Honda CB1100F – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips –

18 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Honda CB1100F – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips –
Honda CB 1100 Customize Concept

Honda CB1100F

It’s here, and it remains faithful to the concept bike first seen at the 2007 Tokyo motor show


Plenty of charm


Authentic retro


Limited fuel range

Modest power down low

There were two stars on the Honda stand at last year’s Tokyo motor show: the CB1100F retro four and the all-new VFR1200F. Plenty has already been written about the latter, with the Bikesales Network attending the local launch and then pitting it against BMW’s K 1300 S in a recent shootout. We’d now love one of the V-fours as a long-termer, but we’ve got to convince Honda Australia on that score.

Watch this space.

Meanwhile, fanfare around the CB1100F didn’t quite reach the same feverish pitch as the VFR, but there was still universal admiration for its compact dimensions and styling, which appeared to hit the mark as an ode to the much-loved and original Honda CB750 Four.

Even though performance figures weren’t divulged at the time, the Bikesales Network correspondent in Tokyo said that it should be more than enough to make it a great city bike and short-haul tourer.

And how prescient those words turned out to be, because we’ve just reluctantly handed back the CB1100F after testing the retro rocket in Melbourne and its surrounds.

The CB1100F has been a Japanese-only model for a while now, but Honda Australia has now made the decision to bring it Down Under in limited numbers, at a retail price of $14,990.

The CB1100 joins a growing stable of retro bikes in Australia, including the Triumphs (Thruxton, Bonneville, Scrambler), the Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic and Ducati GT1000. Maybe it’s time for a retro comparo?

Let’s start at the beginning. As far as a faithful representation of a former staple is concerned, the CB1100F does itself proud with plenty of distinguishing features: Bol D’or-like instrumentation, skinny 18-inch wheels, chrome trimming on the headlight and instrument cluster, low slung rear end, old school taillight, twin rear shocks, a big and wide headlight, and of course the air and oil-cooled engine.

Personally, I just love the styling, and the pearl milky white colour strikes a nice accord with the heritage look. But others get aroused over the candy glory (red) livery.

And the bike looks small, so much so that people would probably think you’re having a go at them when you say it has wet weight of 247kg.

As to be expected, the engine does have a contemporary bent with fuel-injection instead of carbies, but you’d be hard pressed to notice with a passing eye. Triumph has also managed a similar ‘con’ with its modern classic range, but that’s the price to be paid for stringent emission laws. There’s also hydraulic and adjustable brake and clutch levers, and modern brakes in the form of Nissins – which have good power and feel, which goes against the grain somewhat in the retro bike genre.

The local version does not come with ABS as an option.

Other nice cosmetic touches include the chromed guards.

If you’re looking for a powerhouse performer, the CB1100F will not comply – and it doesn’t set out to. Instead there’s ‘easy’ performance with about 87hp (64kW) to play with from the 1140cc in-line four mill, which is certainly enough to produce plenty of feel good moments. To put that into context, that’s about the same horsepower as the BMW F 800 twin-cylinder range – and those bikes are a lot lighter.

I’m sure Honda could do a lot more power wise, and if I could put in a request I’d like to see that happen in the bottom end where things are currently pretty mellow.

But that’s probably being just a little too precious, and for a city bike it’s already well endowed with seamless fuel injection, which is half the battle. And in hindsight, I didn’t care that it wasn’t a powerhouse, either. These types of bikes do that to you.

The CB1100F also has low seat height (775mm) and plenty of stability with the 18-inch Dunlop Sportmax rubber – 110/80 at the front and 140/70 on the rear.

The best place to reside on the CB1100 is in the 3500-7000rpm bracket, and just play with the sweet-shifting five-speed transmission. That’s pure relaxation. There’s quite a gap between first and second gears, and the same goes for fourth and fifth. In between, there’s a nice spread of ratios which keep the CB1100F in the chunkiest part of its power.

The bike revs to an 8500rpm ceiling.

Out on the open road, the 18-inchers do have their limitations and I can’t see people gate crashing a sports bike party. But there is still plenty of agility, and the steering is still wonderfully light and neutral with its 1490mm wheelbase. Even over fast and choppy corners, the bike didn’t wriggle once.

And the pair of preload-adjustable Showa dampers work surprisingly well, making light work of a poorly maintained road that doubles as my ‘fast’ way home.

I had taken that same road on a Triumph Thunderbird – which also has dual shocks – two days earlier, and it was a torturous experience. The CB1100F came out triumphant. The front suspension is a non-adjustable 41mm fork.

Instrumentation is – and could it be anything else? – analogue, and there’s an aircraft-style fuel filler cap on the wide and flat tank. During its time at the Bikesales Network, the CB1100F chewed up just over 6lt/100km. But it’s only got a 14.6lt tank, so that’s only an effective range of around 200km.

Any way you look at it, that’s slim pickings to a bike like the 1983 model Bol’dor, which had a 26lt tank!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the CB1100F. Retro bikes have this ‘bigger than the sum of the parts’ thing down pat. Maybe it’s because our expectations aren’t quite as high, but whatever it is something manages to push the right buttons.

This is a beaut machine, and one with plenty of personality.



Type: Air-cooled, 16-valve, in-line four-cylinder

Capacity: 1140cc

Bore x stroke: 73.5mm x 67.2mm

Compression ratio: Not given

Fuel system: Fuel injection

Honda CB 1100 Customize Concept
Honda CB 1100 Customize Concept

Interesting articles

Other articles of the category "Honda":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.