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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Honda Unveils Unexpected CB1100 Concept at Osaka Motorcycle Show


Honda told us to expect a new “Concept CB Type II” at this week’s Osaka Motorcycle Show, but it wasn’t quite what we anticipated.

Rather than the earlier concept with the fairing, discussed on our article last week, the “Type II” is a cafe racer style with Öhlins shocks, gold anodized forks and Brembo brakes. Interestingly, we cannot find official photos from Honda at this point, but the video below will give you a good, close look at the Concept CB Type II. What do you think?

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. JT says:

    Didn’t Honda make this bike in 1994? sales flop ?

    • slipjoint says:

      May have, I think I saw a dirty one with knobbies on the walking dead last night.

  2. PN says:

    Better but nah. Still needs more juice. Cycle used to call those dual horns the Tokyo eyeball look.

  3. Aussie mike says:

    Very nice. As a former owner of an XJR1300, I nearly bought the 2012 model. Didn’tbuy because it only had a 14.6 litre tank or 209 kms range before hitting reserve. Look naked bikes & i love Cafe Racers. My only changes if I bought ine – a small flyscreen a la Thruxton & a 4-into-2 pipes

  4. Provologna says:

    Thanks for adding the top image. In that image it looks infinitely better than portrayed in the video and the prior image showing the top half only.

    It looks quite luscious, bordering on irresistible………IF Honda could just squeeze 110-115hp out of it, and maybe toss us a bone and slap on USD forks.

    This CB1110 Cafe reminds me of BMW’s R Nine T. But the German dealer is 100 miles or more S, while the Honda dealer is less than 10 miles N. I’m sure with oil changes this motor goes 150k or more without major issues. My ’83 Honda VF700S Sabre had about 100k miles. The motor ran like a top and burned no oil. I often employed the rev limiter. Smoothest motor I ever owned, by good margin (second was likely ’83 Yamaha Vision). It needing nothing except new suspension, and the finish was still good.

  5. mickey says:

    The Black CB Concept with the checkerboard pattern on the tank just showed up as a 2016 Model for sale on the Honda Canada website.

    • Jeremy in TX says:


      • mickey says:

        Only the Concept from the Tokyo show which MCD reported on a few weeks ago had a cafe solo seat and black pipes and the production version on the cAnada site has the std seat and chrome pipes.

    • VLJ says:

      The CB1100 on the Canada site looks just like the ’14 Standard, plus some checkered flag decals. I think it’s the same bike, right down to the single pipe and smaller tank.

  6. VLJ says:

    Upon further review, this bike looks sort of cheap and cobbled together. Sure, it sports a bit of Ohlins bling, otherwise it just looks like a salvaged title reclamation project.

    It sure as hell doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as mickey’s ’14 Deluxe. That thing is pure class. Yes, it’s underpowered, but every last piece on that thing looks dead-on correct. Much greater Pride of Ownership there.

    • Brian says:

      Dunno, I think both look cool. This is perhaps a bit overdone for my tastes, but if the parts became available I think it’d be cool to see what you could achieve with some strategic mods to a CB Deluxe.

      I don’t know that I’d call the CB underpowered. Maybe given its displacement, but in absolute terms I feel like it’s a stretch to apply that term to anything that’ll get through a quarter-mile in the low-12s. No, it doesn’t pull like an S1000RR or even a Z1000…but it’s not really meant to be that kind of bike, either.

      Now the Bonnevilles I’ve ridden (granted, both older ones w/ carbs and less displacement), they actually seemed underpowered for that style of bike…

      • VLJ says:

        I would never compare the CB1100 to something like an S1000RR (or the naked S1000R), or a Z1000. Those are liquid-cooled, much-higher revving bikes. They also aren’t retro at all.

        Apples and oranges.

        I would, however, compare a CB1100 to an air-cooled R1200R, or an old Bandit 1200, or even a Katana 1100, all of which made much more hp and torque than the CB1100. My gripe with the CB is that Honda sacrificed too much hp and torque in the name of civility, and it wasn’t necessary. They went too far. Starting with a fuel-injected, 1100cc I4, they had all sorts of motor with which to work. There is no reason for such a low torque figure, never mind the lack of any top-end hp. The R1200R gives up two cylinders to the CB and still makes much more power, and that extra hp doesn’t come at the expense of torque, either. The Boxer Twin makes significantly more torque, too.

        Then there’s the fact that the CB1100 is electronically limited to 108 mph, which is downright silly for a bike of that size/engine capacity. The thing runs into the rev limiter at a mere 6000 rpm, despite having an 8500 rpm redline. 2500 rpm, completely eliminated? What other bike does that?

        And here’s the kicker…

        The motor is clearly understressed. I think we can all agree, it’s wildly understressed. That being the case, why does Honda call for a valve inspection every 8,000 miles? Sure, I know everything always end up being within spec and no adjustment is needed, but that’s also true with Honda’s much revvier CBR/VFR motors, all of which allow for much longer intervals between valve inspections. Seriously, as understressed as the CB is, it ought to feature the same valve-inspection interval as the old CB750 Nighthawk: never.

