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2013 Honda CB1100 First Ride

Monday, November 12, 2012

Honda aims to bring back an old classic with a new twist in the form of the 2013 CB1100. “Timeless Look, Inspired Performance” - these are the key words Honda Motorcycles uses when describing its new retro-styled machine. The timeless look refers to the bikes styling, featuring the perfect balance of old school and new school. A relaxed standard seating position allows for diverse riding styles for any kind of environment. The fuel tank retains a classic shape to match the older yet classy styling of the handlebar bend, instrument cluster and tail assembly and really brings out the early Honda four-cylinder trends.
Introducing Hondas 2013 CB1100.
The 2013 Honda CB1100's looks are a perfect mixture of old school and modern street bike styling features.
As far as modern performance goes the list simply goes on and on. Starting with the CB’s fueling, the steed uses a programmed fuel injection system, continuously monitoring variables in order for the proper fuel mixture to be delivered in different conditions. An adjustable preload fork takes care of suspension duties up front while classic dual-rear shocks handle business on the rear. Lastly a vintage looking four-to-one all chrome exhaust system offers up a trick deep-rooted look while also aiding in function and performance.

Honda recently invited MotoUSA out for a secret test on the 2013 CB prior to its official unveiling. We were able to get a quick hour’s riding time aboard the vintage-looking stallion to get familiarized with it. Although it's before my time, I had virtually traveled back to the ‘80s thanks to timeless styling cues. From its standard fork, dual rear shocks, dual color black and silver wheels, to its air cooled engine all wrapped up in a candy red paint job, the CB really gives off some old school vibes.

As we hopped aboard the reborn Universal Japanese Motorcycle the first thing that comes to mind is the comfort factor. The wide and oh-so-soft seat feels as if Honda installed a couch cushion atop the motorcycle. As we rode it became apparent that the bike could perhaps be ridden for a long period of time without the worry of an aching backside, but a clear statement could only be made with a true extensive ride. The bars sit in a great position with a praiseworthy bend which further facilitate ease of operation.
We couldnt believe how perfect the brakes work with the CB. We couldnt ask for anything different.
We couldnt believe how perfect the brakes work with the CB. Stopping is smooth and easy even from high speeds.
An all-new 1140cc air-cooled engine powers the 2013 Honda CB1100.
An all-new 1140cc air-cooled engine powers the 2013 Honda CB1100.

Its foot pegs and levers are placed in proper context with the rest of the bike's rider friendly features. The wide, tall mirrors provide great rear viewing but are not practical for lane splitting by any means.
The bike is powered by a new 1140cc air-cooled DOHC engine, although the word engine could be replaced by “torque machine.” The bike exhibits exceptional amounts of torque yet carries a smooth powerband making it fun and easy to ride for most skill levels. The brushed side cases carry that old school look yet again while at the same time maintaining the eye candy factor.

Honda aims to bring back an old classic but with a new twist in the form of the 2013 CB1100.
Honda aims to bring back an old classic but with a new twist in the form of the 2013 CB1100.
While many standard bikes these days incorporate under-sprung suspension for our likings, the 2013 CB1100 suspension department integrated a well sprung front fork and dual rear shocks. Damping of the suspension scored major kudos for working nicely all the way through the stroke. From fast rough roads to speed bumps and pot holes, the suspension handled every element we threw at it without a fuss. Handling characteristics are a dream. The standard riding position aids in helping the bike to be very rider friendly and easy to ride.

The braking package on the latest CB is a dream. Up front a set of 296mm discs paired with a powerful four-piston caliper provide excellent stopping power. At the rear a 256mm disc brake handles the business. While it may not be a big 320mm set of discs we see on full size sport bikes, the smaller discs provided plenty of power for getting this old school mount stopped on a dime. An ABS model will be available for an added $1000 ($10,999).

