Honda brought back the CB name with the CB1100 in 2010 as the visual and spiritual successor to the incredibly popular 1970's CB750. Despite getting a refresh in 2014, which added a much needed sixth gear and new gauge cluster, Honda's foray into the retro standard never really took off. Having spent some time on one, I can tell you it was very Honda (read: boring).
Well, Honda is looking to change all of that with the new 2017 Honda CB1100RS, which it added to the lineup alongside a refresh to the base model CB1100EX. And, this time, it looks like they've nailed it (at least in the looks department).
To kick the thing off, the CB1100RS gets a new, curvier pressed aluminum tank with fancy paint. All of the lighting, including the signals, has been swapped out for LED units.
It also gets a new 43 mm right side up Showa "dual bending valve two-piece fork" and remote reservoir shocks which connect to 17 inch cast aluminum wheels and dual radial Tokico calipers.
The engine is also slightly revised, with a new inlet tract and smaller/lighter 4-2-2 exhaust system. It's accompanied by a slipper clutch to lighten the clutch pull and limit back torque on aggressive downshifts.
The new suspension and smaller wheels give the RS a 5mm shorter wheelbase of 1,485mm and a rake/trail of 26º/99mm (compared to the 27º/114mm of the EX). Seat height comes in at 31.3 inches, while wet weight is still an astonishingly high 555 pounds.
The base model EX gets the same new tank, but ditches the fancy paint. It gets LED lights front and rear, but keeps the standard indicators, and it retains the previous model's 18 inch wheels, suspension, and brakes. It does, however, get the slipper clutch and new exhaust.
We won't know until we ride the bikes if the sportier RS has enough personality or performance to make it an interesting option in this class, but from here we can say Honda has definitely piqued our interest. Anyone have a CB1100 and want to chime in on their thoughts? Any of you owners add an exhaust and manage to get the sewing machine to speak up a little bit?