Honda CB1000R

Honda CB1000R

One of the new models for 2018 is the revised Honda CB1000R. The CB100oR was originally released nearly 10 years ago so it was time for an upgrade. For those who came late the CB1000R was essentially an unfaired version of it’s super sports 1000cc motorcycle the Fireball model. It is not unusual to manufacturers to do this as it save development costs and gives the stripped down model instant street cred. However unlike other manufactures Honda has done more than just remove the faring.

The demand for naked motorcycles is increasing. The buyers in this class is quite a sophisticated one due to the number of influences on it’s buyers for example many are not fussed about engine capacity or ultimate performance. For example, many friends I know want retro looking motorcycle with sufficient power and highly customisable. Everyone is concerned, it’s about increased traffic reduced driver capability and motorcycles are specifically weekend rides. No one I know actually wants to ride a motorcycle to work.

In terms of looks the CB1000R is more than the striped down Fireblade but a revision of the first generation CB1000R. The 2018 features a future/retro headlight which changes the look of the bike. It reminds me of a Yamaha MT-01 but it was a V -Twin.  At least Honda have installed a single sided rear swing arm to give it a more exotic touch and I can imagine many removing the unsightly rear muffler though. The press materials says it’s Cafe Racer inspired… sort of I guess. It’s rare that a Japanese manufacturer in 2018 is using silver and chrome highlights on this sort of bike and it does work somewhat dependent on colour.

Tn terms of technology, specifications and performance the Honda CB1000R has been updated with various engine modes that include settings for engine braking, and Torque settings. However as fancy as these modes are, to be completely honest doesn’t mean all that much. To appeal to the new generation of riders you need more connectivity into the bike meaning integration with a mobile phone and viewing riding data that is far more comprehensive than a simple fuel consumption and a trip meter. That said the engine is a remapped version of the CBR1000RR Fireblade which means a good thing.

In the end the 2018 CB1000R another good motorcycle from Honda. The tech details and performance upgrades are very good for naked bike but it’s not really about that. It’s really about the looks first then performance, so if it appeals to you then get it.

Honda CB1000R Key Specifications
Engine: IL4 cylinder 16V DOHC (EFI)
Capacity: 998cc
Power/Torque: 107Kw @10000RPM 106 Nm @8500RPM  
Gearbox: 6 speed
Kerb Weight: 217Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 16.5 litre fuel tank
Seat height: 830 mm
Dimensions: L21121 x W790 x H1095
Recommended Retail Price: $ 18,990 (2018)


2018 Honda Valkyrie F6C

Honda Valkyrie

The 2018 Honda Valkyrie came to my attention in the showroom recently so here’s my review! The Valkyrie has been around for in this form for over 10 years but it is sold in so small numbers that I’ve never seen one in real life until now.

The Honda Valkyrie is the top range cruiser style motorcycle from the company. Fittingly it is based on the Honda Goldwing’s frame and engine. The Valkyrie’s traditional Cruiser classification is debatable as the Valkyrie does’t look or is specified like a traditional Cruiser in the vein of Harley Davidson’s. The Honda Valkyrie is a best prefixed with the category of modern style cruiser or even Japanese style cruiser.

The market for cruiser motorcycles in 2018 are on a general decline, just like the 600cc super sports motorcycle class. It’s arguably caused by ageing demographic, those who bought them where sold on the image in movies and mostly the noise. There is also the element of the anti-motorcycling lobby group however they are likewise literally dropping off too. Anyway in the end this group has only made motorcycling all the more desirable especially to accountants and actuaries.

In terms of looks the Honda Valkyrie is a good looking motorcycle and different to any other especially in size! However it’s only good up to 4/5 as the last 1/5 the rear end is typlically underdone or best described as awkward. The rear end oddness for Cruiser style motorcycles is not unusual and not just Honda models but all manufacturers except for Harley Davidson for some reason. However and at a guess the rear end is designed to accommodate the obligatory panniers!

The blacked out frame and wheels appeal to a younger buyer and certainly more European audience as they don’t particularly and generally like chrome.  That said you can go for the Honda Valkyrie Rune variant which is equipped with all the chrome – if you can find one.

Tn terms of technology, specifications and performance the Honda Valkyrie is best described a cut down Goldwing which means spritely performance and all the pros and cons of the engine. The low maintenance single sided swing arm with a shaft drive means low maintenance and I always wonder why they don’t show off this feature more often. I think they look great! The digital instruments also indicate that the Valkyrie is targeted at a younger buying group.

The engine is worth a mention as it is the only 6 cylinder that is arranged in a horizontally, meaning a Flat 6 cylinder engine and is unique in the motorcycle world. The Valkyrie’s engine makes the same amount of power as a regular 1.8 SOHC engine but weights over 1000kgs less than the normal car you’d find with this engine capacity. This means that this bike is fast, not supers sports fast but fast enough!  The technology and development for this engine is easily superior that the flat 2 cylinder engine in BMWs. The Goldwing’s engine is known for it’s longevity and reliability and with less weight the Valkyrie will arguably last longer than the owner.

The Honda Valkyrie is definitely a decent, almost cool motorcycle and an evolution of the traditional Cruiser class motorcycle in terms of looks and power.  I can only imagine riding a bike with 170Nm of torque under 4000rpm, even cars can’t do that! I liken it to Thor’s hammer and thankfully doesn’t sound like it’s name sake the Valkyrie which is probably a good thing.

The Honda Valkyrie is priced around the $22,000 AUD which is quite expensive but when you consider the your average 1000cc super sports motorcycle have reached the same price point and that this is a 6 cylinder motorcycle and unlikely that you’ll ever see on on the road it is easily justifiable purchase.

Honda Valkyrie Key Specifications
Engine: Flat 6 cylinder 12V SOHC (EFI)
Capacity: 1832cc
Power/Torque: 88Kw @ 5500RPM 170 Nm @ 4000RPM
Gearbox: 5 speed – Shaft drive
Kerb Weight: 341Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 23.2 litre fuel tank
Seat height: 734 mm
Dimensions: L2473 x W942 x H1154
Recommended Retail Price: $ 21,990 (2018)