When it was first released in 1992, the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) seemed to be the quintessential naked street bike; big, powerful and reliable. From the start, it was better known for its great acceleration than its top speed, hitting 60 mph in just over 3 seconds. This was a decision made by Honda engineers, who misadjusted the powerful 998cc four-stroke engine, as speeds in excess of 130mph on a bike without a fairing were felt to be dangerous. However, this huge motorcycle still offered all the thrill of speed with beautiful retro styling.
At the heart of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) was the water-cooled 998cc DOHC engine, with 4 valves per cylinder producing a total of 96.50 hp at 8500 rpm. The 62.4 pound-per-foot torque kicked in at 6000 rpm, giving the CB1000 excellent acceleration from a standing start. All this power certainly came in handy, as this naked bike had just over 510 pounds of metal and rubber! With a good driver and smooth roads, the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) was known to easily exceed speeds of 120 mph and feel agile and fast 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 1540mm wheelbase and single unit chassis also helped keep this great machine stable at high speeds. Riders loved the low seat position, with 43mm telescopic forks at the front and a pair of Showa shocks at the rear that increase ride quality. The Honda CB1000 (Big 1) used 120 / 70-18 tires at the front with dual disc brakes and 170 / 70-18 tires at the rear, with a single disc brake. All of these features helped riders around the world to enjoy a safe and adrenaline-fueled superbike experience.
While production of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) was stopped in 1998, this naked street bike is still a hit with original owners and motorcycling enthusiasts. A big draw to the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) is that it has the rugged, retro look of old-school superbikes, without a ton of plastic fairing covering the innards. Honda’s reputation for quality engine design is well deserved in the 998cc unit, with two-decade-old bikes still competing on UK streets. The Honda CB1000 (Big 1) also continues to be popular with retro bike restorers, as original replacement parts are still available from some trusted dealers.