2017 Honda CB1100EX

Editor Score: 84.0%
Engine 16.5/20
Suspension/Handling 12.5/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 8.25/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 7.75/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score84/100

One of the most famous taglines in motorcycle history is “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” And when it comes to nice motorcycles, Honda most often exemplifies this description. The retro-themed CB1100, first offered on our shores in 2013, made a nice case for nice, and so does this nicely updated version, the CB1100EX.

2013 Honda CB1100 Quick Ride Review

First off, the harsh critics out there should be thrilled the CB’s fuel tank has gone seamless, and it’s one of the prettiest modern tanks in recent memory, with a lustrous depth of color highlighted by glittering metallic sparkles. It verges on stunning. More bling is offered by rich chrome accents seen on both fenders and the new LED taillight housing.

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Honda has also adorned the CB1100EX with pricier-than-steel aluminum in several locations for some higher-end componentry. Alloy engine covers are set off against the blacked-out engine, and an aluminum chain guard is a classy touch. Aluminum brackets also hold the new LED headlamp, and the upper triple clamp has a tasteful brushed finish protected by a clear coating. Smaller aluminum wheel hubs hold 40 stainless steel spokes instead of the shorter-length 48 from previous CB hoops.

Aluminum side panels are polished by hand in Honda’s Kumamoto factory in Japan.

Aluminum side panels are polished by hand in Honda’s Kumamoto factory in Japan.

Despite those aluminum bits, the EX remains a heavyweight motorcycle, scaling in at 562 pounds with its 4.4-gallon tank full of fuel. Once rolling, however, the CB11 is feels anything but ponderous. Credit for the bike’s agility must go to its skinny tires – 110/80-R18 and 140/70-R18 – the same widths as a Ninja 300. There’s nothing particularly sporty about its chassis geometry of a 27.0-degree caster angle, 114mm of trail and a 58.7-inch wheelbase.

Size queens/kings need not bother bitching about the narrow rubber, as there’s more than enough grip to provide traction up to and exceeding the cornering clearance offered by the footpegs that will drag if ridden aggressively. Remember, the CB is a nice bike, not a 1980’s superbike, so your Freddie Spencer aspirations might go unfulfilled here.

Twin shocks and a centerstand as standard equipment are a couple of rare sights on contemporary motorcycles. Modern touches include LED lamps throughout (taillight, turnsignals and license-plate light).

Twin shocks and a centerstand as standard equipment are a couple of rare sights on contemporary motorcycles. Modern touches include LED lamps throughout (taillight, turnsignals and license-plate light).

However, ridden with some decorum, the CB is a delight to lean over, entering corners with a linearity unusual with most modern bikes, partially due to the 18-inch front wheel in contrast with the 17s so common these days. A rider can confidently pitch the Honda into a turn and never be surprised by its responses.

Keeping the CB11’s wheels in control is an upgraded suspension. Up front is a new 41mm Showa fork that impresses both for its control and its compliance. Dubbed a Dual Bending Valve, Honda claims it offers performance equivalent to a cartridge fork but is lighter. And, presumably, cheaper. Its responses are very good.

The Showa Dual Bending Valve fork is the first to employ technology that “uses two valves to generate both compression and rebound damping force for a more linear suspension feel.”

The Showa Dual Bending Valve fork is the first to employ technology that “uses two valves to generate both compression and rebound damping force for a more linear suspension feel.”

Also new is the rear suspension, with revised old-school twin shocks providing a generous 4.5 inches of travel. They, like the fork, are adjustable only for spring preload. Compliance is good, even if rebound damping feels a bit loose.

Brakes take modern inspiration, boasting four-piston calipers biting on a pair of 296mm discs up front, with standard ABS working along with a 256mm rear rotor and single-piston caliper. Power is strong but predictable, with decent feedback to dole out precisely the speed retardation required.

The centerpiece of the CB1100 is, of course, its four-cylinder motor that harkens back to Honda’s glory days of blowing rider’s minds with the original CB750 Four. This one is fuel-injected and uses double overhead cams to actuate four valves per cylinder. Despite the updated technology, including using both air- and oil-cooling, the 1140cc lump is a pussycat.

The CB1100EX’s finish detailing is splendid. Headers are double-walled to prevent heat discoloration.

The CB1100EX’s finish detailing is splendid. Headers are double-walled to prevent heat discoloration.

