Launched in 1987 the Honda CBR1000F Hurricane instantly gained attention from the worlds bike media for its massive amounts of fairing usage and at the time, high powered sport touring capabilities. Powered by the well proven liquid cooled, DOHC, 998cc, 16 valve four cylinder, it crossed the 130bhp barrier and was capable of 260km/h in the right conditions.
Manufactured from 1987 to late 1999 the Hurricane went through only 3 major revisions.
- 1989: The bike received a cosmetic makeover with a complete redesign of the front fairing, improvements to the bikes front suspension, larger tyres were added to help cope with the bikes heavy weight and to accommodate radial tyres, improvements were also added to the bikes cam chain tensioner in an attempt to remove the annoying cam chain rattle some riders had reported, the 1989 model also had its power slightly increased to around 135bhp and the model gained a few kg in weight.
- 1992: Again the bike was overhauled in the looks department with a more streamlined and modern looking bodywork added, the biggest change was the introduction of DCBS. Honda's Dual Combined Brake System. The DCBS system was introduced to assist rider braking where the front brake lever operates the front calipers but also proportionally applies the rear brake, while using the rear brake will engage one front caliper. Some riders received it as a blessing and a curse. Many enjoyed the improved braking and the reduction of rear brake lockup under hard usage while others criticized it for making the bike unpredictable if the brakes needed to be applied in a corner. Since then DCBS has evolved into a very popular addition to many Honda touring motorcycles. No major changes occurred after 1992. The bikes colour range was updated every year and a touring model was briefly launched that offered a larger screen and hard panniers.
The CBR is large heavy bike weighing in at 235kg (1992 model and onwards). The seat is 780mm high and the wheelbase is 1505mm. The engine is housed in a steel box section perimeter frame, air-assisted 41mm telescopic front forks and an adjustable monoshock at the rear. The front brakes are twin 296mm discs using three piston Nissin calipers, the rear is a single 256mm disc, and DCBS are used on all models after 1992.
The CBR's engine went largely unchanged throughout its history. It uses the standard Honda inline four cylinder 998cc, 4 stroke, DOHC, 16 valve, liquid cooled power plant. Running 4x 38mm CV carburetors and a bore and stroke of 77 x 53.6mm. It produced 130bhp at 8600rpm and 8.36 kg-m of torque at 6500rpm. The engine is often regarded as been 'bomb proof' having an excellent reliability record even with heavy use. Some bikes have seen over 200,000k with no major work done. The 6-speed gearbox is a little clunky and does not improve with age but has no known faults. The CBR's hydraulic clutch also lasts a lot longer than similar sized bikes. The fuel tank is 21 litres in capacity including reserve.
On the open road the CBR is regarded as an outstanding touring bike with excellent wind protection. Its large seat is comfortable and the pillion has a grab rail and easily accessed foot pegs.
Fast touring is what it excels at but the engine can become thirsty once the 6000rpm line is crossed. At slow speeds the bike can be a handful and it does feel a bit top heavy, the engine also does not like sitting in traffic for extended periods. There is no storage space under the seat.
The 'Hurricane' name was officially dropped from the line in 1989 however the bike was never given a replacement name so it was often still referred to by its original title. The model was discontinued in the USA from 1996 as the CBR1100XX was released but the bike continued to sell in Asia and Europe until Honda finally ended its run in late 1999.
Honda motorcycle timeline, 1990s–present
|CBR1000F||CBR1100XX (North American sales ended 2003)|