Honda Brings Back the Past with the 2013 CB1100 – a CB750 All Grown Up

2013 Honda CB1100

2013 Honda CB1100 brings back the standard Japanese motorcycle right down to the air cooled inline 4 and upright seating of the original CB750

The new 2013 Honda motorcycle lineup is actually quite interesting and the CB1100 almost makes you want to check your calendar, it's more than a tip of the hat to the original CB750, it's what it might have become if it had never gone away. Let's see, upright seating position, naked style, steel tube chassis with twin rear shocks suspending 18 inch wheels, air cooled DOHC inline four cylinder engine, yep, a CB750 all grown up.

The engine is larger, 1140cc and it's fuel injected plus the wheels are cast, not wire spokes, optional ABS and the exhaust is 4 into 1, so there are modern updates, but Honda, even on the pages of its website refers to the timeless design that harkens back to the CB750, it's not by accident the bike hits so many hot buttons, you might wonder if they are they trying to get lightning to strike twice.

The CB750 was a big leap from what was available at the time, the 2013 CB1100 isn't a leap, it's a return to what made the original so appealing. I think there's a lot to like and it forms the basis for a bike that can be ridden as is or modified in countless ways. Maybe we're ready for a new standard, maybe lightning can strike twice, the Honda showrooms next March will tell us what you think.

Available in Candy Red. Price: $9,999; ABS $10,999.

Link: Honda CB1100

Comments

  1. JP says

    I’d love a new standard. Just unable to afford anything new. I want a street tracker as well. I’m going to have to build that on my own.
    I hope folks buy these in numbers sufficient that down the read in a few years, one of these is on the used market at a reasonable price.

  2. marc says

    OH MY GOD! was saving up for a new bike, just found it!!!!!!! the last few years the naked bikes have been all Jetson looking(yuk) thank god honda saw the light . whats old is new again. yeah! HOW MUCH HOW MUCH?

  3. Brad Watson says

    I think this one will flop for Honda, despite a couple of comments here about omygod, omygod. Sure it looks retro, but who wants to put up with poor seats and poor handling (non adjustable shocks by the looks) these days? Braking looks like it will be great, and the fuel delivery should be spot on, but not many Honda faithful will want an air-cooled engine in this day and age. just my opinion.

    • JP says

      A: Who says it will handle with a hinge in the middle like the old UMJs? It will outhandle a cruiser, but some folks sure love those.
      B: Have you looked at seats on many bikes these days? No reason for that one to be any worse and it’s likely far better than many of them.
      C: Honda’s Nighthawk has been going on and off since forever and is aircooled. This looks like a ‘Hawk with better breaking.
      D: I don’t think this is aimed at the guy who is fiddling with every setting on his shocks and forks (all the while making it handle worse) and bragging about his scuffed knee pucks and chicken strips (or lack thereof). The ST1100 and 1300 had a massive adjustment. One screw on the rear shock and preload … most just set it to stiff for two up and leave it there whether riding single or not.

      With gas pushing $4 and looking to stay there for some time to come, more folks are possibly going to look for an alternate. The NC is cool but as above, looks a bit Jetsony for some tastes. Hopefully no extra geegaws means no extra price (looking ahead economically this may save more than a few companies). Honda does have a tendency to be 5 to 10 years too early on these things though with some of their concepts becoming more popular later after they drop those niche models. I hope you are wrong on the failure bit.

      • Brad Watson says

        I owned a 73 750F with a 4:1 and almost identical seat. It was an ok bike, uncomfortable as hell, and not even that great for power, and the updated version even with the larger engine will be ok now. As someone else mentioned this is a warmed over idea warmed over. Triumph did it, Norton did it better IMO. While Boomers seem to want to harken to the past days of glory, there has to be some substance. Example, the new Camaro looks to the past but provides decent suspension, power etc.

        I think these bikes won’t sell, but I will wait and see.

  4. scritch says

    It’s no surprise that this design presses so many emotional buttons. The 1970′s saw the biggest motorcycles sales in the U.S., and the Boomers were coming of (riding) age in huge numbers at the same time. We cut our teeth on these powerful, reliable, comfortable Japanese bikes. The designs so deeply in our minds that our mental dictionaries have a UJM picture next to the definition of “motorcycle”. It seems that Honda has updated just the right things on this bike, the things that got upgraded as soon as we could afford to to them, solid wheels, 4-into-1 exhaust, better tires, etc. We would have added ECM’s and fuel injection if they had existed for bikes.