Overall, the 2013 Honda CB1100 is one cool bike. In the same vein as all the café bikes, street trackers, and custom street machines we see prowling the roads, the CB provides an open canvas for consumers to transform into anything they can imagine. With its $9999 price tag, the 2013 Honda CB1100 offers a little something for everyone with its timeless good looks and modern performance.
2013 Honda CB1100 First Ride Gallery
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Technical Specifications
Introducing Hondas 2013 CB1100.
2013 Honda CB1100 / CB1100A
Engine: 1140cc air- and oil-cooled inline four-cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 73.5mm x 67.2mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Transmission: 5-speed
Front Suspension: 41mm fork with spring preload adjustability; 4.7 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Dual shocks with spring preload adjustability; 3.5 inches travel
Front Brakes: Dual four-piston calipers with full-floating 296mm discs; Optional Honda ABS
Rear Brake: Single-caliper 256mm disc; Optional Honda ABS
Tires: F - 110/80-18 R - 140/70-18
Curb Weight: 540pounds (CB1100) 549 pounds (CB1100A)
Wheelbase: 58.7 in.
Rake: 27.0 deg.
Trail: 114mm
Seat Height: 31.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 3.9 gallons
MSRP: $9,999 (CB1100) $10,999 (CB1100A)

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jrhoyt0895   April 15, 2014 10:42 AM
I can't understand what Honda is thinking. The best feature of the SOHC CB750 was the shaft drive. The best feature of the DOHC CB750 was the hydraulic lifters. Now Honda gives us a CB1100 that has neither of those innovations on a motorcycle that should have both of them. If Honda came out with a CB1100 that had shaft drive and hydraulic lifters, I'd be drooling all over it, and I'd be twisting my brain to figure out how I can afford one.
JRZR1100   October 28, 2013 07:19 AM
I have a 1993 Kawasaki ZR1100. The CB1100 is so similar that's it's not even funny. The only major difference is that the CB1100 has fuel injection.
3ddavistriumph   June 27, 2013 08:10 AM
Having owned way too many bikes over the years and currently having 4 old Honda's (71 CB750, 78 CB550, 82 CB750f, 71 CB500) and one 06 Triumph Thruxton in the garage, I went and purchased a CB1100. Best decision of the last year. Modern, retro, perfect ergonomics. Anyone who loves or enjoys old bikes will be very pleased with the 2013 CB1100.
heyharv   April 11, 2013 08:42 PM
Picked up my CB1100 from Hollywood Honda on 3-30-13. An easy bike to ride and I am surprised that it handles so well. It reminds me of my '70 CB750 in looks, but better brakes, handling, launch, shifting. The only thing I find frustrating is that I keep looking for that 6th gear. This is the first Honda I have owned since my '73 XL250. I drifted to shaft drives and am now back on the chain gang. This is a great little weekend bike and I just go for a trip without a destination, and I arrived somewhere that is new. What could be better. I believe this bike will draw in more riders. It is very easy to ride. I am 66 and haven't ridden since last year when I sold my '02 Concours. Back behind the bars again. I sure missed those months of not riding. I am on my way for several accessories to add. I added a shield only. Harvey Lancaster, Taxifornia
azdustdevil   April 3, 2013 12:54 PM
I'll tell you who would spend the bucks and ride this bike: An old geezer like me. I remember the dozen or so bikes I have owned and especially the old CB750. I'm tired of the gimmicks of "today's" rides. Sure, the old CB750 could have used a dose of today's technology, but not at the cost or riding something that looked and felt like some kind of alien robot. I'll be 64 soon. I want to go back to my roots. I don't need ten thousand horsepower that will propel me to a speed over 200 miles an hour. At my age, I have no business taking corners at over a hundred miles an hour while taking off a kneecap in the process. As for looks, I prefer to look like I'm really riding a motorcycle, not flying ten feed over the countryside on what appears to be a warped piece of plastic with a bad electric paint job. The CB 1100 looks like the kind of ride that brings back fond memories. Memories of sharing the road on long trips with other friends on two wheels. Memories of seeing so many beautiful states in this country as well as so many memorable Saturdays riding through the countryside. Memories of that sweet thing riding behind me with her arms around my waist.
