We find out why the CB1000R is the perfect companion if you’re planning an unforgettable road trip in India. By Kumar Shree
It goes without saying that on a road trip, the most important aspect is the mode of transport. Since you’re going to be spending most of your time out on the road, you need something that you can rely on, no matter what the terrain, weather, and etc. And, at the most basic level, you need something that provides a trip that’s seamless from every aspect—that helps enhance the hopefully scenic journey. There are quite a few players in this field, but Honda understands the bond like no other, as can be seen in its revamped CB1000R, which sees a roaring engine being hidden in a minimalist frame in this modern café racer-inspired reiteration. If you’re keen on putting the bike to the test, we’ve curated the perfect road trips for you.
1. The Incredible Engine
The four-cylinder liquid-cooled engine and the new refined tuning in the Honda CB1000R will get you 16% more peak power at just over 10,000 RPMs and 5% more torque right through the mid-range, where it’s most useful, and most fun. It also provides a healthy increase in both power and torque: 107 kW @ 10,500 rpm and 104 Nm @ 8,250 rpm. You can feel the punch and the revving delivered instantly as you pull the throttle, and boy it races.
Where To: When you have such a capable machine, why not test it on one of India’s toughest voyages that’s out there to take. Without a doubt, the road trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is one of the toughest road trips ever. You will scale the massive landscape of India from one end to other. Needless to say, this will require an iron-willed rider, and a solid, robust machine. Now that’s exactly where the new Honda CB1000R comes in.
2. The Frame & Build
A steel mono backbone gives this machine its solid character. This trait enables the bike to manoeuvre through the toughest of tracks like a breeze. The Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD suspension at the front and a Showa monoshock at the rear, supremely enhances its ability. The brand new airbox, ducting and air filter present allow for a smoother route for airflow into the engine, reducing pressure loss all the way from the outer ducts to the throttle body. Radial-mount front brakes, ABS and a 190-section rear tyre completes the chassis’ upgrade. Talking about the riding position, the new CB1000R has a more relaxed riding position despite being smaller than its older self. In fact, Honda CB1000R is 12 kg lighter than the outgoing design, and that makes for a 20% improvement in power to weight ratio.
Allied to the boost in outright performance numbers is an important 4% reduction in gear ratios, which greatly improves acceleration through the gears between 30-130 km/h. The new assist/slipper clutch is lighter at the lever and helps manage hard downshifts. With the increase in output comes Throttle By Wire (TBW) with three preset riding modes plus a USER setting. Power (P), Engine Brake (EB) and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) work together across the presets to offer optimum benefit to the rider depending on the conditions. The exhaust transmits a raw-edged howl as revs rise. The TBW allows the rider maximum control over what is a very powerful engine wrapped in a minimalist aesthetic.
Where To: Guwahati to Tawang is a tour that is labelled tough by even the most seasoned riders. It’s demanding, it’s challenging, and the Honda CB1000R will make it easy for you.
3. The Design Nuances
Every aesthetic detail of the CB1000R has been finessed, and the overall design, its style and powerful stance, merge retro minimalism with the elevated performance package of the engine and chassis. Its proportions are now more compact, with a trapezoid silhouette. The overhang of the distinctly-styled round headlight is shorter and the swingarm-mounted rear number plate, which also doubles as a mudguard unit (a first for Honda), which allows for an extremely short, sculpted aluminium tail unit incorporating neat under-slung pillion handholds. The use of premium metal finishes throughout the machine, drawing on the long, café racer tradition: parts such as the burnished aluminium radiator shroud and airbox cover, the machined engine cases, cylinder head and sprocket hub, and the lustrously painted steel fuel tank also adds to the aesthetic sensibility.
All lighting is LED and the thin round headlight (with its metal-tone painted rim) employs a horseshoe-shaped light ring as well as distinctive two-bar light signature. The T-shaped instrument panel – finished in the same metal-tone paint as the headlight rim – integrates into the top yoke, and the ignition switch is positioned at the front of the fuel tank.
Where to: While the Delhi to Agra to Jaipur – Golden Triangle cannot be termed tough, it is one road trip worth taking, as you will witness all the grandeur and magnificence that lies on this trip for you.
This year, whenever you plan your next road trip, let Honda CB1000R take you places.