Honda says revised air-intake ducting and a new air cleaner, along with a new four-into-two exhaust, improve “engine breathing and power characteristics,” but it feels quite similar to the previous mill that dynoed at modest 83.5 hp in the shootout linked below. Torque peaked at 66 lb-ft, although describing a portion of one of the flattest torque curves we’ve ever seen as a peak is a bit of a misnomer.

Retro Roadster Shootout: BMW R nineT vs. Honda CB1100 vs. Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE

Power delivery is anything but peaky, with a robust bottom end that will allow taking off from a stop in second gear. Modulation from a new clutch is perfectly predictable, and its assist function is claimed to reduce lever effort by 16%. Its new slipper function isn’t especially slippery. Both hand levers are adjustable for reach.

The CB1100EX’s ergonomics are comfortable for riders of various sizes. The 4.4-gallon tank is remarkably slim between the knees and now includes an aircraft-style flip-up filler cap. The seat is very comfy, and its flat profile is appreciated by passengers.

The CB1100EX’s ergonomics are comfortable for riders of various sizes. The 4.4-gallon tank is remarkably slim between the knees and now includes an aircraft-style flip-up filler cap. The seat is very comfy, and its flat profile is appreciated by passengers.

The CB11 isn’t slow, but neither is it fast. The broad powerband means there’s always oomph at the ready, but power tapers off as revs pass 7000 rpm, leaving a sporting rider a bit unsatisfied. Many who are in the market for a retro machine like the CB will be content with its power, but aggressive riders will likely be wishing for a lumpier set of cams to awaken the motor’s top-end output. The exhaust note is reminiscent of a 1970s Four, pleasingly deep and with a few pops when using the engine for compression braking.

The CB’s motor is held in the double-cradle steel frame with four mounting points, two of which are rubber to help quell vibration. The handlebar also uses rubber mounts to damp unwelcome vibes. Riders still feel some tingles, but they aren’t problematic. The 2014 update that brought in a sixth gear to the tranny, and overdriven ratio, keeps revs respectably low on the highway.

2014 Honda CB1100 Review

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2017 Honda CB1100EX
+ Highs

  • Quality finishes
  • Authentic retro
  • Nice, nice, nice
– Sighs

  • A little too heavy
  • A little too expensive
  • A little too nice?

Overall, this new EX model of the CB1100 is an appealing retro standard, and it’s sure to catch the eyes of Baby Boomers who recall the heady era of Honda’s 1970s superbikes. But at its $12,199 MSRP, we wonder how many millennials will be pulled away from Triumph and Harley dealers to select this beautifully finished and wonderfully accommodating Honda. That might depend on a rider’s perception of nice.

071317-2017-honda-cb1100-ex-8798

Duke’s Duds

Helmet: Shoei J-Cruise helmet
Jacket: Alpinestars T-Jaws Air
Jeans: Dainese Bonneville
Gloves: Racer Guide
Boots: Chrome Industries 503 Combat

 

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  • Born to Ride

    It’s a really pretty bike. I think the RS would sell better though. I can’t believe after all the flak Honda took for delivering an 85hp 1140cc engine, that the new bike isn’t tuned to deliver at least 100hp. If it matched the BMW R9T in performance categories like weight, power, and steering geometry, then I would have one in my garage.

    • spiff

      Agreed on the power. There is no reason this bike should be passed by an Octane.

      As far as the RS? I saw a YouTube video where the guy felt the RS was limited by the chassis etc. He felt the EX was what the bike was designed to be and was enjoyable. The RS was a bridge too far, and couldn’t deliver the performance one would expect.

      • Born to Ride

        Hmm, that is an interesting point. I suppose when you slap nice modern tires and good suspension on an old-tech chassis like this, you might end up with bad manners. The weight certainly doesn’t help.

        • DickRuble

          Not bad manners. Just not radically different matters. Ohlins suspension on a Camry won’t make it a Paris-Dakar winner.

  • Old MOron

    Good review, Kevdashian. It sounds like a very pleasant UJM. I do have a quick question, please. What does this mean: “Its new slipper function isn’t especially slippery”? Do you get rear wheel hop when banging down the gears?

    I know you MOrons have to go with what the OEM give you, when they give it to you, but I hope we’ll get to read a shootout between the CB1100EX, Bonneville, V9, and whatever R9T variation you can get your MOronic hands on… oh, and how about one or more of Yammie’s Bolt/Heritage jobs?

    • Kevin Duke

      Yeah, downshifting at elevated rpm will cause the rear tire to skid/hop, unlike so many of the latest slipper designs we’ve tested. The shootout you are looking for is waiting for Triumph…

      • Old MOron

        The more I look at this bike, the more I like it. I think maybe it and the V9 will be my retro faves. The cool thing about the V9 is that it’s not really retro. It’s just Guzzi.

