At the very first glance, the CB1100 parked outside the Rider office had me by the eyeballs. Appraising its Candy Red paint and clean, classic lines, I knew I had to ride it. EIC Tuttle finally handed me the key a couple of months later, with the bike now sporting Cortech Super 2.0 luggage and a National Cycle Street Shield EX windshield (both excellent, functional additions). So ride it I did—to work and back, over the mountains for lunch, up the coast—wherever the road led me from my Southern California digs. When I returned it the odometer had turned over nearly 2,000 miles.
Our long-term Deluxe model differs from the original 2013 test bike (Rider, July 2013) and 2014 standard model in both looks and amenities. An extra 0.7 gallon of fuel capacity, for 4.6 total, takes you farther between fill-ups, while a new 6-speed transmission in both 2014 CB1100s, standard and Deluxe, lets the motor relax on the open road. Honda’s Combined ABS comes on the Deluxe, and is unobtrusive in normal braking situations. And its 4-into-2 exhaust features a gleaming chromed muffler on each side, lending a balanced look to the bike. Fully gassed it weighs 557 pounds, 15 more than our 2013 5-speed, but underway, even at the slowest pace the CB is an agile partner. And the 31.2-inch seat keeps your feet flat on the tarmac when stopped.
Read our 2013 Honda CB1100 road test
As reported in 2013, this bike is easy to ride, and easy to like. The torque curve is as flat as Kansas—from 3,500 to 7,000 rpm the 1,140cc air-cooled mill generates close to its maximum torque output of 67.4 lb-ft. The power isn’t so enormous as it is inexorable, climbing to its 88.3 horsepower peak (3.4 more than the standard model with 4-into-1 exhaust) at 7,400 rpm as recorded on the Jett Tuning dyno, driving the CB forward with purpose if not fireworks. The Deluxe is so easy to live with and so fun to ride it’s hard to find fault. But here’s one: tingle-butt in the 4,000-5,000 rpm range, though it’s easily avoided by deft use the six-cog tranny. Fuel range is reasonable for a bike you might (should!) tour on; our fuel economy averaged 43.6 mpg, netting 200.7 miles per tank. The Deluxe retails for $11,899; the still-available 2013 standard model is just $9,999 or $10,999 with C-ABS, and a 2014 standard with 6-speed is $10,399.
With current offerings going high-tech from head to tail, Honda has built an honest motorcycle on the premise that some new technology melded with a proven design can deliver a heck of a good ride. I’m going to miss this ruby-red beauty when it’s gone. The CB1100 DLX isn’t the lightest, fastest or most technically advanced of the 21st century two-wheelers, but it begs to be ridden and provides an experience worthy of its heritage. Simple, comfortable and fun, the CB1100 Deluxe could be a long-term bike for a lot of riders.
I love the looks, and appreciate the timeless design. This bike might be in my future, as a town bike to back up my Goldwing. It would be a bit cheaper than the new Valkyrie (had a 2001 Valk for 11 years), get better city MPG, and be a lot easier on the initial out of pocket purchase.
This looks too much like a blast from the past. Maybe a newer design of an older engine and the style is straight out of 1990s? I prefer the VTX look that Honda killed. There a millions of them for sale so they availability will be around forever and I guess that is why Honda won’t build more of them, but to go back to past for their future is not a good marketing strategy to me.
You dismiss this bike as a “too much like a blast from the past,” and would prefer… a cruiser? The original blast-from-the-past? At least this is based on a Honda original (the first inline-4 CB750), rather than being an imitation Harley. Honda offers a wide range of motorcycles — how’s that for a marketing strategy?
Well said KenC. Very well said.
As the proud owner of the 2013 Standard model, I can tell you that this bike is absolutely superb. The styling is retro, but the engine is modern. Very torquey and smooth as a baby’s butt. My favorite bike of all time was the Kawasaki Z-1, and this bike is just like it, except better.
If you don’t like the styling, you weren’t in the market for a bike like this, it was intended for those of us that do not want to ride an insect.
