HONDA CB1100RS (2017-on) Review

Published: 11 April 2017

Honda’s retro CB gets sporty in its new RS guise

HONDA CB1100RS  (2017-on)

Honda’s retro CB gets sporty in its new RS guise

  • At a glance
  • 1140cc  -  88.5 bhp
  • 53 mpg  -  170 miles range
  • Medium seat height (795mm)
  • New: £11,139
    Used: £11,200 to £11,200 See all HONDA CB1100RSs for sale

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The RS feels like a retro that has been forced to be a café racer slightly against its will. The look is all there, and the engine is lovely, but it’s not as sharp handling as the competition and that lets it down. Honda have pulled their punches when they could have gone all-in.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The RS feels like it is a bike that has had its sporting side forced upon it rather than engineered in and as such it slightly misses the mark and is behind the competition. It lacks the agility of its rivals and in a café racer with modern components such as radial brakes and beefy conventional forks you expect more.

Engine 4 out of 5

The inline four engine is typical Honda in some ways – it’s smooth, fuels perfectly and has a sixth gear for added practicality, although the top three gears are very widely spaced and feel almost overdrives. And yet in other ways it is wonderfully un-Honda. Its designers have gone out of their way to inject some spirit into it and have engineered not only a lovely air-cooled pinging when it is cooling, but also a slightly off-beat note through altered valve timing between cylinders.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Honda doesn’t build a poor machine and the RS has the usual lovely level of detail when it comes to finish and overall level of quality. It hard to imagine any reliability horror stories or the finish being anything other than picture perfect.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

A price tag of £11,139 puts the RS at the higher end of the retro market and it is more than the £10,775 BMW R nineT Racer as well as the £9395 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer and Triumph Thruxton, which is £10,700. The higher spec Thruxton R with its Öhlins shocks, Brembo brakes and Showa BPF forks is only £800 more at £12,000.

Equipment 0 out of 5

The lack of adjustability on the suspension is a bit disappointing (you only get spring preload front and back to play with) but the motor has a slipper clutch as standard and ABS, radial brakes and beefy conventional forks are quite nice touches, although they lack the big name branding. There are lots of neat styling touches, but for a café racer the performance spec doesn’t wow you.

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2017
Year discontinued -
New price £11,139
Used price £11,200 to £11,200
Warranty term 2 year unlimited
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 88.5 bhp
Max torque 67.1 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 53 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Specification
Engine size 1140cc
Engine type Four-stroke, air-cooled DOHC inline four
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 16.8 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 252kg
Front suspension 43mm forks, -adjustable spring preload
Rear suspension Twin shocks, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 2x310mm disc four-piston radial Tokico calipers, ABS
Rear brake 256mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70X17
Rear tyre size 180/55x17

Photo Gallery

  • HONDA CB1100RS  (2017-on)
  • HONDA CB1100RS  (2017-on)
  • HONDA CB1100RS  (2017-on)
  • HONDA CB1100RS  (2017-on)
  • HONDA CB1100RS  (2017-on)
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