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2006 Honda CBF1000

Honda CBF1000

Introduction;

Honda's broad range of large-displacement motorcycles provides a strong and highly attractive focus on virtually every facet of riding enjoyment, from kneescratching sports machines, as epitomised by the CBR1000RR Fireblade, to fully outfitted touring machines like the Gold Wing and Pan-European. One sort of machine that has been notably needed of late is a good all-rounder that can be called upon to perform well in a wide range of riding applications.

Recently Honda has had great success with the introduction of just such a group of all-rounders in the mid-displacement class, as represented by the CBF600 and its smaller displacement twin-cylinder sibling, the CBF500. Designed to help less experienced riders grow comfortably into the greater performance potential to be had with a midsized motorcycle, these machines also provide amply satisfying performance for more experienced riders.

Their versatile configurations also provide a special appeal to riders big and small, especially the CBF600, with its three-position adjustable seat, which gives shorter riders -and particularly women-a more comfortable reach to the ground in its lowest position, and gives taller riders greater overall room and riding comfort in its highest position. With these and other well-considered features and strong, satisfying performance, the CBF600 is proving to have a significant impact on the middisplacement motorcycle class and the riders attracted to it.

Hoping to build on this initial success, Honda's engineering teams set out to develop the next big step up in performance, to a litre-class machine that offers much of the same easy fun-to-ride appeal as the smaller CBFs, while delivering the stronger and more sporty performance one expects from a big litre-bike. However, rather than pursuing blistering Superbike levels of performance in this new machine, it was decided from the very start that the new CBF would follow in its predecessors' footsteps by providing exhilarating sportsbike riding fun in a 'Just Fit' configuration that a wider range of riders can more fully enjoy. Proportions would have to be kept relatively compact and performance strong where it's most used: in the low-end and mid-range of the engine's rev range. With these goals firmly in mind, the CBF development team set out to create a versatile new litre bike that can compete well in its class on many levels.

Development Concept;

The new CBF1000 was created as the next step in Honda's 'Just Fit' programme of basic, all-round motorcycle development following the successful CBF600. Concentrating on providing a strong emphasis on riding ease and its overall 'fun-toride' quotient, the idea was to make an exhilarating-but not overwhelming so-litreclass motorcycle that provides the fullest satisfaction in a wide range of riding applications, from daily street riding to sporty blasts up the hills to even a bit of light touring with a friend along for the ride. The 'Just Fit' programme also demanded that the new machine offer proportions that aren't overwhelming, as well.

Something relatively compact and easy to throw a leg over, with a balance of size and weight that promotes confidence and control in all riding situations.

Choosing the chassis on which to build this new machine was relatively easy. The CBF600 itself was judged to be an excellent starting point owing to its easily adaptable Mono-Backbone frame and sporty suspension gear. A minimal amount of gusset strengthening here and there to ensure the frame can securely withstand a bigger and stronger new engine's performance without affecting its geometry and balance was made the prime focus of its re-development, and this well-rounded chassis proved itself well up to the task of handling a much more powerful engine.

But what to do for the engine? The CBF's development team very quickly settled on the new CBR1000RR's high-powered, race-winning mill. And not just last year's model, either. No, the team focused on the very latest generation of the CBR1000RR's engine, and then took it in a radically different direction of development.

Intensive study of rider interests and riding habits garnered from extensive surveys and other research found that few riders, especially those moving up to larger displacement machines, really feel an irrepressible need to have, never mind actually use, the highest power output on the block. Instead, most riders, and especially most riders in the over-30 age group at whom this new machine would be targeted, seemed to prefer a strong feeling of roll-on acceleration combined with a more relaxed riding position and easy all-round handling. This sort of strong roll-on acceleration comes not from rip-roaring peak power, but instead from a long-misunderstood force called torque. So, rather than using the RR's full blast of overwhelming, high-revving, raceready performance in this new 'all-rounder', the CBF's development team concentrated on finding ways to maximise its value as a daily rider and an easily accessible fun machine, albeit a powerful and aggressive one, by maximising its engine's torque output, and thus roll-on performance. Excitement also plays a key role in attracting the interests of these riders, so a certain degree of sporty behaviour and barely concealed savagery on tap were called for just to keep things interesting. With such an exciting blend of strong yet easily manageable performance, the new CBF also required some basic comfort features for greater all-round enjoyment. So, a stylish and wide-coverage half-fairing was called for to provide an extra level of riding comfort at all speeds for both rider and passenger, while the CBF600's convenient range of adjustability was carefully maintained to ensure a 'custom' fit for the widest possible range of rider sizes.

Effective brake systems are also a priority with Honda, and the CBF1000 is no different in that regard. While its standard model is fitted with powerful triple-disk brakes with high-performance opposed 4-piston front callipers, the CBF will also be made available in a deluxe edition with a full complement of Combined Antilock Brake Systems for the ultimate in braking control and confidence.

Finally, concern for the environment is a constant motivation at Honda, and the new CBF meets these concerns head-on with a full HECS3 oxygen-sensing catalytic converter system that reduces harmful emissions to far below EURO-3 regulated emissions standards. Riding enjoyment, safety and a responsible attitude toward the environment all are hallmarks of Honda motorcycle engineering, and are proudly displayed in the new CBF1000: A new litre-class semi-naked fun machine for the future.

Styling;

Light and sporty in both look and performance, the CBF1000's sleekly integrated bodywork and spare, no-frills chassis borrow heavily from the CBF600 in a design concept that was initially formulated in Honda's local European design centres. Featuring a compact yet wide-coverage frame-mounted half-fairing that accentuates its excitingly sporty look of performance while providing excellent protection against the wind and elements at speed, the CBF projects an impressive image of inherent strength and reliability.