        • spiff

          Nice to see you are alive Old MOron. I was a little worried when you weren’t around.

      • spiff

        Throw a Griso in there if you can. These groups of bikes don’t seem to be decided by engine size anymore.

  • JMDGT

    I love it I just can’t get past the heavy part.

    • RMP52

      Agreed- way to heavy– and too expensive. Beautiful bike, maybe with a smaller, lighter engine (how much does a 750 weigh?) and reduction in price, they’d have a hit.

      • spiff

        You’re right. They could easily get this kind of power out of a 750. A 750 plays the bloodline better as well.

      • Mark D

        I don’t think there is too much weight savings by going to a smaller engine. an X% reduction in displacement does not equal a resulting X% reduction in weight.

        Additionally, it would be very difficult indeed to get acceptable power from an air-cooled 750 while still meeting EPA and Euro emissions.

      • JMDGT

        I am downsizing my motorcycles. I have a new Street Triple that only weighs 400 lbs. Lighter means quicker, more nimble easier to stop and more fun to ride. I had a 1975 CB750 and if I remember correctly it weighed over 500 lbs. Other than their sportbikes Hondas have always seemed to be on the heavy side. If this CB1100 was 500 lbs or less and a little less pricey I agree they would sell a ton of them.

  • gjw1992

    It is nice – smile at it rather than lust after it. But reckon I’d want to keep it rather than swap for the next latest and greatest. The weight’s a problem – knock at least 40lbs off that and add 10hp then it’d be a bike to use not just look at.

  • Stephen Miller

    “Once rolling, however, the CB11 is feels anything but ponderous. Credit for the bike’s agility must go to its skinny tires – 110/80-R18 and 140/70-R18 – the same sizes as a Ninja 300”

    I haven’t finished my coffee yet (covfefe), but I thought the Ninja 300 had 17 inch wheels…

    Ah, yes, the width is the same, but not diameter. I always felt like the ADV bikes on 150-width rear tires were surprisingly agile.

    • Kevin Duke

      Yep, skinny tires make a bike far more eager to turn. I remember when literbikes first went to 190 rears, which often spoiled the handling compared to the 180s previously employed. Oh, and yes, I was referring to tire width.

  • Starmag

    I really like these but I thought the last version was better looking and I’d rather have tubeless mags. I have a mint ZRX so I won’t be trading down for more money though. I might be tempted by a new Bonneville if I was in the market for a new bike.

    • spiff

      A picture of your ZRX should have been hanging on the wall in the brain strorming room.

      • Starmag

        I don’t know what the inflation adjustment from 2004 would be but they were $7899 new! With a claimed 122HP. I just looked it up, $10k in 2017 dollars

        • BDan75

          I have an earlier version of the CB, and a 2000 ZRX1100 w/ a few mods (jets, filters, full exhaust) that I’ve owned since new.

          Two very different feeling bikes, and not just because the ZRX has more power. To me, the CB is primarily a “cruising around” bike that’s up for some sporty riding if you feel like it (though I’ve learned to get the ball of my inside foot up on the peg anytime I’m cornering aggressively).

          The ZRX–even stock–feels like it wants to be ridden aggressively. The engine has more of a growl, the riding position is considerably more forward-canted. If I’m just cruising around on it, I have this “I’m doing it wrong” feeling.

          For me, anyway, that justifies having both. (Well, that and the fact that I can’t bear to part with my beloved, minty ZRX for no more than they bring these days.)

          • Starmag

            I have bar risers and the stock exhaust, so mines probably closer in feel than yours is. The power is mostly unusable on the street because I like my D.L. The thing is, I paid 3500 for a mint one with 10k mi. It’s hard to beat that performance and looks ratio for any bike IMO. I’m complimented on it constantly. Plus the fully adjustable suspension, under seat storage and 2 convenient helmet locks.

          • BDan75

            Yeah, they’re great machines. I’ve always wondered why no other bikes seem to have anything like that much under-seat storage. With the airbox out, it gets even bigger! Mine was the first new bike I ever bought, so I have sort of a bond with it.

          • Mad4TheCrest

            I feel the same about my ’01 ZRX in Lawson green. It’s worth far more to me in my garage than the paltry bucks selling it would add to my wallet. After 16 years it still looks great. I swear Kawasaki must have taken a bath on each unit sold given the fit/finish was so good for the money asked.

