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Honda Updates CB1100 Range; Includes Sportier RS Model

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Honda CB1100 RS

One criticism leveled at Honda’s gorgeous CB1100 retro has been lackluster performance. At Intermot yesterday, Honda unveiled a new CB1100 RS designed to address that concern.

To begin with, engine performance receives some slight modifications via a revised inlet tract, new slipper clutch and lighter exhaust system. Chassis changes are the big news, however, with revised steering geometry and new suspension components.

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Honda CB1100 RS

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More aggressive rake and trail figures, a shorter wheelbase, and smaller, 17″ wheels accepting modern sport rubber promise more aggressive, nimble handling. Quicker steering response should also result from a new, beefier (43 mm tubes versus 41 mm) Showa dual-bending fork. The RS also has updated remote reservoir shocks.

Showa dual-bending fork technology (also found on some 2017 Harley-Davidsons) includes a new valve structure designed to provide cartridge-style fork performance at lower cost and weight than full cartridge forks. It was introduced by Showa at EICMA three years ago, and is now finding its way into production motorcycles.

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Honda CB1100 RS

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The CB1100 RS also gets a much higher front brake specification in the form of Tokico four-piston, radial mount calipers. Together with the stiffer, better performing fork, this could also provide an interesting improvement to front-end feel compared to the older design.

The new CB1100 RS will receive LED lighting (including turn signals), as well as a redesigned gas tank (seamless). Some of these features spill over into the new standard model, the CB1100 EX.

The CB1100 EX has new 18″ spoked wheels, Showa forks and shocks. The suspension is a lower spec, however, compared to the RS model. The CB1100 EX also receives LED lights, with the exception of turn signals, and the new gas tank. We understand the CB1100 EX soldiers on with the old model’s more relaxed steering geometry.

Both bikes do, however, get the engine and clutch upgrades for 2017.

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Honda CB1100 RS

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Honda CB1100 EX

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Honda CB1100 EX


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116 Comments

  1. Fred says:

    Love this red and Black RS colour scheme. Just someone at American Honda, please tell your Masters that RS has a very different meaning else where in the world.

    • MGNorge says:

      Curious, RS didn’t ring a bell with me so I had a look. Nothing seems to stand out that’s controversial. Can you throw me a bone?

  2. Jeremy in TX says:

    I really like the CB1100, but I can’t help but wonder if Honda is missing an opportunity to put this engine platform to work. It seems like this engine could be like BMW’s air-cooled flat twin and power a number of bike variants ; a shaft-driven touring bike, a sportier model like the concept they’ve shown, a sport-touring bike even. They wouldn’t even have to be “retro” necessarily. Lots of people still appreciate the simplicity and absence of plumbing provided by an air-cooled engine. Perhaps the market for such variants would just be too small at the necessary price point to be worth the risk. I imagine that is why we haven’t see a production version of the sport concept Honda has shown off.

    • mickey says:

      jeremy have you ever swung by the CB1100forum.com and seen what some of our members are doing with them?

      BTW one of our European members just completed 27 countries 64,000 miles in 2 1/2 years on his, and kept track of every thing that had to do with the bike. Check out post 134

      http://cb1100forum.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=7159&pid=151795#pid151795

      we also have several members putting out over 95 hp.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I sure haven’t been on the forum any, Mickey. The RS looks pretty right to me, though. There isn’t much I’d change except maybe get a single pipe exhaust so long as it wasn’t too loud or negatively affected performance. Based on the one I rode through the mountains, I’d also want to reduce the gear ratio by about 10% or so, though the RS will already be reduced by about 3% just by the virtue of the smaller wheel and tire combos.

        Back when the CB first came out, I scoured the web for performance goodies to see what could be done about the bike’s overly-sedated nature. Short of a period-correct Yosh full exhaust, which may or may not have provided any extra boost, I came up short on my search.

        Personally, I keep waiting for Honda to give it the 95+ hp rather than try to achieve it on my own. If that RS were under 500 lbs and made 100 hp, I’d have a deposit on one, no question about it.

        So out of curiosity, what are people doing to achieve 95+ hp?

        • mickey says:

          not much really, this is fairly typical

          ECU re-flash (removing rev limitations and speed limiter), PC 5, Airbox and plumbing delete, K&N pods, MCC intake mods, full Yosh.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Decent results for what pretty much amounts to bolt-on mods. Has anyone properly hacked the ECU so it can be tuned directly with Autotune or some similar application (without the need for a piggy-back like the PC5?)

            Has anyone tried any porting or other head work?

          • mickey says:

            most guys don’t do the PC5 and the reflash, just the reflash, but some insist they must be able to tune with the PC5 and not just take the reflash at it’s word.

