Here at Riverside Green, we never get tired of the Honda CB1100 in all of its thoroughly satisfying guises. I know of two readers who bought the big aircooled Honda after reading about it here. Mine is about to sail through the 11,000-mile mark, and when I needed to clear a little space in my garage it was a no-brainer to sell my very lovely VFR800 Anniversary Edition instead of the all-black JDM.
Is the thoroughly-revised 2017 CB1100EX a better mousetrap than my bike? Just for once, we can probably get away with the Motor Trend “there are no losers here” reply. My opinion is that the updates do a great job of moving the 1100’s aesthetic back from the Nighthawk-era square-tank look of the 2014 Standard to a proper Seventies-style CB750-Four tribute.
For more on why the CB1100EX is great, let’s hear from a reader who took delivery of one.
“Loved your article on the 2017 Honda CB 1100 EX. Your perspectives were spot on.
I bought the only 2017 CB 1100 EX available in upstate NY last year and have put 3,000 perfect miles on it.
Creamy smooth, broad torque curve and plenty of pull at low revs in 6th gear, even on steep Rt. 20 hills, even with my wife of 42 years on the back. Sweet ride.
I owned a Honda 550 Four the year I graduated from college in 1976. Rode it all over the East coast. The CB 1100 EX took me back to those days, but with twice the horsepower, fuel injection, dual discs up front, ABS, dual valve adjustable front shocks, a slipper clutch, 55 MPG and six gears. Thank you, Honda, for a retro machine with plenty of punch and purist appeal.
I’ve owned ten bikes. Loved them all. Harleys, two strokes, singles, twins, quads, shaft drive. The red KZ650 with a coffin tank was a favorite design, but lagged momentarily when the throttle was twisted. Test drove a Zero and it blew me away, but no memories evoked and that’s part of the experience. Never dropped a bike, but some close calls with deer and dumb drivers. Many miles. Lucky life.
I nearly bought the bike you own. It was so close to right. Beautiful. Understated. Liked the subtle tank emblem. For me, it needed a sixth gear and I really wanted twin pipes and spokes.
Sent a letter off to Honda asking for that and must have been on the same page as other customers (older guys my age?). They built just what I hoped for and the build quality is just amazing.
Probably my last bike and a great way to finish a long, sweet run on two wheels. I love the bike and have experienced more thumbs up and more smiles from more strangers while riding that Honda than on every other bike combined.”
Naturally, I had to remind Kevin that the 2014 CB1100 Standard, unlike the 2013 model, does in fact have a sixth gear! I agree with him that it’s very close to mandatory on this bike, particularly in states where you can regularly knock on the door of 80 or 90 miles per hour without much drama.
Would you like to be featured in Ridin’ For Harambe? Sure you would. Email me: askjack-at-calamarco.com.