Sheaken   March 31, 2013 07:08 PM
I grew up riding on the bake of my brother's CB550four, then riding his 83 CB1100F. This is such a classic looking bike. I plan to have one in my garage by the end of next week, along with my 08 Thruxton and 02 VFR800.
weldr67   January 22, 2013 09:39 AM
I ride a 1979 CB750K. I ride it all year in almost all weather. During my 60 kilometer-per-day commute I have a lot of time to reflect on what aspects of the bike I like and don't like, or what I feel is missing. Because of what I ride, I appreciate this new 1100 - but more than likely wouldn't buy it. I have my heart set on a Connie....
pacman52   January 14, 2013 03:23 PM
All I can say is: NICE !!!
BigRon   December 26, 2012 10:35 PM
Great street bike! This a street bike not to be confused with a sport bike, a naked bike, a touring bike, a dual sport, adventure or a moto cross bike. I understand why the kids might not want this bike but if your old enough to remember these things bikes from back in the 70's and 80' and hate it because its not what you ride than hopefully you find a different hobby.
RJ   December 11, 2012 10:54 AM
edpaay   December 7, 2012 10:34 PM
Well I actually owned a CB750K2 in 1972 after a CB500 four and as far as I am concerned the CB750 was less than stellar and not as good as the CB500. It lacked power and shook its head. After that I purchased a Kawasaki Z1 in 1973 and that bike was 100% better than the Honda; however I liken the CB1100 here as more akin to the Z1 and I love it as it should provide a similar experience to my old Z1 and because it is air cooled it should be easy to maintain. I would like to see a new version of the CB500 however, as this bike and the Z1 I owned give me the best memories. These days I like bikes lighter than 500 pounds and 500 cc will give better fuel economy and should have plenty of power. The new 500 Honda will release in 2013 has too much plastic and does not fit the bill.
Glen   December 1, 2012 04:04 PM
Finally the Japanese are going back to their roots. Very Nice:)
trevorstanley   November 28, 2012 10:54 AM
While I would love to buy an original early 70's CB and turn it into a modernized racer the new 1100 makes that dream a fond memory.
Piglet2010   November 24, 2012 07:30 PM
While I like the CB1100, I do wish there was another UJM style bike to split the price and weight difference between the CB1100 and the Suzuki TU250X. 650cc, 450 pounds, and $7,500 MSRP would fit the bill.
Piglet2010   November 24, 2012 07:23 PM
@ woodco100 – Why would anyone choose a less comfortable, slower, poorer handling Sportster over the CB1100, unless it was to gain membership in the “Harley Lifestyle™” club? Oh, and want to compare Honda and H-D sales *worldwide”? – Honda mops the floor with H-D. People want H-D? – Well they also want reality TV, Twinkies, and lots of other garbage. And me attacking H-D at every opportunity? Better look in the mirror – ever been to a real world gathering of H-D riders where bashing of other brands does not occur? If so many bash H-D, it is because they are sick of the H-D crowd starting smack all the time. Ever get flipped the bird by “metric” riders for being on a H-D? But the opposite happens in the real world all the time. H-D is the classic example of marketing selling style over substance. And finally, Honda will be happy to sell you a Gold Wing F6B bagger. :)
woodco100   November 20, 2012 01:23 PM
