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Honda’s “Concept CB” Reappears at Tokyo Auto Salon

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Honda “Concept CB”

First appearing at last October’s Tokyo Motor Show, Honda is trotting out the “Concept CB” once again next month at the Tokyo Auto Salon — the only Honda motorcycle concept making a second appearance after the motor show. This would strongly suggest that the Concept CB is headed for production with the cosmetic tweeks, including a reshaped fuel tank, new seat and more chrome, intact.

We tested the Honda CB1100 when it was first introduced to the U.S. market in 2013. We found it a relatively faithful retro (in terms of design) with enough performance to satisfy the target customers. What do you think of the design tweeks? A picture of the Concept CB can be found above, with the 2014 CB1100 DLX pictured below.

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2014 Honda CB1100 DLX – U.S. Model


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231 Comments

  1. Amin says:

    Amazing bike with strong wheels. Yellow color is looking very charming. All parts of this bike are seeming strong with best company. I would like to buy this. Is it for selling?

    • mickey says:

      Not yet Amin this is a concept, but the CB 1100 EX is available in Europe and Japan which is very similar, and the DLX is available in the US only with mag wheels.

  2. takehikes says:

    I’d buy it. Love the wire wheels.

  3. paul says:

    I’m planning ways to get this bike if it comes to our market, even if it means having to sell my VFR800. For me, this bike (latest concept) is a must have.

  4. Ayk says:

    Shine up this part, black out that part–both the 14 and Concept look good to me. I put some miles on the 14 and really enjoyed it. Nothing exceptional, just a good solid motorcycle for commuting, touring, or taking your sweetie to lunch. I loved the red, but the yellow looks pretty bitchin’

  5. Tom says:

    Well, after looking it over, my thought is that it is improved aesthetically over its predecessor, however with every “retro” bike that has ever been made, I’ve not agreed with all the basic assumptions, and so it goes. I prefer motorcycles that aren’t covered in plastic panels, for both aesthetic and pragmatic reasons. But I don’t understand why so much function has to be tossed out, along with the plastic panels. I don’t see the need for the dual shock absorbers (with springs).

    To my way of thinking, dual shocks give the bike a more cluttered look, and aren’t as desirable functionally as a single-shock design. In a heartbeat, I would have said “No” to the use of dual shock absorbers.

    As for being air cooled, there is no question that big radiators are ugly, and so are the fat hoses running both directions between the engine and the radiator. But I also do not think that fins are especially attractive. To me, in order for fins to be attractive, they would need to look more like low-profile ribs, and much thicker, with far fewer of them. And slanted in relation to the cylinder block, so that they are completely horizontal after the engine is mounted with a forward tilt.

    Of course low-profile ribs wouldn’t provide adequate heat transfer to the air, which means that the engine would need to be water-cooled. If I were a motorcycle engineer, I would design a radiator on the concept of a longish hollow cylinder, either rectangular or circular in profile, with the water tubes running in a spiral around the cylinder and the fins extending inward, into the hollow center of the cylinder, and with the cylinder insulated so that no heat escapes through the outer wall of the cylinder. I would put a powerful fan at the intake end, blowing a large volume of air into the tube. I would mount it under the seat, and I might bend the tube into an arc extending over roughly 120 degrees, and placed over the rear wheel, with the cross section profile flattened so that it is wider than the wheel but only a couple inches in height.

    I can’t think of a single reason why this wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t weigh significantly more than a conventional radiator mounted in front of the engine. and the ugly fat tubes would be concealed naturally. The whole thing would be naturally concealed in fact, and it would work.

    Most advances in motorcycle design, that have appeared in the past fifty years, are things that were handed down from automotive design and then incorporated into motorcycles in whatever way minimized the effort. Motorcycle radiator designs are essentially car radiator designs stuck onto motorcycles in an unintelligent manner that is asinine. Motorcycle radiators should look nothing at all like car radiators, and should have little in common beyond the basic commonality of water running through tubes that have fins joined to the tubes. Honda, answer me this: with that fancy engineering that you do, and all the weird motorcycle designs that you bring out every few years, why haven’t you ever put any serious effort into solving the problem of the motorcycle radiator?

    • todd says:

      There are some twin-shock setups that work far better than some mono-shock setups. It all comes down to the quality of the shock. I imagine manufacturers prefer buying one, high quality shock over two. The twin shocks have the advantage of being placed far out at the end of the lever where they can be the lightest and most effective. A single shock needs to be close to the pivot and substantially strong to be effective there – very difficult to control minute movements of the wheel after if translates through the length of the lever and the slop in the linkages.

      Where would you suggest you run your radiator tube? How easy would it be to build anything like you suggest in any shape other than a straight length?

      • Tom says:

        This disadvatage of twin shocks are several although primarily I just do not like the looks. The mere fact that there are two instead of just one means that the total mass is inherently greater, all else being equal. You point out a reason or two why it is better for the spring to be further from the pivot, but off the top of my head I think that that is only partly correct. The spring spring stiffness has to be increased when the amount of compression decreases as it is moved closer to the pivot, but that also means that it is shorter. There is probably an optimal distance for the location of the spring that will minimize the mass of the spring. As for the damper, the amount of travel of the piston inside is reduced by placing it closer to the pivot, and off the top of my head there are disadvantages that occur to me. The volume of fluid pushed through a restrictor depends on the area of the piston face and can thus be made as great or as small as the engineer desires regardless of the amount of piston travel. You allude to the possibility of lack of control if the amount of travel isn’t appreciably greater than the distance the damper is free to move at either end, but I don’t see any reason why there should be any amount at all of free play of that sort. Of course if the piston doesn’t push fluid immediately when it begins to move or change direction, that is a different matter, but this again is something that shouldn’t happen in quality damper. There is also the matter of progressive spring force, which is assisted in monoshock setups via the use of links and geometry. And the monoshock mass is carried low where it actually lowers the center of mass, whereas the mass of the twin shock setup is carried higher, although not by a whole lot.