        • mickey says:

          Ok just to be technically correct the CB is limited to 180 kph the National limit in Japan ( same as any other bike including a BMW S1000RR sold in Japan) Bikes in Japan are not allowed to go any faster than that from the factory. And 180 KPH is 112 mph not 108 mph ( still silly I know) . Why Honda shipped to the rest of the world with the Japanese rated ecu is again anybodies guess. Guys that have reflashed their ecus are running about 135 mph.

          Secondly peak hp on the CB comes in at 7500 rpms, not 6000 and red line is 8500 rpms. 1000 rpm over run between peak power and redline is very much normal for most motorcycles. Again guys with reflashed ecus are running them to 9000 rpms. Peak torque at 5800 rpms.

          I would have been happy had the CB1100 come with hydraulic valves like my Nighthawk and they would have been perfectly acceptable in this motor and in NC700/750 motors, and in the 500 twin series of motors, however Japan and Great Britain. Both are convinced that the shim and bucket type valve train is absolutely the best and by golly that’s what they are going to use. Don’t be surprised if the T120 has a similar balve arrangement and somewhat similar adj requirements. i think on my old Bonnie with the same valve arrangement it was 12K. Funny on my 5 valve Yamaha that revved to 13.5 K adj was called for every 26K. Who can figure these things out?

          Next the BMW R1200R I rented in Europe may have had more hp and torque, but it clearly did not like to be run under 4000 rpms, bucking and chugging if caught in the wrong gear at too low of revs, but the CB ( and I’m guessing the T120) will run around all day in a gear or two too high at 2500 rpms without protest.

          • mickey says:

            Btw the FZ-09 is ecu limited to 134 mph ( they don’t advertise that either) so a reflashed 87 hp CB1100 will run faster than a stock 115 hp FZ-09.

          • VlJ says:

            The top-speed videos I’ve seen show the CB’s rev limiter kicking in at 6k rpm in sixth gear. The bike couldn’t pull any higher.

          • VlJ says:

            Also, 2500 rpm? Why would anyone want to ride at 2500 rpm? It’s a motorcycle, not a Buick. 2500 rpm is barely cracking the throttle.

            As for the CB’s peak power rpm, that may very well be taken in a lower gear. Top gear won’t pull redline, or even come close.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            If the bike you are riding signs off around 6K rpms, then you probably spend a lot of time between 2500 and 3500 rpms.

          • mickey says:

            Yes the bike is rev limited n the last 3 gears but will pull to redline in first 3 gears so unless the bike is reflashed you don’t realize the potential of the bike.

            as far as 2500 rpms goes, unless you go to the Interstate the highest legal speed limit is 55 mph, ie: the two lane country roads I ride on.

            On the CB 55 mph translates to 2500 rpms, 60 = 2750 rpms, 65=3000 rpms (legal freeway speed here) 70 is 3250 rpms, 75 = 3500 rpms, and freeway legal speed in Idaho 80 mph is 3750 rpms. 85 would be 4000 rpms. So you don’t have to rev it to the moon to go anywhere, and here if you spend much time in the 4000 rpm zone you will either miss a curve or get caught by the po-po and pay a big fine or go to jail (in Ohio over 20 is considered reckless op). I spend 90% of my time cruising country back roads between 45 and 60 mph and that’s why I ride around at 2500-2750 rpms rpms.

            I changed my mind, you are going to hate the T120.

          • VLJ says:

            Safe to say, then, I’d want to get the CB reflashed. No way I want the last 2500 rmp out-and-out eliminated, not when the thing only redlines at 8500 rpm anyway.

            I rode a couple hundred miles today, including a mix of freeway and one of my favorite high-ish speed “racetrack” roads, around Lake Berryessa. In an effort to Try To Be Mickey and see whether I could be happy riding at anything close to the posted speed limits, I broke the ride up into two sections. The first part, from Davis all the way down to the bridge at LB, was ridden at my usual pace. The second part, back through Lake Berryessa and into Davis, was ridden in Mickey Mode. I did the same thing for the freeway rides. I rode my normal speeds to get to Davis, and something close to the speed limit on the way home.

            1st freeway ride: 78-85 mph average, with occasional zips up to 100-105 mph for passing and/or for the heck of it. The fun part of the ride, from Winters to the bridge in LB, seems to be littered with 25-45 mph posted limits everywhere, with lots of 25 mph suggestion signs in the tighter sections. Checking my speedo, I tend to do those 25 mph sections at around 60 mph, and the 35-45s usually fall somewhere between 75-85. Only rarely do I go over 100 mph up at Berryessa. I think I’m too afraid of the deer.

            What I noticed straight off is that the majority of the times I push 100 is when I’m passing a row of cars. I zip past them, leaving myself plenty of room once I’m past, and that’s usually when I notice the speedo climbing over 100. On the STR, those speeds are truly effortless, and there’s no noticeable increase in windblast. I always hear people talk about needing windshields for their naked bikes, and I just don’t get it. Even on wide open roads like Hwy 395 in Nevada, I never have to fight the wind. It’s smooth and clean, and not the least bit fatiguing.

