CBF1000R: Honda's new easy rider

2012-05-03 15:13

Comfortable cruiser, compact and powerful commuter, intercity express - Honda SA has just launched the latest wild child in the (very) long-established CBF family, the 1000F.

Honda says the bike "fully expresses the CBF ethos of versatile motorcycling enjoyment - a sporty performer to lead its class in stylish practicality and usable power" and that starts with the four-position windscreen, continues through the light aluminium frame and a single, large exhaust can to an engine a step up from a mid-displacement bike.

"Seasoned bikers looking for a power-packed all-rounder will be inspired by its precise performance characteristics," Honda croons, "while 're-entry' riders will find it delightfully easy to handle."


The CBF1000F's style is described as "compact and sporty with superior ergonomic design". Whatever, it looks good in the photograph ("what a real bike should look like", the old-timers might say) and its lines look slippery enough for easy high-speed travel, especially the aerodynamic "scuplted half-fairing".

Not everybody has the same legs, not only one person might ride the bike, so Honda has incorporated height adjustment for the driver's seat with travel through 15mm from its 795mm central position and the 'bars are high enough for a relaxed back-straight riding position.

The CBF1000F has the same distinctive low-profile line beam headlights as the CBR600RR and LED-look indicators. The LED tail light is brilliant, the oval rear indicators are also compact and derived from the  CB1000R.

Instrumentation is straightforward: a large, central analogue rev counter surrounded by practical digital readouts: odometer with two trip distance meters, a speedometer, a clock, a fuel gauge, indicator repeaters and a fuel consumption gauge - handy when you're deep into the Karoo. It displays average fuel consumption on a trip basis, real-time fuel consumption and reserve tank usage.

Which all brings us to the bit that really matters: the engine. The 'BF' models usually have CBR-based power, and so it is that the frame is filled by a liquid-cooled, inline-four designed for the CBR1000RR. Its vital statistics are 998cc, bore/stroke at 75/56.5mm and compression ratio 11.2:1 when petrol is introduced results in 79kW at 9000rpm and 96Nm at 6500rpm and the best power delivery in the midrange for easy high-speed travel. Honda says a high-revving low-midrange provides powerful acceleration up to "a searing top speed" of 250km/h.
The CBF1000F's engine is tuned for maximum efficiency and its processor system constantly monitors engine speed, throttle input and operating conditions to maintain the best power and throttle response. 12-hole injectors atomise the fuel and help fuel efficiency (Honda says 5.4 litres/100km average)

The bike rides on 41mm telescopic front forks, the suspension revised with new fork spring adjusters and quicker compression to give a smooth ride. The swingarm to the rear wheel was, Honda says, "designed for optimum rigidity and cornering control" with a Monoshock damper with a seven-step adjustable spring pre-load "for the best set-up for sporty solo riding or long trips with a passenger and a full load of luggage".
A high priority has been placed on strong, responsive brakes so up front are two two-piston callipers and 296mm discs, at the rear a 240mm disc and single-piston calliper; even better, the combined system is hooked to anti-lock to balance braking and make stopping as safe as possible in rain.

Honda CBF1000F specifications.