Haha, yes insects and birds with funny beaks . Strange designs indeed when you go to a Japanese bike dealer these days.
I owned a 1970 CB750. It was the Candy Red. I loved the bike, it had everything it needed. The only problem I ever had with the bike was the seat height. At the red light and stop signs it was tip toe and then off to the races. The wind shield would be a good idea. Wind was a bit strong at 70 MPH and above. I can’t wait to go see the Dealer and set up a test ride.
with a 31″+ seat height I won’t be putting my feet flat on the ground. (29″ inseam) . Not for me. Otherwise looks good.
“too much like a blast from the past”…. Um, newsflash- that’s exactly the point of the bike and what Honda was striving to recreate, so thanks for the compliment.
and not in the 2015 line-up
Arden, you are such a tease. Honda has plenty of the 2014 base versions still available at dealerships but no dealer in the western US has a Deluxe. I’ve had two dealerships looking for one. They can’t even find one at the main Honda distribution warehouse. No 2015s. May be available as a 2016; my local Honda Powerhouse dealer isn’t sure but he’s bugging his regional rep about future availability.
Hello…….I’ve been riding for over 50 years. My first big bike was a 1982 KZ1100. Liked it so much I bought another one after I wore out the original. I currently ride an old Voyager X11, but I’m starting to find it a little heavy. I always said that if anyone ever came out with a bike to match my old KZ, I’d buy one. The only thing missing on the CB1100 is a shaft drive. I promised myself many years ago that I would never buy another bike with spokes or a chain.
I get it, Laurie. I would like to see shaft drive on this one too. But it would likely take the weight up another 75 lbs or more, which I’m sure this bike doesn’t need. So I believe I will live with chain drive. At least it has a center stand.
Have to say I’m impressed with your riding experience, it sounds like you are dedicated and have been for a long time. Good luck and keep the shiny side up!
I like the clean look of the older styling, but I’m not about to shell out $12k for it ! Only 88 h.p. and a bunch of electronic gadgets I don’t want anyhow. I’ll pass on this one.
Wow very nice look,i like the deluxe model,with much chrome and old old school look
think to buy one on my birthday.
The CB1100 is a stunningly beautiful reincarnation of the UJM.
I am a 70 year old male rider with 49 years, 43 motorcycles, and 1.4 million miles of riding history. I own a 2014 Standard CB1100.
I find it difficult to describe what attributes create the ideal motorcycle.
I have owned 150 HP performance machines, great dual sports from BMW and Triumph, Harley’s, Goldwings, and a Ducati. When it comes to pure smiles per mile and admiring glances from other cyclists, the CB110 is in a class by itself.
IF 88 HP IS NOT ENOUGH POWER THEN YOU AND CASEY STONER HAVE A LOT IN COMMON!
Eric has a very astute observation here to match his extensive experience. I own the same CB as he and it’s extremely difficult to explain why this bike must be ridden to fully understand the pull. One of my earlier bikes i owned was an ’85 Yamaha Maxim X 750 and Honda had captured what made the UJM class so unique. It’s almost as if they studied the class for the past 30 years and pinpointed every little thing that was wrong with them, and corrected them in this bike. It has character in droves and the only part of your body that will be sore after a ride on one of these babies is your face from all the smiling. if you think this was just Honda pulling an old bike out of the archives, you don’t know Honda at all. There is an amazing article by the design team who created this beaut explaining how they came to such an impressive finished air cooled product. You would be shocked to see their attention to detail throughout their process. Give it a gander here. https://world.honda.com/CB1100/engineer-talk/
If this doesn’t make you want to seek one out to see what all the fuss is about, you belong in a cage with four fat tires. Probably the best perk of this bike is it’s rarity. Have been driving it for a year and have never seen one on the road. That’s probably why I can’t stop anywhere without having someone ask me about it.
I salute you Mr. Padelford !