  • TC

    Nice to see Honda using real metal, aluminum, for trim pieces, instead of chrome plated plastic.

    • throwedoff

      Where’s the polished aluminum? Looks rather “suede” to me.

      • TC

        Polished, with a brushed finish?

  • Craig Hoffman

    The “desirability” score at 7.75 (lowest test result in the categories) is telling. Seems like a solid and “nice” bike as stated, but for me, bikes are an exciting escape from reality. They are not supposed to be nice. Their function is to get my blood pumping and make me wanna go for a ride.

    It is not just about blinding quantities of horsepower either. That helps, but it is not the only answer. Bikes need to be “cool”. A Thruxton R, for example, has similar performance parameters, but it is “cool” by virtue of it’s sound and style. This Honda simply isn’t. It is hard for EPA legal 4 cylinder bikes to begin with, they generally sound like sewing machines.

    I am not entirely sure how to make it cool, other than the obvious – add far more power and sweet suspension bits and a quality aftermarket exhaust with requisite ECU tuning to match. Then, maybe. Would be interested in reading a test on the uprated RS model. That has potential, especially if Honda sees fit t let it off the leash a little.

    I guess I am not really that into pure 1960’s retro – it is before my time, and geez, I am kinda old. This is the kind of Honda retro that I can relate to as l gets me going, especially with the updates/mods. Not a “purist” I just like things that are cool, and this is cool. 😛

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/GRLrvlP.jpg[/img]

    • Kevin Duke

      Yep, as cool as the RS is, it’s got the same tame engine as the EX… The bike in your pic, tho, is marvelous! I think we both would love to take that for a spin!

    • spiff

      Love 80’s “restorods”.

    • Don Silvernail

      I love everything about this bike except for the number of dollars it took to get it to look like this.

    • Kevin Duke

      Good god, the bike in your pic is mouth-wateringly gorgeous! BTW, the RS has better brakes and suspension but the same tame engine.

  • No_More_Liberals

    In the ’90’s, the Japanese manufacturers brought in standards Americans claimed to want. We didn’t buy them (I bought a CB1000 and loved it).This bike, nice as it is, is $12K+. No surprise when it languishes on the sales floor….

  • DeadArmadillo

    Looks great and I’d love to have one. But, 4.5 gallon fuel tank? Skinny tires (how long do they last)? Weight north of 550lbs? Guess I’ll pass for now.

  • Kevin Polito

    “Sporting riders” and “aggressive riders” have a dozen choices of specialized sport bikes. Why do bikes aimed specifically at non-sport riders — such as the retro fans this bike is targeted to — have to be slavishly judged by sport bike standards?

    • Kevin Duke

      They don’t. That’s why the qualifiers of sporting and aggressive. If that’s not who the reader is, then these criticisms won’t apply. But we’ll call out any bike that drags hard parts early as a service to our readers who care about such things.

      • toomanycrayons

        Are you saying a “sporting and aggressive” rider wouldn’t know that by just looking at the pictures? I would have thought spending hours doing handstands on racerboy handlebars would have allowed more blood to reach the brain over time.

        • Old MOron
          • toomanycrayons

            Well, one guy’s knees are under his chin? Sorry, it’s a gift. Loved the article, btw:).

          • Old MOron

            I guess I’m not a “sporting and aggressive” rider.

          • toomanycrayons

            I am, with the qualification that around here it’s usually 15-20 minutes of straight roads between corners, and then some silly taxpaying people in the way, or seed/corn/gravel spilled everywhere courtesy of the people the roads are actually built for. A brother in California lives 30 minutes from a wonderful track, no bike. As he reminds me: Life IS…fair. We just don’t like the results.

          • Old MOron

            Might be fun to consider when “fair” and “cruel” are synonyms.
            Alas, it’s time to start the weekend.
            https://youtu.be/GQ9Nm_c3GVY

          • hipsabad

            if you note footpeg placement, yes

        • Kevin Duke

          I’d like to think that accurately describing a motorcycle and how it functions dynamically in relation to similar bikes are valuable to consumers. Otherwise everyone could just look at pictures and write reviews.

          • toomanycrayons

            That doesn’t answer Kevin Polito’s question, either.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Because Harleys are judged by sport bike standards too. Why should the CB1100EX be excused? Life is unfair.

          • toomanycrayons

            “Because Harleys are judged by sport bike standards too. Why should the CB1100EX be excused? Life is unfair.”-Sayyed Bashir

            If “life is unfair” then why not exempt the Honda? Uniformity is not a standard if the goals are different. A Peterbilt 379 uses more fuel than a Prius! Put that in the loss column?