    My only quibble about this bike is the steel tube frame. Seems like Honda could have put a more modern frame in it while retaining the riding position and general look. But then, it’s not a track bike or canyon carver, is it? I think this bike will sell well to aging Boomers who don’t want a boy racer, street fighter, or bagger. Come to think of it, I still have the leather saddlebags I made for my Honda CB 350. Hmm….

  5. says

    Seems like a response to the CB750 winning “Motorcycle of the Century” a couple months ago.

    I think it’s a step in the right direction.
    What was wrong with the original CB750 fuel tank?

    Personally, I think if all these manufacturers just started producing their 1973-1977 models again, the motorcycling world would be a whole lot better.

    Think about it.
    Brand new Ducati 750SS bevel-twins.
    Brand new Moto Guzzi LeMans Mk1.
    Brand new “toaster” BMWs.
    New “real” Triumph Bonnevilles.
    etc.

    We don’t want “retro”. We want the real thing. Just start making your old models again, please.

    • tim says

      Are you mad! 1970′s electrics? 1970′s Meriden electrics AND build quality?

      Nah man, if you want that stuff you can get it. Either buy one and sink a pile of coin into it, or better yet, buy one someone else has done that to. Spend $20k to get a bike worth $19k: absolutely.

      Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. I’ll take modern build quality and reliability and warranty and electrics, and the styling cues or whatever of the past.

      The new Triumph Bonneville does it brilliantly

      • Jon says

        The cb750 had very reliable electrics. You need to stop thinking in Lucas terms. My 78 cb750 has had 0 electrical troubles. I would say that is as reliable as it gets.

        • tim says

          I’ve owned three CB750′s, a CB400F (why did I sell it again?) and a CB650. I agree: zero electrical problems. I was referring to the well known issues with Meriden Triumphs and Ducatis and Guzzis. Some call it “charm” or “character” but really they are faults.

          • says

            I owned 2 Ducati bevel twins from the 1970s, and also another Ducati, and also owned a Laverda 1000 3c and a Benelli 750 SEI.
            None of them ever had any electrical problems.
            And they did have loads of “character” and “charm” too. .

            Funny thing how these myths get perpetuated. I always found that the critiques reflected more about the owners than the bikes.

    • John S says

      Have you ridden a real 1970 Japanese motorcycle recently? Little suspension (and no dampening on the two inches of travel that is provided), terrifying handling, fork tubes the diameter of your little finger, tires that feel like they are rubbed in bacon fat, etc. My brother found a 1970 Kawasaki F9 350cc in a box. (The original owner attempted to fix it, got over his head, abandoned the project, and eventually died of old age.) My F9 was my pride and joy in high school. Riding one again was a true experience: I learned motorcycling was more exciting in the 1970s because you were always a few seconds from death.

      • says

        Well, I don’t ride Japanese motorcycles.

        But, it seems that there are plenty of other people who like them enough to vote the CB750 the “Bike of the Century”, so it would seem like a good idea to have that again.

        As for the other marques I mentioned,it would be a delight to have their 70s fare on the market again.

  6. Hooligan says

    This is not even new. It is a revival of a revival, slightly warmed over. Honda sold a simular bike in Europe 7- 8 years ago. It was not a big seller then, doubt if it will be a big seller now.
    I remember them being fine for lazy gobfulls of straight line torque, but as soon as you got to the twisty bits my 600 Hornet would run rings round them.
    I am worried about Honda’s design choices these days, they seem to be cooking up a load of turkeys that miss all the spots. The 800 Crossrunner being one fat bloated pointless excercise for example.
    The only new bike of theirs that actually seems radical and useful at the same time is the NC700, where they chopped a car engine in half, put a large storage space for a helmet where the tank usually is. 60-70 mpg if you can stay awake along enough though.

  7. J D Mosley says

    Select a color, red or red. Yuck. Blue, gold, white, all black, get it right, Honda, people want choices. Specs? Not much to go on there. Top speed, torque, braking, mileage? Non adjustable forks, twin shocks (whoopie). I guess the price “To be determined” is hingeing on the public’s response… They have time to address some of the issues, better take a long look at the economy before pricing this one into failure.