            The pipe a lot of people do without doing the PC5 or the ECU reflash just for more noise I guess lol

            There is a guy who bought some extra cams and has sent them out, but no head or porting work yet.

      • jimjim says:

        95 hp! Might as well buy a Harley. 🙂

  3. Bubba Bleu says:

    The seamless tank is better looking than with the large tank seam on the new Bonnevilles, which I found disappointing.

    • Lare_7 says:

      Completely agree, it’s about time manufacturers realize they will sell a lot more bikes with a little price bump for seamless tank… I’m on my second Triumph (Thruxton) and the old bikes look classier due to the seamless tanks. Japanese cruisers would do well to go seamless as well ala HD. A seam looks cheap, even if people don’t consciously think about it. These will sell, nice work Honda… hope it spreads to other bikes and brands.

    • Chrisgo says:

      I agree on the tank aesthetics. This one looks great. Hopefully other manufacturers will follow suit.

    • mickey says:

      You know a seamless tank doesn’t mean squat to me. I’m more concerned with capacity than whether it has a seam or not. I never even notice the seams on the tanks on my bikes. Maybe because my bikes are more tools to me than show pieces. I’m kinda in the 5 gal min capacity camp, although at 4.7 my CB is close enough. I can go over 225 miles before pushing. With another .3 I could go 250.

      • VLJ says:

        It’s not an either-or proposition. Seams don’t increase tank capacity. There’s no reason we can’t have a seamless tank offering the same capacity as one with seams.

        • mickey says:

          gee, I know that lol.

          my statement was I don’t care one way or the other if it has seams or not. Just doesn’t matter to me. If it has no seams fine. If it has seams fine. As long as it holds enough gas.

          would I be interested in paying EXTRA for a tank without seams. No.

          • Dave says:

            I never once pondered tank seams before visiting MD. I had to read several of these discussions before I even understood what they were. I thought it was like the “beak” jokes on bikes that didn’t have them.

            Given how common they apparently are, it must be harder to make a tank that seals properly, at a reasonable cost than it seems.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Tanks are either pinch welded (seam) – which fast and cheap – or butt welded and ground down.

            I’ve seen builders roll the seam under the tank to get it out of view, but I wonder if there is a chance of compromising the seam and causing a leak in doing so.

            A tank seam isn’t a big deal to me, but I do think a bike looks much cleaner and “up-market” without the seam.

  4. VEGA says:

    The two tone paint job on the black one…

    Doesn’t it remind you of something…?

    Something Italian…?

    Something called Moto Guzzi…???

    Oh well…

    G’Day!

  5. thisharryisco says:

    The air box cover on the yellow/gold ex should be same color as the tank. I loved my 1983 cb1000custom

  6. mcmotohistory says:

    I want a Triumph speed triple that looks like a 1975 T-160, I want a new 1000cc flat four from Honda that looks 1975 but makes 100-110 hp good brakes and suspension and weighs 500 lbs.I want a new GS1000, maybe your sensing a theme here.The new Honda is nice but I want a little more classic Honda look, like some of those great candy colors from the 60’s and 70’s, give me no less than 100 HP and at least close to 500 lbs. I love these retro bikes but right now Triumph, BMW, MotoGuzzi are doing it a lot better.The Japanese have great tradition I wish they would mine it a bit more.

  7. mickey says:

    Notice a common saying from the people that actually own these bikes in these reponses?

    ” I love my CB1100″

    • VLJ says:

      The same is true for owners of practically any model you care to mention. Even Harley Sportster owners claim to love their P.O.S. bikes.

      • redbirds says:

        True enough that owners love their current ride but after years of motorcycle ownership, this is the first bike I never tire of and will not ever sell. And Sportsters are pretty cool bikes too, just not my cup of tea.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “this is the first bike I never tire of and will not ever sell.”

          And that is the sentiment I hear from every CB1100 owner I’ve ever spoken to in person or online and I presume the point Mickey is trying to make.

      • Chrisgo says:

        “Even Harley Sportster owners claim to love their P.O.S. bikes” wow, let’s not go there please. I have loved pretty much every bike I have ever owned, and at the same time read on the internet that whichever bike I had at the time was a “p.o.s”…

  8. Doc says:

    I love my ’13 CB1100F and would like the red RS pictured. It reminds me of the ’81 CB900F I had. My favorite bike and is probably the reason I like my ’13. They are very similar in performance and feel. I wonder if the retro sport bike shown at the Tokyo show in 2007 alongside the CB will ever show up in showrooms. Anyway I hope this UJM, standard, naked, whatever thing, builds and becomes a major segment. Probably won’t but I’m hopeful.

