Honda releases Café Neo Racer price

2018 Honda CB1000R Café Neo racer

Just days after announcing a ridiculous price for the new Monkey Bike, Honda Australia has announced a more realistic price for the modern/retro CB1000R Café Neo Racer.

It will arrive in Honda showrooms this month at $16,499 plus on-road costs which is $500 less than the CBR1000RR without ABS.

Once on-road coats are included it will still be a few hundred short of the new/retro Kawasaki Z900RS (about $17,800 ride away depending on where you live) and its Café Racer variant costing an extra $300. It also sits midway between the Yamaha MT-09 and MT-10. 

Honda is making a big thing about this retro model having a modern look and performance.

However, that’s no different from other current retro models such as the Z900RS and the BMW R nineT.

And, of course, it has ABS as standard which is becoming the industry standard since Europe announced mandatory fitment for all models over 125cc.

Café racer styling

2018 Honda CB1000R Café Neo racer

There really isn’t any café racer styling in the bike.

It’s basically a UJM (universal Japanese motorcycle) with a naked look, transverse four engine, wide bars and a sit-up-and-beg riding position.

I prefer the look of the CB1100 which Honda Australia stopped importing ages ago.

Honda CB1100 cafe neo racer Café neo racer
Honda CB1100

The Café Neo Racer is smaller and 12kg lighter than the previous model CB1000R even though it comes with a lot of metal bits and pieces.

Honda says only six exterior parts are made of plastic including front fender.

This metal look is reflected in the aluminium radiator shroud and airbox cover, machined engine cases, cylinder head, and sprocket hub and flangeless steel fuel tank.

Supporting the radical new look is a box section mono backbone steel frame, with Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD suspension up front, a Showa monoshock at the rear, radial-mounted front brakes, ABS and a 190-section rear tyre. 

It features LED lighting with a daytime running light ring around the circular headlight as required by European standards.2018 Honda CB1000R Café Neo racer

The T-shaped instrument panel integrates into the top triple clamp and the ignition switch is at the front of the fuel tank.

Café Neo Racer power

The Café Neo Racer is powered by a detuned version of the Fireblade 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine with peak power (106kW) and torque at lower revs.

Together with the lower weight, it means a 2o% increase in power-to-weight ratio.

2018 Honda CB1000R Café Neo racer

It comes with Throttle By Wire (TBW) with three riding modes and a programmable “User” setting.

Project leader for developing the bike, Mr S. Uchida says the CB1000R is about more than just better performance.

At Honda, our intention is always to look to the future and to be ready to lead. Hence, as the Naked sector’s requirements mature, we knew that we had to go much further than giving the new CB1000R a boost in real world performance. Customer expectation and interests are about much more than just ‘how fast?’ We wanted to build in not only exhilaration and emotion to each experience of the CB1000R, but also real pleasure in owning, and showing off, such an individual machine. So we travelled in a new direction and are very proud of the result – both when out on the road and when admiring it in the garage.”

5 Comments

  1. You gotta wonder why they call this style of bike a “café racer”…if it’s a café racer then I’m a brain surgeon. It seems that sticking café on anything will make it sell better. If you want a real café racer you have to go back to the original motivation for building them in the late 50’s and 60’s,namely making a fast bike out of whatever was available then, typically putting a Triumph Tiger ’10 engine in a Norton Featherbed frame (later the T 120 Bonnie engine) and keeping the weight stripped down to a minimum. Google up “Triton” if you don’t know what a real café racer is. Or a BSA Goldie Clubman or Velo Thruxton.
    The subject bike would better be described as a “Street Fighter” then a caf racer.
    IMO.
    Cheers.
    JMB

  2. Robert
    Respectfully think you may be missing the point by a few degrees brother. Café racers and would-be versions are about yesteryear’s styling and romance – perhaps coupled with a little, but unobtrusive contemporary techno. But always, café is to retro as naked is to modern – inseparable. Anything with a café or neo café name needs to show soul. The engine needs to bark. Without that, you have the road equivalent of Honda’s new Monkey Bike – a no lift rear end, ABS and a massive price tag – Soichiro would be barfing in his sushi. It should be about simplicity. Show me a sensationally retro-styled, uncluttered 500cc single, with clip-ons, a single straightish pipe, Japanese reliability and I’m there with a chequebook. That’s why visiting Isle of Man last year, knocking back beers with hard core characters in front of the Creg-ny-Baa hotel inches away from machines roaring down the hill from Kate’s Cottage, then abrading rubber into the right hand dipper, will forever remain a highlight of my life. Let’s start with an Egli Vincent and work back to the reality of affordability from there. Anything less is spaghetti from a can. Daff

  3. Mark, it is time you start to think more modern. The CB1100 (the red bike pictured) is a bland and boring outdated looking bike with bland and boring performance. On the other hand, the CB1000R Café Neo Racer really excites me. I love the way it looks and love this type of bike. It should have great performance and handling, and I got fed up with the hassles of fairings which aren’t needed at the low speeds we are forced to ride at. This could be my future motorcycle, as long as it has a good fuel range.

    1. I get your point, but the practicality of that rear seat makes it totally unsuitable for a pillion, and many of us regularly ride two up. I just never understand why manufacturers ignore this aspect of their design.

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