    • Paul Crowe says

      Target price, though not official, is under $10 thousand.

      Update: Available in Candy Red. Price: $9,999; ABS $10,999.

  8. Tin Man says

    Looks good to me, A bike that looks like a bike. A Honda I would consider buying,along with many others who actaully buy new bikes. If they can bring this in at or under 10K it will sell like hotcakes.

  9. Tanshanomi says

    I’ve claimed for several years that Honda would NEVER bring this bike to the States. Looks like I have a big helping of crow to eat.

  10. lostinoz says

    Cafe kid’s wet dream….
    Hell i owned a 73 750, and it was a love hate relationship. It was ugly beat up and rolled on flat black paint, it was less powerful than my friends GS and the soft tails (torque).

    but that sound… oh the sound. And the best/worst part was how damn reliable it was. I abused the hell out of it hoping to destroy it as an excuse to get rid of it.
    NO SUCH LUCK.
    Lets hope they got more than just the “styling” copied. I hope these have that same legendary reliability.

  11. dellortodiagonale says

    I like it a lot. More precisely, I would like it a lot and I would surely buy it if I had a taste for big and heavy bikes.
    Anyway: great overall quality, great timeless design, great possibilities of customization, great memories, refined, sturdy engine without any unnecessary complication, adequate power. Do you really need more?
    Make it 350 cc and I’ll be the first customer.

  12. B50 Jim says

    Why was the original CB 750 so popular? Number one: It was reliable! It didn’t quit running for an obscure reason 50 miles form home. Its lights didn’t go dark at midnight. It started every time at the push of a button. It didn’t leak oil. It didn’t vibrate parts onto the road. In short, riders could hop on and ride without having to worry that it might not get them home. In this regard it was unique among popularly-priced motorcycles.

    Number two: I did a lot of things well, not great. Handling was sufficient for most riders who never pushed its limits. Its engine made good, usable power in decent quantity, enough that riders could add a faring and tour two-up across the country. It was comfortable in terms of ride and vibration, although its seat was like those on a lot of other Japanese bikes that earned the nickname “vinyl crucifix” for a good reason. But the aftermarket soon stepped up with bolt-on seats that offered all-day comfort. Riders could afford it — OK, so Honda had tons of government Yen behind it and probably engaged in dumping, but for its retail price it was a hell of a deal. It deserved every bit of its reputation as a game-changing motorcycle.

    The world has changed drastically since the CB 750 appeared, but the riding public still likes a good, basic motorcycle that does a lot well, not great. However, the bar has been raised time and again to the extent that the most basic bike of today is light-years ahead of the best bikes in 1969. Reliability is a given. Plenty of good, useable power ditto. Handling must be better than a good average rider’s talent. Comfort is required.

    I’m sure the folks at Honda have covered all this with the CB1100. Its classic styling screams “motorcycle” in a way the Transformers-Paris-Dakkar-Ricky-Racer bikes don’t. Triumph has proven that the market wants and will buy a classic-styled bike. Honda has a winner on its hands.

  13. Peter says

    Don’t understand the hate, especially on Kneeslider. This bike fills a big hole in Honda’s lineup. You want a plastic tourer or racer, go for it, but there was no standard motorcycle available. I ride a Triumph Bonneville, and this looks like the logical next step: more power, more fun, but still a practical, basic motorcycle. I will definitely be taking a look at this come spring.

  14. Hooligan says

    The nearest you got in the US was the Honda 599. Called the Hornet every where else in the world. Sold huge ammounts in it’s various permutations.

      • Hooligan says

        Yes but the 900 Hornet was a comparable failure sales wise. The 600 was much more fun and throwaroundable. The 900 was really not any faster than the 600 and did not handle any better. It also failed because of peoples perception of what it would be like, they expected a rip snorting naked Fireblade and got a “sensible” bike instead, but that was their problem, the CB1000R is a better bike than the 900 ever was. Unfortunatly it is a bit soulless and like riding a sewing machine and the styling not to everyones taste.

  15. says

    Terrible. Just terrible. I’ve been saying for a long time that Honda should re-introduce the CB, like Triumph did with the Bonnie, but they just got the styling all wrong… I’m sure it’ll be a great bike and all but IMO they should have drawn inspiration from the early 70s instead of the late 70s for styling cues.

