I’ve owned a 2015 CB1000R for three years now and it is a well-rounded, solid bike to ride. It goes well, it handles nicely and it is a huge amount of fun to ride. so when I was offered the new 2022 Black Edition on loan for a couple of weeks from Honda UK, I jumped at the chance. The perfect opportunity to be able to compare both bikes.
Don’t forget to check out the other bikes in Honda’s 2023 model year lineup.
- 3 Riding Modes is unnecessary as I found myself staying in Sport Mode most times.
- For $12,999 USD, it’s a decent value proposition compared to other bikes in the same power range.
- While slightly lighter than previous versions of the CB1000R, shorter riders may be able to tell the weight difference.
- It comes with OEM Michelin Power tires which handle great in all weather conditions.
- I would like to see a more exciting range of color schemes.
Side by Side Specs Comparison
|2022 Honda CB1000R Black Edition||2015 Honda CB1000R|
|MSRP||$12,999 USD||$11,760 USD|
|Engine||143 bhp / 77 lb ft of torque||125 bhp / 74 lb ft of torque|
|Suspension||Full Showa suspension||Inverted HMAS forks, fully adjustable|
|Brakes||Tokico brakes||Tokico brakes, ABS optional extra|
|Swingarm||Single sided swingarm||Single sided swingarm|
Other additions to the Black Edition include LED lighting, self-cancelling indicators, USB socket under the seat, and 3 ride modes: Rain, Standard, and Sport.
You will see that the Black Edition has 18 bhp more than my CB but other than that there really is not much difference in the bikes. On paper at least.
Honda 2022 CB1000R Black Edition & my 2015 CB1000R
Soon after I bought this bike, I made what I now know to be a mistake in letting my other half have a ride of the bike. I soon noticed that he was going out on the bike way more than I was and it has since migrated to the other side of the garage!
My other half not only uses the bike for general riding but also for touring both in the UK and abroad. A tank bag and tail pack are strapped onto the bike and away he goes. Our last European trip was Italy for which he used the CB. It is a versatile and comfortable bike and he absolutely loves it.
When the Black Edition arrived I did spend some time comparing the differences I could see between the two bikes. The new CB1000R’s come in three different colors: bordeaux red metallic, graphite black and mat jeans blue metallic.
I had on loan the Black Edition which comes in two colors: graphite black and mat jeans blue metallic. Basically with the Black Edition, the parts that would be silver/chrome on the standard bike are now black – for example, the whole of the forks, sub frame and headlight bezel. The black features on the bike certainly add to the coolness of the bike.
I was quite taken with the styling of the Black Edition and when I first got on the bike I could feel that it was lighter than my bike and although the Black Edition is actually 2 mm taller than my CB, it felt lower and easier to maneuver.
The engine in the CB1000R originally came from Honda’s fireblade sports bike. The 998cc inline four was taken from the ‘07 fireblade (this was the final year of the underseat pipe generation, which in my opinion, they should bring back this design as no modern bike really looks as cool as bikes of this era and this design). The BHP of the ‘07 fireblade’s engine was approximately 177bhp.
The engines in the CB1000R had redesigned cylinder heads with new cams, inlet and exhaust ports and revised combustion chamber that reduced the motor’s compression ratio but were only putting out 123 bhp.
With the new Black Edition however, we see an extra 18 bhp added to the engine, still short of the original fireblades but at least it’s going in the right direction.
Ride by Wire Throttle & Modes
The new CB1000R has ride by wire in common with most modern bikes, so instead of having a throttle cable connected to butterflies in the inlet, it will all be controlled by electronics and the twist grip just sends an electronic signal to the ECU.
TFT screen in standard mode
With this addition, it also has three riding modes: standard, rain and sport plus a user mode which has three levels of customisation for the engine power, engine braking and torque control. You can really set the bike up to suit you and your riding style. The traction control can be deactivated.
A brief detail of each of the modes:
Rain: a low power setting for a softer power delivery with medium engine braking and high traction control.
Standard: a medium setting for power, traction control and engine braking with a softer power delivery in the first two gears and lower torque at part throttle.
