects the bike to smartphones and Bluetooth-compatible headsets. Honda also added a USB socket under the seat for charging phones.

For 2021, Honda is producing a Black Edition CB1000R which comes with Deep Graphite Black paint, several blacked-out components, a quickshifter and a machined CB logo. The regular CB1000R gets three color options: Candy Chromosphere Red, Matt Ballistic Black Metallic and Matt Beta Silver Metallic. U.S. availability remains to be announced.

2021 Honda CB1000R Specifications

Engine TypeLiquid-cooled DOHC Inline four-cylinder, four valves per cylinder
Engine Displacement998cc
Bore and Stroke (mm)75mm x 56.5mm
Compression Ratio11.6:1
Max. Power Output143 hp at 10,500 rpm (claimed)
Max. Torque76.7 lb-ft. at 8,250 rpm (claimed)
Fuel Tank Capacity4.3 gallons
Fuel Consumption40.2 mpg (claimed)
Battery Capacity12V/8.6AH
Clutch TypeWet, multiplate clutch
Transmission Type6-speed
Final DriveChain
FrameSteel mono backbone
Front SupsensionShowa SFF-BP USD fork
Rear suspensionShowa monoshock (axle travel 5.2 inches)
Front Brake310mm double disc
Rear Brake256mm single disc
ABS System Type2 channel
Front WheelCast aluminum
Rear WheelCast aluminum
Front Tire120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire190/55 ZR17
Instruments5” TFT screen
Dimensions (LxWxH)83.5 inches x 31.1 inches x 42.9 inches
Wheelbase57.2 inches
Rake/Trail25°/3.9 inches
Seat Height32.7 inches
Ground Clearance5.3 inches
Kerb Weight467 pounds (claimed)

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 15 comments
  • C w C w on Nov 11, 2020

    Would metal-tone wheels be too much to ask...or at least a "BBS" center cap for the classy side of the rear wheel?

    I wonder how long it will be before we see a custom dashboard theme culture develop for TFT displays. Oh, to be able to one day glance down while riding and see Winamp...

  • Glenn L. Glenn L. on Nov 13, 2020

    This is a "nice" bike. But, I want something that'll blow me away! How many years in a row did Honda introduce new models that left people breathless? It has been many years since that has happened. Probably with the RC211V. I remember seeing the 1985 model line brochure. There was something for everyone, hell 3 different bikes for everyone! In the nineties it was cut back a lot, but you still had some quality motorcycles. Now, they seem to build motorcycles that fit their image best, not what will push the limits. I want to be blown away again at new model introductions!
    This model is for non riders. Can you see someone putting 10 or 15,000 miles a year on this model? No, it is a sissy bike! A poseur bike. Yeh, bring me out a 1200 V4 done right! Or a brutal CB-R. Why no 400 c.c. inline fours. It'd be fantastic to be able to race an 80 h.p. 400 c.c. model. Would reignite the sportbike scene. Or bring out some non street legal roadracing 250 c.c. twins again. A new RS250 or TZ250. I'd love to see and buy that!