HONDA CB1100 (2013 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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?
|Engine type||Aircooled 16v DOHC four, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||14.6 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£180|
|Used price||£5,800 - £8,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||88 bhp|
|Max torque||68 ft-lb|
|Top speed||125 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
2013: Model introduced
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CB1100 (2013 - on)
5 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
Annual servicing cost: £150
Classic looks and great braking. Smooth gear shift and comfortable riding position. The seat is generously padded: good for an old guy. Has to be pointed into bends and corners. Thinking person’s bike. Narrow back wheel is unforgiving and lying the bike down into corners isn’t recommended for the inexperienced rider...or anyone tbh. Heavy bike to push around but well planted on the road. You won’t be winning drag races but this bike’s looks and comfort make this a keeper.
Comfy and rides well for 2-3 hours before I need to step off. Really good pillion ride. Sweeping curves are fun but plan ahead into bends. The back wheel can be temperamental if you ignore some basic rules and think for a second you’re on a super sport.
Nearly fell off the back the first time I really opened the throttle! My inexperience on it more than the bike. Good power delivery, if rather gradual. Mechanic pal described it as “a plodder” but he rides a Fireblade. No sports bike, though. More for cruising. Great on hills!
Only once did the battery go flat (my stupid fault in darkest Covid times). The build is excellent. Switches are much better than, say, the Yamaha equivalent. Stay on top of the chrome, though. “Tin trays” are less attractive if dull.
Standard servicing and no big issues. It eats front tyres for breakfast but replacement costs are low.
The sitting position on the seat! Seriously, it’s like a sofa. Many miles and little pain.
Buying experience: 2017. Was under 3 years old at the time. Dealer. Second hand. £6800 advertised. Part exchange and paid (gross) equivalent of £6400.
Version: CB 1100 2015 Twin exhaust 6 speed gear box
Annual servicing cost: £50
Today's date is 25 July 2019 hottest day of the year, naked bike pure joy, it has enough of everything for a relaxing summer ride, near perfect. If Honda had made the bike look like the Samurider k10 (looks like a 1970's CB750-wonderful go on to the website) conversion look on line they would have sold many more more bikes. Objectively, its not my only bike (but so many people have more than 1 bike these days) that said over the last few weeks it is the bike I choose to ride above everything else! Now Honda be brave and build a modern aircooled CBX, Yamaha build an aircooled Triple (shows my age) I reckon if both manufactures got it right, even if moderately expensive, they would sell. (And if a manufacture was ever brave enough to make a two stroke they would have customers beating a path to their door)
I have given it 5 because when you ride the bike within its design limits it is worth 5, push it beyond and the standard suspension gets a bit bouncy at the rear so a 4, but there are no dramas through the bends, all is controllable and plush-try one you will love it.
Lovely like putting your finger through whipped cream!
Its a modern bike, with limited technology other than fuel injection so I doubt it will ever go badly wrong!
Cheap as chips to service-and can be done at home-simples!
It has all you need to know about.
Annual servicing cost: £300
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Annual servicing cost: £200
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.
The ride is excellent and the brakes cannot be faulted.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 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.