Sport: maximum power delivery and lowest level of engine braking and traction control, making torque at all throttle positions.
User: a user customisable setting allowing you to choose between three settings of each parameter.
Now my CB doesn’t have ride by wire or modes and after riding the black edition for the last couple of weeks and trying the bike in the different modes, I left it in sport, even in the wet. I did not like the other modes as I found it just blunted the performance and throttle response which I found detracted from the enjoyment of riding the bike.
One of the best bits about this bike is its sharp sportiness and performance and it seems a great shame to remove some of the best bits about riding this bike. I personally have only ever found that I need to adapt my riding style to the conditions.
The reduction in engine braking for example is a little unnecessary on an inline four as it does not really have an excessive amount of engine braking anyway and with the reduction in power in the lower modes, although still having plenty of performance for overtaking, I would like to have that bit extra in reserve.
Speaking with other riders, some definitely agree with me that modes are not necessary on bikes of this power. Yes, you may benefit from certain modes and being able to set engine braking, traction control etc if you were doing a track day, say, but in all honesty you just use your right hand to control and ride the bike according to the road and weather conditions.
The six speed manual gearbox on the Black Edition comes equipped with an up and down quick shifter meaning you can change the gears without using the clutch. This quick shifter is adjustable for three shifter levels – soft, medium and hard.
When going into first gear or coming out of first into second gear, I always use the clutch otherwise I just rely on the quick shifter. Having ridden a few bikes now with a quick shifter, I personally think the one on the Black Edition is the smoothest one I have experienced. The transition between gears appears seamless and it really is nice to use.
If this didn’t come as standard, I would add this to the bike if I was buying one. I really can see why people like a quick shifter.
The 5” TFT instrument display is a nice addition from the old model. The screen is very clear to see especially when glancing down to have a quick look whilst riding. You have all the basic necessary information you need on the main screen – revs, speed, gear and fuel gauge. It also shows what mode you are in and if you are in neutral, ‘N’ appears in a prominently displayed green box. When the side stand is down, in the top left of the screen a little bike with a side stand down will appear in an orange box. Nice little touches.
You can select what information you wish to have displayed at the bottom of the screen, for example, mileage trip, average fuel consumption, date etc. A nice little touch is when it gets dark, the screen goes into dark mode which looks seriously cool.
TFT screen in dark mode
To navigate your way around the screen and modes, there is a button on the left bar. Even though the modes have three levels to them, it is still incredibly easy to use and user friendly which is a huge plus in my book.
Mode button control for the TFT screen
If you have an Android phone, you can connect to the Honda Smartphone Voice Control system which links your smartphone to the bike and via voice management you can control phone calls, email, music and navigation.
You would need a helmet mounted headset to control this of course which is done via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, I could not test this as I have an iPhone.
Looking at the exhaust, this is a four into one exhaust meaning that the head pipe from each of the four cylinders lead to a blacked out end can. For a standard exhaust on a new bike, it is actually quite stylish and is very in keeping with the bike.
The standard exhaust which I would have to change
I personally would change this for a smaller end can and one that emits more noise too but that is of course personal choice.
There are a number of very stylish, smaller end cans available aftermarket. You would obviously be retaining the CAT and so although a little louder, I would not expect them to be excessively so.
The tires on the Black Edition are Michelin Power. I was very impressed with these tires. On my personal bikes I have Michelin Road 6’s which I find to be a great all round, all year tire which work very well in all conditions, hot, cold, wet and dry.
Michelin Power rear tire
Michelin describe the Power tires as ‘The sporty road tire of choice’. This is a dual compound tire offering good straight-line and cornering grip giving excellent grip on dry and wet surfaces. I have to say I was well impressed with these tires and they live up to Michelin’s claims.
During the course of the two weeks I had the Black Edition on loan, I did experience beautiful sunshine (albeit the temperature was on the cool side) to heavy downpours of rain. The tires did not falter in the rain and I had complete confidence in them when riding on very wet roads.
This is not something I often experience on some of the tires that come as original equipment on new bikes. I was really taken with these Power tires and think they are a really good choice for an OEM tire.
