In the early 90s, many folks of the motorcycle culture were voicing their desire for another UJM. At the time, most of my riding friends were on bikes covered in plastic with a rather aggressive riding posture required. The engineers at Honda got wind of this request and went to work on producing another standard seating position cycle, the CB1000. I first laid eyes on one at Honda Sport Touring Association’s (now MSTA) annual event in Nashville, IN when Honda arrived with their demo truck full of new bikes for a group of approximately 300 people to try out.
Anticipation and expectations were high for this bike as Honda was known for nailing it right out of the box. Our demo route was Indiana Hwy 135, a piece of prime asphalt from Nashville to the little whistle stop of Story, probably the curviest road in the state of about 24 miles round trip. The first riders returned from their test run but were not removing their helmets with exclamations and salutations. Instead, their were looks of disappointment and talk of how Honda missed the mark on this one.
If you’re trying to sell something internal combustion in the US, never offer it with less horsepower. They delivered us a bike with a silky smooth engine, well designed chassis, excellent ergos but left out the most important thing, neck jerking throttle reponse. Almost everyone that came back from a test ride complained of it’s less than stellar power delivery. Personally, I’m not so much concerned about that and I really liked the bike after my test ride. I was riding my ’82 CBX at the time and the upright riding position suited me just fine. Fit and finish were excellent and I loved the control and gauge layout.
It didn’t take long for word to spread about it’s lackluster power delivery and that insured that it remained anchored to the showroom floor, they sold them but it just wasn’t the success expected. I don’t know that it would’ve had better sales had it been delivered with the mill straight out of it’s racey brother CBR as we Americans have a habit of asking for cool bike stuff and then not buying it.
There are quite a few low mileage examples listed in the usual places and I’m tempted to pick one up. Prices are in the $2500-$3000 range and that is really some cheap fun for a well designed liter bike. A friend purchased one new and still has it with over 90,000 miles on the clock. He bought a full set of Givi luggage, a nice screen and some other farkles and has hit the road with it for the last 19 years with not one problem.
Enjoy the ride and Lindsay will be back next week.