History of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1)

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When it was first released in 1992, the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) seemed like the ultimate naked street bike; big, powerful and reliable. From the start, it was noted more for its great acceleration than its top speed, reaching 60 mph in just over 3 seconds. This was a decision made by Honda engineers, who detuned the powerful 998cc four-stroke engine because it was felt that speeds above 130mph on a bareback bike could prove dangerous. However, this huge motorcycle still delivered all the thrill of speed in beautiful retro styling.

At the heart of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) was the 998cc water-cooled DOHC engine with 4 valves per cylinder generating a total of 96.50hp at 8500rpm. The engine’s 62.4 pound-feet of 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 weighed just over 510 pounds of metal and rubber! With a good driver and smooth roads, the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) was known to easily top speeds of 120mph and feel nimble and spirited at lower speeds.

Honda engineers provided the CB1000 (Big 1) with an excellent 5-speed gearbox that allowed for more control and handling. The long 1540mm wheelbase and single-unit chassis also helped keep this big machine stable at high speeds. Riders loved the low seating position, with 43mm telescopic forks up front and a pair of Showa shocks in the rear adding to the 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 enjoy a safe and adrenaline-fueled superbike experience.

While production of the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) stopped in 1998, this naked street bike is still a hit with original owners and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. One big draw to the Honda CB1000 (Big 1) is that it has the tough, retro look of old-school superbikes, without a ton of plastic fairing covering the guts. Honda’s reputation for quality engine design is well deserved in the 998cc unit, with bikes from two decades ago still racing 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.

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