          • Kevin Duke

            “Why do bikes aimed specifically at non-sport riders — such as the retro fans this bike is targeted to — have to be slavishly judged by sport bike standards?” As long as we’re asking questions, who says the CB1100 is aimed specifically at non-sport riders? I’d think a roadster with a 1040cc four-cylinder would appeal to sporty riders. Half the comments on this thread complain about the bike being too tame, too vanilla. As for being slavishly judged by sportbike standards, I assure you that I would’ve ridiculed the CB11 if I had compared it to a Tuono, which is another roadster with around 1100cc, but something assuredly more sporty. Also, if a consumer doesn’t care about ground clearance or an engine with less power than all its rivals, then they’ll probably be happy with the Honda. I’ve never said otherwise.

      • John A. Stockman

        Please keep doing that! I was on a friend’s mid 2000 Sportster, riding at a sedate pace. The lean angle restrictions were so ridiculous I levered the back tire off the tarmac in a right-hand corner because a car was over the center line and I had to tighten up my line a bit. My monthly practice sessions paid off and I didn’t crash or hit the car. I wasn’t doing my Rossi impression, riding the bike in the manner that befitted its design mantra. Even going slow it still had way less clearance that it should. I think it was measured at 24-25 degrees. My old faithful early-80s KZ440 had much more than that, even with the footpeg-mount mods I did for my no-joint-cartilage knees. When the lean angle is that reduced, it’s a safety issue. You don’t have to be going fast to run out of clearance quickly when you have to make that avoidance move on a bike. A motorcycle where the main focus is a low seat height with about 1.5″ of rear suspension travel. I learned from my grandfather that on a bike, anything can happen at any time.

    • toomanycrayons

      There seems to be some sort of “professional” continuum imposed on personal choices. It’s like a Vespa, a full-on dragster Hayabusa or a 1299 Panigale are even vaguely related in the minds of people who like them? On the continuum of continuums, it’s just something to talk about, probably.

      Word of The Day: “probably.”

    • spiff

      I agree to a point. The problem is that there are a bunch of sportbike guys who are getting old. They want to ride cool bikes that will still make them grin with a simple roll on. This bike won’t out run a 1991 CBRF2.

      I don’t think that people are asking for something unreasonable. 100 at the wheel is not dangerous for a decent rider, and if you aren’t a decent rider I suggest finding a bike that is under 450 pounds to begin with. I would have to do some google work, but I believe that a CB1100F would out run this.

      Technology moves forward. While we like the retro look, there is no need to to go Amish and ignore perfectly safe and refined technology. This is not a bargain bike, it deserves something more.

      I really think Honda needs to invite a couple of guys from their MotoGP program to a company mixer. Maybe they could even bring some of the KoolAid from the Repsol tent.

      • toomanycrayons

        “This is not a bargain bike, it deserves something more.”-spiff

        You can have too much “something” and miss the nostalgia candy point.

        • spiff

          All I ask is for a stiffer chassis, and 2500 more RPM with a lumpy cam. It would turn better, sound better, more power, and most likely keeping it’s good manners. I think that could satisfy a majority of the complaints, and maintain it’s allure.

          • toomanycrayons

            My impression is that the bike as it stands satisfied the design talents at Honda. Not all such acts of design love are meant to be perfect, merely good enough to please the similarly motivated. Perfection is the enemy of the merely good, after all.

            A neighbour has a BMW model I’ve always liked. I recently saw the new design and didn’t care for it. Arriving home I found his looked old and rather tired. I like the new one better, now. That’s why there are design departments working full time.

            When Design addresses nostalgia points, too, they clearly have to make accounting decisions relative to buffed aluminum bits, or the options you’d like to see added. Yours got left out. Had they been added the bike would not exist. Tough call.

          • spiff

            I hear you, but this bike is not a success. It flounders along because the juggernaut called Honda made a decision, “we will build it”. The vote was cast at 11:30am and most with their hand in the air were hoping for a liquid lunch that day. Corporate America in Asia.

            It is a good concept, but look at their concepts. Honda lets their design team build a couple of “concept bikes” that are really cool. Then they build this. It is not a bad bike. I want to make this clear. The problem is that it is so full of compromises and no soul. If someone is buying a bike for transportation only it doesn’t cost over 10 grand. This bike is supposed to stir your soul. A board room decided that they would build a bike with 70s technology. “That’s what they want”. No. No, people want a Restorod! They want the old vibe with more power and anti-lock brakes. If they wanted the old bike I am sure ebay has one for a comprable price.

