Retro ride channels the soul of its legendary ancestor
Stopping the CB1100 is a combined ABS system with a pair of 296mm discs up front. They certainly did a great job of slowing the bike during some twisty road riding. With the design and styling of the bike such an important factor, the design team created Honda's first floating hub-less brake. That shows the attention to detail given to this model, but more importantly helps show off those perfectly suited Comstar wheels.
Honda’s president Mr Ito obviously believes in the bike: he uses a CB1100 for his commute to work, although I wonder if he makes use of the D-lock space in the office car park. If the boss of the company thinks this bike’s good enough for him to use, then that can’t be a bad starting sign, can it? If Honda can get a slice of the 400,000 units that the CB750 sold during its life span I’m sure they’ll be happy with the results.
The majority of owners will inevitably be older riders who can finally afford a bike that has attributes of the CB they lusted after in their youth or those wanted something in addition to their existing commuter. But there will certainly be some younger owners who appreciate the bike's classic aesthetics and I’d be interested to see if any CBs are quickly given clip-ons and the café racer treatment.
Anything retro cannot be groundbreaking by definition. But owners of the CB1100 won’t care about that. Along with the heritage, they’ll purchase it for it’s styling, reliability, ease of living with and the simple ride it delivers. I’d just like to make a bit more noise doing it.
In fact that's the only change I would make to the bike: to make it a bit louder. A 4-into-1 exhaust system looks nice enough but how much cooler and ‘retro’ would two separate pipes each side of the bike look and sound? They would surely make a more interesting official aftermarket part than the carbon fibre tank pad or coloured fork adjuster bolts and dash cover.
The 2013 Honda CB1100 is priced at £8,950, with fuel consumption claimed at 51.4mpg. It’s due in dealerships from late February to early March.
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