        As for the cylindrical radiator, I explined that I would bend the tube lengthwise into an arc and place it over the rear wheel. It would not be difficult to make. Any half decent welder should be able to build it without any difficulty. The fins face into the hollow of the tube and run lengthwise. It could actully be made from a bundle of aluminum tubes wrapped by a copper coil for the water to run through, then wrapped with a layer of insulation, rock wool or similar, then a simple metal wrap over the insulation. Pretty simple actually. Slap on a 12 VDC fan at one end, to blow air into the aluminum tubes. Radiators are not complicated. Do you think I should patent it?

        • Scott says:

          No. It’s been done. Google “Benelli Tornado”…

        • Tom says:

          Nope, Scott, you are wrong. The radiator in the Benelli Tornado is a conventional radiator placed in a plastic box with a couple of fans. What I described is a fundamentally different approach to the construction of a radiator. I won’t repeat it. If you have any sincere interest, you can go and read it again. (Or more likely read it for the first time.) My sense is that you probably do not ever have any original ideas of your own, and this makes you put down other people when they have original ideas.

          • Scott says:

            Wow, Tom. Offended, much?

            I read your whole diatribe. Go ahead and file your patent, build your damn radiator, and for that matter, build a whole new type of motorcycle, since you’re obviously unhappy with everything about motorcycles as we now know them.

            Have a nice day.

          • Tom K. says:

            I was a little surprised that Scott didn’t reveal his idea for the best place to locate your proposed radiator design after a prototype is constructed. Maybe “shove” is a better verb than “locate”, though.

            In all seriousness, I see three problems with your design:
            1) For mobile systems, water pumps do not like to pump into a head, most traditional vehicle radiators can “free flow” (via gravity) a greater volume of water than the pump puts out – these pumps are “high volume, low pressure” designs. The “wrapped tube” design of your proposal would have excessive resistance to water flow.
            2) A 12V fan of that small a diameter couldn’t move nearly enough air to reject anywhere near the power of a modern motorcycle engine. The “radiator fans” on autos (and bikes) are designed to move air when the vehicle is stationary, they actually become restrictors to flow above about 20 mph of vehicle speed, where “ram air” from forward vehicle movement takes over.
            3) “Long, thin” (tubular) radiators do not reject anywhere near as much heat as radiators that have large frontal areas and are “shallow” in depth. This is because to reject the most heat with a given airflow, you want the maximum differential between the two fluids (in this case, ambient air and the engine glycol mix). As the air progresses down the tube in your concept, it would heat up significantly, greatly decreasing this differential, which would destroy efficiency – even if you could magically make the design much longer than there is space on a motorcycle to place it, once the air and the coolant are the “same” temperature, there is no more heat transfer. If you could somehow move enough air down the tube (with a giant gas-engined leafblower of some sort), maybe you could make it work. But where exactly would you mount such a fan? Keep repeating, Q=MCdeltaT, Q=MCdeltaT….
            But I’m pretty sure you knew all this already, and you’re typing from under a bridge somewhere. Say hello to the Billy Goat Gruff when you see him.

          • Tom says:

            Tom K., I just do not like it when anyone is hasty to be critical of someone else’s idea, without taking the time to even read what they wrote. I can think of no reason to go to any special effort to be nice to someone who does that. I don’t behave that way, and if I did, I wouldn’t expect the person that I behaved rudely toward, to be nice to me.

            You obviously did read what I wrote and gave it some thought, which I appreciate. Your first point is correct with respect to present designs, but is not an issue for a different design that requires a pump capable of maintaining greater fluid pressure. Not a problem at all. Your second point is the same: it explains only why a different type of fan would be needed. In fact, the same potential problem exists with the Benelli, where it did not pose any actual problem. Your third point, on the other hand, is fully valid. Certainly it is true that with a long, tubular type of radiator, efficiency of heat exchange decreases the further you go down the tube, for the reason you gave. Eventually, the air becomes as hot, or nearly as hot, as the water. For this reason, a radiator of this sort is inherently less efficient than a radiator where every part is exposed to fresh air. This is manifestly the weak aspect of the proposed design, and it is potentially a reason why it wouldn’t work. Nevertheless, the advantages in terms of packaging could possibly be great enough, and the loss of efficiency not overwhelming, such that it could work.

            As for the last part of your comment, it only reveals serious weaknesses in your character.

          • Tom says:

            Scott, I definitely am not “unhappy with everything about motorcycles as we now know them”. Not even close, and I did not say anything that would have led any reasonable person to make that characterization. I merely said that for naked motorcycles, without plastic panels, that it would make sense to hide the radiator rather than the too-easy solution of going back to air cooling. Of course the Benelli Tornado is not a naked bike, which fact also seems moderately relevant.