      • Alex says

        I see this sentiment more and more as the early one have become more expensive and harder to locate (says the guy with a beautiful black 72cb750 cafe). I’ve got buddies who swear by the f’s. To each his own.

  16. todd says

    If it’s just a middle of the road bike why didn’t they just offer it with a 750cc or 400cc motor and price it around $6k? In this case, as far as standards go, the SV650 is the best ever. I like the styling a lot but the inevitable size of the bike because of the large motor (and cost) will keep me and others like me away.

    -todd

  17. Leif says

    I own a 1980 CB900F and I love it, so i’m already biased and love this. But has anyone been keeping an eye on demand for that era of motorcycle? CB900s & CB1100s have gone through the roof in the last few years, and with the increase of interest in Forgotten Era racing I can only see demand for this bike being fairly healthy. Many empty nesters with disposable income harking back to their original hero bikes but with modern piece of mind. This is what motorcycles should look like in mind. and if you need it to look sporty make it look like the Honda CB1100R from a few years back.

  18. Renegade_Azzy says

    Cool, although i would like to see it in a 500 or even a 650. For me though, I cant afford to buy new, so if I wanted one (my wife does) its going to be a nice used CB750 (and probably a Hondamatic at that)

  19. Stan says

    This has been sale for a while in Australia. I have no idea of actual figures, but i can’t recall seeing even one on the road. Plenty of CB400s though, that seems to be more where it’s at. I think they sould sell a tarted up version with clip ons, 17s and black paint.

    p.s. don’t panic but i might be a robot. I keep failing this captcha thing.

  20. Keith says

    It’s beautiful.
    It’s the kind of bike the American buyer screams “We’ll buy it!”
    It’s versatile.
    It will/should be comfortable.
    It will handle/brake better than 95% of the riders are capable of.
    I LOVE it.
    It won’t sell at all.

  21. James R says

    Here in Australia I have seen them in black, white blue and red. The red is beautiful. The bike looks better in the flesh and doesn’t feel like a big bike to sit on. The seat is actually very comfy. The riding position is good but I would probably put slightly lower bars on it.

    Not everyone want the fastest, bestest sportsbike. I don’t. As much as I love the Ducatis I would never buy one because I know the bike is far better than me. The trouble I have with sportsbikes is that they only seem happy going fast and I want to keep my license!

    I was tempted to buy one of these recently but ended up with an ’08 Bonneville instead. The main reasons were price (couldn’t find a used CB1100F), lack of aftermarket parts for the CB, esp a 4-2 exhaust, and I decided I wanted a twin, not a four. But if I see a used one in the future it is a real possibility. I would love it if they sold well enough to support an aftermarket parts scene like you get with the Bonneville.

  22. fraz1 says

    Bought one of these last year,first honda in 30years for me.It feels like a 750-900 to ride handling wise.Can be a little bland at times,but that should be fixed soon with a different muffler.

  23. tim says

    Oh yeah, and they film the advertisement here in sunny New Zealand, but do they bring it here? Not so much.

  24. says

    Oops…just saw that there isn’t a CB500 in the style of the CB1100…the Italians were talking about the new CB500 (which was “inspired” by the CB1100)

  25. steve w says

    Whats not to like. It could easily turn into a true Cafe or even a kool chop if one doesn’t like the present. I hate everything in a showroom but love platforms to work from!

  26. Alex says

    I currently own a 72 cb750 cafe racer, a 71 cb350t cafe racer, and a few eighties Hondas. I’ve had the least problems from my cb750 over the years. I always said I’d never buy a new bike… But I’m in line for this one! I can’t believe the hate showing up. This is a Motorcycle! No plastic fantastic boy racer here. This what I’ve wanted from Honda for years and I’ve been excited for it since the concept pic was released a couple of years back. You boys can keep your gsxrs and matching bright colored leathers. I’ll have a Motorcycle thank you!

  27. Scotduke says

    I don’t know what the specs are for the US model, but for the UK this bike has about 70hp and is a heavy lump as well. I like retro bikes and I’m old enough (and have been riding long enough) to remember them first time round, but this does nothing for me.

    I’m sure it’s well made and reliable but I can think of many other bikes I’d prefer, and they aren’t all sportsbikes. I can think of much better ways to get some classic style without having to ride something as heavy and characterless looking as this. The Triumph Bonneville range is pretty good, as is the Moto Guzzi V7.

