2011 Honda CB1000R Project Bike

January 11, 2012
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
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His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

The all-black Two Brothers slip-on pipe cuts weight by 11 lbs. and complements the aesthetics of the CB1000R. It sounds tough  too.
The all-black Two Brothers slip-on pipe cuts weight by 11 lbs. and complements the aesthetics of the CB1000R. It sounds tough, too.

Introduced to the U.S. as a 2011 model, Honda’s CB1000R is a good street bike but a little too vanilla for our taste. So Motorcycle USA decided to infuse some more character and performance by bolting on some simple and readily available street bike accessories from Motorcycle-Superstore.com.
 
Next to a set of high-performance tires, a slip-on style muffler is one of the easiest ways to add speed and personality to the motorcycle. We sourced a Two Brothers Racing V.A.L.E. M-2 Black Series Slip-On Exhaust based on its stealth all-black design that complements the bike’s aesthetics perfectly.
 
One of the biggest advantages of fitting a slip-on muffler as opposed to a full exhaust is how much simpler it is to install. It doesn’t even require rejetting, just attach the muffler to the stock header pipe. The stock exhaust mounts to the chassis via two mounting points easily accessible with a 12mm socket. The entire set-up can be swapped out within minutes. An aluminum muffler hanger bracket hoists the Two Brothers muffler from behind the passenger peg. On the scales the stock muffler weighs 15.4 pounds compared to the 4.3-pound Two Brothers’ set-up thereby trimming 11.1 pounds total (474 pounds, fully fueled).
 
We love the finish of this Two Brothers pipe and are especially impressed with the design of the carbon fiber inlay. Black anodized end caps look good too and appear very durable and ready to hold up to life on the streets. Our only real complaint is that the pipe corrodes quickly, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a SOS scouring pad and some elbow grease.
 

The Two Brothers slip-on muffler is beyond easy to install and can be fitted in less than five minutes with basic hand tools.
The Two Brothers exhaust boosted top-end power by almost three horsepower.
Hondas CB1000R is a little too utilitarian for our tastes so we fitted an easy-to-install Two Brothers slip-on style muffler available at Motorcycle-Superstore.com
(Top) The Two Brothers slip-on muffler is beyond easy to install and can be fitted in less than five minutes with basic hand tools. (Center) The exhaust boosted top-end power by almost three horsepower. (Bottom) Honda’s CB1000R is a little too utilitarian for our tastes so we fitted an easy-to-install Two Brothers slip-on style muffler available at Motorcycle-Superstore.com

Sound testing revealed that the Two Brothers pipe emits a 2 dB louder reading at idle (84) and 3 dB higher (95) at 5250 revs (half of maximum engine speed). Both at idle and at speed on the road the pipe offers a pleasing but subtle growl that makes the bike sound tough without being overly obnoxious. For sure there are louder pipes on the market but we prefer the sound of this one as it’s just loud enough to keep you entertained without having to worry about unwanted attention from the fuzz.
 
On the dyno the aftermarket pipe increased power output throughout its 10,500 rev range. While peak torque didn’t increase that much (only 0.34 lb-ft) it did arrive 1100 revs earlier (6100 rpm) compared to stock. Peak horsepower climbed 2.7 points to 116.34 at 9800 rpm. In all honesty it was hard to notice a difference in terms of acceleration at the controls but we could tell that the engine felt crisper and a touch more throttle response.
 
As mentioned earlier, upgrading your tires is the most effective way to net increases in handling. So we replaced the well-worn OEM rubber with a Bridgestone Battlax BT-003 Racing Street Front Tire and Bridgestone Battlax BT-003 Racing Street Rear Tire. Although they aren’t the newest tires on the market we’ve grown accustom to the predictability and high-level of grip, not to mention stellar warm-up time as tested in the Bridgestone BT-003RS Tire Comparison Review. Road feel is adequate for a street tire and the carcass construction offers a bit of flex which equates to better ride quality especially over bumps.
 
All said and done we dropped $829.97 on our CB1000R. Plus all of our improvements were completed from the comfort of our garage with nothing more than a basic set of hand tools. Not only does the CB look and sound better, it’s got a little more top-end pep and handles better too making it more fun to flog on the street.

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