            I don’t make hasty comments that endeavor only to put down other people’s ideas, and I do not like it whenever another person does that. Whenever another person shares a new idea with me, I try to acknowledge their original thinking, which is one of the qualities that I most strongly value in other people. Even if there are obvious flaws in the idea, I try to approach the flaws slowly, by raising questions.

          • Tom K. says:

            What exactly did I say that was untrue, or for that matter, even unkind? I calls ’em as I sees ’em.
            But just for a second, let’s pretend you’re not trolling here, and look at your idea a little more closely. I would think (and I’m guessing here, I’m not a motorcycle designer) that a modern motorcycle engine cooling system (radiator) needs to be able to reject, on a continuous basis, maybe 80 or 90% of the engine’s peak horsepower output. For the CB1100, that would likely be 80 or 90 HP. And, it has to be able to do that with an incoming air temperature between 100 and 110°F (unless you don’t intend to sell your product in the southwestern U.S.). Because the specific heat of air is low, it takes a LOT of it to remove that much heat. Since your engine coolant temperature is limited to maybe 220-230°F, let’s assume an exiting air temperature of maybe 150°F for a conventional radiator. So, calculate how many cfm would be required using 80hp=MCdeltaT, and solve for M. Then, push at least that much air through your (very small) radiator cross section – what would the velocity of that airflow be? Then, calculate the power required to push that volume of air through that cross section (and that doesn’t count the restriction of your internal fins (and I’m assuming the whole thing would have to be made of pure silver to have a chance of rejecting the heat). Bottom line, it’s not happening with a 12V fan, maybe 460V would do it – I think you’re going to need more battery and alternator – the blades may even have to reach supersonic, a no-no.

            Engineering something can’t just be “possible”, it has to be practical. Engineers need to meet requirements that are not limited to: aesthetics, packaging space, energy input requirements, operator safety and ergonomics, manufacturability, government regulations, and the all-mighty dream killer – cost. But again, working in a physics discipline, you knew all that.

            You asked the question “Why haven’t the hot-shot engineers at Honda done this yet?” For the same reason they haven’t designed a personal mobility system that requires no outside power source – the operator would simply put on a pair of Honda roller skates, grab the excess on his belt, and pull himself down the road. How’s THAT for original, outside the box, thought?

            Don’t feed the troll, don’t feed the troll, don’t feed the troll. When will I learn?

          • mickey says:

            Another nice thing about the CB1100, it doesn’t need no stinkin radiator bwahaahaahaa

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        The quality of the shocks used have more impact than anything, but – all equal – a mono-shock works better because the distance traveled is much smaller in relation to the wheel. That means much less internal friction and much lower operating temps for the fluid in the shock while being able to provide far more suspension travel which was why the mono-shock was developed to begin with and why every modern motorcycle (except for those designed to look old) use a single shock.

        I’ve also read that a monoshock offers more stability while cornering because a twin shock setup isn’t loaded evenly, and side to side transition is also improved with a monoshock for the same reason. However, I can’t find a credible source to back that up at the moment.

        With respect to cost, a monoshock actually costs a little more to produce vs. comparable dual shocks due to the much greater component strength and tighter tolerances needed to handle the load. So said the Ohlins rep at the International Motorcycle Show, anyway.

        • MGNorge says:

          AND, since we are talking retro here, twin shocks speak that louder than a monoshock. Speaking in generalities, which perhaps I shouldn’t, a twin shock setup doesn’t require as beefy of a swing arm as support is given closer to the rear axle whereas a monoshock is ahead at the pivot point.
          Isn’t it interesting that Honda builds a bike heralding back to the original CB750 and as one might predict complaints roar in that it’s too retro, needs liquid cooling, a monoshock, more power, fatter tires, no tank seem, etc. I say move on then, if it doesn’t fit your needs or wants then there’s nothing to see here. If it doesn’t reach enough of a market then it will go away and be replaced with something else. Manufacturers aren’t stupid but this is a niche bike in today’s market. Aesthetically it pushes all the right buttons for many people, especially those who recall the years when the CB750 first hit the streets. In my life that was the heyday in motorcycling. That’s what this bike is all about.

          • mickey says:

            Two rear shocks and two round gauges baby!

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Just discussing the pros/cons of dual shocks vs. monoshocks. No complaints.

            But since you mentioned it, yeh, it could use more power. 🙂 (Sorry, I can’t “move on” because I really want one.)

      • Tom K. says:

        Right-on, Mickey. If we would only start making engine components out of Krell metal, not only would we not need radiators, we wouldn’t even need cooling fins (you’d need one heck of a good synthetic oil, though). Cooling systems are interesting in that they deal with waste, it would be wonderful if you didn’t need them at all. I’ve wondered myself whether you could turn things like fenders, frame tubes, etc. into pseudo-radiators, but it’s simply not practical, it’s all about available surface area, and unless you figure out a way to increase the temperature differential of the fluids, you’re pretty much stuck with a conventional radiator.

        I like the CB1100, and hope they release this iteration to help the “brand” stay fresh (if a retro can be retro and fresh at the same time).