  9. randy says:

    if only it could cut a low 11 second quarter mile……

  10. JVB says:

    I like the styling. Side cover to tank arrangement reminds me of one of my favorites: 1979 CBX.
    Now they just added 2 more cylinders … Grinnnn

    • slipjoint says:

      Times two on that,a new CBX with modern suspension and brakes, and a frame that doesn’t hide that motor. I will stand in line to pay full msrp. The CB 1100 is nice, but zrx’s are out there cheap look great with a round headlight and can get to 130 rwhp easily, the only bad is the radiator, hard to hide that.

  11. Frank says:

    Great looking bikes. Hydraulic valves and shaft final drive would make them easier and less expensive to live with, even if initial buy-in was higher. I could live with a chain, but 8K valve inspect intervals is unacceptable in a modern motorcycle. Too bad. Honda may be more interested in supporting their dealers service departments than helping their customers save money.

    • MGNorge says:

      Yeah, hard to know if this is driven by engineering or as you say, to increase traffic into dealers. You’ve probably read where many say actual valve clearances usually don’t need adjustment almost at any time. But that’s the owner’s call.
      Look at what car dealers are doing today, “Winter’s coming, get your new wipers, snow tires and have a free complimentary bumper to bumper safety check on us.” What better time to catch wear and maintenance items than when the car is in their possession!

    • redbirds says:

      8K mile valve inspection is a piece of cake and can be done at home. Very few of the bikes on the CB1100 Forum have needed adjustment even those with three times that mileage. This is a “problem” that dwells mostly in the mind. My Moto Guzzi had easy screw type adjusters but needed adjustment at most every service interval. I know of Honda bikes with shim under bucket systems with over 60K miles and still in spec. As for the chain, mine has needed adjustment once at 6K miles and again at 13K. Hardly a hassle.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “This is a “problem” that dwells mostly in the mind.”

        to clarify, what you’re referring to is the “nut” that connects the seat to the handlebars. somewhere along the design process, engineering dropped the ball. pfft engineers, bunch a ball washing bastids. 🙂

    • mickey says:

      Like I’ve said many times before two things the Japanese manufacturers have absolute faith in ( since they all seem to prefer them as does Triumph) shim under bucket valve actuation and oring chains.

      Btw when I had the valves checked for the first time on my other Honda motorcycle at 54,000 miles ( against the advice of the tech), they were all in spec. It now has a few miles short of 80,000 miles on it.

      My brothers Bonneville was checked at 12, 24, and 36,000 miles… Same type of valve adj, All in spec.

    • My2cents says:

      Back in the 80’s Honda tried that with the Nighthawk S a 750 cc with hydraulic adjusters and shaft final, nobody wanted them. Oddly consumer based feedback is flirty and without depth a great deal on the time. The Honda GB 500, CBX, the Turbo Era, Rune, CTX 1300, and so on. Not saying any of these are bad motorcycles, rather just the orphans of wishful momentary thoughts.

    • mickey says:

      The 700 Nighthawk S’s are currently highly sought collectibles, much like the GB500 and CBX you mentioned.

      • Dave says:

        Here in the northern Midwest, nice NH 700S’ are practically a dime a dozen (or <$2k).

        GB500’s and CBX’s on the other hand, those are fetching collector dollars, if you can find one.

  12. Cyclemotorist says:

    Just beautiful!

    I would go with the RS. Any misgivings I had about the previous bike have now vanished.

    • joe b says:

      I agree, much of the small regrets many claimed was the reason not to buy one, are now gone. It would be nice to see one with the RS components and 18″ wire wheel combination. Maybe next year. Might be time to off my CB1000R and step sideways to this model.

  13. MGNorge says:

    I knew there was something odd when I first laid eyes on the pix above, no tank seams! I never was bothered by seams as it was, now that they’re gone (hidden) it looks strange. I’ll get over it. I do applaud the bright colors though, even the yellow one shown. Never understood the movement toward the blacked out treatment that seems to be everywhere these days. (You know a trend is in full swing when kids with beat up cars spray paint their steel wheels flat black.)
    I’m anxious to read the first reviews.

  14. redbirds says:

    I like the changes for the most part but prefer the wheels on my 2013 over the spoked wheels on the new standard. There are complaints by some concerning chain drive and shim under bucket valve adjustment. After nearly three years with my CB1100 I find it a smooth reliable ride. I’ve had shaft drive bikes by BMW, Kawasaki and Moto Guzzi and find no real advantage in them. Modern O ring chains have eliminated the maintenance hassles of old and gearing changes are easy. I’ve never experienced any problem with shim under bucket valve systems either as such systems rarely need adjustment; adjustment not yet needed on this bike.

    I love my CB1100 and plan on keeping it forever; first bike in 50 years that I’ve felt that way about.

