2011 Honda CB1000R Tricolour | Preview

2011 CB1000R Tricolour

While the 2011 Honda CB1000R is all-new in the United States, it’s a returning sport motorcycle model in Europe with few minor upgrades–new, thicker aluminum handlebars, new headlight, and a Tricolour version. That, of course, doesn’t mean the Euro 2011 CB1000R isn’t worth a close look.

Starting with the motor, the 2011 CB 1000 R is powered by a CBR1000RR-based liquid-cooled inline-4 that displaces 998cc. Tuning is focused on acceleration via strong low-rpm torque.

An IACV (intake air control valve) keeps excessive torque reaction and jerky low-speed performance to a minimum, ensuring smooth, enjoyable operation, and the hydraulic clutch offers light-action.

According to Honda, “The combination of optimized power-to-weight ratio and a wide powerband means that the CB1000R is capable of dynamic and satisfying thrusts of acceleration from anywhere in its powerband.”

The exhaust design also allows maximum cornering clearance, and includes a built-in oxygen sensor and 300-cell catalyzer element that combine with the engine’s advanced fuel injection system to ensure low emissions while maintaining strong and smooth performance.

A low-slung exhaust system concentrates most of its weight directly under the engine, and Honda insists that optimized mass centralization is key to the CB1000R’s quick, neutral handling.

The 2011 Honda CB1000R gets a Mono-Backbone gravity die-cast (GDC) aluminum frame that incorporates the engine as a stressed member in a rigid diamond configuration. Strong, rigid, and lightweight, Honda says the design “adds to the motorcycle’s sharp, smooth handling and instant response to changes of direction.”

Mass centralization is a key, with heavier components–such as the motor, mainframe sections and stainless steel exhaust system–positioned as close as possible to the machine’s rolling center of mass. At the same time, items located farther away from its center are designed to be as lightweight as possible.

Like the CBR1000RR, the CB1000R features a sturdy and responsive 43mm inverted HMAS cartridge-type front fork that is claimed to deliver superbly responsive handling through tight corners. Providing 4.7 inches of smoothly damped wheel travel, its fork tubes are also fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping. At the rear, an adjustable single shock and single-sided cast aluminum Honda Pro-Arm swingarm provide just over five inches of travel.

Superbike-class wheels, tires and brakes further enhance the bike’s agile control and easy handling. The standard version combines a pair of radial-mount four-piston front calipers with a compact dual-piston caliper slowing a 256mm disc at the rear for smooth, responsive braking control. The CB1000R is also available with the Honda Combined-ABS option that couples the balanced braking control of a Combined Brake System with ABS.

The CB1000R has what Honda describes as “a compact and dynamic form with a distinctive ‘mass-forward’ orientation that projects a ‘ready to pounce’ image.” According to Honda, a compact bikini cowl surrounding a brilliant three-corner shaped multi-reflector headlight characterizes the motorcycle’s frontal design.

Underneath, an LED position lamp gives it a unique road presence. For 2011, the lighting goes from a 5-bulb to a 7-bulb layout. Behind the cowl a high-tech, fully digital meter panel provides three large LCD readouts. The tachometer features an instant multi-segment readout of engine speed, displayed in a wide, sweeping bar that extends across the top of the display.

The short, slim seat and tail cowl take obvious design cues from the street-going Honda CBR1000RR and the MotoGP RC212V racing motorcycle. The seat is roomy and tapers towards the front, integrating smoothly with the side covers for a compact profile and comfortable riding position. The sleek, upswept tail cowl, supported by a strong and rigid cast aluminum rail, provides room for a passenger and integrates an LED taillight.

The lightweight form is matched by sharply sculpted bodywork. Mechanical parts like its magnesium head and ACG covers and natural finish aluminum pivot plates create a high-tech look of purposeful performance, accentuated by the eye-catching array of nickel-plated bolts that surround the engine’s side covers. Stylish 17″ swept 4-spoke wheels place a strong accent on the CB1000R’s exciting performance potential.

Honda claims that the CB1000R feels more like a compact mid-sized sportbike than the full-bodied liter-class performer it really is, thanks to its compact dimensions and easy reach to both the ground and its controls.

Ergonomically, the rider is located closer to the steering head for a riding position that shifts the CB1000R’s balance of weight slightly forward onto its front tire, achieving a greater feeling of crisply responsive control.

For 2011, the CB1000R comes in three color versions that Honda says emphasizes its mix of cool urban style and powerful performance. These include a stunning new Tricolour version with gold wheels, Pearl Nightstar Black, and Pearl Cool White.

Honda Access Europe has created an extensive range of motorcycle accessories, specially designed to match the stunning styling and performance of the CB1000R. These upgrades include everything from carbon fiber parts to heated grips and even a magnetic tank bag.

2011 Honda CB1000R C-ABS Version (ED-type) | Motorcycle Specs


  • Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC inline-4
  • Displacement 998cc
  • Bore × Stroke 75 × 56.5mm
  • Compression Ratio 11.2: 1
  • Max. Power Output 92kW @ 10,000 rpm
  • Max. Torque 99Nm @ 7,750 rpm
  • Idling Speed 1,200 rpm
  • Oil Capacity 3.8 quarts


  • Carburetion PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
  • Throttle Bore 36mm
  • Air cleaner Dry, cartridge-type paper filter
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 17 liters (including 4.2-quart LCD-indicated reserve)
  • Fuel Consumption 17 km/l (WMTC Mode #)


  • Ignition System Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
  • Ignition Timing 5° BTDC (idle) ~ 50° BTDC (10,000 rpm)
  • Sparkplug Type NGK: IMR9E-9HES (NGK); VUH27ES (DENSO)
  • Starter Electric
  • Battery Capacity 12V/8.6AH
  • ACG Output 340W
  • Headlights 12V; 55W (low) / 60W (high)


  • Clutch Wet, multiplate with coil springs
  • Clutch Operation Hydraulic
  • Transmission Type 6-speed
  • Primary Reduction 1.604 (77/48)
  • Gear Ratios 1 2.538 (33/13)
  • 2 1.941 (33/17)
  • 3 1.579 (30/19)
  • 4 1.363 (30/22)
  • 5 1.217 (28/23)
  • 6 1.115 (29/26)
  • Final Reduction 2.750 (44/16)
  • Final Drive #530 O-ring sealed chain


  • Type Mono-backbone; cast aluminum


  • Dimensions (L×W×H) 2,105 × 805 × 1,095mm
  • Wheelbase 1,445mm
  • Caster Angle 25°
  • Trail 98.7mm
  • Turning Radius 2.8m
  • Seat Height 825mm
  • Ground Clearance 130mm
  • Curb Weight 478 pounds
  • Max. Carrying Capacity 414 pounds
  • Loaded Weight 893 pounds


  • Type Front 43mm inverted HMAS cartridge-type telescopic fork with stepless preload, compression and rebound adjustment, 4.7-inch stroke
  • Rear Monoshock with gas-charged HMAS damper featuring 10-step preload and stepless rebound damping adjustment, 5.0 inches of axle travel


  • Type Front Hollow-section 4-spoke cast aluminum
  • Rear U-section 4-spoke cast aluminum
  • Rim Size Front 17M/C × MT3.5
  • Rear 17M/C × MT5.5
  • Tire Size Front 120/70 ZR17M/C (58W)
  • Rear 180/55 ZR17M/C (73W)


  • Type Front 310 × 4.5mm dual hydraulic disc with 4-piston (Combined 3-piston) calipers, floating rotors (ABS) and sintered metal pads
  • Rear 256 × 5mm hydraulic disc with dual-piston caliper (ABS) and sintered metal pads
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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).