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Interesting thought about the radiator. It seems an issue might be – besides being difficult to manufacture – that once heat transfers from the front of this radiator cylinder to the initial incoming air that you are now trying to cool the rest of the cylinder with heated air. I’m not so sure how effective such a design would be without substantially increasing surface area vs a standard radiator design. I suspect all radiators are pretty shallow for that very reason, otherwise manufacturers could improve cooling simply by making a particular radiator deeper as opposed to increasing length and width which is the way they always seem to go. I am no expert in cooling… just thinking out loud, here.

    • ImNotxLaYN says:

      Tom, your radiator idea is extremely interesting…. there are some other options as to put it behind the seat passenger location as the Benelli Tornado did or the Britton where the radiator was under the seat, use the frame as such (kinda of what Buell did).
      Maybe the con would be heat transfer between the radiator cylinder and the rest of the carter cylinders but you can always work with bad heat transfer materials like the ceramics.
      Sometimes industry works that way, it’s not the best idea but the one were you have put more money, e.g. the motorcycle front forks vs BMW Telelever solution (a girder fork) or the internal combustion engine.
      Last but not least consider patenting your idea and maybe do a version 0.1 of it, you can land a position in an aerospace industry.
      Regards,

  6. mickey says:

    For anyone interested here is some light reading from Honda on the subject

    http://world.honda.com/design/designers-talk/cb1100/

    http://world.honda.com/CB1100/engineer-talk/episode1/

    • VLJ says:

      You’re killing me here. The more I read about what went into the design of this thing, the more I’m dying to own one.

      You’re killing me!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      That was a fascinating read. Like VLJ, my admiration and appreciation for the bike sky-rocketed after reading it. The CB was already one of those bikes that I have to keep talking myself out of buying because I believe that I would be bored with it after the honeymoon wears off. Reading the articles only makes the task that much more difficult!

    • slipjoint says:

      All the work is interesting but if they had just started with the old CBX drawings. Then gave it fuel injection, a modern suspension and new instruments. I would have waited in line to pay full price for a new whack at the 6 cylinder. To me it is a mistake to say essentially that the japanese inline 4 was ever supposed to be a relaxed, and comforting ‘companion. It should be a do-all including an occasional arm stretching rip through the gear box. Air cooling has some practical limits on the street after 110 rwhp, but they could have done better. I personally don’t care about having the vibration right (enhanced) at 3000rpm.

    • VLJ says:

      No. We want it stock from the factory, under warranty. We don’t want to have to pay extra for performance and/or style that ought to come standard.

      Again, keep in mind that no one is asking for Ninja 1000 performance from the CB1100, never mind Super Duke 1290 performance. Power on the level of the air-cooled Boxer Twin is the basic goal here: a true one hundred ponies and seventy-five foot lbs of torque at the rear wheel. This is not unrealistic at all from a modern 1100cc I4, and those numbers in no way need come at the expense of the CB’s linear torque curve. The BMW mill manages it in spades, despite working with two fewer cylinders.

      I know you say most CB1100 owners are perfectly happy with their bikes and the relatively meager power they make, and I believe you. I also believe that those same owners, yourself included, wouldn’t have a single gripe if the CB1100 motor produced twenty more rwhp and ten to fifteen more pounds of torque, which wouldn’t be the least bit difficult for Honda to achieve.

      That’s the point. Additional power—reasonable power, not excessive power—wouldn’t alienate any current owners, but it sure would bring many more prospective buyers into the CB1100 fold.

      Win-win.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        That has been my feeling all along. The number of people that would be complaining about too much power out of a 100hp bike would be zero, while the extra juice would broaden the appeal of the bike to many more consumers. I bet a modest bump in compression and a different cam profile would be all it takes to get the bike there, too.

        • mickey says:

          I’d agree with that as long as they didn’t disturb the sweet power delivery that the bike has now. If it lost bottom end at the expense of top end for me it would ruin the bike. I’ve already had lighter, faster, less bottom end with my Gen 1 FZ-1. Sold it to get a CB and couldn’t be happier. It’s just an absolute gem to ride.

          • VLJ says:

            Yet you admit you rarely ride the thing above 4K rpm. There is no need for an I4 if it’s only going to be lugged around like a Lincoln Town Car. May as well ride a Burgman 650 or a Valkrie, if that’s the case. This was never the purpose of the original CB Hondas, all of which were designed to represent the sportier side of the Standard niche.

            Besides, again, this is a modern, fuel-injected, 1100cc I4 built by Honda, not by H-D or John Deere. Honda’s engineers would have zero problem retaining the easygoing low-down power you love while adding a decent shot of increased midrange and a more exciting top-end rush. An 1100cc I4 is a lot of motor. In terms of shaping the powerband, there’s plenty of room to spare.

          • MGNorge says:

            OK, let’s suppose why Honda did NOT infuse this bike with higher horsepower? They must have had reason, right?

            In regards to higher horsepower bringing in more sales, why would Honda sacrifice that?

          • mickey says:

            A survey on the CB1100 forum found most owners spend the vast majority of their time running in the 2500-3500 rpm zone. Why? Simply because they use this bike for riding the back roads where the speed limit is 45-55 mph. Unless I’m going on a trip where I hit some freeway, that’s where I do all of my riding, the curvy back roads of southern Ohio. I admit to hardly going over 4000 rpms because on the CB, 4000 rpms translates to over 80 mph and I just don’t run the two lanes that fast. Peak torque is at 5,000 rpms but comes on strong at 2500 rpms. It is very satisfying (for me and apparently most owners according to the survey) to ride in the fat part of the torque band. There is simply no need to wring this bike to have a satisfying riding experience.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “In regards to higher horsepower bringing in more sales, why would Honda sacrifice that?”