  15. oldjohn1951 says:

    Nice bike….a solid, stable, dependable mount that can tackle distances without the rider reaching for Celebrex half way through the journey. That’s what I like.

    • Vrooom says:

      Without a windscreen I’d think anything more than 250 mile days would be exhausting, but that’s just me. It is a good looking bike.

  16. arrowrod says:

    The CB1100 didn’t sell.
    I was going to buy one, but, some jackass decided to “add” vibration.
    What’s with wanting vibration? Supposedly the new Harley Milwaukee-8 added vibration because the old timers wanted to feel it.

    I already have a Honda 919, with little vibration. It’s faster, lighter and now much cheaper. It’s 15 years old, kinda wanted a change, but I don’t want to spend $14K just to please a swmarmie salesman, and end up with a bike with built in vibration.

    Did I say I don’t like vibration?

    • mickey says:

      Actually the CB1100 DLX sold out in just a couple of months and is now highly sought after and bringing top price as compared to the 2013 and 2014 stds which can still be had new and rather cheaply. Guys are buying NEW 2014 std CB1100s for about the same price as a new SV650, FZ07 or NC700. For the money it is such a bargain.

  17. WSHart says:

    Superb…With a few caveats.

    Honda made the inline four Nighthawk S in the mid 80s with shaft drive and hydraulic lifters. Why not now? Dumb of Honda not to do this.

    The EX runs tubes. Dumb. Suzuki just showed Honda up with their tubeless spoke wheels on their V-Stroms. Laced to a raised lip on the rim they allow classy and strong spokes on a wheel running tubeless tires. Unless I am not seeing something Honda fettered the C1100EX with cheapass bicycle wheels. Way to go Honda.

    Otherwise, The RS version in Red (!) or Black are very nice indeed and unless you really wanted shaft drive and hydraulic lifters like the 30+ year older aforementioned Nighthawk S, the RS should serve you well.

    The engineers must’ve used only half their brain on these two.

    • Bob says:

      “Laced to a raised lip on the rim they allow classy and strong spokes on a wheel running tubeless tires.”

      Honda used that style of wheel on the 450 Rebel 30 +/- years ago. It’s an elegant solution to avoid tubes and keep a somewhat “classic” look.

  18. Grover says:

    I’ll wait a year or two and pick up the RS for a bargain basement price. No use paying thousands of dollars extra when I can get it for $7000 in a couple years. I imagine the RS will cost substantially more than the other versions.

  19. tuskerdu says:

    Now that I like.

  20. Jonny Blaze says:

    Same power output?

  21. Bart says:

    Looks like Honda really nailed it with the RS. I don’t see anything that I don’t like. I want to ride one.

    I am interested to see how the new fork design works over the long haul. They could help some of the older bikes fit fork upgrades without modifing the trees.

  22. bmbktmracer says:

    I feel bad… I want to love the RS model, but the black engine, black wheels, and gaudy yellow shocks and gold forks just ruin it for me. It’s strange, but that fork and shock color combo isn’t bad on the Thruxton, but I think it’s because they’re not fighting the black engine and wheels.

    • Max says:

      Personally, it doesn’t bother me much on either bike, but my wife hates the yellow/gold on the Thruxton R. I actually think it contrasts nicely against the Honda’s color scheme.
      Still prefer twins.

  23. Mark says:

    I love them both! Makes me wonder what’s coming from Kawasaki. I can’t get into Yamaha’s XSR. I wish Suzuki would surprise us with a GS throwback, but I don’t see that happening.

    I’m about to pull the trigger on a Bonneville. The biggest reasons being 1) I’ve never owned anything other than a Japanese bike, 2) I love twin motors and 3) Bonneville’s have incredible aftermarket support.

    I tried to get into the first CB1100 but the aftermarket selection is so skimpy. Hopefully these RS and EX models will take off.

  24. Don says:

    Love the RS just the way it is.
    Hoping the price is nice too.
    Don

  25. JimW says:

    Beautiful! I want one of each!

  26. jim says:

    Radial mount brakes and conventional fork? Seems they either went overboard or cut corners. The gold anodizing not matching the powder coating looks like crap as well. Would not hit.

  27. Neil says:

    That RS is really sharp. The EX looks nice too. It’s just about taking a ride. It’s not about being a CBR or an adventure bike. For what it is, I think it’s a great machine. I just need the RS suspension in my old age and on the northern U.S. roads. I rode the new Valkyrie as well as the CB1100 and a low rpm motor can be really sweet. Just relax and enjoy the ride. Mind you, either motor opened up was plenty warp speed for me!

  28. Gham says:

    I like the looks of the RS,I have a 1982 CB900F and the one thing I hated were those stupid round mirrors,c’mon Honda!

  29. mechanicus says:

    Really close to being the perfect bike for my needs.

