2017 Honda CB1100 RS and CB1100 EX Preview

John Burns
by John Burns

Unseamly behavior from Honda

Oh, this is cool. To be sold alongside the standard Honda CB1100 in Europe, the new CB1100 RS is:

“Stripped back and lean, the CB1100 RS has the look of a 1970s race bike, with more than a hint of café racer. The curvaceous fuel tank – made without seam-welded lips – evokes hand-made craftsmanship, while the single round headlight and twin instrument dials outline a timeless silhouette. Adding crisp-edged modernity, all lighting is LED.

“Backing up the sportier styling, the CB1100 RS’s chassis uses sharper geometry than the EX, with firmer Showa suspension, front radial-mount four-piston brakes, cast aluminium 17-inch wheels and sportbike-spec tire sizes. A lower, more compact riding position moves the rider’s weight forward, complementing the chassis changes.

“The air-cooled four-cylinder engine breathes more easily thanks to a revised inlet tract and smaller, lighter 4-2-2 exhaust system while an assist slipper clutch makes for easier lever engagement and rear wheel stability on downshifts.”

Black or red? Now we get modern sport tires on either end instead of vintage 18s, also shorter mufflers said to help boost midrange.

More specifically, rake is steepened a smidge, trail is cut from 114mm to 99 and wheelbase is shortened 5mm to 1485, to bring you a sharper-handling modern vintage bike. A 43mm Showa “Dual Bending Valve” front fork carries the front wheel, while the rear spins in a new swingarm suspended by a pair of remote-res Showa shocks.

Instead of the weird 18-inch wheels on the standard CB, this bike gets 17s in normal sizes, 120/70 ZR17 and 180/55 ZR17, which will aid performance in all kinds of ways including a 3% increase in acceleration due to the gearing change of the smaller rolling diameter of the rear.

The coolest bit is that 4.4-gallon fuel tank that does away with the seam-welded lips along the bottom edges. New brushed alloy sidepanels, a slimmer seat and a bunch of other subtle styling cues make this one for the CB connoisseur.

That air-cooled 1140cc inline Four remains unchanged, but the four PGM-FI 32mm throttle bodies are fed through a shortened air inlet tract and new air cleaner, and work with a pair of shorter chrome-plated mufflers to boost low and mid-rpm engine response.

Finally, the RS gets a slipper clutch with a die-cast aluminum cam and slipper cam that saves weight, reduces lever effort by 16% and minimizes rear wheel ‘hop’ on crazy downshifts.

CB1100 EX

Yours in yellow or white.

Meanwhile, the CB1100 EX gets all the same upgrades as the RS, but continues on with redesigned 18-inch spoke wheels wearing 110/80 R18 and 140/70 R18 tires. Smaller aluminum hubs lace the wheel rim with 40 longer stainless steel (rather than 48 before) zinc-plated spokes. Twin 296mm floating discs up front are mated to four-piston Nissin calipers, with a 256mm disc and single-piston caliper at the rear. ABS is standard.

Follow the rest of our 2016 Intermot Show coverage for more information on new motorcycle announcements.

John Burns
John Burns

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  • Ernie Ernie on Dec 14, 2016

    Thing is these are just plain nice bikes, not just nice retros.
    I'm with most of you, if the RS was coming to the US my Triumph T100 would be for sale already. I don't understand why they wouldn't bring it here but it was fairly predictable.
    It's strange how few choices we have if we need good passenger accommodations.
    I'm not fixated on retros but they're the best nakeds for carrying a passenger.

  • Caffeineandpixels Caffeineandpixels on Jan 17, 2017

    I'd do a little something to it, a bit like this, with clip-ons or Clubman bars, a cafe seat, rear-sets, etc....https:// uploads.disquscdn.com/image...