    • Hooligan says

      87 bhp alledgedly, measured at the crank I presume so maybe 79-80 at the rear wheel and weighing a ton. Are we going backwards in the wrong way here?
      My 04 600 Hornet makes a genuine measured 88.3bhp at the rear wheel and weighs half as much. My Street Triple R 675 somewhere around a 100bhp and weighs nothing compared to this.

  28. says

    I do have to say that it is growing on me a little bit, and I have to give them props for giving it a good go with a credible retro effort.
    I’d rather see more things like this, than I would see more plastic fantastics.

  29. varg says

    Disappointed by Honda again… 20 less HP than the 1983 CB1100F, weighs the same amount. COME ON HONDA! It’s going to be slower than my 10 year old, 750cc Honda Magna, a freaking cruiser! I expect a lot more for $10,000, in 2012, than 88hp from 1100cc I could’ve had 108hp from an air cooled 1100cc in 1983! I love so many Hondas, especially the V4 Hondas, and Honda is letting me down.

    • Random says

      If you’re comparing weights only by reading specs, just wait for tests when it’s actually measured. Usually it’s pretty much the same as announced, very different to the “dry” weights on older models (no oil, gas, water or even battery fluid). Power staying the same is in reality a great engineering feat because limits for air and noise emissions have been steadily increasing.

      • Scotduke says

        The tests here in the UK haven’t been encouraging. My old Guzzi 500 had less power than this, but it also weighed a lot less and was a fun bike. It looked better too.

  30. matt says

    love it. i bought a duc 1098 and then got an 81 cb 750 cafe conversion. for an average rider like me the duc ends up in the garage 90% of the time.

    • says

      Matt,
      I do believe you’ve got it!

      A “regular motorcycle” doesn’t need to have gobs of hp, nor does it need to do 150-200 mph. It just needs to get you where you want to go, and have some fun doing it, without losing your license or breaking your neck. Many of the most desirable classic bikes ever produced only have 30-70hp. And it doesn’t need water cooling.
      Maybe the manufacturers are starting to figure out that the speed limit is 70 mph, and not 200 mph. And that MotoGP bikes on the street are not suitable for much.

      Besides that, with a standard type bike like this, you can style it the way you want, or just leave it as it is. It has potential for you to make it a tourer, or make it a cafe bike, or a bobber, or a chopper, or a commuter, or whatever you want.

      I would love to see Rickman come out with a re-make of their original Rickman CR cafe bodywork to fit this bike. That would look SO COOL!

      • todd says

        but then, when are manufacturers going to figure out that your bike only needs to be about 400 pounds if you have less than 80hp? It’s the same problem Triumph has had when it came out with the new Bonneville; it was 100 pounds heavier and 50% larger, without adding much more power (except the brakes and headlight!).

        Not everyone wants a cartoonishly gigantic motorcycle.

        -todd

  31. todd says

    I just sat on the CB1100F and it is BIG and feels heavy. It does not remind me much of a CB750 which now feels petite (correction: more right-sized) in comparison.

    -todd

  32. AirBusPilot says

    Some here get it. It’s a bike you can customize anyway you want, and it’s cheap. I do wish Honda had offered a few color choices, which they did in the 70′s. I’d like a candy blue. I’ve been looking to find an old 70′s bike to play with, maybe this is a better choice. Replace the rims with some aluminum spoke types (gold anodized?), maybe the rear shocks with some old school finned aluminum, and maybe do some top end motor work if I find it lacking in power.. I like the possibilities.

  33. Scott C says

    Just put a deposit on a dealer ordered CB1100F. Love the idea of an old school CB naked bike with
    Chrome Fenders. Have ninety days to get my 2012 Ninja 1000 sold. Yes it is 20-30 hp down from my current ride. Just want to tap back into the great memories I have riding my CB400F, CB750F,
    CBX AND CB1100F from the 1970′s, 80′s and 90′s. Saw pictures of this bike from 2007 Tokyo show.
    Been waiting a long time for this bike. Cannot wait to stick a Four into One after market exhaust tip on it and hit the highway. Need to slow down. Really do not need 150mph top speed of my Ninja.

  34. Chuck B. says

    1/26/13 I agree with you.I also drive a triumph bonneville and can’t wait to try out the cb1100 If I like it I know I’m defenitely going to get it.