  30. Jeremy in TX says:

    Those are some very nice changes to the bike. Getting a third, Mickey?

    • Scott says:

      I can’t believe Mickey hasn’t chimed in by now. You know we’re all dying to hear his take on this one!

    • VLJ says:

      mickey’s 2014 Deluxe in Perfect Freaking Red with the silver motor and Honda ‘wing’ logo is still prettier than either of these two new offerings. Shame about the tank seam on mickey’s, otherwise it’s a near-perfect-looking UJM.

      I want to know if this new model makes any more power than the last version, and is it still completely neutered in fifth and sixth gear?

      The 17″ wheels on the RS are a welcome change. Not so sure about the “cheaper, lighter” attempt at replicating the internals of a cartridge fork, though. This isn’t a budget bike, so why give it pseudo-cartridge forks? Just give it high-quality suspension commensurate with the high price tag.

      • xLaYN says:

        I have a theory… opinion?
        Maybe this kind of setups have softer characteristics on lower speeds?
        Most of the time, the suspension starts to show their problems when things start to get above 5/10th paces, but in my mind the bike has a “just relax and hear the rumble” idea behind it’s design and better suspensions would make the ride harsher?

        I remember to have read a very long time ago about someone who took a tour ride on a Aprillia RS125 and he complained how he thought his buddies on Chinese bikes were going to have a bad time on less that perfect roads… but it was the opposite, on harsher roads the suspensions worked better and the better suspensions on his bike transmitted a lot “of data and feedback” about those holes making the ride tiresome.

        again… maybe?….

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          What works better on a street or track has more to do with suspension tuning rather than than what kind of suspension it is.

          I’ve had cartridge emulators on a damper rod fork before, and it worked great. I don’t know if these on the Honda work the same way or not, but I wouldn’t dismiss them for sure.

    • mickey says:

      lol No like VLJ says my DLX is perfect for me, tank seam and all. I’m approaching 30,000 miles on mine and like most Hondas the bike has been nothing but oil tight, reliable, quiet, trouble free. It’s taken two multi state multi day trips in stride now. I thought about replying earlier but decided to lay back and see how the comments ranged and went for a ride on my CB instead, on this beautiful 77 degree afternoon. As perfect a ride as one could imagine here in the curvy hills of southwest Ohio where torque reigns supreme and a smooth motor and transmission and powerful brakes makes riding a joy. No it doesn’t have 175-200 hp like the Aprilia,or KTM or BMW or R-1 Yamaha but I don’t have the back, or reflexes or desire to try and tame those beasts anymore. Nope just like to ride and the CB is perfect for that. Just riding. My pace. Faster than some, slower than others, but it suits me.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnEZdh0LlfI

      My take on the new ones? I like the red,and the black, prefer the red. Don’t care for the getto bling gold. Doubt these changes are going to have people running to the dealer to buy CB’s. Expect a little more aggressive power delivery but not much, not enough to make it keep up with anything above a Thruxton. Also expect it will still be rev limited in the lower gears and speed limited on top.

      Good to see the comments are mostly positive. I love mine, it isn’t going anywhere and I expect to be riding it for years to come. What a great bike.

      • Tom K. says:

        In reading the comments, I don’t know if I was more surprised to read that the old Nighthawks had shaft drive, or that Ohio has “curvy hills”, I thought Ohio was as flat as I-55 in southern Illinois.
        Darn fine looking motorcycle, very proper UJM. I’m also a little surprised that the engine performance improvements are “slight”, I would have thought Honda would have uncorked the engine to match the chassis improvements on the sportier version. Maybe emission rules got in the way.

        • mickey says:

          Tom, the old 750 Nighthawk 1993-2003 I believe? was chain drive, the 650 Nighthawk and 700 Nighthawk S were shaft drive. THe 700 Nighthawk S was actually a fine little sport tourer that could be had with color matched factory hard bags.cool bike.

          The northern half of Ohio is flat, above I-70, but go south of that down near the Ohio river and there are as good of roads here as there are in any part of the country. That area of Ohio is Appalachian and very much like West Virginia or North Carolina for that matter. I just spent a week based out of Marietta, Ohio riding some of the best, curviest roads that I have ridden anywhere. I live a little west of that and east of Cincinnati, and we have an abundance of great roads here as well. Any road traveling north to south here is like a snake writhing on hot asphalt. Some real gems here no one knows even exists.

          • Gham says:

            Southeast Ohio roads are fantastic!Took the wife down through Amish country this summer but we were in the truck.Had I known the roads were that great I would have at least towed my bike to ride around the area!

          • VLJ says:

            “The northern half of Ohio is flat, above I-70, but go south of that down near the Ohio river and there are as good of roads here as there are in any part of the country.”