            I wish the guy that was in charge of the CBR900RR had a voice here. Not because the bike needs to be a track bike, but because it needs to make a statement.

            Honda=Vanilla. This coming from a guy that has owned more than one Honda including two CB750F.

          • toomanycrayons

            At least we should wait until it fails in the showrooms.

            “…sometimes, the temptation to increase spec can make manufacturers lose sight of the target, and cost them future sales. It is a difficult dance they have to play, guessing on the one hand what the customer of the future will expect, and on the other hand what they will be able and willing to handle. A dangerous game not least because people always shout loudly about all the features they wish they had, but when it comes to opening their wallets they often baulk at the added cost, or worse, secretly fear the added performance.

            Motorcycle design is alchemy, transforming people’s wants and desires into dream machines using the tools of science and business. However, getting the recipe right is challenging, especially when the people you are working for cry for more than they actually need or want.”-Michael Uhlarik

            http://www.cyclecanadaweb.com/articles/43490/

          • spiff

            That is a good qoute, but lets face it. Everything would be fine if they would just call me before they start production. 🙂

            Truth is I like the bike. That is why the aspects I don’t agree with get me all worked up. With what the motorcycle industry has accomplished it seems that performance (not racetrack prowess , but performance just the same) is easy. I think they could have still made a Clark Kent with just a touch of Superman.

          • toomanycrayons

            “Truth is I like the bike. That is why the aspects I don’t agree with get me all worked up.”-spiff

            I feel the same way about myself, spiff. I don’t have the answer. Years ago, in the Portland, Ore. bus station washroom, sometime blearily after midnight, I found a message written on the mirror above the urinal: “You just have to let it go.” Confusingly, it was written in lipstick, but good advice, nonetheless…

          • spiff

            Ha!

          • Sayyed Bashir
  • Brian Cordell

    While there are other retro-bikes out there, this one has the support in the after market to be a light tourer as well as a great city bike. I suspect it would be easier on my aging body than my current VFR800.

  • Bmwclay

    This is the retro bike us older guys from the 60’s are waiting for. Something to slip between the Corvette and Porsche SUV in their 4 car garage up in Marin. Unlike younger riders we have nothing to prove and we are buying $15,000.00 sandcast 1969 CB750’s for their history. Be nice to ride up Highway 1 with your sweetie comfortably on the back, just like in highschool, with no particular place to go. Neither want or need your narrow focus KTM’s or R1’s.

    • toomanycrayons

      Lovely post. I was just drifting away there for a moment…

    • spiff

      I ride a KTM, pretty freakin comfortable, but I do get your point.

    • Dan

      you’re not describing that large of a market I don’t think

  • kenneth_moore

    Ultimately it was the bike ergonomics that caused me to sell my CB1100. Sure, more power would have been nice, and the tank seam and self-staining header pipes were annoying. But I just couldn’t ride the bike all day without feeling crippled when I got off. Especially on super-slabs, which unfortunately is 80% of my riding.

    In retrospect (pun intended) I should have kept the CB for beach rides and used the FJ for everything else.

    • BDan75

      Don’t care about the tank seam, and the ergos are okay for me, but I’ll agree with you on the stainless pipes! Sooo annoying! And really damn hard to get clean. I’ve basically given up at this point.

  • BDan75

    I’ve had the previous version (single exhaust, ’13) for a few years. Purchased near-new for $7,750, if memory serves. They’re worth around 5k now, I think…so if you really like the new tank but can’t stomach the price, the used market plus a little research on whether it can be swapped easily (also, current exchange rate w/ yen on Samurider) might be a way to go.

    I knew the power wasn’t overwhelming going in (I have other bikes for that), so it’s never been an issue for me…and there’s still plenty of fun to be had w/ the relatively light handling and “only” 83 rwhp.

    My biggest complaint has been the fork, which on the old bike is too stiff IMO. I’m told that a spring swap helps a lot, and I keep planning to do that. Also, the stock seat was a killer for me. Various options available, but I swapped for the retro-looking stock seat from the ’14 Deluxe. Much more comfy, and probably an inch taller, which helps w/ leg room. Also replaced the original mirrors with the ones from the CB500 series. Stockers look like bug antennae to me (I believe they shortened them for ’14).

    Granted, I’m not using it as a performance machine, but the only time I really notice the weight is pushing it around the garage. Haven’t done it, but always feel like it’d be really easy to drop.