            So, anyway, that’s my usual ride, whether it’s the Street Triple R, the BMW Roadsters, sport bikes, big sport tourers, or whatever. I’ve come to realize that whatever bike I’m riding seems to have no real effect on the speeds at which I ride my usual roads: 75-85 mph on the freeway, and double-ish whatever the signs say in the twisties.

            Now, in Mickey Mode, I allowed myself to remain stuck behind cars, and I made a conscious effort to stay within 10 mph of the posted speed limits. On the freeway I stayed right at the speed limit. I did pass a few cars here and there up at Berryessa, but only when I had a long, straight stretch of dotted yellow and wouldn’t need to go much more than, say, 60 mph to complete the pass.

            Believe me when I say this, but I was definitely thinking of you that entire ride back. I was trying to imagine how you’d approach the ride; the attitude, the change of focus, the different perspective. Making this particularly easy was the the fact that it was a perfect spring day out there, and everything was brilliantly green. I’m talking Ireland green. It was insane. Couldn’t be prettier.

            All in all, it wasn’t bad. Riding my Triumph in sixth gear in an effort to keep the rpm as low as possible—no, it’s not possible to ride it at 2500 rpm, not if it’s actually moving—I was pleasantly surprised by how much linear grunt that little Triple offers. It can be ridden just like a big, luggy, torquey bike. Still, I kept imagining how it would feel to be doing those same speeds, only with a fat, smooth foundation of throbby T120 Twin shoving me down the road…and I thought it would be pretty cool.

            I have to admit, riding to enjoy the scenery rather than for the sport of riding does hold some appeal. For one thing, at such ludicrously low speeds, it felt like it would almost be impossible to crash. That’s not a bad feeling. It was also nice to take in the surroundings, rather than focuse purely on apexes and irregularities in the road.

            At one point, while moving along at a reasonably decent clip, I found myself thinking, “Come on, surely the T120 could manage this without freaking out, or touching down hard parts. I bet I’d end up riding the same speeds as always on it, just like I do with every bike, and this isn’t that fast at all. I bet it could do this, no problem. It might even feel cooler doing it, too.”

            I did feel like I was insulting my feisty little Street Triple, though, riding so artificially slow. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t too thrilled with me. She didn’t protest in any way, but she sure seemed happier whenever I gave some throttle and let her sing.

            I don’t know. This might be doable.

          • mickey says:

            Lol interesting. When I read the report of your ” regular” ride I wondered what kept you alive or out of jail, then I remembered at one time prior to say 1981 I actually rode like that too. Was always surprised that I survived it. I knew in the Joan Caybrook era when I down shifted 3 times and the speedo was still pegged at the mandated limit of 85 mph I was living on borrowed time on the street. At any rate even on your normal run where you hit 100-105 you still never exceeded the CB’s silly 112 mph limiter. HA!

            I know it’s hard for you to believe but it actually is enjoyable to have time to look at things other than ” the line”, An air of calm was, for me, a good replacement for the rush of adrenilin, and a lot safer..for my health and my license. ( I once got pulled over on a CBX for doing 125 in a 25).

            The weather and scenery sounded incredible from what you describe.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Sounds like a bunch of hippy dippy baloney to me. Lol.

            In all seriousness, despite my clamor for more power in bikes like the CB1100 and Thruxton, I spend almost all of my riding time these days on a 50 hp dual sport. I still ride it like a squid sometimes, but that takes place at much lower speeds than squidly antics on a bike with 120 hp.

            Moving to the Houston area really took a lot of fun out of street riding to the point that I was riding less than 4K miles perr year, mostly – and we can ride all year long here. I got the big dual sport in order to spend more quality time off-road, but it really has unexpectedly brought some joy back to street riding as well.

          • VLJ says:

            When I say I know I need to slow down on public roads, I’m not kidding. Knock on wood, but I’ve managed to avoid any speeding tickets for a few years now, but that can’t last, and I’m too old and supposedly-responsible to do the outrun-the-cops thing anymore.

            I’ve never been that big on outright speed, anyway. Even when I had a GSX-R1000, sure, it was fun to see what it could do in the low gears, but I never saw redline in sixth, not on the street. The only time I ever enjoyed seeing the far side of 140 mph was at the track, and I’ve long since lost my taste for track days.

            No, a solid, stable, easy 125 mph is about as fast as I care to go these days, and only very rarely, for very short stints, under ideal conditions.

            The manager at the Triumph shop just e-mailed me to let me know he received two black T120s today (a normal one in black, plus a T120 Black, in gray), and both are available. He says he’ll have one ready for me to demo on Saturday, but I won’t be able to make it over there until Tuesday.

            I know what it is, and what it isn’t. My plan is to keep an open mind regarding its limitations, while focusing on the comfort.

          • todd says:

            Are you going to Ace Motorsport’s on Saturday? They want me to come see the T120 too. I’ll be doubling the limit through Redwood and Pinehurst roads on my way out there to test a sedate T120. I demo’d the previous T120, thruxton, scrambler, and Tiger the last time but didn’t like the rev limiter on the twins.