            Uhhh…no.

            Seriously, the very best roads Ohio has to offer would barely merit a yawn to any experienced rider from California…or Colorado, Oregon, Washington, etc. Pretty much, any state with real mountains.

            Also, see, California has this thing called a coastline, a really long, twisty one with the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, which, as it happens, butts right up against a whole lotta those real mountains I mentioned earlier, and…

            Oh, and canyons, and deserts, and…

            Never mind.

            🙂

          • JamBoa says:

            Don’t forget CA. Brush fires and earthquakes and fruitcakes!

          • mickey says:

            hey VLJ I have ridden California’s Coast line, ridden in the Sierra Nevadas, ridden in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, and.. well I have ridden in 42 of the lower 48 states (I’m missing Arkansas..riding there next May, the Dakotas and a couple New England coast states, although I have ridden thru the White Mts and the Adirondaks, also ridden the Alps in Germany, Switzerland, France, Lychtenstein and Austria) The Appalachians might not be as tall as the Rockies or the Alps, but the roads surrounding them and transversing them are simply a delight to ride and although the scenery is not as spectacular the roads are IMO.

          • mickey says:

            oh and we also have the Blue Ridge mountains back here just a little south of us.

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, with all due respect, the highest elevation in Ohio is only 1,550′. Ohio has no mountains, canyons, deserts, cliff-lined coastlines, redwood forests, etc.

            Hwy 1 up the Pacific Coast, from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach? Nope, nothing like that in Ohio. Hwy 36, between Redding and Eureka? Ditto. Monitor Pass, in the High Sierras? Nothing close. Highway 20, from Nevada City to Downeyville? Bucks Lake Rd? Skaggs Canyon Rd? Mosquito Ridge Rd?

            Sorry. Not a chance. When it comes to Ohio and awesome motorcycling roads, well, as Gertrude Stein wrote when describing the city of Oakland, “There is no there there.”

          • mickey says:

            VLJ we must have a different view of what makes a good or entertaining road.

            Are we sight seeing or riding?

          • Gham says:

            OK VLJ,you just keep spreading the word,pretty sure the locals won’t mind a bit

            http://www.motorcycleroads.com/75/455/Ohio/The-Ohio-Cousin-of-the-Tail-of-the-Dragon.html#sthash.6MTqdDnT.dpbs

          • Zuki says:

            VLJ, I agree. Northern Cali’s roads and scenery are among the best. How about Route 32/Deer Creek Hwy from Chico? Oh yeah!

          • mickey says:

            Scenery I would agree with, and I found the coast road from Bodega Bay northward pretty entertaining.

            Rt 58 from Bakersfield over to San Luis Obispo was a hoot

            Mulholland drive from the Rock Store up the hill was good

            but I’ve ridden roads better than all three of those locally as far as for riding goes

            Generally I find that people who poo poo the roads on this side of the country have never ridden them, and have that “everything is better in California, even though I’ve never been anywhere else” mentality

          • jconli1 says:

            VLJ bragged, “Seriously, the very best roads Ohio has to offer would barely merit a yawn to any experienced rider from California…or Colorado, Oregon, Washington, etc.”

            Have you been there, VLJ? If not, well… you’re the one missing out. Cut my teeth on Appalachia’s best for many years, then spent the past decade enjoying WA/CA/OR/ID/MT… it really is a wash. After a *great* day riding north-central CA, Eastern OR, or the northern Cascades, I still think to myself just how much I miss WV/OH/NC/TN roads sometimes. Turns, elevation changes, pavement quality, local flavor. It’s all comparable.

            And we haven’t even begun talking about BC, or CO, or VT/NH/ME… it’s a big country filled with lots of great places to ride.

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, all you’re describing are heavily traveled highways. Mulholland is okay, except I t-boned a deer there, totaling my buddy’s brand new Yamaha 650 Seca II. Screw a buncha Mulholland. Hwy 58 is just a rolling highway. Nothing particularly inspiring or challenging about that ride.

            The roads I described? Nothing like that. Yes, there is scenery galore, but these are serious racetrack roads. As such, you’d best pay attention to your riding.

            Put it this way. If you’re going to ride your CB1100 at your usual basement-level rpm and slow speeds, sure, your Ohio roads are “entertaining.” Any halfway meandering road will suffice for that stuff. The roads I’m talking about are for riding hard. Mosquito Ridge Rd or Bucks Lake could easily host a California TT race. They’re not just for piling on straight-line miles with a few curves here and there. There is simply no reason to ride Skaggs Canyon Rd if that’s all you’re going to do. You could enjoy Hwy 1 north to Stinson Beach at a putt-putt pace, simply due to the gorgeous ocean views, but any retiree in a Winnebago can do that too.

