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)
  • New: £9,199
    Used: £6,100 to £10,300 See all HONDA CB1100s for sale

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…

Insurance, running costs & value 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

3 owners have 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.

Review your HONDA CB1100 (2013-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4.7 out of 5
5 out of 5

A retro but still a Honda (and that's good!)

01 July 2015 by Crawford

A really useable retro with class and charm, a pleasure to ride at a moderate pace but doesn't feel stressed when you push on a bit. High quality finish and excellent reliability. An all rounder in typical Honda spirit. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Excellent brakes, front better than rear, classic riding experience with 70s type handling which you get used to fast. Twin shocks a bit basic but that's part of the charm.
Engine
5 out of 5
Really smooth and tractable, adequate power for the character of the bike. No problem with a road overtakes, fairly quiet but still has a good sound.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
I use mine to commute, 16400 miles in two years now in all weathers bar snow and ice. No faults at all, zero oil consumption, generally good corrosion resistance except for some furring of the cooling fins despite ACF-50
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Always returns 50mpg even when ridden quite hard, Dunlop D204 tyres last approx 7000 miles. Servicing cheaper than some, though needs oil change every 4000 miles
Equipment
5 out of 5
Hasn't many hi tech bits, though abs seems very good (doesn't cut in easily) great attention to details, especially the deep paint, comstar style wheels and footrest hangars. It's a quality refined act
Buying experience

Bought new from CJ Ball Norwich - a really excellent dealer.

4 out of 5

15 May 2015 by Omega36

A great bike to ride but let down by some poor build quality. Until, Honda accept this I would be reluctant to recommend it to a friend. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
The ride is excellent and the brakes cannot be faulted.
Engine
5 out of 5
The engine is smooth throughout the range and easy to manage. One should not expect it to produce vicious power has it was never intended for that.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
With less than 500 miles the under surfaces of the mudguards started to show signs of corrosion, as did the spokes. Honda UK arranged for my dealer to replace the spokes but refused to do anything about the mudguards, which they claimed was normal! Fortunately my dealer didn't agree with them and put the matter right themselves. Now with around 1500 miles dry miles, the engine finish is showing signs of distress. Goodness knows what it would be like had it been ridden in the wet!
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
I do not think the £9,999 the bike cost would have been excessive, had they used better quality materials in the build. I used to own a 1969 CB750 K0 which showed no signs of corrosion after many miles of everyday use. A friend of mine has a K2, which again shows no signs of corrosion.
Equipment
4 out of 5
There is no doubting the fact that the bike is beautiful to look at. It's not often I'm approached by people in the street and told as much. I am quite happy with the standard equipment
Buying experience

Bought from Blade Honda, Swindon, at advertised price of £9,999. It was well worth it as they have looked after me and the bike extraordinarily well since!

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.

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 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £9,199
Used price £6,100 to £10,300
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £59
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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