HONDA CB1100 EX (2017 - 2021) Review

Highlights

  • Smooth and relaxed riding experience
  • Honda build quality
  • Retro looks with modern running gear

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
Power: 88 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 790 mm)
Weight: High (562 lbs / 255 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £6,500 - £9,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If the sun is out and you want a carefree ride on a great looking retro, there aren’t many better options than the CB1100 EX. It’s Honda at its very best and has a feeling of quality and refinement about it as well as a welcome bit of old-school rawness and charm.

THe Honda CB1100EX was dropped from Honda's range when Euro5 regulations came into effect in 2021.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The EX is all about smooth motoring and the new conventional Showa Dual Bending Valve forks are set quite softly, which those aiming on hammering around bends may not appreciate. However if you are after a relaxed ride, they are wonderfully damped and help the bike glide over bumps with ease.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The air-cooled 1140cc inline four is a beauty and is typically smooth and precise in its operation. However Honda has also engineered in a pleasing degree of old-school rawness and it pings when it is cooling like CB’s of yesteryear and has a lovely raw sound at low revs thanks to altered valve timing between the cylinders.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Honda doesn’t build a poor quality machine and the EX has the usual lovely level of detail. Everything has been thought about, refined, and then thought about again as it is developed over the years into this latest generation. It really is beautifully put together and has a real feeling of overall quality.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

A price tag of £10,795 makes the RX more expensive than the £9800 Triumph Bonneville models (which are a higher spec), the £9990 BMW R nineT Pure and the £8395 Ducati Scrambler Classic. In this context it does look a little over-priced considering what you are getting.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

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 there is also ABS. But this is a retro and the CB is all about the neat styling touches and on this front it really is impressive. What it lacks in traction control and varying fuel modes it makes up for in the fine details.

Specs

Engine size 1140cc
Engine type Four-stroke, air-cooled DOHC inline four
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 16.8 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 255kg
Front suspension 41mm conventional forks, -adjustable spring preload
Rear suspension Twin shocks, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 2x296mm disc four-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake 256mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 110/80X18
Rear tyre size 140/70x18

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £160
New price -
Used price £6,500 - £9,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term 2 year unlimited

Top speed & performance

Max power 88 bhp
Max torque 67.1 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 170 miles

Owners' reviews for the HONDA CB1100 (2017 - 2021)

8 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB1100 (2017 - 2021) 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 (2017 - 2021)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Equipment: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
5 out of 5 Surprisingly Good.
25 August 2023 by Richard

Version: EX

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £150

I wasn’t looking for this but saw it and loved it. I bought it on the looks to be honest but have found it to be really enjoyable to ride. It handles far better than I imagined and feels at least 40kg lighter than the spec sheet. Build quality is fantastic. First naked bike I’ve had in years and it’s great not messing about with screens and spoilers etc. Nice clean airflow is much better.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The ride is like a magic carpet. True, there isn’t a lot of adjustability but it is set up well to start with. I found the pegs touched down a bit early. The preload was on 2/5. I now have it on 4/5 and it’s still smooth but with a bit more ground clearance. I’m 13.5 stone. Seat is very comfy. Riding ergonomics are good. If you are taller you might want a bit more legroom. I’m 5’10 and it’s fine for me. It feels like a small and light bike and much lighter than its weight suggests.

Engine 5 out of 5

This is a lovely engine. I’m normally a fan of twins but this is just so nice it has me hooked. It’s not the fastest bike but it’s fast enough and it’s nice to be able to use all the power and the full rev range. It’s torquey enough to pull from low revs in top but will spin up to the red line if you’re in the mood. It has a “heavy flywheel” kind of feel so doesn’t pick up revs very quickly but does keep on pulling smoothly. The gearing is great. So many bikes have short gearing and feel buzzy at speed. This has nice high 6th for cruising (3000rpm at 70mph). The other ratios work well for the twisties.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

It’s a Honda.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Easy enough to do most jobs yourself if you are so inclined. Easy access to plugs, no fairing to remove for usual maintenance. Centre stand for easy chain lube and wheel removal. I average 55mpg riding it as hard as I want to.

Equipment 4 out of 5

It’s a retro and quite authentic so don’t be expecting loads of gadgets. Personally I don’t want rider modes and TFT on my bike so it works for me. It has a gear indicator which is useful. One thing that would be handy for touring would be a usb near the handlebars but I can sort that out if I need it. It runs tubed tyres so you’ll need a can of slime instead of a plug kit.

Buying experience: Local dealer. Part Ex’d a cb1300. Easy deal, no issues. His price was about right and he gave me a good price on mine.

5 out of 5
06 February 2023 by Lex Cochrane

Version: EX

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £100

A piece of art and the attention to detail makes other retro makes look and feel plasticky. People mention to me that’s it’s heavy but at 73 years young and a slight build I don’t have any problems wheeling it in and out of the garage. As soon as you let the clutch out it’s easier to ride than any other bike I have owned. Yes I miss my Fireblade for the adrenaline factor but one has to admit at 73 my reactions aren’t as good as they once were.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

At its best on more gentle rides , not in a rush and just enjoying the experience. I’m still feelings fresh after 120 to 150 miles but when my wife is on the back we do about sixty miles have a break and return home

Engine 5 out of 5

Smoothest engine ever , no vibrations and high torque available at very low rpm, cruise all day at motorway speeds with less than 3000rpm in 6th

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Absolutely no corrosion anywhere, nothing has failed or worked loose. Honda perfection !

