Honda’s CB1000R lives to fight again! The stripped-down naked bike returns for 2021, with updated emissions—and pretty much nothing else.

Honda must have been clever when it built the Euro4-compliant version of this bike, because when it updated the CB1000R to meet the Euro5 emissions regulations, all it did was tinker with the EFI system. No new exhaust needed, no new airbox, no revisions to the engine’s top end.

That should keep costs down, but it also means there’s no real boost to performance, either. Honda says the new engine still makes 143 horsepower at the crank, which is about what the previous version made.

Along with the updated emissions, Honda also put a new TFT screen on the CB1000R, with Honda Smartphone Voice Control (HSVC) function. You’ll probably hear lots of marketeering about that feature in coming months; HSVC integrates the TFT panel with a Bluetooth headset, allowing the rider to control infotainment functions hands-free. It’s definitely the wave of the future on full-sized motorcycles.

Honda also put a USB charger under the seat, another common, minor update to new machines. Nobody wants their phone running out of juice while they’re riding. There’s a new headlight, the sub-frame gets a new finish, there’s a new set of seven-spoke wheels and slightly different rad shrouds and airbox cover. None of these changes are earth-shaking, by any means.

There are no other major updates to the CB1000R for 2021, although there is a murdered-out Black Edition (on the right, in the photo above). Honda gave this machine a smoked flyscreen, new passenger seat cowl and other trim that basically turns the whole bike black. It also gets a quickshifter.

Honda’s North American websites don’t have the new CB1000R models yet, but expect them here by early spring. Pricing is still up in the air, and probably will be for a while yet, as Honda guesses how to best navigate the COVIDsphere.

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