My Almost Wonderful Honda CBR1000F
by Tony Dilworth
I bought the beast in November, 2000 with about
7,500 miles on it. As of June, 2012 it had
As soon as I bought it, I set about rectifying its
With the stock windshield, the wind noise was appalling (I ALWAYS
use earplugs) and was first on my list to do something about.
I experimented with larger screens, flaps, the useless
Saeng things and finally bought a higher Powerbronze
shield. I still didn't like it and cut the Powerbronze
shield down about four inches. Still didn't like it and
ordered a new Powerbronze and decided to mount the new
one on top of the old one. This results in a shield which
is about four inches higher than the Powerbronze.
It looks fine, works fine and does not attract too much
The following picture gives you an idea of the height
with both shields on.
Also notice the Fiamm horns mounted in the radiator exhaust-vent in the
fairing. The horns point backwards because they won't mount there
facing forward. Besides, having them point backwards eliminates
the problem of rain going in them if facing forwards. From experience,
I know that Fiamm horns are ruined if they ever get soaked.
Despite pointing backwards, they cause people who get in the way
to respond with alacrity when beeped.
I had originally bought a Ventura rack with a non-Ventura bag.
Wanting something a bit larger and lockable, I bought a Givi
Pointe top-case (this is a scooter case since I didn't want
the larger motorcycle-size top-case).
The Givi has several design flaws. I sent an email to Givi complaining
about the deficiences in their product but they never bothered to reply.
Click here to read the email.
Briefly, I removed the awful Mono-Key mechanism and replaced it
with a padlock. I can now open and lock the case using one hand
as opposed to the three hands required by the original Mono-Key
which, as I said in the email is a 'triumph of ingenuity over practicality'.
Givi cases can also fall off. This is documented in the email.
To prevent it falling off, I used two u-bolts to firmly secure
the case to the Ventura rack (which, incidentally, can be removed
by undoing the thumb-screws which hold the rack to the supports).
After about 8 months, the pin in one of the hinges fell out
leaving the lid wobbling around on one hinge. Fortunately,
I had a piece of brass tubing which fitted perfectly and which
has been in there now for some time. As might be expected, the pin
in the other hinge also fell out and was replaced by a metal pin.
Another annoyance about the Givi box is its basic shape.
Because it has no corners and is sort of egg-shaped, the
objects in the box rearrange themselves as you ride.
With the constant acceleration/deceleration, the box acts
like a tumble-dryer rotating the objects within.
Givi should make the bottom front/rear corners square to stop this
The Ventura rack snapped after about two years of use.
The part which snapped was the tubing on the rack itself
where it slips into the tubing of the support.
I got rid of the standard clip-ons by replacing them with
a higher handlebar. What a difference for the wrists!
I used LSL (type AS) clamps for regular handlebars.
Link to Spiegler
Mounted on the brake reservoir, the Quest is easy to use.
The worst thing about being on a road trip is ending up in your
destination town and not having the faintest idea where your
hotel is. With the Quest, you just enter the address of your
destination and it takes you RIGHT THERE. After checking in
at the hotel, you can use your laptop to find a good restaurant
in the area. Enter the address of the restaurant and it takes
you RIGHT THERE. After dining, tell the Quest to take you
back to the hotel and you are RIGHT THERE.
The Quest has a small speaker installed on the gadget that
plugs into the cigarette lighter. You can just about hear
it when riding in town (I use ear plugs) but you need to
read the display to know where to go.
I wouldn't leave home on a road trip without the Quest
under any circumstances!
If you use your speedometer to know your speed, you will
find that you have been riding too slowly after you install
the GPS since it has a speedometer function and reveals
the fact that the bike's speedometer is significantly
higher than actuality. So, now that you know your real
speed, you can speed up without worry.
I installed a cigarette lighter (zip-tied to the fork)
to provide power for the Quest. The mount for the Quest
is part of the original mount (designed to stick on a car
windshield) attached using one of the bolts which
hold the brake lever.
After getting sick and tired of oiling the chain with the spray cans
I made an oiler which works quite nicely. You can read more about the oiler
at: Make yourself a chain oiler.
The most annoying thing about the CBR is the inability of the alternator
to maintain a charge in the battery. If you spend time in an urban environment
(like Manhattan, which I do) idling at a traffic light with the lights on
and the fan on, you will kill the battery. I started carrying jumper cables
on the bike because it was a foregone conclusion that I would sooner or later
need them. I have paid numerous taxi-drivers in Manhattan to give me a jump
to start the bike. One one occasion, I had to have it jumped three times in one day!
I also bought a booster pack to start the bike at home when the battery
was too weak to start the bike.
Having Gerbing electric jackets for myself and passenger just makes it even
more of a problem!.
To help the situation, I have two switches on the fairing to turn off the two
headlights when sitting at a light. I also have a switch on the left-side
of the fairing to turn off my electric jacket (passenger has their own switch).
To add insult to injury, the voltage regulator failed at 19,000 miles (in Boston)
leaving me stranded for two days while I waited for a new one to be sent
to me at the hotel.
The regulator went again at about 43,000 miles which caused me to have to pay
to have the bike picked up (see pic below).
This time I decided to NOT replace the regulator with the standard Honda unit
but with an aftermarket one.
The brand name is Rick's and the part number is 10-108. The price was $104.00.
The URL for the manufacturer is www.ricksmotorsportelectrics.com.
(I got the Rick's regulator on 10/18/03 - it died on 11/05/05 and had
to be replaced.
I had installed a voltmeter when I first began to realise that there were
problems with the electrical system. After installing the aftermarket regulator
I immediately noticed that the voltmeter was reading higher than before most
of the time because it apparently switches at a higher voltage than the Honda
unit. The result is that my battery now keeps a higher charge than with
the original Honda unit and my electrical problems now seem to be a thing
of the past! (I hope!).
