HONDA CB1100RS (2017 - 2021) Review
- Café racer variant of CB1100
- Retro looks with modern running gear
- Slightly outgunned by the competition
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
- Latest news: Honda CB1100RS dropped for Euro5
Sadly, the Honda CB1100RS was dropped from Honda's range when Euro5 emmissions regulations came into effect in 2021.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, air-cooled DOHC inline four|
|Frame type||Tubular steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||16.8 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||53 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£140|
|Used price||£6,500 - £10,000|
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 CB1100RS (2017 - 2021)
9 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB1100RS (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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Annual servicing cost: £40
Comfortable with good riding position, silky smooth engine with great power delivery, nicely built, side panels are metal not plastic. Quite heavy which makes it very planted in winds and on motorways but also can catch you out at low speed and is a job to get on centre-stand. Would recommend to peeps 5'6" and over with reasonable build. If you've got a slight build you may struggle with the weight.
It is weighty but still fun to hustle around. It rewards spirited riding rather than constantly egging you on to hoon around everywhere - my kind of bike. Nice ride, seat is comfy and not scooped so you can move around to ease aches. Just seems to eat the miles without being tiring despite lack of wind protection. I think it's a combination of the smooth torquey engine and weight, makes cruising easy somehow. Can go a full tank in one go easy enough.Brakes are good but initial bite is a little lacking, which is a bit disconcerting on such a weighty beast! You almost have to practice an emergency stop every day to convince yourself the brakes will do the job, which they do.
This engine just works in the real world making it a great road bike. Smooth and linear power, pulls from low down you can make rapid progress without going above 4k revs. Fueling is really good, smooth, no hunting at low throttle settings.
Mainly used in dry and cosetted but very little signs of any corrosion or furring after 4 years. No problems whatsoever.
Only ever needed yearly oil change and checks and 2 year clutch and brake fluid change due to low mileage use which I do myself and is easy enough.
The combination of flat seat and bungee hook points make carrying large boxes surprisingly easy. It's got a little storage compartment under the seat that holds tools and waterproof trousers and also has a helmet holder lock. Would like to add a topbox but it would just be wrong on a bike like this. Tyres are stock factory, I've only done 4400 miles and they don't seem to wear much.It's a very basic bike with minimal tech and all the better for it.
Buying experience: Bought secondhand from Groombridge Motorcycles in Sussex, really good experience, decent price £7k I think.
Love mine & would definitely recommend! It's like a Rolls Royce! Stunning build quality, stunning to look at and it's a pleasure to ride!
Despite the weight, she handles reasonably well. It's no sports bike in the corners but once lent over, it's stability promotes confidence in fast sweeping bends. No weaving or wobbly bars at speed. Brakes are very good! Seat is comfortable.
super smooth engine & sounds really nice! Plenty of torque, pulls well in lower gears but runs out of steam quickly at the top end. High geared, so great for low rpm relaxed cruising. Getting around 50mpg on mine.
Superb build quality. No cheap plastic on this beauty, it's built to last! 2000 miles so far, no issues!
Buying experience: Bought from Honda main dealer last year for £8300. No discount!
Annual servicing cost: £140
Beautiful finish, it's not meant to be a sports bike which the testers seem to forget. I use it for commuting and for fun and great for both although a little heavy on fuel (get a smaller bike if thats the most important thing to you). At used prices I think it's a great long term keeper.
Not ridden with pillion, brakes feel adequate for the weight.
Beautiful torquey pull, happily pulls at motorway speeds too.
An excellent purchase as a used bike for the money, was relatively pricey new but the quality finishes on everything excellent. I have used all year round without issue.
Version: RS (actually a 2018 bike registered in 2020)
It’s exactly what it looks like to own and ride. Classy, smooth, well built, torquey, comfortable. No gizmo’s either just an engine on wheels. It’s not a sporty ride so don’t expect it to be. If you want a point and squirt go elsewhere. If it were an alcoholic drink it would be a glass of nice red wine.
Very comfortable at normal speeds. Like any naked bike over 60mph (depending upon the wind) can be uncomfortable. Brakes are strong with excellent feel.
Smooth, looks stunning, low revving nature and very tall gearing, try 60mph at around 2600rpm. Effortless wafting is the order of the day.
Honda’s make great bikes. Never (or rarely) the most powerful of their type but they make proper machines that will last for years if looked after.
Do my own servicing so it’s just a top quality oil and OEM filters. Good to go. Servicing is very easy. Only the valve check is more involved (dealer job for me) but saying that owners on the CB forum have racked up mega miles on them with little to no adjustment ever being needed! Low stressed big air cooled motor 👍
Centre stand, decent horns, can have Honda factory heated grips if you want them. Mirrors are great but some find a bit narrow, I can live with that minor niggle.
Buying experience: Terrific. Main Honda dealer.
A retro classic underrated by power crazy testers
Comfortable seat.mirrors needed extension
Not the most powerful but that’s exactly what attracts me to it. Super smooth delivery. Great for those that don’t want rider aids and unnecessary distractions
Excellent fit and finish
Awaiting next service
Buying experience: Dealer
Annual servicing cost: £180
Beautifully finished, very comfortable and a motor that is ultra smooth and torquey. Quite heavy to manhandle, but totally balanced on the move
Heated grips and charger point should be standard
Buying experience: Bought new from a Honda dealer in 2019 for 9000.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Sheer all-day comfort from the soft seat.Top end fast enough,good torque in every gear,very stable in all situations.Fuel economy about 50 mpg.Low seat height inspires confidence with a heavy bike.Would recommend for older or shorter riders.
This is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden and being 73 years old was chosen for that reason,although being a head-turner is a bonus.I can honestly say that I could ride this bike all day,except for fuel stops.
Long established inline four Honda lump,with over 90nm torque and as smooth as silk.Power arrives progressively and smoothly belying the 550 lbs. of weight.
It s a Honda.Cannot remember how many Hondas I ve owned but never had one break down on me.Looking after the bike is the key to good reliability.Owned a cb750 all through the eighties and commuted over 2000 miles a month for almost 10 years,changed the oil monthly.
In addition to dealer service for warranty reasons,I change the oil & filter every 3000 miles and do any running repairs as needed.
This bike only has ABS as required and I do not want anything else.The clocks are analogue and torque control is in my right hand,with no other distractions.Also comes with a centre stand ,making chain cleaning and adjustment a simple job.One of my favourite features is the very loud twin horns as standard.Why don t all bikes have these?
Buying experience: Bought this bike from a main Honda dealer.As I had previously purchased 3 bikes from him,and this was the last one left,(fortunately it was silver),he gave me a discount of almost a £1000.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Great quality, smooth engine, great suspension and brakes. A joy to ride and own.
Could do with heated grips and a 12v charger as standard
Buying experience: Excellent. Bought from Via-Moto, Sheffield
Annual servicing cost: £150
Does exactly what is says! Nice to have LED lights etc and being a Honda just all works, rear grab rail for passenger should have been included as standard.
Buying experience: Dealer was perfect.