    Anyway, it’s been a nice, relaxing bike to ride…one that’s also versatile around-town and reasonably fun in the twisties. FWIW.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f0761e1477260eedcce0fe113a841aed069efe80901844cdbd00150bce92aeb.jpg

    • Kevin Duke

      Great post, thanks!

  • Goose

    Not something that will be in my garage but that seamless gas tank sure is pretty.

  • toomanycrayons

    The bike just says, “Take me to 110 Maple Street, the summer of 1972.”

    (w/apologies to an old cab ride New Yorker cartoon.)

    If you have to ask why it’s desirable, you probably wouldn’t understand…

  • LOL size queens

  • Luke

    How much weight do you think could easily be taken off this bike? I had a TU250 and my kids loved being on the back. When I traded up to a tweaked FZ-09, my joy went way up, but the kids miss the relaxed passenger experience. I’d love something in the middle, but that weight is a killer to me. The previous owner of the FZ-09 dropped a bunch of weight from it, so jumping up to this beast would feel doubly ugly I’m guessing.

    • Kevin Duke

      If you love the lightweight feel of your FZ, you’ll probably dislike how the CB feels. That said, the Honda is quite nimble and feels heavy mostly only when hoisting it off its sidestand.

      • Luke

        Finding a replacement for the FZ is tough. Not to pester, but which do you think would be better for a pillion – the CB or the 650 Versys LT? I know both will be heavier and slower than the FZ, but that’s OK (after 3 years with the FZ, I’m stunned I still have my license – that bike whispers bad things in your ear all the time).

        • Kevin Duke

          It would be difficult to beat the comfort offered by the CB’s cushy and flat seat unless your kids are really small and might dislike sitting at the same level as you. FWIW, the XSR900 has a fairly flat seat… 🙂

  • Rob Alexander

    OK, this thing and the Indian Scout are about the same weight and horsepower…. which one wins in a drag race and in top gear pull?

    • toomanycrayons

      The new standard in America is “thinking” you just WIN, WIN, WIN, isn’t it?

      • Rob Alexander

        No, shitbag. I ride a Scout and think it’s perfectly adequate for street duty, and I’m curious if this thing is about in the ballpark. The main gripe in reviews seems to be that it’s “boring” AKA not fast enough.

        Why is it some people’s first impulse to be an asshole when they’re sitting safely behind a keyboard online?

        • toomanycrayons

          “Why is it some people’s first impulse to be an [ Alexander ] when they’re sitting safely behind a keyboard online?”-Rob Alexander

          Beats me, Rob. Did you “WIN!” this exchange, or just hear that echo in your head again?

          The comment was a pun on “standard” and a reflection on the current state(s) of self-delusion everywhere we look these days.

          “Facts don’t matter.”-Kellyanne.

          Your desire for a Scout/CB1100EX runoff is moot. You have a Scout. Believe what you need to believe.

          MAGAMAGA/POTATOPOTATO=same thing. You are now free to ride about the country on whatever you’re emotionally invested in. That being said, however, if Scout owners are this fragile…?

          • Rob Alexander

            Be gone, troll.

          • toomanycrayons

            “Be gone, troll.”-Rob Alexander

            Now, you’re the boss of the internet?

            “Your desire for a Scout/CB1100EX runoff is moot. You have a Scout. Believe what you need to believe.”

            MAGAMAGAMAGA…

    • Kevin Duke

      I’d predict the dragrace would be pretty close, closer than the top-gear roll-on, which would favor the torquier Scout. So, yeah, in the ballpark with each other. Stay tuned to MO for news on a newish model in the Scout line in about 4 hours…

      • Rob Alexander

        That was my guess based on power and weight…. So I’m also guessing that this bike is plenty fast enough for all but the squidliest rider. Please tell me they didn’t make a “Scout Premium” with decent suspension and tires now…. I’ll be waiting!

        • Kevin Duke

          Would you settle for a Scout Bobber…?

  • Gabriel Owens

    Sorry honda, Bonneville t120 ftmfw.

  • Eric

    While I think this is a very nice, beautifully detailed machine, I think Honda should follow Triumph’s lead in having two versions of their retro/sport machine; Triumph sells two versione of the Thruxton. One with a more traditional appearance, and one with an up-spec suspension and somewhat different details. Interestingly, Honda DOES do this in Europe: http://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/range/street/cb1100-rs/overview.html

    I think American Honda made a big mistake not importing the RS model. While it would have to sell for a higher price, I strongly suspect that the RS would pull people in the door, even if they end up buying the “lower spec” model. Additionally, having the up spec bike with somewhat more “contemporary” detailing will attract crossover customers from other bike styles.