The headlights on the Black Edition & 2015 model
The LED lights on the Black Edition are a step up from the lights on my CB. The horseshoe shaped front light is modern and stylish and I think suits the bike way more than the headlight on my CB.
Front headlight – you can see the horseshoe design
The LED lights themselves offer much more light especially when riding in the rain or dark. They offer crisp white light with good spread and depth.
Rear headlight and indicators
So while we’re at the rear of the bike, let’s talk about the rear fender housing the number plate which is mounted off the single sided swingarm.
Rear fender with number plate mount – definitely a controversial point!
When parked up I had a lot of comments, some good and some really not good about this number plate housing so I posted a picture on social media and asked for opinions. Well, I can tell you there is a definite divide on love/hate. What do you think?
Personally, I like it when a manufacturer steps out of the box and tries something different or radical. I like it because it’s different. It is purely personal choice of course and if it is not to your liking, you can purchase an aftermarket tail tidy and mount this and the number plate under the seat in a more conventional position.
One thing that is concerning to me is the size of the fuel tank. My CB has a 17 liter tank and the Black Edition comes with a 16.2 liter one.
With my CB I can get approximately 120 miles from a tank. I am looking for my next gas stop at 100 miles and if I have got to 130 miles, I am on vapors.
Although for general day to day riding this doesn’t necessarily pose a problem, but for touring this can prove quite stressful as you’re always conscious of looking for a fuel station. In my opinion the tank of the Black Edition needs to be bigger, not smaller, as the tank range is definitely no better and possibly even worse.
What’s the Honda CB1000R Black Edition like to ride?
What’s the Black Edition like to ride, I hear you ask? By the time I got to the end of my road, I knew I was going to love this bike. The engine and throttle response is great.
Compared to my CB, it is lighter, not by much I know, but I could feel the difference. Perhaps if you were a taller, larger person than my 5’6” you would not be able to tell.
Love the Honda badge, not stuck on graphics as with a lot of manufacturers
I could definitely tell it had more power than my CB. When overtaking, I didn’t have to knock it down a gear, you can just open the throttle and away it goes, and away it goes it does! You can feel that the Black Edition has a lot of low down torque. You can really nip past a vehicle on an overtake and be back in.
With 143 bhp in a relatively light bike, this retains the spirit of the original model as it is a real fun, rapid naked bike that can also be nice and easy going when you want it to be. A great all rounder and one that certainly puts a smile on my face.
The Black Edition feels light and nimble in the corners with very neutral handling which proved to be vice free. The bike also has that solid feel to it, it is nicely put together and feels like a quality bike very much like my CB, this element to the bikes have not changed over the years.
Using the quick shifter especially when pressing on a bit and going up/down the gears really is a pleasure to use. I really can see the appeal of having one of these, it does make for a smoother, quicker gear change. This does come as standard on the Black Edition but if this were an optional extra, I would add this.
The brakes are incredibly responsive and under heavy braking the hazard lights automatically come on. Honda calls this Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) function whereby under hard braking, the hazard lights flash to warn other road users.
I suppose this is a handy feature, however, I do feel it is a little unnecessary and maybe too sensitive as it was triggered under hard but not, in my opinion, an emergency level of braking.
What is a necessary feature in my opinion and one which should be on every bike are the auto canceling indicators. Rather than a timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication. They’re brilliant and if they didn’t come as standard, I would definitely add these to the bike.
I did enjoy my time with the Black Edition and found it a great opportunity to be able to compare this model to an older one and see the differences – thank you Honda UK.
I do consider the Black Edition an upgrade from my CB (I just hope my CB is not reading this as it would be most upset hearing this as we have had some amazing adventures together and it really is a great bike).
So in answer to my question at the very beginning, is it as cool as it sounds? Ohhh yes, in both looks and fun.
2022 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Video Review
- Very easy to ride
- More powerful than the previous model
- Slick quick shifter
- Looks – the Black Edition in black
- Smaller fuel tank to the previous model
- No radiator guard
- Color schemes are quite plain
- Honda Smartphone Voice Control system only works for android