          • mickey says:

            There’s that “everything is better in California even though I’ve never been anywhere else” attitude I was talking about.

            You know if it was just me saying it, it might be true, but there seems to be more than a couple of people agreeing with me here VLJ. Some that have ridden both out there and back here.

            Must be some truth in what I say eh?

          • mickey says:

            Wait..I get it now. The only “good roads” to you, are the ones that could be substituted for a race track, and only enjoyable if ridden at race track speeds. Such a narrow view.

            BTW we have a few of those back here too.

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, many of the non-Californian roads people are describing here are not even in Ohio. I already said that it doesn’t have to be in California. I listed other states. Any state with real mountains can have great roads. With a peak elevation of only 1,550′, however, Ohio doesn’t have any mountains. Ohio is too far west to be a part of the best of the Appalachians.

            Also, the best road listed in Ohio is only twelve miles long. Hardly compares to our best, and we literally have hundreds and hundreds of such roads.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I’ve ridden in every US state now except for Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and North Dakota. I’ve learned the best roads are not particularly well known to out-of-state riders or those websites that proclaim to tell you the best motorcycle roads. You need to ask the locals where to go.

            Places that stand out in my mind are North Mississippi, North Alabama, North Georgia, East Tennessee, and Western North Carolina. The Appalachians have the better scenery, but I think the hilly areas of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi offer up some of the more challenging and exciting riding from a sport-riding perspective. These narrow roads going to seemingly nowhere are lightly traveled, curvy, relatively fast and change elevation rapidly: so many blind corners and rises, almost like a paved MX track. And each of those roads seem to dead-end to another just like it. Parts of rural New England, PA, OH, IN and KY offer a similar riding experience, though you always seem to run into civilization a little sooner and the elevation changes aren’t as rapid or drastic.

            Northern California is amazing, but there are just too many damn people to truly enjoy some of the better roads, even the ones that aren’t “touristy”. Probably much better in the middle of a weekday. Texas actually has some wonderful sport riding roads, but they are also crowded and littered with cruisers, so the ride is more akin to one of those really slow Disney World rides where you are just supposed to sit there in the little cart and look at all the puppets singing “It’s a Small World” over and over as you ever so slowly go by.

            The Rocky Mountain states are where it is at for me. There is scenery galore, fast sweeping roads, tight twisty ones, unpaved ones, single-track. Get an early start to beat the motor homes if you insist on riding the touristy roads like the Million $ Highway or something like that. In the winter you can go amateur ice racing or snow mobiling or just plain old riding if you don’t mind the cold. Just watch out for those shady patches!

          • mickey says:

            I agree the Rocky Mountain states have some incredible riding, but as you so aptly pointed out, they are not the only states with great motorcycle roads to ride.

            Last week I rode a road (16) in northwest W VA that was a series of good fast banked left and right curves for 80 miles. Simply incredible riding.

        • mickey says:

          Since I retired 3 1/2 years ago I gave thought to guiding tours in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia since I ride these states all the time anyway. Lawyer said liability would be an issue. Too bad I know some awesome places to ride in those states. Be nice to share my experience.

          here ya go Tom

          http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-japanese-motorcycles/honda-cb700sc-nighthawk-s

        • Tom K. says:

          Thanks much, Mickey, that explains the disconnect I had with the Nighthawk, I was always impressed with the look of the 750 whenever I got into a Honda showroom, and (rightly) remembered it having chain drive.

          The only trip I ever made to Ohio was from Chicago to Cedar Point (in a cage), and as you said, it was pretty much a billard table. The southeast portion sounds like a great destination.

          I’m surprised no one mentioned Utah, I just got back from a week there (again, in a cage), Hwy 89 north from Kanab, with a side trip to Bryce Canyon, and up across I-70 takes you through some really pretty country, MANY bikes on the roads out there in August. Stopped at a little diner in Hatch, UT, the sign said something like “Bikers, Burgers, and Beds” (there was a small motel across the street), a really friendly guy runs the place. The valley at Panguitch really caught my eye. If you like curvy mountain roads, take 150 east from Kamas up to Mirror Lake at 10,000 feet through the aspen and pine. Provologne probably knows it well.

  31. RD350 says:

    Beautifully styled. I would love to see a middle weight version. CB550F anyone?

  32. Norm G. says:

    re: “redesigned gas tank (seamless).”

    wait for it…

    wait… for… it…

  33. Tank says:

    “Why does someone…..need to buy such a large and heavy bike?”- just ask MGNorge. LOL

    • joe b says:

      …quite the contrary, if you actually see the bike in person, you will find it is quite small. Pictures seem to make it look big, not sure why. Sitting on last years model, I was surprised how little it seemed beneath me. (30 year mc line tech) some just like the power, feel, of a big engine.

