So I've had my 2019 CB1000R for almost
a month now and I've been meaning to do a write-up on it. But the weather has been mostly cold and wet, so I've only been able to put about 630 miles on it. Combining break-in riding with not so great weather I haven't been able to open her up until a few days ago. Still I think there is enough here to talk about. This may end up being a bit long but please stay with me on this one. There is a reason I titled it First and Second Impressions.
And for those of you who don't know, I am coming off a 2015 FZ09. The FZ is a great bike with fantastic low and mid-range grunt. This is important to know.
I bought the CB on Jan 16 from a local dealer here in South East, Tx. First off, I got a fantastic deal. 3K off MSPR. They are now advertising it for an additional $250 off (summa ma beeches!). I bought it because the color and styling are on point for what I want. I love the color and I love brushed aluminum accents on anything. Cars, bikes, watches, jewelry. Everything. And it also reminded me of my 2007 Honda 919. A bike I feel I should never have let go. But anyway, the new CB spoke to me. And it had all the things: power settings, traction control, engine braking settings, slipper clutch, ABS, shift light, and blinkers that donít look like they are from 1980. It also has an option for a 2-way quick shifter w/rev matching, heated grips and an auxiliary charging port. I'm in love! And the color is called Chromosphere Red, I don't now what that even means, but I love it.
But enough about that, on to riding it. So, my first impression after taking it around the block a few times was, it was nimble. The handling was super sharp. But the ABS brakes kinda threw me for a loop. I've never ridden a bike with ABS, so it felt weird. It felt like it actually takes a bit further to stop. I figured that would only be the case when the ABS system engaged but it seems like it is like that all the time. Or maybe the brakes just need to break in.
So next on list of things to check out, it's power of course. The bike has 4 modes, Rain (low power), Standard (mid power), Sport (full power) and User (chef's choice). For break-in I wanted to keep the bike in Standard. I figured it would give me time to get used to the bike while also going easy on the engine during the 300 mile break-in period. So, as I started to ride it with a little zeal, but still well within break in specs (no rapid acceleration, no red-lines) I got to feel it out a little better. And it felt, well I wouldnít say gutless, but certainly less powerful than what I was expecting.
Now, I'm no hooligan rider. I don't like to pop huge wheelies for miles on end or pull huge stoppies. But I do like to have a small thrill every now and then. With the FZ it was mostly small power wheelies over pretty much any hump in the road. Or a small skid to a stop at a light, but that was about it. And the FZ was very good at that. Its low-end grunt made it effortless to pull just the slightest wheelie coming out of my neighborhood onto the main road. And that was enough for me. But this new CB didn't do that.
And at first I was a bit discouraged. Until I realized that I was riding it all wrong. I got so used to the FZs low end grunt that I forgot how an inline four makes it power. So I used the revs and feathered the clutch just a tad and that made a huge difference.
Coming out of my neighborhood, I pulled a wheelie while still coming out of my 90 degree turn. Yeah, it wasn't the bike. It was me. So, I went by all my favorite spots where the FZ would power wheelie and kept the revs a bit higher than I had and yeah the front end got loose. It wasn't as easy to do on the CB but it was definitely doable.
And I'm not saying I have to rev the bike way up to where the neighbors will hate me, but I do have to give it more effort than the FZ needed. And letís be honest, the FZ wanted to climb a wall at 2000 rpm.
Anyway, back to the CB. Now that I remember how to ride, Iím all grins again. The bike is a tad jumpy at slower speeds but I think that will just take some getting used to this particular throttle. But it is happy and at home on the highway and on sweeping turns. When in sport mode being in 6th gear feels like being in 4th on the old 919. Higher in the revs it just has all the power to motor past traffic. Iíve only just started to play with the USER mode. It lets you mix and match power, traction and engine break settings. So I will report back on that later.
And, to me, itís pretty comfy. One of my biggest complaints about the FZ was that the seat slanted forward too much for me. It would keep pushing my more sensitive bits into the tank and after 30 minutes my legs would be numb. The CBís seat is cushiony up front and rather flat towards the back. Iím small enough to find that I can scoot up in the seat to sit more upright or scoot back to lay down a bit. Both positions feel decent to me.
All in all, I am pretty dang happy with the bike. And now that Iíve figured her out Iím really excited to put more miles on her. Iíve already bought a Puig windscreen and some rear axle spools for easier cleaning and maintenance. Other plans include luggage side racks, the fore mentioned auxiliary plug and of course the quick shifter, although that will have to wait for a bit. And you should also know that my birthday is in October and I wear a size full Akropavic exhaust.
I also just bought an Official Honda Service Manual. Iíll make reports as maintenance comes up.
As for aftermarket, there is already a decent amount out there. Exhausts, fender eliminators, windscreens and yes decent looking options for luggage thanks to SW Motech. The one thing I AM having a hard time with is rear stands. Pitubull doesn't make a rear stand for it yet. R&G does but it's expensive to get it imported. I have been emailing with a newer company and they seem willing to give it a go and come up with something. Hopefully that pans out. But if it doesn't i'll make do. In the mean time, I'll be out putting miles on the new CB.