Honda CB1100

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kevash
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I'm off on January 15 to the Valencia region of Spain to ride the retro, air-cooled CB1100 Honda, so if there's anything you'd like me to look out for specifically or if you have any questions to pose to the Honda staff, post them here and I'll do exactly that...

kevash
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Re: Honda CB1100

I'm off on January 15 to the Valencia region of Spain to ride the retro, air-cooled CB1100 Honda, so if there's anything you'd like me to look out for specifically or if you have any questions to pose to the Honda staff, post them here and I'll do exactly that...

alanp
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Re: Honda CB1100

I expect the answer will be cost but I wish this retro had the 4 pipes and silencers of their original 4 pot.

kevash
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Re: Honda CB1100

alanp wrote:
I expect the answer will be cost but I wish this retro had the 4 pipes and silencers of their original 4 pot.

I expect you're right and I'm with you all the way, how cool would that be!

I'll ask 'em why not...

sutty
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Re: Honda CB1100

Are they going to make the much more interesting CB1100R lookalike, which they also showed?

Never seen one here in Oz and they've been on sale for two years. Beige.

kevash
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Re: Honda CB1100

alanp wrote:
I expect the answer will be cost but I wish this retro had the 4 pipes and silencers of their original 4 pot.

It's cost and weight, according to Fukunaga, the project chief, but they haven't ruled out doing this on a future project possibly using the same engine.

kevash
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Re: Honda CB1100

sutty wrote:
Are they going to make the much more interesting CB1100R lookalike, which they also showed?

Never seen one here in Oz and they've been on sale for two years. Beige.

Either no plans, or they're not saying! But I get the impression that's not very likely.

Sorry, but don't blame me...

Navy Boy
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Re: Honda CB1100

I think my main query would be cost and ability to personalise. Are they planning on launching a comprehensive bunch of accessories for it?

In some ways it reminds me of the BMW R1150/850 R models I rode a few years back. They proved the old adage that less is sometimes more. Does it live up to that theory?

crawsue
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Re: Honda CB1100

First started hearing rumours about this over three years ago, my local Honda dealer rubbished them.."Honda was a modern company,the retro market wasn't their focus" etc. etc. I'm thinking that lots of Bonneville and Guzzi peeps might be very interested in taking a look.......but it's a heritage issue at the moment....most of the "modern classic" buyers are still of an age that remembers Trumpet, Royal Enfield and now Norton and still aspire to these marques.....although many,if not most will have a modern 'bike in their stable ,as well. I would imgine that this 'bike will do very well in the U.S. As ever,though, Honda seem unable to design any 'bike with a fuel tank that fits with the modern motorists/bikers demand for cruising/touring range...Think VFR st...ad nauseum.

kevash
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Re: Honda CB1100

Navy Boy wrote:
I think my main query would be cost and ability to personalise. Are they planning on launching a comprehensive bunch of accessories for it?

The review's already live:
Honda CB1100 review

I do cover that point in fact, I'm quite surprised at how few accessories there are, to me it's the kind of bike people use as a starting point to create their own much more personal bike and Honda doesn't seem to have grasped this. But it's a fine bike, great attention to detail and more than just a cosmetic exercise.

kevash
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Re: Honda CB1100

@crawsue, in fact the bike was on sale three years in Japan, albeit with some engine differences, but essentially the same. I think you're right about the aspirational classic marques, but I think we could just be on the edge of the time when Honda starts to edge in on that too, the original CB750 is more than 40 years old after all. I think there's also an issue where old fours are just less characterful than old twins.

But it seems a lot of younger people are going for these kinds of bikes too, it seems to be the case with Bonnevilles, W800s etc, as they see these as how a proper motorbike should look. In fact they might be more amenable to a Honda than an old-style Triumph too.

Agree about the fuel tank as well, it's not big enough.

rocca
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Re: Honda CB1100

If you grew up as I did, in a motorcycle mad family during the seventies, then your boyhood bike-idols were as likely as not CBs, Zeds, Laverdas, maybe the 850 Le Mans. Triumphs/ Nortons were not always fondly regarded by those who'd bought them with a view to achieving some semblance of mobility and BMWs ... well, they were for old geezers sporting beards, pipes and sou'westers, weren't they? Oh, and Sir Ralph Richardson...