Well said Mike. I only jumped in because Piglet turns every thing into a Harley bashing session. Having said that, the reason you go into the MC business is to sell motorcycles. You sell motorcycles by building bikes people want to buy. Honda seems to be more concerned with building niche market bikes, beginner bikes and commuter machines. I am a child of the 70/80s like most riders. I love this look. I would buy a Dodge Challenger simply becuase it looks like the cars I coveted as a teen. Googel XJR1300. Yamaha is build a naked 70s sport bike that is incredible. Round headlight and gauges, flat seat, 4 into 1, exposed shocks. I would buy one if they brought it here. for $10K.
Mike in WV   November 20, 2012 07:26 AM
I for one am happy to see this retro style come back out. I was one of those who had a CB750 back in the day and it was one of the best bikes I'd ever owned...and that included my Harleys. The CB1100 is a bike all to it's own and I am seriously considering adding it to my stable of bikes. Honda knows that this bike will have limited success in the US, but it has had great success in other countries. This is a fun, easy to ride bike...nothing more, nothing less...and if you put your egos aside, isn't that the whole point of riding? Anyone who correlates the number of bikes sold to quality is sadly mistaken...that same reasoning would say that McDonalds makes the best hamburgers in the world. Let people ride what they want, I love seeing a variety of bikes on the road because it means we still have choices and companies are able to still give us a variety. How boring it would be if everyone road the same models or makes. If you're the kind of person who judges people based on what they ride, then you're the poser because you are riding what you think other people think you should ride...the person you are judging at least has the guts to think for themselves. Just ride and be happy and don't rain on someone else's ride.
woodco100   November 16, 2012 06:19 PM
AM, I was not comparing to HD to Honda. I was responding (sarcasticaly) to Piglet who uses every instance to attack Harley. I dont ride Harleys or Hondas. I am strickly a Star guy. I know dozens of folks who buy new HDs every few years. Very few are rich. They al rides many 1000s of miles a year. I could care less what the rest of the world rides or buys. I live in the USA where HD owns 60% of the over 600cc market. Everyone else gets to split up the remaining %40. That is not my opinion, that is a fact. Every other cruiser builder tries to copy Harley to sell bikes. The 750 Honda looks just like a Sporty, RoadKing comes out, RoadStar follows. Yamaha literally bolts fake cooling fins to its watercooled motors. Suzuki suddenly changes all motors to inches over ccs. Look at a Kawasaki Voyager or Vaquero from 50 ft away. I ride and build parts for cruisers. This bike is just a novelty to me. A small niche market. They will sell a few to the "gotta have the latest" for bike night crowd. Maybe a few rich folks who had CB750s in college. By the way, you can still buy Hondas with carbs, drum brakes, chains. HD has led the way in FI, ride by wire, cruise control, audio, 6 speed, belt drive and ABS. Honds would be happy to sell 1/4 of the over 600cc numbers HD selss in one year in America.
AM   November 16, 2012 03:43 PM
@WOOCO100 - The fact that it sells does not mean it's a better motorcycle. The Honda cub is the best selling bike in the world and is far from being the best. H-D is an american icon for american people. That's why people buy it, and that's why they are over priced. That has nothing to do of being a good motorcycle. Sure they are good for cruising BUT BARELY. But that's it. It's a niche market for rich people. Who else would buy an overpriced motorcycle but the rich? There's no chassis technology on the thing. The motor is a joke. They tried racing (read:technology) and were left in the dust because H-D does not know anything about chassis and fast. They know about being heavy, underpowered and low qualility. Where else in the world H-D sells more than Honda but in the USA? NOT EVEN CLOSE. Trust me, HONDA stopped selling CB because they moved to something better. The same way H-D stopped selling shovel heads and knucke heads. Get your good sense out and please do not compare H-D with HONDA. It's not even close.
geemann   November 16, 2012 05:25 AM
I hate to be that guy, but...
Would someone please fix the spelling error in the second sentence?

