HONDA CB1100 (2013-on) Review

Published: 11 February 2013

Retro four that is easy to handle, novice friendly and has fantastic detailing inspired by bikes of old

HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)

Retro four that is easy to handle, novice friendly and has fantastic detailing inspired by bikes of old

  • At a glance
  • 1140cc  -  88 bhp
  • 46 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Medium seat height (795mm)
  • £9,199

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

There’s no arguing that Honda has succeeded in producing what it set out to do. The CB11 is a beautiful recreation of an aircooled inline four; it’s easy to handle and novice friendly and it has fantastic detailing inspired by bikes of old. It’s a beautiful ornament and I can see many style or classic-conscious buyers who maybe want something bigger, slicker or different than a Bonnie or Harley being very happy with a CB. But I don’t quite buy this ‘recreating character of old’ bit. Don’t get me wrong: Honda has done a fantastic job with the CB1100. But don’t think that means, aesthetics aside, it’s a machine bristling with character. It isn’t.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The riding position is completely natural and perfect roadster style – Honda has clearly spent time on the ergonomics. Those wide-ish chrome bars combined with the skinny, 18-inch front wheel adds up to ultra-light, dainty even steering perfect for flicking between traffic. Out of town the CB’s perfectly, comfortably adequate too, with a plush, planted ride that more than compensates for the prolonged windblast inevitable on this kind of bike. Gentle corner carving is as easy as everything else. The steering secure, the brakes crisp and reassuring. And only when you wind up the wick fully does that 18-inch front wheel/skinny tyre and spinly-looking frame leave you feeling a little on tippy toes, find you having to muscle it a little through switchbacks.

Engine 4 out of 5

Honda’s first aircooled multi for 20 years puts style and user-friendliness before extreme performance. The result is easy, purringly smooth and with such a consistency in its delivery you could use its power ‘curve’ as a set square. It doesn’t matter whether that old fashioned tacho needle is pointing at two or eight on that green dial, the CB is always utterly smooth and predictable. Sure, with just 80bhp on tap and no peaks or piques in its power delivery, it’s straight-line potential is never exactly exciting or thrilling. Nor, in these noise-strangled times, is there any cacophany from its cans. But it’s pleasing enough, makes decent enough progress and is never as dull as the equivilent in a water-jacket would be.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

It’s all executed brilliantly. The finish is glorious, the attention to detail superb. The side stand, for example, sits in just the right place, is easily located with your toe and clicks down effortlessly. In short, though brand new, the CB11 has all the hallmarks of refinement and maturity of a second or even third generation machine. It’s easy to see where those long years of development have gone…

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

Reasonable. The CB11 certainly isn’t as cheap as a Zephyr or XJR1300 but nor was it ever meant to be: this is an all-new, quality product, littered with nice touches and sweet detailing.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The CB1100 is a gloriously classy, beautifully detailed and designed machine. Forget budget Zephyrs or basic Bonnies, Honda’s homage wants for nothing and is littered with neat touches. On a pragmatic level: it has a mainstand as standard, span adjustable levers on both sides, ABS and quality mirrors, clocks and more. And if you want posh, how about that luxo chrome filler cap, the gloriously recreated ‘crystal’ tailight or chunky yet beautifully crafted cast and machined alloy footrest hangers?

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their HONDA CB1100 (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Simply Superior

01 November 2014 by philmak

To put it simply, l liked my Fazer, my GS and my my SX, to name but a few, the difference is l love my CB. Firstly the looks, the positive comments l get off car drivers as well as fellow bikers. It feels like riding a Rolls Royce compared to other... Read more bikes l have rode, it just purrs along the road. Its a solid, responsive ride that oozes a sense of confidence no matter what the road ahead has for you.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £9,199
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 88 bhp
Max torque 68 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 1140cc
Engine type Aircooled 16v DOHC four, 5 gears
Frame type Tubular steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 14.6 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 247kg
Front suspension 41mm telescopics, preload adjust
Rear suspension Twin shocks, preload adjust
Front brake 2 x 296mm discs, six-piston C-ABS calipers
Rear brake 256mm disc, C-ABS
Front tyre size 110/80 x 18
Rear tyre size 140/70 x 18

History & Versions

Model history

2013: Model introduced

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
  • HONDA CB1100  (2013-on)
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