So getting a proper measure of the 1100's "heritage" and retro appeal really depends on how you slice the demographic. Personalisation? Yes, I can see the need to some extent, though the cruiser scene which inspires certain brands' monster accessory catalogues is as alien to some of us as that old Brit iron. I'm not sure the 11 requires much else, really, other than to be teamed with a favourite old leather jacket/ blue jeans/ open face combo. But full credit to Mr Ash for defiantly togging-up in a race suit for the test, and indeed to Mr Fukunaga for daring to spark up at the photo shoot. Bet the Honda PR was pleased.

alanp wrote:
I wish this retro had the 4 pipes and silencers of their original 4 pot

The 30th anniversary 750 mentioned by Mr F. (a concept bike) had four pipes, but the effect veered uncomfortably close to pastiche. The 1100's look is much more of an homage to the earlier bikes and all the better for it. The lines of the tank, side panel and seat are actually a bit of a departure from past CB fours and achieve a pleasing rectilinear coherence of their own (see photo 25 in Kevin's report). It's just a pity that the superior finishes of the Japanese market model - polished cases, footrest hangers, rims - have gone missing in translation. You can see them in the photo set here and even in Honda UK's own promo video, into which a close-up showing the painted Euro engine has been rather crudely spliced.

pittsy
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Re: Honda CB1100

Kevin, I like your comment about the ignition coils of yore. Took me right back to 1977.

In my eyes it's a nice looking bike. From what you say, it seems to have built in character and, judging by the geometry, handling autenticity too. Not sure i like the idea of a lack of top end kick. That aspect is not that autentic...?

Navy Boy
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Re: Honda CB1100

Just read the review this morning. A real shame that Honda don't seem to be capitalising on this by doing a comprehensive range of accessories as well.

I'd still love to have a look/ride though. It does remind me of CB900Fs that I knew and lusted after growing up in South Africa!

crawsue
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Re: Honda CB1100

We are very definately on the cusp now where the motorcycling demographic will swing towards classic Japanese rather than classic Brit,Italian or German....'cos Japanese was what the post Baby Boomers grew up with....I love the look of this new Honda, but I connect ,due to my learning in '65/'66 on a Tiger Cub and C15, to British classics,both modern and of the time.Not sure that Ducati got their classic take right ,but 'Guzzi are spot on the money with their V7 range....and I believe that if you combine all the Bonneville variants, that it is by a distance, Triumph's biggest seller.Is this the dawn of a new era in motorcycling? Will real road restrictions and increasing fuel cost make motorcycling a more sedate, "classic" affair? Or will we all still have a Panigale or Gixer in the stable for when we neeed to misbehave?

crawsue
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Re: Honda CB1100

Also ,Kevin, I was aware that this new 1100 had been introducedthree years ago, as Japan only,are Honda so low on self-confidence that it has taken 3 years to bring it to Western markets? I'm not to conversant with the Japanese range of "muscle bike" but is this going to go up against the liquid cooled Suzuki,Kwak and CB 1200 (?) and what happened to the much vaunted talk of a Spencer rep "R" model?

PeteV
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Re: Honda CB1100

Thanks for that review Kev, I've fancied this bike since we were leaked a taster view some years ago. I have seen some reviews on Youtube which seemed to be good except that the bike was small for over 6 footers. You said you were comfy on it though and being a similar stamp to me I was wondering if you found the size and ergos OK?
The slow turning and straight ahead vagueness sounds like it could be due in part to the choice of tyre profile. Not sure I'd need that type of handling to make a more convincing retro, I think I'd change to a more modern profile at tyre change time.
Can't wait to see and try one in the flesh later this year.

unconventional rebel
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Re: Honda CB1100

I entered my riding life when Jap bikes were king, power, reliability and they were cheap! I've fairly recently bought a 1978 Z400 out of nostalgia so I fit the criteria. In fact the CB1100 is one of the few new bikes that would tempt me away from Guzzi, ticks all the right boxes for me except the fuel range, which might be a deal breaker. I assume they went for the narrower tank to echo the CBX. I loved the sheer presence of that engine which was emphasized by the fact it was wider than the tank.

I had a CB750 with the 4 pipes back in the day and ditched them because of the weight, and crucially the way they decked on the tarmac every bend, wasn't the only one either.

pittsy
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Re: Honda CB1100

UcR, I also got that cbx thing with the tank. Then again, with the bike as a whole, I can see cb550f2. Yet, when you analyse the individual shapes, it's hard to see why. They've done a very good job.