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

So easy to work on if you do your own servicing, everything is easy to get at. Honda service items are expensive but it’s quality and worth paying the extra for.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Would definitely recommend fitting a front fender extender to help protect the chrome header pipes and the oil filter. Wheels are 18” and have tubes so tyre selection is very limited.

Buying experience: Honda Dealer purchase and had to pay ticket prize he would not take any offers. Not as good an experience as buying from a BMW dealer .

4 out of 5 Honda CB1100 Bum Breaker
20 June 2022 by Tony

Version: EX

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £180

Very uncomfortable. Extremely Heavy

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

It's a Honda

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Dealer £10,600

5 out of 5
14 September 2021 by boonetown

Year: 2017

everything is great. takes me back to yesteryear

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: private $8800-8500

5 out of 5 Best motorcycle I've ever owned
07 September 2021 by David

Version: EX

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £300

Most sophisticated, smooth, perfectly engineered motorcycle I've ever owned. A pleasure in every way.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Smooth as butter. And, if you even think about braking....it stops.

Engine 5 out of 5

Smoothest, throatiest, solid feeling, predictable, adequate power.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

If there are flaws, I have not found them.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Valve adjustments need professional help

Equipment 4 out of 5

It's a naked bike. The ABS standard is appreciated as is the comfy seat.

Buying experience: Private seller. $10K US

5 out of 5 Honda CB1100EX
19 June 2021 by Tony

Version: EX

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £150

+ Well planted, excellent handling, comfortable. - Bloody heavy when moving around (in out of garage, parking space etc)

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Although the saddle looks chunky and we'll padded, I get a ache in my bottom after 50 miles+ The Pillion seat is very short, ok for a 5ft slender Bird, but no good for a chunky lass with a fetish for pies and Lard. (You'll lose the rear tail light in her bum cheeks) 😂

Engine 5 out of 5

Torque in abundance, silky smooth (like a Slug in a bucket of Snot).

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Chrome tarnishes very easy, needs regular polishing to remove pits and blemishes.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Indicator switch and Horn button are around the wrong way. Never get used to it. The amount of times I've got road rage and dragged myself off the bike and give myself a good kicking for being honked up while leaving a roundabout onto a junction. Then realised it was me who beeped myself up while canceling the winker.

Buying experience: Full price from a dealer.

5 out of 5 Great retro. Fantastic riding experience.
10 October 2020 by Jon

Version: EX

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £150

Top quality and smooth compliant ride. Not for racing but relaxing and enjoying old fashioned motorcycling.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Smooth. Brakes excellent.

Engine 5 out of 5

Loads of torque. Sounds awesome.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Doesn’t come any better.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Change the oil myself.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Has everything you need and don’t need on a retro.

Buying experience: From dealer. Bought secondhand. Asking £7195 put paid £7000

4 out of 5
03 March 2018 by PMC

Version: Pearlescent Yellow.

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £125

This is one that Honda has got right. Exceptional, good quality parts & build. Pure retro with modern technology. Can place both feet on the ground and good comfy seat with retro clear dials. People ask what it is and are very complimentary. Weight is extremely heavy. Drinks fuel very fast. Slipper clutch at slow maneuvering speeds a problem (lacks bite and feeling).

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Comfortable bike to ride with a great sound at engine braking and acceleration. Brings a big smile. Power is plentiful and brakes are excellently balanced with ABS. I can ride this bike all day long if you pay for the fuel.

Engine 5 out of 5

Reliability is excellent and looks great with all metal finish and platinum colours on the crankcase. Its got a real retro sound and feel that is hard to explain. Need to let engine and pipes cool for hours before placing bike cover.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

There is no questioning the exceptional and good quality of these models. Very, very well built with quality parts. Everything, the seat, the dials, the spoked wheels, the crankcase, the engine, the exhaust pipes the paint quality. I know Honda make money on these bikes..... but it can't be much given the astonishing quality of every individual part.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Gets 4 out of 5 because of the high fuel costs. Very heavy on fuel. Couple of hours out and about and it is ready to be topped up again. These bikes are such exceptional quality that's why its such good value. Price may seem high but there is no doubting the exceptional quality and build.

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS is standard. Heated grips is extra ( I got the Oxford). USB is extra (fitted under the seat). I normally buy an upgraded Corbin Seat .....no need on this bike as it is quality, comfy all day long and looks great. Factory supplied tyres are good on this bike and I have not felt a need to change or upgrade. Yellow is the colour that is popular.

Buying experience: Well for me, its always good at Honda Motorcycles......this is my 3rd Honda and I cannot complain about there customer service as I have always been very, very well treated. Got a better than good trade in price against it, in fact I was amazed. Its nice to speak to people that know there business and they know they will sell bikes everyday so there is no sales pressure.... just reassurance that it's Honda .........and that says it all.

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