    I think part of the problem may also be that this bike, like Honda’s old CB1000, doesn’t really deliver on the horsepower front. This is a fundamental problem with both bikes for many potential buyers. Kawasaki got it right with the ZRX, after making a similar mistake in the early 90’s with the Zephyr series. They were also really nice, beautiful bikes, but didn’t have the sledgehammer hit of power the later ZRX had.

  • Lee

    No one has asked the most obvious question: Why is Honda bringing back a bike they already know doesn’t sell in the US? The EX is nicer but doesn’t address the criticisms of the CB1100 – weight, price, suspension, power. Why does Honda expect a different result this go-round?

  • Ian Ridge

    Have a 2016SE – great bike for everything – more than enough of everything to make you smile and enjoy every ride – coming from a 2015 VFR that goaded you to try harder and cramped you up after a few hours on the road – I can do 90% of the speed with 100% more fun – and take a passenger in comfort rather than an after thought – shopped the Bonneville as well – trying too hard to be hipster and the quality just wasn’t as good (welds and paint – IMHO) – anyway to each their own – note to HONDA – MAKE a 750 version that is lighter and lower and you have a huge market waiting to buy this bike – everyone who sees or rides mine wants one – but 1100 and weight too intimidating. Universal wish is for a 750 that is smaller than this bike – you would sell a million

    • Carl Beherrell

      Finally, someone who gets it. I got a 14 and like it for the same reasons you stated.

    • Kenneth

      At 750cc, Honda would probably lose the competition for sales to Yamaha’s FZ-07 and -09 and Triumph’s Street Triple. Honda’s buzzy 650-4 (rather than an arguably more-desirable triple for street riding) to be offered in a standard CB-650 in the U.S. will probably prove that point.

      • Ian Ridge

        Ok. Use the 650 mill put it into an 80% scale version of the cb with the same styling. New niche. You need the vintage look not another adventure bike. Crossover thing. Triumphs are all bigger now. Mid size classic styled bike. Winner in my eyes. Had a lot of my friends male and female who would like to get back into riding. But want a bike that looks like their old one. But don’t want a 900 or larger

  • SRMark

    Even the old Nighthawk with hydraulic valves would rev to 10K. But hell, this thing is beautiful. Come on Triumph. You too can make a tank this pretty. I will go take a look at this.

  • Dan

    Another bike aimed at the Boomers so they can reminisce about the 70s and a few can buy them for garage jewelry, while young people who might be interested in real transportation are asked to fork out $13K for a relatively low tech, heavy bike. I love them all but not confident about the success of this model.

  • Brian Clasby

    I want a new CBX.

  • Butch Schultz

    Shouldn’t take much to squeeze out another 8-10 hp.
    A nice stainless, single wall exhaust system should drop 20-30 lbs.
    Other than that, It is by far the most authentic retro of the bunch I’ve seen.

  • Mad4TheCrest

    My main gripe with the first edition of this CB1100 was that Honda made a machine for weekend back lane wandering but gave it too small a tank. I wasn’t too worried about cornering clearance since skinny tires made it slightly less an issue and I have another bike for that duty. I must say though I am disappointed that Honda seems to have skewed even less sporty with the update without greatly upping range or comfort. It’s like they don’t really know what our market wants.

  • Tim Sawatzky

    I love this bike. It’s so pretty. But yes, too expensive for what it is. I like the idea of a smaller engine with this style. Why not a CB500 with this kind of styling? Now that would be a great entry level bike with style.

  • sgray44444

    Why would anyone buy this at $12K when you can get a REALLY nice CB750 for less than half that, and have the real deal, which is so much cooler.

  • Dan

    Another bike that brings back memories in us old dudes but may not sell that well to the younger generation

  • hipsabad

    KTM should just take their brilliant Dukes 390, 690, 790 and give em retro bodywork–problem solved!

  • Robert J Schwandner

    Purchased a new Honda after 200 miles I noticed a viabration at 37 to 41 mph. The dealer wants $125.33 to inspect to see if warrenty will cover. But this is probably a balancing issue therefor it would not be covered. Another $100 to have them balanced. Honda has let me down,I am not one of the nicest people on a Honda. I have been riding for more than 50 years. This is my first brand new motorcycle ever. Not pleased with the out come with Honda.