Just got in from a three hundred mile lunch blast on my 2014 cb1100 standard. Bought the bike new in fall of 2018. Best 5800.00 I have ever spent. It practically rides itself. 50 miles to the gallon with out even trying. I am 58 years old and started riding at sixteen. Bought and sold countless bikes. Jap, amer. Germ. Ital. This is one of the best. Capt. Pete
Cannot disagree at all. I own 3 of them, a 2013 STD, 2014 DLX, and a 2017 EX.. All three and any of the three are a pure joy to ride. Riding since 69′. I have never owned or ridden a bike as smooth and graceful as the Honda CB1100. Nuff Said…..
You simply need to ride a CB1100 before dismissing anything about it. I have a 2019 ex and have to say out of the many many bikes I have owned this one brings the biggest smile to my face. It’s a proper motorcycle in every way.
I own at 2014 Honda cb 1140 . i am 71 years old, starting riding at age 15. i have owned 13 motorcycles.just about every make out there. this honda is portably the most fun and enjoyable ride i have ever had.
First about me; I’m a 72.5 year old male, retired Army, and having quit smoking 7.5 years ago I now weigh 280 lbs. (You’ll be so glad you quit, they said. BULL!!)
My CB is a 2014 standard bought used. And I love it… overall. What I don’t like is the tiny hard-to-read LCD panel between the big round speedo and tachometer. Most of the time, in fact, I can’t read it at all. (old eyes?)
I have both the std and deluxe seats, with the cover being the only difference. And both are uncomfortable for me after an hour or so. (old and heavy butt?)
I don’t understand why do many published reviews claim fuel mileage in the 40s, unless they rode it like a sport bike. I regularly get 52-56 mpg, always getting at least 200 miles from a full tank.
Like others have already said, there’s just something about this bike that makes you want to get on and ride, and then that same something gets you in trouble for coming home late. The power is so smooth and friendly, and the wide range of impressive torque makes one forget the admittedly soft horsepower.
I don’t feel the urge to play racer on this bike. It corners well, but not like my sportier bikes. It’s almost like a cruiser, except lighter, smoother, and faster. I usually just sit up and… well, cruise!
I have the same windshield described in the above review, but it was already in place when I bought the bike, so I don’t know its pros or cons. But I like it.
Being 72.5 years old, I was already riding when the 1969 Honda 750 came out. A dealer let me ride one, and of course I liked it, but I was a weekend drag racer, so I bought a Kawasaki 500 Mach III instead. Won a lot of money on that bike, mostly from Harley riders, but quite a bit from Honda 750 riders too. But I’ve always loved the looks of those CBs and later the Kawasaki 903, etc. I’ve always seen them as the way a motorcycle is supposed to look. I am not fond of the insect styling of today.
I too started rider at a young age of 14 back in 69′. My first Honda, a 1972 CB175. Loved it. Now a few decades later, I find myself riding my 2013 CB1100 over my 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS, really! And, I am getting ready to buy a 2017, CB1100 EX because Honda in all its stupidity, will not bring the CB1100 RS here to the states! Wake up Honda! The CB1100 RS would sell. I would buy it instead of the EX. But since I do not trust Honda to bring the RS here, I will buy the EX instead. I still ride the Z900RS when I want super acceleration, but the Honda when I want to ride using my CB as the paintbrush that treats the highway like one long canvas!
Ok – I’m a fairly youthful, 62 year old, new rider. Midlife crisis? Maybe. Got my license last Fall after taking the MSF course here in southern NH. Just successfully took the intermediate course for a refresher. Here’s my comment and questions. I just love the classic look of this type bike. Thinking I should get a Triumph Bonneville T100 or T120 as my first/last bike. Just rented a T100 yesterday and had no trouble with the weight. Thinking of looking at a used T120 for the extra tech features and power. Don’t really want to spend more than about $7500. Plan to ride for 5 months a year, for fun and occasional commutes to train station. Then, I come across all this lavish praise for the CB1100, and especially the 2014 deluxe. Then I saw a 2014 with less than 12k miles on sale for about $7200. 😳 Before I pull the trigger on a T120, should I absolutely try riding the CB1100? Can anyone compare the 2 bikes directly? Pros and cons?