          • mickey says:

            I do think a lot of the attitude about engine size, hp, engine charachteristics etc depend a lot of where in this huge country you live. Here in the midwest it is mostly farm country. Narrow, curvy winding roads with low speed limits between small towns, surrounded by corn or bean fields, or woods full of deer. On a daily ride I might ride thru 40 or 50 different law jurisdictions each with their own police force, plus county Sheriffs and Ohio Highway Patrol. Its not unusual for me to pass 5 to 7 leo on a ride of just 60 miles. Come around a curve here and you just might find a combine or tractor in your lane, or a dead or live deer, but most likely a pickup truck doing about 10 under the limit. If you can’t see around a turn, caution is in order. A lower hp bike is perfectly at home in this environment. The dealers here make their money on ATV’s or side by sides, followed by cruisers, and very few sport bikes. 160 hp sport bikes are practically useless here. No where to put their power to use.

            Now I tour alot ( hense the ST 1300) and when I’m out west, it’s wide open, you can see for miles, there is hardly any law enforcement. My wife and I would go days without seeing an leo. I saw lots of big ADV and Sport tourers in the west, where their ergos, comfort, wind protection and power can be put to use, and very few sportbikes

            Riding further west into coastal Cali I was suprised how many sportbikes I saw. Blitzing between cars on the freeway, and very few big Sport tourers or ADVs. I did see the big ADVs as I got further north into Oregon and Washington. It was like night and day. Below Bodega Bay sport bikes, above Bodega Bay ADV’s.

            On the freeways I see very few Sportbikes, but lots of big ADV’s, Sport tourers and Crusiers

            As far as I have observed, motorcycle preference can definitly depend on where you live, and how/where you travel, and I think those preferences show up in the comments sections here.

          • todd says:

            Here, in the San Francisco Bay Area, high powered bike aren’t very useable either. Most roads are through curvy mountain-forest roads with lots of deer, turkey, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, and other critters. Yesterday morning I almost hit a big owl standing in the middle of Redwood Road. Since its been raining so much lately, there’s a lot of downed trees and hillsides washed out onto the road too. Most of my bikes are light and low powered which makes them faster than superbikes on these roads.

          • VLJ says:

            One trip to Alice’s Restaurant will disabuse anyone of the notion that the Bay Area isn’t chock full of powerful sportbikes. If that isn’t enough, take a gander at the lineup on any of the infamous Sunday Morning Rides. It’s all Ducatis, R1s, S1000RRs, Super Dukes, etc., along with a large contingent of vintage Nortons, RD350s, and the like.

            Lotta $$ on display. Lotta moto-bling.

            Of course those same two gatherings are where you will see more vintage bikes and interesting old oddities than you’re likely to see in the rest of the country combined, other than maybe The Rock Store and Mulholland Dr in SoCal.

            I can’t imagine being a rider in Florida, or south Texas, or Kansas. No mountains. No canyons. No decent twisties. No Hwy 1. No Big Sur. Constant rain. Paralyzing cold. Insane humidity. Nothing but straights. Nothing but freaking Harleys.


            Yep, NoCal is motorcycling Valhalla. Amazing roads everywhere, from the coastal mountains, to the Wine Country, to the Sierras, and no cops. Also, it’s all year round. Winter? Not a problem. Head west. Summer? Ditto. Or head up to the Sierras. On the coast the temps are always doable, and a little rain here and there is all you have to deal with. No biggie.

            The main thing is the variety: low deserts, high deserts, epic mountains, serpentine canyons, gently rolling hills, endless valleys, coastal twisties, urban playgrounds…something for everyone, in crazy abundance.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            And that is why more bikes, particularly bikes that aren’t cruisers are sold in California than anywhere else in this country. That, and the advantages of lane splitting.

        • mickey says:

          Hey VLJ.. Met my brother for lunch and we rode down to local Triumph dealer. No T120s ( he said soon) , no Thruxtons (he said end of April) no Street Twins ( said he had 2 in boxes in back and had sold 2.) Plenty of left over 2014s and 2015s all models. Only 2016 they had was a Street Triple with the bug eye headlights. Nice looking bike. Smaller than I remembered.

          I did ride to Rock Store on Mulholland when I was in Cali, but it was a Monday and they were closed.

  7. SquidProQuo says:

    Ok is this one going to make more than 90 hp?
    Their last CB1100’s have been embarrassing.

    • NRHRetro says:

      Embarrassing? Really? How?

      I have owned my CB1100 for a little over 2 years, it now has over 21k miles, and it is just getting broken in good. After lots of riding in all conditions, the CB-1100 is solid as a rock, and I like it more now than when I bought it, (I liked it a lot then). This bike is one of the finest pure street bikes that I have ever had the pleasure of riding, and I have had a bunch of ’em. I ride my CB-1100 on average 400 miles per week, (yep, I ride a lot), a lot of it on the freeway system in and around the DFW Metroplex. After all of those miles, I can tell you that the bike performs more than well enough to keep the cagers out of reach, and it performs well enough to be entertaining. It is simply a whole lot of fun to ride.

      To be clear, Honda is more than capable of “squeezing more hp” out of this engine, or any other for that matter. But that’s not the point. The bike has all of the hp and torque it needs, the bike is NOT a super sport, it is NOT intended to rule the dragstrip, or the racetrack. What it IS, is a very good street bike, it is easy to throw a leg over a CB-1100 and go for a 200 mile jaunt without a thought or a plan.

