At the AIM Expo in Orlando, held annually at the Orange County Convention Center, I had the opportunity to take some test rides on the big motorcycle manufacturer’s demo bikes. This year I rode a,
- 2015 Honda CBR1000RR Repsol (My test ride review below)
- 2015 ZERO SR (Sorry guys, no video of this because my camera crapped out)
- 2015 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200
- 2015 Kawasaki Z1000 ABS
- 2015 Suzuki GSXS 1000 F
BONUS PHOTO GALLERY AT THE BOTTOM!!!
I didn’t ride Yamaha because what they were offering to test ride, I had already ridden. If they had an R1M I would have gladly stood in line.
Each post will have an accompanying video, except ZERO, and then I’ll show you some video/ my impression of the trade show floor.
But, in this post, to be concise, I’ll start off with the CBR1000RR test ride.
The 2015 Honda CBR1000RR boasts a 999cc inline-four engine capable of producing 171 horsepower and 78.3 foot pounds of torque. Now, those are just numbers. What that means, is that you can go fast. And you can go fast quickly. It means that you can go fast quickly, faster than basically everything else that can go fast.
The engine on the demo bike was smooth. Throttle response did not have an on/ off effect, but the power curve was noticeable. The clutch had decent weight and I never felt like I was fighting it or had to feather it. This is just Honda engineering, at it again.
This bike is a sport bike, which means the cockpit is going to be smaller compared other motorcycles. I’m used to being extended, as I daily a 2013 Ducati Hypermotard SP. I’m 5’10” and really didn’t have a problem with the cockpit. I was wearing my supermoto boots, so it was a little tight, but after I got used to the placement of everything, I was golden. Didn’t have a problem reaching buttons, nor levers, nor pedals. Everything felt engineered to be there.
I love small bikes that I can throw, or tall bikes that I can throw over. This bike, while being neither of those things, still felt like I could throw it from side to side. It carried its weight well and did not feel piggish. On the ride, it felt easy to just throw it over and accelerate out of the turn.
I was comfortable with how the suspension was set up for a stock rider. It was firm enough to not squat under braking, nor going sharply in to a turn.
Sport bikes leave something left to be desired in this department. They are made function over form mostly. But the livery on the Repsol edition is made to stand out. I enjoy the colors, and they do make the bike pop. The cockpit view is nice, the gauge cluster is interesting and has all of the necessary readouts.
This bike wants to go. It wants to be ridden hard, around a track, dragging knee whenever possible. Or that’s how I felt when I was on the test ride.