You can be forgiven for not remembering that Honda had a litre class naked bike in the Canadian market as the previous CB1000R seemed to play peekaboo in the company’s line-up. There it is! No hold on, what the….? The previous model – an aggressively styled streetfighter – has been replaced for the 2018 model year by a beefier looking machine that is less angular sword and more swinging mace – but you know, in a good way. Amid the visages of bikes like the MT-10, Z1000 and GSX1000S, Honda’s offering was beginning to look a little staid so the infusion of a new character has come at the right time. The 2018 is definitely more unique in appearance and seems to take some cues from industrial elements with a little retro thrown in – as is the style this year. The new CB1000R in fact looks like a modern update of the CB1100 heritage sport bike that is also refreshed for 2018 and appears alongside the CB1000R in Honda’s stable. Everything about the new CB1000R looks big – the round headlight, the radiator shroud, the muffler, the fuel tank. However, the magic of engineering has allowed the new bike to be lighter than the old bike. What is that expression – ride naked but carry a bigger, lighter stick? The engine is still based on the CBR1000RR with the ride by wire system allowing for four riding modes and torque control. All that and it is claimed to be more comfortable too. That would seem to be a winning proposition.