Since 1959, when they first adorned the twincylinder CB92 Benly, the two letters CB have
always meant a great deal to Honda, and Honda owners. And they came to mean even
more in 1969; the fourcylinder CB750 was a seminal moment for motorcycling as the
world’s first production superbike took centre stage, laying down a blueprint that still stands
In the present day, old school has become very much new school and in 2013 Honda brought the CB1100 already a best seller in the Japanese market to Europe, satisfying pentup demand from an army of riders for whom a traditionally styled aircooled fourcylinder CB was a musthave piece of engineering craftsmanship.
For 2017, two versions of the CB1100 will be available. Newly arrived to sit alongside the upgraded CB1100 EX, is the CB1100 RS. Imbued with layer upon layer of retro style and several new performance upgrades the CB1100 RS offers a new type of sporting CB1100 appeal.
Manufacture takes place in Honda’s Kumamoto factory, with a production process that’s been fundamentally revised to integrate technology and expert skill in order to create motorcycles rich in craftsmanship and attention to detail, plus a place in history that only comes with the passage of many decades.
Stripped back and lean, the CB1100 RS has the look of a 1970s race bike, with more than a hint of café racer. The curvaceous fuel tank – made without seamwelded lips – evokes handmade craftsmanship, while the single round headlight and twin instrument dials outline a timeless silhouette. Adding crispedged modernity, all lighting is LED.
Backing up the sportier styling, the CB1100 RS’s chassis uses sharper geometry matched than the EX, with firmer Showa suspension, front radialmount fourpiston brakes, cast aluminium 17inch wheels and sportsbikespec tyre sizes. A lower, more compact riding position moves the rider’s weight forward, complementing the chassis changes.
The aircooled fourcylinder engine breathes more easily thanks to a revised inlet tract and smaller, lighter 422 exhaust system while an assist slipper clutch makes for easier lever engagement and rear wheel stability on downshifts.
With a keener edge to its appeal and performance, the CB1100 RS is a perfect machine to cut through the city in style, and cut loose on winding roads at weekends. It exudes exquisite engineering that draws in the observer, and is also a platform ripe for customization, and ready for an owner’s imagination.
The CB1100 RS’s classic tubular steel double cradle frame holds the engine with four rigid and two rubber mounts. It features tighter steering geometry than the CB1100 EX, with rake and trail of 26°/99mm and wheelbase of 1485mm (as opposed to 27°/114mm/1490mm) to give faster steering and more responsive handling. Seat height is 795mm with kerb weight of 252kg.
As well as a more aggressive stance and riding position the CB1100 RS is also equipped with a Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) 43mm twopiece front fork, which uses two valves to generate both compression and rebound damping force giving linear feel, excellent ride quality and precise road holding. A new diecast aluminium top yoke features a buffed finish and clear coat, while the bottom yoke holds the fork legs in a higher position.
Twin Showa remotereservoir rear shocks (with damping rates to match the front fork) operate through a new aluminium swingarm, which has a clean look thanks to an under slung rear brake hose. An aluminium chain guard replaces the previous plastic design.
Dual radialmount fourpiston Tokico brake calipers grip 310mm floating discs with ABS control, the rear singlepiston caliper works a 256mm disc. The CB1100 RS also features 17inch cast aluminium wheels – finished in black – wearing sportsbikesized 120/70 ZR17 and 180/55 ZR17 front and rear tyres. Three effects from this change are obvious: quicker sidetoside steering, improved cornering traction and a 3% increase in acceleration due to the overall gearing change of the smaller rolling diameter of the rear tyre. Lshaped air valves make checking tyre pressure easy.
Together with the look of the exposed engine, the shape of the fuel tank its curves and lines go a long way to give a naked motorcycle its character and appeal Honda’s engineers wanted to maintain a 300km plus range, but were also focused on creating a truly handmade look.
The 16.8L fuel tank they came up with does away with the seamwelded lips along both bottom edges, and pays homage both to CB history and contemporary style with a cutaway section that displays the cam cover to the rider. It’s topped with an aircraft style
Building on the modern café racer theme the sidepanels are constructed of pressed aluminium with a textured ‘hairline’ finish while the seat is stripped back to a slim, sporty profile. The black seat frame rails add seamless lines without clutter and the black chrome steel rear mudguard has a more rounded cross section.