            I suspect they looked at the class benchmark – the Bonnies – and saw that Bonneville customers gobbled those slow, flimsy bikes up like hot cakes year after year and decided they could get by with making the bike nice and friendly as opposed to going through the extra engineering cost of dialing some attitude into the CB.

            Also, I’m sure long-term reliability/durability, operating temperature, ease of emissions compliance and the character they were after were all better achieved with what they ultimately chose to go with. To make the “give me power” crowd truly interested, Honda probably would have needed to cut some weight out of it, too. Honda had to have figured that there just aren’t enough guys like me out there to go through the additional cost and trouble.

            I do get it somewhere in the back of my mind. I just don’t like it.

          • MGNorge says:

            My Norge is in the same vogue, produces torque and power close to what the CB does. I’m not shy about using the full rev range but I rarely need to. That’s especially true around town but even once out onto the super slab or higher speed secondary roads I don’t really need to. This is not the same as saying I just putt around. Would I welcome another 10, 15, or 20 hp? Sure, but as Mickey says if it does so by running the torque band higher in the rev range I’m not so sure that’s a trade I’d make.
            I have a higher revving Interceptor in the garage if I want to play that game but the comfort and easy going nature of the Norge has me riding it most often.

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, you keep mentioning the CB1100 forum and how the owners there love their bikes. I don’t disagree with this, even though there are countless posts there from people wanting to add power to their bikes. Regardless, you can’t convince me that the membership numbers there wouldn’t swell with many more new owners if the bike weighed less and made more power. I know there are a lot of people who don’t want to spend $12k on a slow, pretty Honda that requires a more exciting stablemate in order to satisfy the occasional need for a bit of performance. Many riders want to do more than simply putter around at cruiser speeds, and with an 1100cc I4 there ought to be a decent top-end rush to go with loads of torque down low.

            If the CB1100 weighed less and made more power, you and every other member there would still love your bike. With that large of an I4 motor, Honda is easily able to increase the torque and peak HP without sacrificing the loafing power down low you so dearly love.

            Again, we’re not talking FZ-1 or Ninja 1000 power. We’re not talking about bumping it from 85 rwhp to 125 rwhp. This is still an air-cooled, traditional I4. No, we’re talking air-cooled Boxer Twin or even air-cooled Bandit 1200 power: 100 rwhp, with 75 foot pounds of torque. These are not outrageous numbers requiring a complete rethinking of the entire CB1100 ethos. Rather, they would simply imbue the bike with a necessary shot of sporting excitement to complement its easygoing nature. For many people, the addition of twenty hp and a decent torque bump would turn the CB1100 into an only-bike-needed, and they would get off the dime and buy the thing.

            I would already own a CB1100, if this were the case. So too would many others, many of whom have remained on the fence in the hopes that one day Honda would move the CB1100 out of the cruiser-performance idiom and into the realm of a proper (modern) Japanese UJM.

          • mickey says:

            VLJ I already said this above

            “I’d agree with that as long as they didn’t disturb the sweet power delivery that the bike has now.”

            but the fact is, how Honda built this bike is how they built it, whether you like it or not. It is what it is. If it doesn’t make you happy because it doesn’t have enough HP and torque for you, and it weighs too much for you, there is little that can be done about it. Honda already built it. Wishing it’s something it isn’t, won’t make it so.

          • VLJ says:

            “Wishing it’s something it isn’t, won’t make it so.”

            And there it is. In one short sentence you just killed Santa Claus, organized religion, the porn industry, and, for that matter, the entire internet!

          • mickey says:

            Wow, lol, you’re welcome.

            So do you think Rossi will talk to either Jorge or MM this season? It’s almost time. ( Big smile)

          • VLJ says:

            I think Rossi will treat 2016 as a Derek Jeter-style, season-long going-away party. I don’t expect him to lead the championship again.

            That’s why I was so bothered by the events that concluded last season. It went from a dream ending to a nightmare, with one of the most unsatisfying final races imaginable.

      • mickey says:

        VLJ that was simply for the people that said they wanted it to look like a 79 F. It’s a body kit to make it look exactly like a 79 CB900F. No extra power included lol

      • jimmihaffa says:

        Careful what you wish for lest you end up with a Suzuki B King with a Honda badge

  7. bmbktmracer says:

    BMW gave us the RnineT with great performance. That bike has “soul” without being cantankerous. It does a fine job of highlighting the company’s heritage without being slow, heavy, and uninspiring. I think Honda keeps trying with the CB1100, but in my mind they’re missing the point. None of us older folks remember our CB’s as being slow and heavy. They were cool and period-fast. Lop off 50 pounds. Give it 100 horsepower. Make the darn thing cool, not just pretty. Soul, baby.

    • mickey says:

      The R9T may be a fantastic motorcycle ( but it has no more soul than any other bmw opposed twin imo) and it’s not very retro in my eye. i dont recall any BMWs from my past coming with no rear fender, 2 pipes on 1 side and a solo seat. Now if they have made it look like an r90/6 or an r90/s I would have placed it in the retro category. It does sort of look like someone gave an r90/6 to a street garage to chop up, but no one was doing that to BMWs back then. It’s more of a BMW street fighter and street fighters are not retro they are just butchered up sport bikes.The R1200R prior to 2015 was much more retro than the R9T. They even made a Classic version with spoke wheels and pinstripes. Much more retro than the R9T.

