CB 1300: Another Cool Bike That Won't Be Coming to the USA

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
Out now in England and Austrailia is the awesome CB1300. The bike has had few early reviews in those glossy Brit bike mags that we all paw through at Borders.

The bike is a redo of the CB-1000 big one of the early 90s. For those who don't remember "The Big One" was the first attempt by a Japanese maker to build a modern standard. Kawasaki had already launched their Zephyr series, but it was 100% retro with air cooled motors.

Here's a picture for your perusal.



At the time the article claimed the "Big One" was built by some young guns in Honda's Japan bike division. It featured an unadorned four from the CBR-1000 in a naked bike body. It also lived up to it's name with a huge six gallon tank and 18" wheels front and rear. It was here in the USA for a year or two, then gone. It is still one of the most imposing inline fours ever built. Unfortunately it didn't handle up to the look.

Enter the CB1300. Nothing succeeds like excess, so the already large 1000cc motor has been replaced with a massive 1300cc one, fully 200cc larger then even the previous biggest ever Honda four, the Blackbird. At the same time the bikes been put on a diet that's resulted in losing about 45lbs of fat. The wheels, suspension, frame and engine all contributed. Carbs have been replaced with fuel injectors and what we have, is a 120hp, high torque all arounder with an interesting future / retro styling. The "liquid cooled and proud" styling of the "Big One" has been retained, but bowing to current fashion (silver IS the new black after all) it's done up in silver and gold. Quite nice.

Fuel injection is via the proven PGM-FI that is on the 959, SP-2, and CB 919 Hornet. 43mm forks, a 4-2-1 exhaust, a five speed box and dual 310mm saucers clamped by four pistons complete the picture. Oh yeah, twin shocks. That's what makes it a 'retro'. It also means, that like the ZR-1100, it has an immense and useful amount of storage under the large seat.
So why can't we get this bike in the USA. The Japanese seemed determined to drown us in V-twin Harley clones. But to my eye THIS is the authentic Japanese power cruiser I want. Suzuki keeps its GSX-1400 on the other side of the Atlantic. Yamaha has had the FJR 1300 for a decade in Europe, but not a day here. Honda though, well perhaps there is some hope. The "Big One" was a USA model.The 919 is a cool bike, but kinda small and underpowered. The 1300 gives you 20 more HP, all day comfort and room for a passenger.I'd like to see Honda give it a shot over here. What do you guys think?
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Motorcycle.com Staff
Motorcycle.com Staff

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