Contrasting with the purposeful mechanical look of its engine, exhaust and suspension components, the smooth contours of its bodywork also fully incorporate the CBF concept of 'Just Fit' proportions into every component. While there's no denying that the CBF1000 is a litre-class motorcycle, its size and proportions have been purposely kept as close as possible to those of its middleweight predecessor, the CBF600.

Every curve in its shape has been specially designed to ensure exceptional comfort, confidence and handling ease, and its slim seating area and three-position adjustable rider's seat ensure an easy and comfortable reach to the ground for a remarkably broad range of rider sizes that provides ample evidence of its 'Just Fit' design brief. Aerodynamic Half Fairing The powerful, aerodynamic lines of the CBF's front cowl reach up and back to complement the broad curves of its fuel tank with a sharper and more distinctive form than seen on the CBF600. Integrated dual multi-reflector headlights dominate the cowl's leading edge, and present both a determined look of performance and brilliant night-time illumination that makes after-dark rides a much more reassuring experience.

Behind the fairing, wind protection is, as you'd expect, excellent, its broadly sculpted nose cutting cleanly and effortlessly through the air even at high triple-digit speeds. Large clear-lens multi-reflector style front indicators are built prominently into tapered recesses in the cowling's sides, while at the back is positioned a newly designed, fully integrated one-piece combination light assembly, with form-fitted clearlens indicators surrounding a large central brake light for an attention-getting rearward display. Behind the deep solo rider's seat, the slim tail cowl rises upward over the rear wheel to convey an unmistakable sense of lightness and agility as it tapers into the sleekly organic upswept curves of its beautifully integrated tail.

Integrated Instrument Panel;

Behind the windscreen, the CBF1000's cleanly appointed cockpit presents the stylish form of an integrated one-piece instrument panel, with large, fully electronic dials providing a highly accurate indication of performance parameters.

Inside the speedometer resides a liquid crystal display of odometer and dual trip readouts, while a digital clock is provided behind the tachometer's lens. The two main dials are surrounded by a prominent fuel gauge on the right, while on the left a standard assortment of indicator lights include a fuel injection system warning light, a Honda Ignition Security System (HISS) 'armed' warning indicator, and a red ABS failure indicator on the ABS-equipped versions of the CBF.

Convenient controls include light-action, adjustable brake and clutch levers, a newly adapted hydraulic clutch, and a hazard light flasher switch built into the rightside handlebar switch pod. And even the handlebar's mounting position can be adjusted by reversing its aluminium risers for 10mm of forward offset, and another example of the CBF's 'Just Fit' riding ease. And even the fairing-mounted rear-view mirrors feature longer stems for easier viewing of traffic to the side and rear, instead of a close view of one's shoulders.

Three-Position Adjustable Seat;

Like the CBF600 before it, one of the CBF1000's most important 'Just Fit' features is its 3-position height-adjustable seat. A concept pioneered on Honda's prestigious sport touring flagship, the ST1300 Pan-European, this convenient innovation allows a much wider range of riders to custom-fit the CBF to their own body heights and riding needs by letting the seat be raised or lowered 15mm from its 795mm-high central position.

Like the CBF600's excellent seat design, this adjustment not only moves the seat higher or lower, it also shifts it forward or back by a distance of 10mm in order to better conform with ALL body size factors, not just trouser inseams, for a wider range of seating freedom. In this way, shorter riders can find a position closer to the handlebars and foot pegs for easier, more confident control, and taller riders can enjoy a much more natural and comfortable reach to both the bars and pegs, for a more relaxing riding position that doesn't distract from the enjoyment of the ride.

The seat adjustment can be easily performed in a few minutes using a single hex driver to unbolt and detach the rider's seat, unbolt its seat sub-frame and reinstall the frame in a higher or lower position depending on the corresponding holes selected, then reattach the seat. This one adjustment changes the entire personality of the CBF1000, and makes it a much more user-friendly mount for riders of virtually all sizes and ranges of riding experience.

2-Position Adjustable Windscreen;

The CBF1000 also features a 2-position adjustable windscreen which can be raised an extra 40mm in height to provide extra wind protection for taller riders, even when taking into account the CBF's more upright riding position compared to most sport-touring machines.

Vents at the front of the fairing direct air into the space behind the windscreen to create a higher-pressure area at speed that expands the area of wind protection and reduces turbulence behind the screen to provide significantly more comfortable motorway cruising for both rider and passenger. Also, a steady airflow directed under the backside of the windscreen helps raise the rush of air hitting the rider from the top of the screen while reducing fogging in cold conditions. Contributing to greater pillion passenger security and comfort are a pair of comfortable cast aluminium grab rails positioned on either side of the wide and comfortably padded pillion seat, while stylish and strong cast aluminium brackets support the pillion foot rests.

Colouring Concept;

The stylish CBF1000 presents itself in five cool colour variations that accentuate its distinctive bodywork's subtle curves with an air of superb quality. Leading with a bright metallic silver that exudes a sporty look of speed and agility, a deep and sultry black follows with metallic highlights that spring to life under the bright lights. Next is an electric candy blue that grabs attention both at stop and on the move, and a dark metallic green that blends beautifully in with the passing scenery. Finally, a special metallic orange version should certainly draw a fast following to this exciting new riding machine.

With graphics kept to a minimum, the CBF displays its lightly shimmering colours to optimum effect with only the most basic identifying markings, for a spare look of understated elegance that doesn't have to shout to be seen and heard. The CBF's engine is painted a darker metallic grey than used in its more sportoriented incarnation, for a more purposeful look of strength that further highlights its body colours