The chief designers, Ishu Akari and Magnus Jaderberg, targeted riders over 30, that prefer smooth progressive acceleration combined with a relaxed riding position and easy handling. In comparison to the high-revving characteristic of the CBR1000RR’s engine, the CBF1000's engine has a more level power delivery, better suited to touring and relatively inexperienced riders. Although peak power and peak torque are significantly lower than the CBR1000RR engine, power and torque are higher in the lower rev range. The CBF1000 has programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI). Anti-lock braking system is an option but a combined half-fairing is standard. The handlebars, seat height, and screen height are adjustable.
The CBF1000GT version adds a full lower fairing, panniers, and top box. The CBF1000F, a new design, was released in 2010. The major changes were a new frame, made of aluminum rather than steel, four-into-one exhaust system replacing the original four-into-two, new digital instrument panels, and a redesigned fairing/screen. Power was also increased while weight and fuel consumption were reduced.