History of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1)

History of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1)

When first launched in 1992, the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) seemed to be the ultimate naked street bike; big, powerful, and reliable. Right from the start, it was known more for its great acceleration than top speed, reaching 60 mph in just over 3 seconds. This was a decision taken by Honda engineers, who de-tuned the powerful, four-stroke 998cc engine since it was felt speeds in excess of 130 mph on an unfaired bike could prove dangerous. However, this massive motorcycle still delivered all the thrills of speed with beautiful retro styling.

At the heart of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) was the water-cooled DOHC 998cc engine, with 4 vales per cylinder pumping out a grand total of 96.50 hp at 8500 rpm. The engine torque of 62.4 pounds per foot kicked in at 6000 rpm, giving the CB1000 excellent acceleration from a standing start. All of this power certainly came in handy, since this naked bike was just over 510 pounds of metal and rubber! With a good rider and smooth roads, the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) was known to easily exceed speeds of 120 mph and felt nimble and zippy at lower speeds.

Honda engineers provided the CB1000 (Big 1) with an excellent 5 speed gearbox that allowed for greater control and handling. The long wheelbase of 1540mm and single unit chassis also helped this large machine remain stable at high speeds. Riders loved the low seating position, with 43mm telescopic forks at the front and a pair of Showa shocks at the rear adding to ride quality. The Honda CB1000 (Big 1) wore 120/70-18 tyres in front with dual disk brakes and 170/70-18 tyres at the back, with a single disk brake. All of these features helped riders all over the world enjoy a confident, adrenalin-charged superbike experience.

While production of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) stopped in 1998, this naked street bike has remained a hit with original owners and motorcycling enthusiasts. One big attraction of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) is that it has the rugged, retro look of old-school superbikes, without a ton of plastic fairing covering up the guts. Honda’s reputation in quality engine design is well deserved in the 998cc unit, with two decade old bikes still racing on UK streets. The Honda CB1000 (Big 1) also remains popular with retro bike restorers, since genuine spare parts are still available with a few trusted dealers.

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