2021 Honda CB1000R Black - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2021 Honda CB1000R Black

The Black Edition is the first real update to the CB1000R in a long time

LISTEN 11:17

Honda goes a bit beyond the cursory “Bold New Graphics” package that frequently heralds a new model-year with new bodywork and a blackout paint package on the Honda CB1000R that sets it well apart from the previous version to make it the “Black Edition.” Improved electronics join with the new looks for some under-the-hood improvements increasing its utility as a commuter, and a fun one at that. The punchy four-banger reprises its role as the beating heart with throttle-by-wire and riding modes on board to help with engine management.

  • 2021 Honda CB1000R Black
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    998 cc
  • Top Speed:
    150 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    12999
  • Price:

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Design

  • All-around LED lighting and DRL
  • Five-inch TFT display
  • Blackout styling
  • Neo-Sports Café design
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982291
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982293
Honda's design team combines the new with the old for a certain balance that sets its flagship Neo-Sports Café model apart.

Honda’s design team combines the new with the old for a certain balance that sets its flagship Neo-Sports Café model apart. The custom-culture references are strong with the CB1000R Black, and are apparent right out of the gate in the heavily bobbed front fender and rampant use of blackout treatment that starts out in the spoked rims and touches on all points North. Alternating polished spokes and small, machined-aluminum accents represent the only shiny bits beyond the moving components at the brake discs and the inner fork tubes, but they do little to overcome the dark streak that the CB1000R brings to the table.

Poised more aggressively than before, the broad shoulders formed by the transverse engine and narrow, bobbed tail section give it an all-up-front look like a sprinter crouched at the blocks. The 4.3-gallon fuel-tank hump and 32.7-inch seat height give it a high flyline that will definitely be in tiptoe country for riders at the shorter end of the spectrum. At the end of the day that’s to be expected of a sportbike model.

While the tail section itself is chopped down and doesn’t provide any meaningful fling containment, the swingarm-mount forward hugger and single-side rear hugger join forces to do just that. Plus, they add an extreme edge to an already radical machine that is hard to quantify.

The pillion area is of the I’d-rather-not variety with a barely-there p-pad and nothing in the way of J.C. handles to hang on to. If you weren’t close friends with your passenger at the start of the ride, you will be by the end. A set of subframe-mount, fold-up footpegs complete the passenger’s amenities, but if you prefer that solo road warrior look, the Black Edition rolls with a stock p-pad cover that gives the back end a race-fairing finish.

All-around LED lighting that includes a DRL ring ensures two-way visibility with your surrounds in contrast with the rather stealthy monochromatic finish that dominates the overall look. This model also rolls with a USB port under the seat so you can charge your phone under way. Even the rear lights are above par. They flash when a firm braking effort is detected to warn rearward traffic, or at the very least, get their attention. Communications come with the Honda Smartphone Voice Control that connects a helmet mic to the system via Bluetooth connectivity so you can field hands-free calls under way.

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Chassis

  • Front and rear adjustable suspension
  • Nimble handling
  • Eager in the corners
  • Two-channel ABS
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982307
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982299
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982302
The Black Edition has an eagerness to dive into a turn and a willingness to pull sharp reversals.

The bones of the CB1000R Black are a direct carryover from last year. It rocks tubular-steel members built around a mono-backbone structure for strength with aluminum swingarm pivot plates for some more lightweight reinforcement at those stress points. A single-side swingarm completes the skeleton and does its bit in keeping unsprung weight low which helps the suspension to be supple and responsive. As a result, it serves as built-in insurance for the integrity of the contact patches.

Rake and trail are definitely at the agile handling end of the spectrum at 25-degrees and 3.9 inches, respectively, to give the Black Edition an eagerness to dive into a turn and a willingness to pull sharp reversals.

Showa supplies the stems and a single, coil-over rear shock out back delivers the full trinity of tweaks, and up front, a set of Separate Function Front Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) units deliver the same fully adjustable ride as the rear shock. I hate to say that at this displacement, a naked-streetfighter is expected to deliver the goods on the ride-control side of things. Still, Honda gets points for the full adjustments at both ends, areas where manufacturers sometimes fail as they pursue the false economy of less-capable, and less-expensive, bolt-on equipment.

Suspension travel measures in at 4.3 inches up front and 5.2 inches out back; plenty for civilized streets. Tokico anchors haul things down in a hurry with dual, 310 mm discs and four-piston calipers ahead of a twin-piston caliper and 256 mm disc. A two-channel ABS feature comes stock for traction protection at both ends of the machine. Cast-alloy, seven-spoke wheels round out the rolling chassis with a 17-inch diameter and Z-rated rubber in a 120/70 ahead of a 190/55 that will take all the speed and aggressive cornering you care to dish out.

Front Suspension/ Travel: 43 mm Showa SFF-BP fork with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability/ 4.7 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Single Showa shock with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability/ 5.2 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 24.7°
Trail: 3.8 inches
Front Brake: Dual 310 mm discs, radial-mounted four-piston calipers with full-floating; ABS
Rear Brake: Single 256 mm disc: ABS
Front Tire: 120/70-17
Rear Tire: 190/55-17

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Drivetrain

  • 998 cc inline-four engine
  • 143 hp and 76 lb-ft of torque
  • Close-ratio six-speed transmission
  • Superior acceleration
  • Quick shifter
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982313
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982295
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982303
The close-ratio transmission is geared for heart-pounding acceleration.