A compact black resin front mudguard skims the front tyre and ties in subtly with the machine’s minimalism. A long sidestand makes it easier to get the machine upright.
The handlebar is clamped 7mm forward (compared to the previous design) and more compact, sleeker diecast aluminium hangers mount both rider and pillion footpegs. Standing proud, the round front headlight – an LED unit with spiral running light – crowns
the front of the CB1100 RS and is held with aluminium stays flanked by compact LED indicators.
The LED rear light, indicators and number plate mounting bracket has been minimalised for a streamlined look and the circular speedo and rev counter are dressed in satin black with a chrome band. Equipment includes a fuel gauge and clock, gear position indicator, fuel efficiency gauge and range computer. Ignition is now via a ‘wave’ style key.
The CB1100 RS will be available in Candy Prominence Red and Graphite Black with a super smooth finish suggestive of repeated, and fastidious, wet sanding.
At the heart of the CB1100 RS is its muscular DOHC engine. Linear, instantly accessible drive is what this motor’s all about, and plenty of it, anywhere in the rev range. Maximum power output of 66kW arrives at 7,500rpm with peak torque figure of 91Nm delivered @ 5,500rpm.
Finished in black, with natural aluminium engine and cam covers its air (via 2mm fins) and oilcooled (via a 335mm 9tier, frontmounted oil cooler) and revs to 8,500rpm.
Compression ratio is 9.5:1, with bore and stroke set at 73.5mm x 67.2mm.
The twin camshafts are driven by a central chain, and the valve included angle is 26.5° inlet and exhaust. Inlet valve diameter is 27mm, with a 2.5mm stem; exhaust 24mm with 2.5mm stem. A single secondary balancer shaft ensures smooth running. PGMFI and 32mm throttle body are fed through a revised, shortened air inlet tract and new air cleaner, and work with the pair of shorter (minus 70mm in length, 7% less in diameter and 2.4kg lighter) chromeplated exhaust mufflers to boost low and midrpm engine reaction.
Internally split into two expansion chambers, each muffler features dual holepunched link pipes optimised for resonance and the generation of an evocative fourcylinder engine note. Both mufflers hug the machine tighter for improved ground clearance and the
downpipes are double skinned to stop heat discolouration.
An assist slipper clutch is now fitted. With diecast aluminium cam and slipper cam it saves weight, reduces lever effort by 16% and minimizes rear wheel ‘hop’ through engine braking on rapid down changes. The sixspeed gearbox, with carefully matched ratios for
gears 15 gives crisp response and acceleration, while 6th is an overdrive reducing fuel consumption and lowering engine rpm at highway speeds. Final drive is by 530 chain.
The CB1100 RS engine is Euro 4 compliant.
Type Inline fourcylinder, air and oilcooled,
Engine Displacement (cm³) 1140
Bore ´ Stroke (mm) 73.5 x 67.2
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Max. Power Output 66kW/7,500rpm
Max. Torque 91Nm/5,500rpm
Oil Capacity 4.9l/4.4l
Carburation PGMFI electronic fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity 16.8 litres
Battery Capacity 12V 11.2Ah
ACG Output 12V 21.7A/5000rpm 0.336kw
Clutch Type Wet, multiplate clutch
Transmission Type 6speed
Final Drive Chain
Type Double steel cradle
Dimensions (L´W´H) 2,180 x 800 x 1100mm
Caster Angle 26°
Seat Height 795mm
Ground Clearance 130mm
Kerb Weight 252kg
Turning radius 2.7m
43mm conventional fork (SDBV) with
adjustable spring preload
Twin shocks with adjustable spring
Type Front 10spoke diecast aluminium
Type Rear 10spoke diecast aluminium
Rim Size Front 17in x 3.50MT
Rim Size Rear 17in x 5.50MT
Tyres Front 120/70 R17
Tyres Rear 180/55 R17
ABS System Type 2 Channel
Hydraulic dual floating 310mm disks
with radial fit 4piston calipers (2
Type Rear Hydraulic disk (2channel ABS)
INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
Security System HISS