I also replaced the weak Yuasa battery with a sealed Westco one which is definitely
MUCH better than the Yuasa. I would never buy another Yuasa.
When upstate in July, 2004, the rear brake locked on. This made
the bike very slow! Fortunately, it happened only a mile or so
from the hotel so I managed to struggle back there. I had to have
it towed - about 150 miles - to the dealer where I had the caliper
rebuilt and new pads installed.
Here is the bike on the truck.
I also had the foam in the seat replaced with harder foam. It made a
difference but not that much
I strongly recommend the Avon Azaro tires. They are wonderful.
They also last a long time. The tires shown above had 15,800 miles
on them when photographed. The front was replaced at that mileage. The
rear was not replaced - it doesn't need it yet!
Another front tire at 85,010 on 3/18/11. This one covered 14,335.
The latest development (April, 2005) is that the collector box
on the exhaust system has rusted through and is now noisy.
I bought some goo to fix the holes in the box and it seems to be
good at plugging them up. One advantage to a fully-faired bike
is that the fairing covers up such ugliness. The stock header/box
is about $600.00, so a can of goo for $3.99 seems a desirable
alternative to buying a replacement.
I found a system in very good condition on eBay for $150.00.
Before it was installed I gave it a liberal coating of heat-proof
exhaust paint, so, it might last for a while.
Well it didn't last that long after all. Only got 26,200 miles on it.
I replaced it with a new Stainless Steel one I found on eBay in England.
I had replaced the original lead-acid battery five times since I got
the bike. In January, 2011, I replaced it with a Shorai Lithium
battery. See the dimensions below and the picture. There is NO
QUESTION that the lithium battery is MUCH better than the old one.
And, it is smaller and about ten pounds lighter!
Shorai Lithium Battery. 4.25W x 2.25D x 3.5H Weight 1lb 8.9oz
Yuasa battery. 5.00W X 3.25D X 6.5H Weight 11lbs 8oz
So, is my CBR wonderful? Well, it is a lot more wonderful than it was when
I first bought it. Too bad Honda didn't make it wonderful to begin with!
In spite of all the problems I like the CBR a lot and have no current plans
to replace it. Click below to send me an email if you want to talk about CBRs.
Service Record - date/mileage/work completed. I bought the CBR in Nov 2000 with less than 8,000 miles.
01/26/01 9,315 Front Tire - Oil and Filter.
05/25/01 15,200 Oil and Filter.
09/19/01 17,950 Oil and Filter.
10/07/01 18,500 New Battery.
10/12/01 19,000 1st Voltage regulator.
01/15/02 22,000 Rear Tire.
04/25/02 22,300 Oil and Filter.
08/03/02 26,800 Front Tire - Oil and Filter.
10/23/02 31,000 Oil and Filter - New Battery.
01/29/03 33,000 Front and rear brake pads.
05/22/03 36,300 Oil and Filter - New Plugs and Air Filter.
07/20/03 38,500 New chain and sprockets.
07/31/03 39,900 Oil and Filter.
09/11/03 41,400 Front and Rear tires (Avon Azaro sport touring). Rear brake pads.
10/14/03 43,500 Oil and Filter.
10/18/03 44,800 2nd New voltage regulator.
01/08/04 Oil and Filter.
04/19/04 48,180 Oil and Filter - adjust chain.
07/06/04 49,000* New Rear Brake Pads (*mileage estimated)
07/28/04 51,200 Oil and Filter.
09/11/04 52,260 New Speedo cable. (About 1500 miles with no odometer). Oil and Filter - New headlight bulb.
09/20/04 52,600 Front wheel bearings. Front brake pads. Coolant leak repaired (replaced o-rings).
09/30/04 52,700 New Battery.
12/04/04 55,540 Oil and Filter - installed cigarette lighter for GPS.
04/05/05 57,200 New front tire - Avon Azaro - old one did 15,800 miles. Rear not replaced. Replaced switch on brake lever.
04/27/05 57,750 Front and Rear brake pads - calipers rebuilt.
05/19/05 58,000 Replaced exhaust (see pic above), Oil and Filter.
07/07/05 60,030 New chain, rear wheel bearings.
07/18/05 60,250 Two new headlight bulbs.
08/09/05 61,145 Oil and Filter - new cigarette lighter.
10/24/05 63,000 New Battery - Power Max Sealed with High CCA.
11/06/05 63,400 3rd Voltage Regulator!
12/15/05 64,000 Replacement battery for the one on 10/24 which was a dud.
12/20/05 64,150 New Plugs/Air Filter. Oil and filter.
04/20/06 65,700 New pads F/R (EBC) new front rotors. These pads are grabby.
07/14/07 70,665 Oil & Filter - Replaced Mufflers - New Tires - Avon Azaro again. Front had 13,465 Rear had 29,265!!!
12/05/07 72,800 Carburettors rebuilt - made no difference whatsoever.
07/15/08 75,400 New brake pads (Honda) front and rear.
10/16/08 76,250 Repaired coolant leak, oil change.
05/06/10 81,600 Oil change no filter.
09/01/10 ------ Replaced coolant hose.
11/26/10 84,199 Oil change/filter replaced exhaust headers again. Stainless Steel.
01/25/11 84,473 Shorai Lithium Battery. (see above)
03/18/11 85.010 Front tire - rear brake pads 14,335 miles on Avon Azaro
08/24/11 87,000 Front Brake pads - fixed coolant leak - balanced front wheel.
11/04/11 88,000 Heated grips!!!!! Wow!
06/20/12 92,700 4th Voltage Regulator! New Battery! rebuilt rear caliper, new rotor. new Headlamp bulbs.