      • Brian says:

        With you 100%. The “embarrassing” 90-horse CB will get through the quarter in the low-12s. That’s about the same as a brand-new 460hp Corvette. Only in reference to sport/muscle bikes and truly exotic cars can that level of acceleration be considered “slow.”

        I own an unmodified CB, as well as two considerably faster bikes…and I’ve never once found myself wishing it had another 20hp. It’s a great, flexible, torquey, drama-free engine with enough power up top to keep things interesting.

  8. Gary says:

    How very XJR. I wonder if Yamaha has seen this yet? Corporate piracy aside, I say bring it! If Yamaha didn’t think we’re (USA) a worthy market, maybe Honda will.

    • Provologna says:

      OMG, how did I miss that? Yeah, it’s an ’81 Yamaha XJ650 Seca on steroids! I love it!

      • todd says:

        Not much of a steroid, power is about 10hp more and another 50-odd pounds of fat.

      • Gary says:

        Yamaha actually made an XJR1300 for much of the 2000’s that is suspiciously similar in appearance. Do a quick Google Images search to see what I mean.

      • Holygeezer says:

        Not to be too picky, but the Yamaha XJ650 Seca was a 1982 model. I owned two of them back in the day. Loved that shaft drive and beautiful handling. Wish a manufacturer today would bring back the shaft drive on middle displacement bikes. Other than Moto Guzzi that is. Something along the lines of a Suzuki SV650 with a half fairing or a Kawasaki Versys 650.

        • mickey says:

          Boy that would sure be nice. They used to make shafties down to 500cc. But something new in the 650-900 cc range would be awesome.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I am surprised shaft drives never became a qualifier with consumers. I prefer being able to change the gear ratio myself, but then most of my bikes have been dirt or performance oriented where a chain makes sense for that reason. I think shafts are great for the typical street bike and rider.

          • Dave says:

            I’ve often wondered why we haven’t seen enclosed chain or belt drive, ala’ scooters. Seal it in a case, apply a spring-loaded idler and a small oil-sump and you’ve got all the good things about shaft-drive with greater efficiency and riding dynamics.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I don’t have any experience with enclosed chains, so I can’t really offer any insight to that. I’ve seen the setup on snowmobiles, and there have been some street bikes in the past that used enclosed chains. Perhaps modern chains would last appreciably long when enclosed? Or maybe it would, but the sprockets still go out as usual, necessitating a change anyway? In any case, it seems that you would still need to check and adjust chain slack which might suck with an enclosure on there (or not.)

          • Dave says:

            The spring idler would take care of the chain adjustment. The enclosure takes care of contaminants, and the oil bath would greatly extend the life of the sprockets, as well as negate the need for o-ring sealing of the chain.

            The scooter has the benefit of shared casting and the entire power train being suspended. It must be a lot harder to do than it seems, or else someone would’ve done it.

          • Scooters have a cvt in that enclosure and some gears in the back. Some of us care about unsprung weight. I know I am old, but I really have no desire to exceed the ton anymore.

          • Dave says:

            I’m no engineer (how many statements start with that?) but I believe the simplicity of a motorcycle’s final drive would dramatically reduce the weight of the system compared to the structural drive housing on a scooter. As light as an open chain system? Of course not. Lighter than a shaft drive? Likely.

    • Bill C says:

      Yeah, I’d say it is a blatant copy of a 2016 XJR1300. About what I would expect from Honda.

  9. Ken House says:

    I don’t like it, except for the shocks and the brakes. The design points are affectations. As a former CB1000 owner, I blame the BMW R9T for this!

  10. Denny says:

    This is Honda at its best – just as it started in 1960s. Now, this is top end bike, good; but make one in 500class four or twin and than we are talking.

  11. carl says:

    I like it, there is enough bikes with plastic out there already.

  12. mechanicus says:

    I like the front end, headlight, etc. Glad they ditched the origami anime look there. I basically can’t be pleased, but that is getting close. A coat of candy apple red paint, a 2-up seat, and higher handlebars with functional mirrors, and your darned close.

  13. Ronbob says:

    Looks nice enough, but my preference is for singles or twins[ this old fart doesn’t need extreme engine performance].I do like the Bonnies, but the 70 mi. away nearest dealer shut down this winter.

  14. graham mccullough says:

    bring it to me please !

  15. Jamo says:

    What’s so “unexpacted” about a concept? They’re a quarter/dozen. How about a production bike available in America that I can buy this weekend?

  16. Russell T says:

    My take on this CB1100 ‘concept’ is Honda simply showing how simple it can be to make the CB1100 as retro/cafe cool as the Thruxton. They brought the CB1100 to market because of the popularity of retro styling and more simple ‘standard’ bikes… carried primarily by the new Bonneville.

    I recall a recent thread on the newest Bonnies/Thruxtons, comparing them to the CB1100. Cost per performance numbers makes the Thruxton a better deal.

    In the end we don’t buy these retro standards for outright performance. Well, we shouldn’t anyway, because it ain’t there. Manufacturers build them on a budget to meet a price point. (Yes, I know that’s as debatable as anything else). My point is, most of us modify whatever bike we buy to get it to look, go, stop, and turn the way we want it to. Read this thread or any other and you’ll see opinions on how an individual would change the bike.

