A few years ago I wrote about a motorcycle that looked just like a CB750, except it wasn't, it was a new Honda CB1100 fitted with a CB1100 Four K10 kit that swapped out the tank, side covers and a lot of other pieces to make the already somewhat retro CB1100 into a very close replica of an early CB750. The kit was from Whitehouse of Japan. The only problem at the time was the price of everything. The bike was for sale and the seller said he had $10,000 in the new bike plus over $12,000 more in parts. That's a bit much for most of us who would be considering a bike like this. It sure did look nice, though.
Fast forward to today. As I was looking over the motorcycles on eBay, I noticed a few pre-owned CB1100s with prices in the $6K to $7K range and the bikes had moderate mileage, but they still looked pretty good. If previous owners had given them decent maintenance they would be a perfect bike for many years to come. That got me thinking. I remembered those retro kits and wondered what the price is now.
If you visit the Whitehouse site, they point to Samurider as their partner handling international sales and the K10 kits are prominently featured on their site. Scrolling down the page just made my jaw drop, the photos of the K10 builds in different colors and some variations in setup made you feel like you had traveled back in time. They are stunning!
OK, so what about price? Since that earlier seller never broke down his parts list and he had some very expensive extras, like a Moriwaki titanium exhaust, Over Racing swing arm and Ohlins shocks, the actual kit was probably a lot less than it appeared. Right now, the full kit costs $5569 dollars. That's a manageable number especially when combined with the price of a used CB1100. One of their builds shows a beautiful 4 into 4 exhaust which runs another $2204 dollars, so all in including the exhaust if you have $7K in the bike is $14K to $15K and using the stock exhaust drops it down to $12K, maybe less. That's brand new CB1100 territory, but with a kit, your 1100 puts you in the wayback machine with a grin on your face.
Take a look at these photos, especially the four pipe exhaust version, that is gorgeous to my eye, but all of them look great and better looking than stock in every way. If you get a used CB1100 and install this kit, you could sell the original parts and get part of your kit money back, or you can keep the parts and swap them back if you decide to sell the bike sometime down the road and then sell the kit separately or install it again on a newer CB1100. This looks like a winner all around.
You don't have to buy all of the parts, either, so you can do it in stages, though I'm not sure how it would look halfway. As I wondered when I wrote about this the first time, why didn't Honda do this to begin with? Did they really think this doesn't look appealing to potential buyers? They could have offered it as an option, too. I just don't understand.
A few additional thoughts
A lot of young people may not have the money to buy a new CB1100 plus conversion like this, but think about the retirees currently riding around on new Gold Wings, that's the same age bracket that would look at a CB750 with very fond memories and could just as easily buy one of these instead or even park one next to their Gold Wing. Now remember, too, the car dealers in the late 60s that took the initiative to build their own versions of factory cars, like the models from Yenko or Baldwin Motion that are now valuable collector cars themselves. If an enterprising Honda dealer was willing to invest in one of these kits, do the conversion in house and then offer it for sale, I bet it wouldn't be all that difficult to find a buyer. Then, based on their experience, suppose they decided to set up an arrangement with Whitehouse or Samurider to bring the kits into the US and do the conversions, I wonder where that would lead. Opportunity? I think so.
Also, consider that this bike has more displacement than the classic CBX, it has all the performance you would want in a sit upright standard and plenty for carrying a passenger behind you on a nice flat, comfortable seat so a couple could take a pleasant ride around town or out in the country. Not only would it bring back memories and smiles for those who could easily afford the bike now, it might be just the kind of bike that would bring some younger riders into the fold. You don't have to ride flat out with your hair on fire to have fun on a motorcycle and a younger rider might enjoy that more relaxed ride just as much as a lot of us would who have been around a lot longer. These retro conversions could easily become prized motorcycles passed down to the next generation. Just sayin ...
2014 Honda CB1100 2014 Honda CB1100 1100 DLX
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