What’s old is new, and the latest Honda CB-F Concept motorcycle takes the current Honda CB1000R and gives it a makeover with graphics and shapes inspired by the early-1980s Honda CB900F naked upright superbike.
Honda had planned to debut the CB-F at the 36th Osaka Motorcycle Show 2020 and the 47th Toyko Motorcycle Show, the latter of which was due to start on Friday, March 27. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus got in the way, so our first look will be of a photograph rather than a motorcycle.
The CB-F Concept is powered by the familiar DOHC inline-4 displacing 998cc and running the power through a six-speed transmission—just what we’ve seen in the Honda CB1000R. However, the engine gets a visual restyling as it transitions from Honda’s Neo-Sports Café theme to a 1980s superbike design.
The chassis looks unchanged from the CB1000R, with an inverted fork and single-sided swingarm and single shock performing essential suspension duties.
Styling is what the Honda CB-F is about. The gas tank is simplified, and the tail section enhanced when compared to the CB1000R. Additionally, the seat takes on a style from a less complicated time.
The headlight on the CB-F Concept is round with wire-bracket mounting that is spare. In contrast, the CB1000R has a much more stylized round headlight. The plastic radiator guard on the CB1000R gets removed, leaving the radiator open for inspection.
While the Honda CB1000R has a large final muffler with two outlets and bold styling, the CB-F gets a single megaphone style exhaust. The headers and catalytic converter look identical on both motorcycles.
A Honda spokesman says, “The CB-F Concept is an ambitious fusion of cutting edge technology with a design paying homage to the CB900F—CB750F in Japan—a Japanese global model which, in part through the North American racing scene, brought to the six decades of CB models an iconic status.”
The final result of the Honda CB-F Concept looks remarkably similar to the 1982 Honda CB900F, albeit with a far more sophisticated chassis and motor. Given that Honda has skipped the CB1000R for 2020, a naked liter sportbike patterned after the CB-F Concept could be in showrooms sooner rather than later.