2014 Honda CB1100 Review

John Burns
by John Burns

Now with a six-speed gearbox, Honda's retro-CB is new (though it's hard to tell) and improved again.

Honda’s homage to itself was a big hit for 2013 with all those fans who still can’t get enough of the original earth-shattering 1969 CB750, even though the bike picked up design influences from a few more CBs as it rolled along Memory Lane: 1100F-ish fuel tank shape, 400F-like right-side four-into-one pipe … In any case, its style definitely pushed a lot of the right buttons for vintage Honda enthusiasts.

2014 Honda CB1100

Editor Score: 77.75%
Engine 13.0/20
Suspension/Handling 12.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.25/10
Brakes 8.25/10
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.75/10
Appearance/Quality 8.5/10
Desirability 8.0/10
Value 7.0/10
Overall Score77.75/100

For 2014, Honda offers two versions of the bike, a standard and a Deluxe. Both get a new six-speed gearbox instead of last year’s five-speed, and a new LCD instrument display with a clock, gear-position indicator and an updated trip computer.

The new Deluxe version comes with a four-into-two exhaust with double-wall chrome headers, combined ABS brakes and an extra half-gallon of fuel capacity – also candy red paint instead of basic black. Check that Deluxe box, and you’ll be looking at a price tag of $11,899. (That’s $139 more than the way-modern CB1000R, a great bike CB1100 lovers love to hate whenever we dare to compare the two. Seems to be a definite generation gap here.)

2014 honda cb1100 review, Stylish classic efficient
Stylish, classic, efficient.

If it’s the CB1100 you’re attracted to, we would in no way try to dissuade you. The CB takes all the things that made Honda Honda, and rolls it into a cohesive whole that seems to be more than the sum of its really basic parts: 83 horsepower is no longer earth-shattering, but the CB delivers its fuel-injected power so seamlessly and linearly, it feels like there’s always plenty – and the new six-speed box gets it to the drive chain more positively and precisely than the five-speed did. Honda did see fit to add one tooth to the rear sprocket (now a 40). Combined with the new gearbox’s slightly overdriven 0.964 top-gear ratio instead of last year’s 1.111 top ratio, rpm at cruise have gone down a bit, but our bike still has a little buzziness in its rubber-mounted handlebar that begins around 75 mph.

There’s nothing revolutionary about the CB’s 41mm fork tubes or its preload-adjustable rear shocks, but together with its thick seat and near-perfect ergonomics, the CB serves up a great ride when you’re just tooling around, along with good sporting performance when you need it – and we’re in no way implying that original CB lovers are getting up there when we say the CB’s as easy to pilot as a Hoveround scooter (though you probably can’t get your doctor to prescribe you a CB1100 and have Medicaid pick up the tab). Clutch pull is light and progressive, triple disc brakes have excellent feel and modulation along with serious power when you need it!

2014 honda cb1100 review, Our standard CB had the 199 95 engine guards installed Heated grips are 349 95 yikes and the attachment kit is another 70 95
Our standard CB had the $199.95 engine guards installed. Heated grips are $349.95, yikes! – and the attachment kit is another $70.95.

For getting your full daily dose of nostalgia with zero of the problems that come with owning an actual 40-year-old motorcycle, the CB1100 will prove very tough to beat. Some are faster, some are tricker, many are more exotic – but the CB is one-hundred percent true to its roots: presumably bulletproof and turn-key ready to go anywhere whenever you are, just like you were in 1969. Now with the priceless upgrade of 46 years of experience.

+ Highs

  • One of the most “user-friendly” motorcycles you can buy
  • Near-perfect ergoes if you’re within six inches of 5’8”
  • You’re sitting on history every time you climb on

– Sighs

  • The original CB was famous for out-horsepowering the competition
  • So perfect it can seem a little bland
  • Engine is a little vibey upward of 75 mph in spite of rubber-mounted handlebar risers

2014 Honda CB1100 Specs

MSRP$10,399/ 11,899 (Deluxe)
Engine Capacity1140cc
Engine TypeAir- and oil-cooled inline four-cylinder
Bore x Stroke73.5 x 67.2 mm
Fuel SystemPGM-FI; four 32mm throttle bodies
IgnitionDigital transistorized with electronic advance
Valve TrainDOHC; four valves / cylinder
Final Drive#530 O-ring-sealed chain
Front Suspension41mm fork with spring preload adjustability; 4.2 inches travel
Rear SuspensionDual shocks with spring preload adjustability; 4.5 inches travel
Front BrakesDual 296mm discs; four-piston calipers
Rear Brakes256mm disc; single-piston caliper
Front Tire110/80-18
Rear Tire140/70-18
Seat Height31.2 inches
Wheelbase58.7 inches
Rake/Trail27.0º/4.4 inches
MO measured wet weight556 pounds
Fuel Capacity3.9 gallons/ 4.4 gal. (Deluxe)
ColorsBlack/ (Candy Red for Deluxe)
Join the conversation
2 of 85 comments
  • Ron s Ron s on May 14, 2015

    not like the cb,s in my book.....your feet don,t fit like the cb,s...no 4x4 pipes, no sisybar that could be ordered with cb, does not resemble it at all in my book...wonder if they got the speed limiter yet?

  • Arvind Bandravally Arvind Bandravally on Sep 03, 2015

    wOOOOw Like this bike very much...May i know this is available in Indian market....