      Like I said, the R9T is a neat bike, it’s just not a “in the same genre” competitor for this bike IMO. Great hipster bike though.

      • bmbktmracer says:

        I said it “highlights the company’s history.” I never said it replicates anything from their past. I also never even said the bike was “retro,” though I think the general consensus is that the styling is influenced by bikes of yore.

        This is from BMW’s website: “The instruments consisting of speedometer and tachometer harken back to historical times and emphasize the essential and minimalist visual appeal of the motorcycle.”

        Also, the reviews I’ve read on the R Nine T rave about the bike’s soul and character. I haven’t ridden it myself. Perhaps you have, in which case I defer to your opinion.

        • mickey says:

          Well I think the discussion on this bike has been overwhelmingly toward it’s retro roots, so bringing the R9T into the discussion would seem to indicate it is retro too. A round speedo and tach is certainly retro but the rest of the bike not so much. I don’t see any historical influence in that bike with early BMWs other than black paint and an opposed twin engine.

          I have not ridden the R9T, but I rented an R1200R for a nine day tour of Europe. I thought it was an awfully nice motorcycle and considered buying one when I got home. But BMWs final drive failures and reports of expensive repair issues kept me from doing so. Then the CB came along, and although VLJ wont want to hear it, I think the power deliver of the CB is much, much sweeter than that of the R1200R I rode, regardless of hp and torque figures. I could easily be happy with an R1200R, but I am thrilled Ho da decided to bring the CB1100 into the country..so much so I bought 2 of them.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Well said. That is my take on the CB1100, as well. It is a very nice bike, but “nice” wasn’t what I was hoping for when the first concept showed up several years ago.

    • VLJ says:

      I don’t know about the whole “soul” thing, but I do agree with the “period-fast” thing. Slow and heavy—unnecessarily so, to boot—diminishes the Cool Factor, or, at the very least, the Fun Factor. Lop off fifty pounds and give it an honest one hundred rwhp and seventy-five foot pounds of torque (the same power numbers as the aforementioned air-cooled 1200 cc Boxer motor) while retaining the classic good looks and the CB1100 becomes an absolute no-brainer.

      As it sits now, it leaves room for doubt.

  8. DFO says:

    When I sold my restored ’70 CB-750 last Spring I bought a leftover ’13 CB-1100. It is a modernized CB-750, in effect, and I do like the bike. However, it pales in comparison to my cherry ’91 VFR 750F! DFO

  9. dman says:

    My perception is that the Japanese companies design and build retro bikes based on a new generation’s idea of an earlier generation’s bikes. Hence the prevalence of chromed, lower performance “standard” bikes like the CB1100, the revised Yamaha SR400, and the Kawaskai W650/800. By comparison, many Americans of a certain age, who are still riding and not on Harley’s or BMW’s, long for the modified superbike-style rides of their youth. Hence we would prefer a mildly updated (good suspension and brakes, lighter weight) CB900F or GS1000. Only Kawaskai, with the ZRX1100/1200R, came close. I know it’s a cliche to say “I’d buy one if” it had this feature or that, but I think I’d buy a CB1100 if it had a plastic tail section and was offered in silver with a blue stripe like my long-gone and much-loved CB900F.

  10. Vrooom says:

    Naked bikes aren’t terribly useful in Oregon, unless you only ride in the summer. But I will say that while I grew up on a CB like everybody else, I rode the new CB1100, and found it to be perfectly capable, but not all that inspiring. Sure you could have a great day on it all day long, just like you could on a 650 single, but you expect more motor, better brakes, and a better chassis that you get, or maybe you just remember them that way.

    • mickey says:

      We have quite a few forum members in Oregon. As a matter of fact the owner/administrator of the CB1100forum commutes on his daily and lives in Portland. His other bike is a Honda HawkGT 650 … Also a naked bike

  11. mickey says:

    The CB is a niche bike, which competes well in the marketplace against other niche bikes like the Triumph Bonneville, the V7 Guzzi’s, Indian Scout 60 etc. No way will it compete in mainstream with the FZ09, Speed Triple, GSX Suzukis, Kaw Z800 or 1000, or it’s sibling CBR1000….not enough horsepower, not sharp enough handling, not as high tech suspension or electronics.

    In it’s class, it’s the creme of the crop IMO. Beautifully styled, has typical Honda fit and finish and reliabilty, great motor for just riding, great transmission, great brakes, handles pretty well and evokes emotions and comments from strangers you just won’t get on more ” modern” bikes. Like the Bonnievilles, every gas stop requires a conversation with some guy in his 50s or 60s who has to tell you about owning a CB when he was younger, or some young guy who has to tell you remebering getting rides on his dads CB750 when he was growing up. You have to explain that it is not a mid 70s restoration but a brand new bike. I doubt anybody walks up to the owner of an FZ09 and reminices about an XS1100 Yamaha he owned back in the day. Just not enough similarity between the products to evoke the emotion.

    Too retro? Not retro enough? Honda was careful not to make it a clone of any one particular early Honda, but it has enough styling cues from many early Hondas that it could be a 1968 SOHC or a 78 DOHC Honda. A version resembling a Freddie Specer CB750F would be most welcome, but would still only appeal to a certain demographic, the same demographic this bike appeals to.