The powerplant in the CB1000R Black is pretty much a carryover from last year, but with a couple of notable improvements in the tuned PGM-FI settings that smooth out power delivery and throttle response, along with a shiny new EU-5 emissions rating. That’s pretty much what’s new in the engine and engine-control systems, but this is an engine that already carries plenty of charms as it is. A 75 mm bore and 56.5 mm stroke gives the four-banger a 998 cc displacement with a medium-hot compression ratio of 11.6-to-1 that will demand mid-grade fuel or some sort of octane booster to prevent knock/ping/run-on.

Optimized air intake components, including the air filter, minimize pressure loss in the intake stream to maximize the ram-air effect, thereby improving the volumetric efficiency a bit. Induction control falls to a quartet of 44 mm throttle bodies that operate via ride-by-wire inputs from the pilot, but that’s just the start of the engine control, not the end.

The Black Edition rolls with adjustable engine power delivery, traction control, and engine braking. This all falls under the control of the riding modes feature that bundles the above together with a trio of preset profiles and one rider-programmable profile. The programmable profile lets you get set up to suit your riding style and/or prevalent conditions.

A slipper clutch makes the connection to the close-ratio six-speed transmission and adds another layer of safety by prevent excessive backtorque from breaking the rear wheel loose on hard downshifts. It also makes for a very light clutch pull. If you aren’t into pulling the clutch 273 times before you get where you’re going, you can use the push-button quick-shift feature to bang your way up the range. You’ll have to work back down the range the old-fashioned way.

As for the power, the liquid-cooled mill churns out 143 horsepower at 10,500 rpm with a 12,000 rpm redline, and torque tops out at 8,250 rpm with 76 pound-feet on tap for a top speed around 150 mph to place the CB1000R Black Edition firmly in the stupidfast category.

Engine: 998 cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder, DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 75mm x 56.5mm
Induction: injection with automatic enrichment circuit and 44mm throttle bodies; throttle by wire
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Compression Ratio: 11.6:1
Transmission: Close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive: #525 O-ring-sealed chain; 15T/44T

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Price

2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982315
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982292
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982305
MSRP is $13k for this stoplight-burner with a dark streak a mile wide.

The 2021 Black Edition is scheduled for release in May 2021, and is the only version of the CB1000R platform that will make it to U.S. Shores this year. Honda plans to ask $12,999 MSRP for its stoplight burner with a dark streak a mile wide.

Model ID: CB1000RA
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty, Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Graphite Black
Price: $12,999

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Competitors

2018 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000
- image 725867
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
- image 982304
You'll never do either bike justice on public roads, not legally anyway.

Honda’s Neo-Sports Café is kind of in a design niche all its own, so rather than getting hung up on looks, I went looking for something that would appeal to the same sort of rider and quickly turned up Suzuki’s GSX-S1000Z.

Suzuki GSX-S1000Z

2018 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000
- image 834105

Suzuki takes the path frequently traveled in the looks department with features that are more common across the board with the rest of the naked-sportbikes worldwide. It leaves most of the engine visible but runs angular cheek fairings and a pointy chin fairing so it isn’t quite as Spartan as the Honda platform.

Out back, the “Z” carries the same kind of swingarm-mount hugger, but the subframe-mount mudguard is rather unsightly compared to the clean rear end on the CB. Suzuki matches Honda in the ABS and traction-control features but fails to meet the rather high bar set by the Dark’s electronics suite to leave the Red Riders with an advantage in the ’tronics.

Suzuki runs a 999 cc inline-four engine and slipper-type clutch with 150 horsepower on tap against Honda’s 143 ponies, and a 164 mph top speed against 150 mph from Honda for an edge that means absolutely nothing on the streets. You’ll never (legally) do either bike justice on public roads, better not anyway.

Suzuki gains another advantage at the till with an $11,099 MSRP that may be attractive to shoppers up against a hard budget.

Read our full review of the Suzuki GSX-S1000 and S1000Z.

He Said

“While I love me some café racer yummygoodness, calling this bike any sort of café is a stretch. It’s more like a guideline than an actual rule, yeah? That said, the clean lines and understated presence are quite attractive, and who doesn’t like a stealthy paint job on their 150 mph mount? Not that it’s an exercise in subtlety, this thing is about as subtle as a dropped piano once you get up past the 5k rpm mark.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Yeah, the CB1000R has been around a long time, but the Black is the first real update in a while. The whole black-on-black thing is so very Batman-looking, I like it. The bike sounds powerful and it doesn’t disappoint performance-wise. The engine is essentially a retuned and remapped CBR1000RR Fireblade engine. Power delivery is now smoother and more responsive than the previous CB1000R, and while the chassis is pretty-much unchanged, it doesn’t fail to deliver a thrilling ride.”

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 998 cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder, DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 75mm x 56.5mm
Induction: injection with automatic enrichment circuit and 44mm throttle bodies; throttle by wire
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Compression Ratio: 11.6:1
Transmission: Close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive: #525 O-ring-sealed chain; 15T/44T
Chassis:
Front Suspension/ Travel: 43 mm Showa SFF-BP fork with spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability/ 4.7 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Single Showa shock with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability/ 5.2 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 24.7°
Trail: 3.8 inches
Front Brake: Dual 310 mm discs, radial-mounted four-piston calipers with full-floating; ABS
Rear Brake: Single 256 mm disc: ABS
Front Tire: 120/70-17
Rear Tire: 190/55-17
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 57.3 inches
Seat Height: 32.7 inches
Curb Weight: 467 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 4.3 gallons
Fuel economy: TBD
Details:
Model ID: CB1000RA
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty, Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Graphite Black
Price: $12,999

Further Reading

Honda

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- image 794666

Read more Honda news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: honda.com, suzukicycles.com

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