Awesome review! I have been wondering how this bike would behave. I love the look of the air-cooled inline fours and I cannot wait to do a test ride of my own!
Poncho167   November 15, 2012 03:33 PM
I like it. Though I can think of other bikes I would want first, this is a nice retro bike.

Yes, I would put the Kawi Z1000 on the top of my list before this. But that is my preference.

jfc1 I am not sure I know what you mean by the "pogo-stick" comment of the Z1000?
cudaron   November 15, 2012 01:14 PM
I like the looks of the CB1100...it's a stray away from the crotch rocket hiphop trend and away from the Redneck HD trend...some of us just like to get out and RIDE with no hangups or BS added to it! Whatever happened to that? Anyway...I was looking at the Bonneville and even at some CAFE racer bikes that are making a comeback...but this points back to when the Kawasaki KZ1000 and Honda CB750's were tearing up the roads...but now with modern fuel injection, brakes(ABS even), and dependability! Well worth the price tag... You can't restore an old KZ for that price and have the brakes and fuel injection like this does. Way to Go Honda...maybe the others will follow your lead!
jimbo4001   November 15, 2012 08:38 AM
Personally I like the retro look of this Honda, course I grew up with it. The newer space ship styling does nothing for me and I do not need/want mega horsepower/ccs. I currently own a Suzuki DL-650, H-D XR 1200 and BMW R100/7 riding each as a particular mood strikes me. As for bashing any manufacturer, forget it. All this bike bashing is useless personal opinion. Grow up. In the eyes of the manufacturer only the buyer counts, the person who votes with their hard earned $$$. They build what sells in their market.
woodco100   November 15, 2012 03:47 AM
How about the fact that it sells so well. Its classic style. The rumble of a V twin. Extensive dealer network. Huge after market support. I live in a major city and there is NO HONDA DEALER. Why did they stop selling the CB series? Becuase no one was buying it. The Sportster line has sold well since 1957. If Harleys are such a rip off then why is the $20,000 StreetGlide the single best selling motorcycle in the country. Not just the best selling HD or cruiser. Not just bikes over 600cc, where HD own %60 of the market. HD outs sells every other brand 3-1. For one very simple reason. People want them. I rode Yamahas version of this bike for years. XS and XJ 1100s. Great machines. Classic 70/80 bikes. Honda is quickly being reduced to a novelty niche market and cheep commuters.
patrickoartist   November 14, 2012 07:48 PM
I like everything about this bike. Glad it's coming stateside.
AM   November 14, 2012 12:13 PM
@WOODCO100 - No ofense to you or to Harley, but....You are the one smoking crack. How can you compare this bike with a Sportster? What's your favorite feature on the Sportsters? Lack of power? Lots of vibrations? Lack of quality? Ripp off price, like all Harleys? How can you pay $10,000.00 for a Sportster? With the technology it has it should be $4,500.00. Lots of vibrations? Not able to lean on turns? 563 lbs dry weight? Oil leaks? You got to be smoking crack to be comparing a Sportster with a Honda CB1100.
Al204   November 13, 2012 02:34 PM
Where was this bike in 05 when I was looking into riding again. Had to settle for a VTX 1300. Oh ya last 2 were inline 4's (Honda).
woodco100   November 13, 2012 01:46 PM
$10K, are they smoking crack. you can buy a nice Sportster for that. No wonder the Honda shop in my city closed up years ago. Next thing you know they will come out with a Goldwing Bagger.
larrymoto   November 13, 2012 11:20 AM
Rucuss54....basically a city bike for douche bag posers at coffee shops. Ha! Yer killin' me
RENDELL   November 12, 2012 07:07 PM
I like it a lot.
CaptPuget   November 12, 2012 05:12 PM
I've never ridden a motorcyle that I liked better than the CB750, so I'm glad to see this hit the US market. For me the CB configuration is the most comfortable and natural seating position there is on two wheels.
Piglet2010   November 12, 2012 04:50 PM
$10K is a freaking bargain compared to what H-D charges for a heavier, less powerful, uncomfortable riding position, and much poorer handling cruiser. Of course the Honda lacks the H-D badge and "lifestyle" - oh wait, for those of us who do not want to be a pretend bada$$, this is a good thing. And only the smaller Ducati 796 Monster is in the same price range as the CB1100, and it need a trip to Race Tech (or similar), since suspension is where Ducati cut costs to meet a price point. The comparable Monster 1100 EVO will be $12.5K when the factory to dealer delivery charge is added on.
Brian426v   November 12, 2012 04:18 PM
Nice looking bike but $10,000??? Give me a break! 10 large for 20 year old tech and it's not even a Harley (50 year old tech).
B-kings Rock   November 12, 2012 03:16 PM
I've just been reviewing performance stats of top-of-the-line sportbikes all the way back into the sixties. Owned a GPZ 1100 and one of my favorties was the Honda CB1100F. This new Honda brings back some great memories. For the young guns who "don't get it", the history of high performance motorcycles is so rich and the road to where we're at today so exciting, for those of us who took part in it, this new CB1100 speaks volumes.....kinda like a 67' 427 Corvette Stingray, with 3 deuces and a 4 speed. It's got "SOUL"!!!!!
thegreyman   November 12, 2012 02:06 PM
Nice looking for the 70s. I don't get it. Who would want this? Why not just a streetfighter for urban needs. Why would someone want to pay 10K for this when they could get a Ducati monster, z1000 etc.
eligovt   November 12, 2012 11:38 AM
Looks great! About time Honda. This would be a nice step up from my Bonneville; more power but still a real, standard motorcycle.
Rucuss54   November 12, 2012 11:00 AM
Nice looking bike, but why? The 1970's are gone, move forward. 3.9 gal fuel tank is too small for touring, basically a city bike for douche bag posers at coffee shops.
fkranich23   November 12, 2012 10:33 AM
Over $10,000 plus taxes and tags.... good try but no thanks.