  34. Dino says:

    Was Honda listening to consumers? Classic CB looks, including getting rid of the tank seams, but with more modern suspension and brakes..

    I like it a lot! I like the balance of chrome, aluminum, and gloss black. Even the black paint job is gloss black instead of the matte finish. Classic looking seat. The whole thing looks liked a hopped up older bike. Nice!
    It won’t be everyone’s perfect chip of tea (I would prefer cat wheels instead of spokes, but others will love the spokes), but a really good base for what many have been asking for..

  35. Jack says:

    That and hydraulic lifters, larger taillight and a completely polished engine would make it near perfect.

  36. mgood3 says:

    Why does someone who wants a cool retro / modern tech all-rounder UJM need to buy such a large and heavy bike? Honda’s 750 Nighthawk from the 1990’s was a great bike, and I am sure they sold plenty of them, but it’s styling was ‘generic motorcycle’ not ‘vintage’, and it came off as boring to many enthusiasts. If Honda could bring back an updated version with styling similar to this 1100 I think they would sell very well, as long as it was reasonably priced, a concept that lately seems to have escaped the bean counters at Honda.

    But that 1100 is gorgeous! It’s what a motorcycle ‘should’ look like, IMHO.

    • Dave says:

      This 1100 is really it. It makes a little more power than the 750 did but they weigh about the same.

      • KenHoward says:

        That’s true. There’s little-or-nothing to be gained by downsizing the displacement of this engine to the former 750cc. This bike doesn’t feel large (and now the wheelbase will be even slightly shorter).

  37. Bob says:

    These are really good looking, well proportioned, and highly detailed machines. I notice there are no tank seems. I just wish they had shaft drive. That would make them really desirable.

    • NRHRetro says:

      A driveshaft would sap too much power from an already “underpowered” bike. I have a 2013 model with 30k miles on it and,still have the factory chain and sprockets, they are still in good shape. Keep’em oiled and they really arent that much maintenance.

      • Bob says:

        Remember the Suzuki 850G and 1100G? They had a (small) cult following because they were shaft driven. I seem to remember that the performance was not considerably less than the comparable chain driven models.

        Anyway, with a bike like this that is really not performance oriented anyway, just brought out on the weekends to show off, it’s nice to have the cleanliness of a shaft. Of course, everyone has their own pet peeves, right?

        • Ben says:

          My dad had an 850. I loved that bike. I would love for this or the Kawasaki equivalent I saw here on Sept 14 with a shaft final drive.
          “New Kawasaki Retro Standard Could Mimic Design of Zephyr/Z1”.
          Maybe it’s time Suzuki gets back in this game. I’m not looking for ultimate performance. I’m looking for minimal maintenance and good reliability. There are a few bikes out there that I would consider if only the had shaft, or even a belt vs a chain.

        • KenHoward says:

          Besides being cheaper and lighter, a chain doesn’t interfere with rear suspension compliance the way a heavier shaft does.
          “They had a (small) cult following because they were shaft driven.” — I think the key word is “small.”

          • Ben says:

            I may not be the target market if most are looking for the benefits of a chain. In that case I’d like to have an updated gl1000 with new internals, but no bags.

          • mickey says:

            Yea Ken like I said the performance and weight penalty is really of no consequence and suspension compliance is a non issue. Practically every long distance bike comes with a shaft and in the 80s most mfgs made shaft drive bikes as small as 500cc. So if a 35 HP 500 can handle a shaft I imagine an 85 Hp 1100cc could handle it

          • Grover says:

            I owned a CX500 many years ago as a dumb kid and put 30,000 miles on it with never a thought to servicing the shaft drive. I just rode the thing until I upgraded to a Suzuki 750. No matter what anyone says, chains are way more trouble than a shaft. I can never seem to get more than 12,000 miles out of a chain no matter how I adjusted for lubes the thing. The shaft drive on the CB 1100 would be a good thing and the crowd that buys these things could care less about the small difference in performance between the shaft and a chain. My current bike has a belt drive in the thing only needs adjusting when you change tires. Seems to be a very good compromise for me.

        • Denny says:

          Exactly, I concur. It would be cleaner and more overall technically packaged unit on par with BMW. Loss of power with this size of engine (proportionally) would be negligible. Of course, the bevel gear had to be added and that way cost would be little bit up too.

          • mickey says:

            I think for this model, the chain was the absolutely correct choice, since it is a retro model.

            However I think Honda is missing the boat by not putting a shaft on a bike like this with a few other ammenities like cruise, heated grips larger fuel tank, mini fairing and available hard bags. If it also had hydraulic valves, so much the better.

            An updated 700S (in 1100 guise) would have me adding another motorcycle to the garage post haste.