The bike looks quite small in the photos although a glance at the specs shows it to be no lightweight.

gjw1992
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Re: Honda CB1100

Though had an ss50 sixteener moped (known better - would've been a fizzer), what made me really want to get a motorbike was the cb900. Especially, and maybe perversely, because early on it did look superficially like the superdream Ns - the 250/400. Always liked the q-bike/q-car aspect. I loved the cb900. Took me to europe - initially me emulating that group test in MCM where a z900(z1?), v7 and something else (the half faired bmw 900 sports thing?) were taken to the south of France and back over a longish weekend. And reckon this cb1100 would suit me down to the ground. For all I admire sports bikes, tall rounders and the like, as Kev says, this looks like a proper bike.

That fuel range for the 1100 isn't actually much worse than the 900s. But it would be good to at least go 200 between refills as a steady-fast tour across Europe on this would be nice. And I suppose the petrol tank really is the petrol tank. Perhaps one of those extras/options Honda should market would be a touring tank - a gallon+ more capacity? Like German car manufacturers, they could entice people like me to spec up such a device beyond the very attractive starting price.

pittsy
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Re: Honda CB1100

..... "and something else (the half faired bmw 900 sports thing?"

Chuckle.

It's hard to believe that it looked kind of sexy in its day.

... For a bmw.

... Compared to a cx500

...hanging upside down from a tree...

Mike 996 t140d
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Re: Honda CB1100

I had a GSX1100ESD and toured europe on it in the early 80's. It was a great bike, i remember going from 30 to 130 in top gear, loads of low down grunt which was real road user friendly. I dont get this power coming in at 9000 revs thing, your going too fast when it gets exciting... and the fuel thing isnt such an issue to me really, stop a couple of times a day instead of three, and besides as I get older I need to pee more !!Bike looks great and I would enjoy going back to a bit of Autosol polishing !

Mike 996 t140d
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Re: Honda CB1100

P.S it need a bikini fairing to keep the wind off otherwise your not going to go far anyway !!

pittsy
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Re: Honda CB1100

"P.S it need a bikini fairing to keep the wind off otherwise your not going to go far anyway !!"

A la Mocheck Harrier?

Or Colin seeley cb750, depending on your age.

http://www.pulstudio.com/1bike_web_gallery/Rickman%20edit/Rickman%20pics...

Mike 996 t140d
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Re: Honda CB1100

Pittsy re photo - perfect ! Would be just enough to take the edge off !

loubike
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Re: Honda CB1100

unconventional rebel wrote:
I entered my riding life when Jap bikes were king, power, reliability and they were cheap! I've fairly recently bought a 1978 Z400 out of nostalgia so I fit the criteria. In fact the CB1100 is one of the few new bikes that would tempt me away from Guzzi, ticks all the right boxes for me except the fuel range.

My sentiments exactly. It is a gorgeous bike with what sounds like a fantastically applicable engine, but that small tank just rules it out for me. I understand there's a certain appeal to 4's and also having that great Honda finish and backing behind you too, but if I was adamantly searching for a retro standard, I'd be looking at the GT1000 I used to own. It's a similarly powered machine as this Honda, but much less weight, better range, more soul. Even said, I'm much happier personally having sold the GT to return to my "standard" cruiser Guzzi.

I too must agree a little that the old Jap twins have a bit more character than the 4's. The '78 CB550K I had was a very, very sharp looking bike but the ugly duckling '74 Kawasaki KZ400 (twin) that I also once owned ran circles around the heavier 4 powered Honda - of course neither bike fast by any means. It also had a bit more soul than the Honda but that's a 4 for you. Anyhow, nice to see Honda bringing the bike to the States and again having some appealing machines in their line-up.

unconventional rebel
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Re: Honda CB1100

One of my favorite jap bikes was the XJR1300. It had a great engine, I love the looks and was really comfy, but the handling could become a bit of a handful when pressing on, how does the CB11 compare Kev?

gjw1992
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Re: Honda CB1100

> XJR1300

Had one for a decade - and yes, lovely engine. But despite the ohlins on the SP not something you could throw around - and I doubt it matched the cb900 handling wise.

alanp
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Re: Honda CB1100

Yee Gods, my local dealer had 2 of the new CB1100s in this week and one is sold already. Must find out what they were riding before. What's the odds on it being a Bonneville or the Kawa 800 retro.

alanp
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Re: Honda CB1100

Well how wrong can I be! The buyer is in his 40s and has px'd a Hayabusa.

PeteV
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Re: Honda CB1100

Well I saw three in my local dealer today, red one was sold within an hour of landing on the showroom floor. The white one is still for sale oh and the black one has been bought by yours truly ;-)
I had an XJR last year, a great bike in a similar style, but it looks like it's been crafted by a blacksmith compared to the CB1100.