    So again, I think Honda is showing us how simple it is to make the CB1100 look, go, stop, and turn as good as the new Thruxton. Cool, more choices! Have a preference for the feel of smooth Japanese 4s or parallel twins or V-twins? I love what they’ve done with this CB1100 concept. But for me, I prefer the feel of two cylinder configurations.

  17. mickey says:’s not a transformer, it doesn’t have a beak, it has a regular round headlight and round guages, it’s got updated suspension, and brakes, it doesn’t have an out of place radiator and associated plumbing, it doesn’t have tank seams, it doesn’t have fake plastic covers covering stuff, and it doesn’t have a big ugly licence plate thingy hanging down. basically it’s an engine, tank, handlebars and wheels.. All the things I have been reading people scream about around here for the last 5 years.. An elemental motorcycle.

    I swear Honda could build the best neatest bike in the world and half you guys would call it a fail just because it’s a Honda.

    • Brian says:

      I think they’d call it a fail just because nobody came to their houses and personally consulted them during the design process.

    • joe b says:

      you tell’em mickey! I see so many nit-pick the tiniest of things, I have to hunt to see on the bike in question, then discount it because they are on another planet and everyone should be like them? A café bike that doesn’t have bag mounts, and fairing mounts built in, gets thumbs down. A budget bike that has tank seams, gets thumbs down, say what? A replica bike with torque and drivability, gets thumbs down, because its not high performance like the new whiz bang top of the line flagship model, are they serious?

      • Doc says:

        Yeah, they’re serious.

      • Spiderwatts says:

        Bravo! You speak the truth. I almost stopped reading the comments from these spoiled Boomer generation negative nit picky commenters. However, the other great commenters overwhelm them in substance and attitude.

    • Louis says:

      I agree with your opinion but what I wouldn’t like is having to pay perhaps $350 every 8,000 miles to have the shim-under-bucket valves adjusted. (If it has the same interval as the current CB1100 engine)

      • NRHRetro says:

        21k on mine, valves checked twice, no adjustments were needed. Coming up on the 3rd time, it has been a small price to pay for the pure fun I have on this bike.

      • todd says:

        This is very easy to do yourself, for free if you are careful with the gasket.

        • mickey says:

          Inspection is free and easy to do yourself .. actual adjustment is more costly and harder as cams have to come out. However with this arrangement used by nearly all the major players today, that is pretty rare.

          19,000 on my CB with no valves needing adjustment yet

          68,000 on my ST with no valves needing adjustment yet

          40,000 on my brothers Bonneville (same valve set up) with no valves needing adjustment yet

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I think it largely depends how you ride your motorcycle.

            If your bike rarely ever sees anything over 5000 rpms, you may not need to adjust a valve for 100K miles. If I had a CB1100, the cam would likely be coming off at that 8000-mile check.

    • nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more

  18. PN says:

    Nah, but a heritage Z1 might be coming.

  19. Wendy says:

    Everyone take a deep breath, this is a “concept.” AFAIK< Yamaha owns Ohlins and Honda owns Showa. So a production bike would have a Showa suspension.

  20. Grover says:

    Remember, it’s a “Concept”.

  21. Chip Harding says:

    A CB1100 with Ohlins whatever? Wow that’s really exciting. They bolted those parts right on there. Like a boss. Just got that socket wrench out and wham! Now that’s what I call engineering.

    No wait, that’s what I call bolting parts on an old bike because you’ve got nothing new to offer.

    “Concept”. Oh my god.

    • Provologna says:

      Yeah, that crossed my mind too. It has some of that garage-inspired look to it, no? At least it’s not offensive, as are some bikes…though I noticed that trend diminishing in the last two-three years.

  22. Stuki Moi says:

    Anything with that engine is going to look at least very good, in this age of liquid cooled conformity. I’d prefer at least some fairing, but the increased forward lean should help out some. Not really a huge fan of hanging race-trick bits on obviously non-racy bikes, but as long as the Ohlins pieces work well, I don’t really spend too much time riding around looking at my rear suspenders anyway…

  23. Peter says:

    I purchased a demo CB 1100 (white) a few years ago, nice bike but that is all, looked better then it went, not a lot of go. Not a patch on the GSX 1400 that I previously owned. Sold the CB and purchased a low K GSX 1400 again. Love it, looks good (special edition model), smooth motor with heaps of grunt. With proper set up it handles OK as well.

    Come on Suzuki gives us an updated GSX 1400, I am sure you would find many buyers.

    • joe B says:

      I bought a ’07 GSF1250 and it was a really good bike, worked well, lots of grunt and kept many a GSXR honest. I eventually totaled it, but always thought Suzuki could have made one that looked like a first year Katana, I would buy another one if they did that. I think Honda has the right idea, lets hope this one version of the CB1100 comes out a winner. What bike did I buy after the GSF, Honda CB1000R. Then a VFR1200DCT. I still look at the CB1100 thinking it might be in the cards someday…

  24. bmbktmracer says:

    Just picture it with 70’s-inspired candy blue or candy red paint with gold stripes. That’d tie in with the suspension pieces and be oh-so-beautiful. I’m still clamoring for 50 less pounds and 20 more horsepower.