    If you don’t follow this bike you don’t know, but there are forums in US, England, Germany, France, Taiwan, Japan etc and on the US forum we have members from 21 countries. This bike is appreciated all over the world, and it amazes me that it draws so many motorcyclists from so many corners of the globe together. It also reminds me what an amazing effect the original CB750 Honda had on the world.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It certainly is the cream of the crop as far as retro bikes go. There currently isn’t another retro that can touch it on a performance bar. (The new 1200cc Bonnies may or may not set a new benchmark for the category – interested to see.) I also think it makes for a great all-around motorcycle regardless of its niche status.

      I don’t like retro bikes because they look old but because they look minimal and purposeful: engine, seat, handlebar, headlight, fuel tank, two wheels – check! That formula will always look timeless to me. I want that. But I also want modern performance to go with it. I am not after “period correctness.”

      Give me a fat USD fork with some beefy twin discs and monoblocs on the front. I like a broad powerband with a nice midrange, but give me a little step-up in power at the higher rpms for a little top-end rush on my way to 100hp or so.

      The 2016 Triumph Thruxton R is my last hope for a bike like this, though I am afraid it is going to be powered by a “High Power” tractor engine. However, if that bike manages to put 95+ hp to the wheel, I’ll go on record and proclaim that I will put one in my garage.

      • mickey says:

        Yep they are unveiling the new Bonnies today at a shop in Coumbus. Unfortunately I was there Saturday and it’s a 2 1/2 hour trip from my house. Sure will be interesting to see how they are recieved.

  12. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    Despite not using “CB” in my screen name, I grew up riding my dad’s CB350four and I have owned a 900F and still own a 550 (no, it’s not for sale). I’ve ridden them many thousands of miles with as much reliability as mechanical objects can muster in use. Still, I have absolutely no desire to ever buy a new version. I’ve been there and done that. There were more desireable bikes within a couple of years after the CB’s introduction, but many of these were a bit too needy in maintenance to ride a few hours away from home. Now there are way-way more desireable and modern bikes in comparison with most being reliable enough and many being more reliable than Honda’s current offerings. These might resonate with those still listening to the music that was popular when they were in high school in the 70’s or 80’s.

  13. Bob Loblaw says:

    Maybe it needs a new retro Vetter fairing…

    • MGNorge says:

      I’m sure there’d be some takers.

      • mickey says:

        A guy on the CB forum already mounted one up, with lowers. It looks great actually. Black 14 std with a black jammer and lowers. I believe he also posted up the pics on the Vetter forum.

  14. Denis says:

    So sick, like every naked bikes, we won’t get it in Canada.

  15. thrus says:

    Changed the rims from spokes, the tail light/plate did not get helped, seat tank and mirrors took minor remodels, looks like they dropped chrome for brushed metal/black, though the biggest difference to me is the horn instead of integrating it with a fixture it just hangs out there.

  16. MIke says:

    So sick of retro

    • Starmag says:

      So sick of transformers

      • Starmag says:

        So sick of transformers (which there is WAY more of)

      • mickey says:

        So sick of
        Cruisers
        Power cruisers
        Baggers
        Bobbers
        Café’ racers
        Sport bikes
        Origami bikes
        Touring bikes
        Sport touring bikes
        Supermotos
        Adventure bikes
        Dual sport bikes
        Scooters
        Trikes

        • mechanicus says:

          LOL; bass boat time (or a snowmobile if you live in the great white north)…

        • Hot Dog says:

          Tsk tsk Mickey, surely you jest with tongue in cheek-LOL!

          So sick of

          Motorcycle boutiques
          Clown suited pretenders
          Distracted drivers
          Cartoon hide
          Whiners

          • mickey says:

            LOL yes I was… actually they all have their place on our highways and I’ve ridden every kind of bike there is I can think of, except a trike (unless you count my one ride on a 40’s Harley servicar).Enjoyed them all for what they were. I do have my preferences..but generally they have to have a motor, handlebars, seat, tank,wheels and brakes after that I’m good!

            haven’t ridden an electric bike yet, but I would love to test ride one. Does that have a motor? lol

          • Scott says:

            Actually, *only* electric bikes have motors. The rest have engines! Ha.

            I test rode a couple of different Zeros, the “S” and the new supermoto version. They’re surprisingly fun. The S gets off the line nicely, and its roll-on performance is pretty stunning. From 40 mph, you give it a little twist and you’re at 70 before you can say “holy crap!” It would be an awesome daily commuter. It feels a lot more solid than I expected, not like some flimsy scooter, but like a real motorcycle.

            The supermoto was an absolute hoot to ride. Nimble, fickable, wheelie-able… One of the best big-boy toys you could ask for.

            I would highly recommend a test ride on one of these things!

          • TimC says:

            Scott – an engine is actually a specific type of motor. “Motor”cycle is not only still correct, it sounds way better than “Engine”cycle.

          • Fivespeed302 says:

            If you thought the S model was “holy crap”, try the SR. You’ll probably crap your pants! Just don’t pin the throttle in sport mode from a dead stop in the rain. Trust me on that one.