  25. Doc says:

    I like certain elements of it but I prefer my ’13. The 81-82 900F was rated at 89hp, a little heavy for the day but still loved both of mine. I’m waiting for the sport concept 1100. I like the look very much. But it came out in ’07, along with the concept 1100F, at the Tokyo Motor Show, not ’09 as reported.

  26. The_undecider says:

    This looks like a lot of the custom jobs I have seen on the Internet where a lot of aftermarket carbon goodies are bolted on along with a few suspension upgrades. I see that the headers are much larger diameter than the current bikes which suggests better breathing heads, more powah!

    It’s also running a 180 mm rear tire, 17 inches front and rear. I sure wish there were more tire choices for the 18 inchers. As cool as a revised CB11 would be, I doubt it will sell any better than the original. Honda really missed a great opportunity with the CB due to poor marketing. That said, I enjoy having a bike you don’t see everywhere.

  27. paquo says:

    it’s ok if that’s your kind of thing; i really liked the cb1100 w/ fairing and racing livery just looked more fun and less like a lifestyle accessory

  28. pearsonm says:

    I like it!

    Thinking about what direction Kawasaki’s going to go with the Z900RS is killing me. And why isn’t Suzuki jumping in with a GS?

  29. North of Missoula says:

    Reminds me of my old GS1100, except the stanchions are thicker and the GS1100 had more power.

  30. Scooby says:

    In my comments in the original story about the concept CB1100 I predicted that it would have the existing CB1100 motor (not the one shown in the other story), and the styling would be much milder than the concept. Score two for me!

  31. azi says:

    So it’s just like a Yamaha XJR1300, but with less power and arriving 18 years later.

  32. mkviz says:

    Look a seamless tank. hallelujah!!!

    • joe B says:

      …so now the question is, are YOU going to buy one? Or was all your criticism just hot air.

  33. larlok says:

    I guess they didn’t finish the right side of the bike.

  34. PJG says:

    Cliche bike. Disappointed. All the backstreet bike designers copy old bikes and think they are creative. Yamaha, Norton et al then copy the backstreet designers. Now Honda copy Yamaha and Norton. There are people being paid a lot of money to wear designer glasses, copy others and bullshit executives. The boat is long gone and Honda have just arrived at the docks.

  35. John says:

    What I think is Honda is THE best manufacturer of toasters on two wheels ever. Rediscover your passion, Honda, before it’s too late.

  36. chase says:

    Key word is concept.
    No way Honda makes anything close to this. Which sadly is why Honda continues to fail in key market niches.
    Those forks are a sorry excuse for an Ohlins USD look. Honda fail, as usual.

  37. RD350 says:

    I’d prefer a nice retro paint job rather than the bland brushed alloy look. How about ’68 CB750 Blue or 1960’s Honda Road Racing Red/Silver?
    Also, gold forks look a bit garish. Sorry, but I have seen much nicer efforts from the Japanese aftermarket.

  38. randy says:

    give it some more Hp(enough to get very low 11’s in the quarter)some shiny red paint with a honda wing sticker and a option of a silver with a green stripe ala ’74 elsinore 250 and I would be excited.

  39. Gham says:

    I really like it,I currently own an 82 CB900F and this would be a very nice replacement.The ergo’s don’t look too bad and the style is right up my alley.Now keep in mind the 1981-82 US version weighed in at about 575 wet and makes around 84 hp so any improvement would be nice.The brakes and suspension are(should be) a huge improvement over the original.Better hurry Honda or I’m buying a Triumph….

  40. dave says:

    Needs a 900F tail section and some better side covers.

  41. Provologna says:

    The overall aesthetic is pretty nice, very close to the best cafe designs of the era.

    I wonder about such bike w/a liquid cooled motor w/faux air cooling fins, maintaining a similar cosmetic effect. Then 120+hp is easily doable with awesome roll on power, etc. It’s OK if it’s only a liter bike, nobody cares.

    Then slap on USD forks, a 1/4 fairing (standard or dealer installed option), and call it a day.

    I think I prefer the Honda Wing logo in place of the tank badge, as someone else mentioned.

  42. Norm G. says:


  43. Chris R says:

    Take my money!

  44. Rod says:

    Front rim/brake rotor on this bike looks like it has a differerent gap vs my 2013 CB1100. Perhaphs 17″ wheel on this bike.

  45. Butch says:

    I’ll take the non-Olins version please.
    All that gold anodizing takes away from the overall look which is otherwise quite pleasing.
    The headers appear to have an aluminum coating which is a big plus over the usual chrome.

  46. Jeremy in TX says:

    I like it a lot. I confess I would have liked to have seen Honda employ the new frame and USDs from the sporty concept featured in the Dirck’s article. Regardless, I really like this new concept despite the very modest changes from the current machine.

    • VLJ says:

      “the Dirck”

      I like it! Give our boy an actual title! Now all he needs is a cool suit and some proper theme music.

      Some of the details on this new never-going-to-be-a-reality-in-America fantasy CB1100 are quite cool, such as the carbon fiber fender and airbox covers. The seamless, stainless tank is killer, especially with the matching side covers that fit within the V-shape of the frame. I don’t like how those covers extend beyond the frame on one side on the Deluxe (or the new Bonneville t120). The way they do it on this one and the 2013 CB1100 is much better.

      On the negative side, come on, gold anodizing on conventional forks? That’s just silly. At least make ’em proper upside-down jobbies if you’re going to go with gold. I would also prefer the Honda wing logo from the normal CB1100, vs the ‘Honda’ script logo used here.

      With the higher-spec suspension and brakes and all that bling, this thing better also offer more power.

      Not that it matters. We’ll never see it anyway.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Yes, that tank is a work of art, and I really like the ceramic(?) aluminum-look finish on the headers. Like I said, a few modest changes to the production machine that sum up to something very appealing IMO. I agree – put some proper USDs on her! And I am all for the Wing logo as well.

        And yes, this bike that we are never going to get needs more power than the current CB. This version looks too good to ride around like Mickey does.

        • mickey says:

          yea the guys that buy this won’t want to be riding like that. I really hope Honda adds some spunk to it for the go faster crowd, but you know that’s not Hondas rep. Too heavy, too slow, beautiful, well built, reliable motorcycles is what they are known for.

          it really should have the Wing emblem

    • pearsonm says:

      I assume USD forks would far surpass the capability of the frame.

  47. waitman says:

    I think if motorcycle manufacturers would stop showing us their design concepts we would all have less reason to bicker or suffer from unfulfilled expectation. Might be better to just let the custom “artistes” do the dreaming. That way the manufacturer can save a lot of time and money showing us concepts that they know they’re never going to produce and we can all relax and wait for the real bike to arrive. Design departments can still exist. Just don’t let us see what they come up with. Keep it to yourselves. If you don’t choose to use the design, we’ll never know! Ignorance is bliss. Just sayin’.

  48. slipjoint says:

    Assuming paint is an option I prefer this to the earlier concept. Improved brakes and suspension, maybe a little less weight and a tad more power? With the changes in brakes and suspension alone it will be $2K or more higher msrp than the dlx.

    • Tom K. says:

      Really? A near 20% increase in the cost of the overall machine for upgrading the performance on maybe 3% of its parts? If you’re correct, it represents a lot of profit for the manufacturer.

      I remember Kawasaki’s ZL1000 from 1987 (buddy had one), it was touted as a dragster, and a competitor for the V-Max, even though it only had about 85 or so RWHP. I believe it got that reputation from very quick roll-on times, (some of the best recorded in the era, I believe). Kaw was probably able to attain those from having lower overall gearing and good carburetion, it was a “muscle cruiser”, not intended for high speed runs. Honda’s new concept may be aiming for the same performance niche with this bike – stylish, good roll-on performance, comfortable, and respectable handling. What’s not to like? Mickey’s the go-to guy on all things CB1100, it will be interesting to hear his take.

    • Tom K. says:

      Really? A near 20% increase in the cost of the overall machine for upgrading the performance on maybe 3% of its parts? If you’re correct, it represents a lot of profit for the manufacturer.

      I remember Kawasaki’s ZL1000 from 1987 (buddy had one), it was touted as a dragster, and a competitor for the V-Max, even though it only had about 85 or so RWHP. I believe it got that reputation from very quick roll-on times, (some of the best recorded in the era, I believe). Kaw was probably able to attain those from having lower overall gearing and good carburetion, it was a “muscle cruiser”, not intended for high speed runs. Honda’s new concept may be aiming for the same performance niche with this bike – stylish, good roll-on performance, comfortable, and respectable handling. What’s not to like? Mickey’s the go-to guy on all things CB1100, it will be interesting to hear his take.

      • mickey says:

        My take? I think it’s a great looking bike. Not my style, because at a soon to be 66 I’m not folding myself up anymore to ride lol, and I really am not a fan of gold bling, but I can tell you of the CB1100’s on the forum that are modded, the vast majority go with some sort of café racer theme, with lower bars, bar end mirrors, custom exhaust, small fenders and a bum stop seat (also a Road comet fairing which this doesn’t have). Guys should love the suspension and brakes. Probably not going to weigh a lot less, and probably not going to make any more horsepower would be my guess, although like VLJ says another 20 hp wouldn’t hurt it. More a styling exercise for Honda I suspect. Could be wrong..people around here frequently like to point out that I am lol

  49. Brett919 says:

    I like it as much as I do the new Thruxton. I see something like a CB/ZRX/cafe there. Wonder if a production version would have the horsepower increase to go along with the other parts.

    • Random says:

      I also liked it as much (or even more) than the new Thruxtons. However, this is only a concept and the Triumphs are production, for sale bikes. We all know how it usually ends with concepts… (Victory 156, CB 1100 R Sport Concept, Guzzi MGS-01, Suzuki Nuda etc.)

  50. "Bob K says:

    Well, it looks like a bike from the 80s. Much better fit and finish but still looks like it. I think it was ’84 when I first rode the CB1100 in W. Va. Traded my VF500F for a bit. Comfortable ergos and really launched up all those hills.

    The best thing on this concept, IMO, is that headlight. I have 2 older bikes that could make good use of this.

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