          • todd says:

            Interesting observation, Scott. The Zero S I rode felt similar to an old Ninja 500 in performance. Pretty good compared to the old handmade, lead acid battery bikes I’ve experienced in the past but definitely not as quick as most gas bikes available now. I didn’t think the benefit of passing gas stations was worth giving up the sound and feel of a nice engine going through the gears.

          • Scott says:

            My local dealer has an SR in stock now. Maybe I’ll take it for a spin… 😎

            (It just occured to me the Zero I rode was a “DS”, which is pretty much the same as the S, but with a 19″ front wheel and dual-purpose tires. Motor performance is the same, as far as I’ve heard…)

            I don’t think many of us who grew up with gas-powered bikes are going to give them up and go all-electric, but there are plenty of us who have more than one motorcycle, and adding an electric bike to the fleet is a viable option. Variety is the spice, right?

            These things just keep getting better and faster – and more affordable – and there could very well be a new generation of riders coming around the bend who start riding on batteries and never switch…

    • Scott says:

      And now we come to the part of Festivus, where we air our grievances!

    • ROXX says:

      Transformers….ARGH!!!!
      Retro anyway with modern performance.

  17. Dave says:

    I really like the concept overall and am tempted for sentimental reasons. The only glitch for me is a rather small fuel capacity (I realize the Deluxe model has a slightly higher capacity) and Honda’s lack of putting any enthusiasm in it’s bikes. This bike should have fantastic power but it is so lacking. I lean toward the fire breathing bikes of today an am not willing to just putt along for nostalgias sake. I might assume braking response would be yester year as well. From my observation Honda has lost its leadership in its bikes and cars. Everything is just ho hum, rather boring. Good products but not enough for me to part with my cash. An I grew up as a very Honda person.
    Since Soichiro Honda passed away the company seems to be direction less.

    • MGNorge says:

      You certainly share an opinion that isn’t rare. However Soichiro would have steered the ship is open to debate but Honda is still No. 1 in worldwide sales. I’m not one to equate number one in sales as being the best but for whom and why? Here in the U.S. there is among a rather large outspoken group of riders of the opinion that the bike with the highest point on a power chart to be the best. Unless a bike literally can scare the crap out of them with the fiercest acceleration then they’re not interested. In that regard this bike may not be for you but for many it’s just great, not boring at all.
      I’ve not ridden one but been on rides where one’s along and it seems to have plenty of scoot, but is it enough for you? (I’m a very Honda guy too, first one in 1966) Now as far as cars go, Honda has always been a family car type company. They don’t really cater to the Tuner car crowd here as in the past (but check out the new 2016 Civic Type R coming to town). However, it’s long been anticipated and boasting over 300 hp in Euro trim!
      I’m just saying that anything is possible, Honda is still a great company still picking itself back off its knee from the ’08 downturn. It’s rather obvious that their first priority isn’t playing top of the power charts with other brands but delivering bikes for their bread and butter.

  18. Grover says:

    Looks great in yellow. Gotta admit, it keeps getting better every year. Perhaps there’ll be an “F” model soon.

    • Gham says:

      I wouldn’t count on an “F” model anytime soon,I would rather see a stripped down Goldwing with the old 1200cc motor.The Valkrie was a behemouth!!! I own a 1982 F model and they aren’t near what this new CB 1100 is.

  19. Phil says:

    As the company that gave us the four cylinder superbike, Honda have street cred with this design. It does need the signature piece of the original CB750 though – four exhaust pipes! It would cost more, but would really nail the retro style they are trying for.

    Any serious bike enthusiast would love a CB750, but most aren’t interested in the grief that owning a near 50 year old bike would bring. That’s a big potential market to be tapped and Honda should build it.

  20. Phil says:

    As the company that gave us the four cylinder superbike, Honda have street cred with this design. It does need the signature piece of the original CB750 though – four exhaust pipes! It would cost more, but would really nail the retro style they are trying for. Any serious bike enthusiast would love a CB750, but most aren’t interested in the grief that owning a near 50 year old bike would bring. That’s a big potential market to be tapped.

  21. Bill says:

    It’s a very pretty bike (42 bikes since 1964) but would I sell either my Gold Wing or my Harley to buy one? No. Would a younger person really appreciate what Honda has done here? No.

  22. 70's Kid says:

    I really like the fact that Honda went ahead and brought back the silver triangle shaped side panels in this concept. This was a key component of the original design of the CB1100.

    Honda did have some precedent for using a side panel in a contrasting color that was more triangular shaped and did not cover up the frame on the 1976 CB400F, which I still find to be one of the more attractive bikes that Honda ever produced.

  23. Tom R says:

    The gas tank is….unseamly.

    Man, I crack myself up.

  24. Tank says:

    A lot of people want a new bike that looks like an old bike. Harley has been doing this for years, and now Indian. Cruisers are the biggest sellers. Why? One reason might be that they all have a retro look to them. I think Honda and other manufacturers have underestimated the demand for a retro style bike in a non-cruiser form.

    • Mark says:

      I think the reason the UJM just won’t die is it’s so practical. The Old label is unfair – it’s a great design. You can do anything from a Scrambler to a Superbike. A Café Racer to a coast-to-coast tourer. In between is just a nice bike for an afternoon ride for half the price as a H-D jukebox with much better performance and without the B-S attitude.

      My only real gripe with the current CB platform is the damper-rod forks. Manufacturers always have their canned excuses about cost but I refuse to believe there’s no cost-effective alternative to drilling holes into a metal tube.