Old meets new with Honda’s CB1100 EX with the attention to details including selecting which factory builds this blast from the past.
First dating back to 1959 and Honda’s twin-cylinder CB92 Benly and gaining fame with the world’s first production superbike in 1969 with its the four-cylinder CB750, the series has enjoyed a notable past. This would include Honda’s CB1100 which came to the U.S. in 2013, satisfying pent-up demand from an army of riders for whom a traditionally styled air-cooled four-cylinder CB was a must-have piece of engineering craftsmanship.
For 2017, the CB1100 EX has been imbued with extra layers of retro style and several performance upgrades. Manufactured through a production process at Honda’s Kumamoto factory that’s been fundamentally revised to integrate technology and expert skill in order to create motorcycles rich in craftsmanship and attention to detail.
“As with past CBs, we understand the timeless pleasure that our customers get from owning and riding an air-cooled inline four-cylinder motorcycle,” said Mr. Mitsunobu Imada, Large Project Leader for the 2017 CB1100 EX. “Building on the CB1100’s desirability and joy of ownership, while adding functionality and quality to deepen the sense of fulfillment, were very important elements for us to consider.”
There are plenty of models riding into showrooms this year offering the scrambler style, but CB1100 EX pays tribute to the proportion and silhouette of a true 1970s superbike. Its curvaceous fuel tank, which now has a seamless design not only evokes handmade craftsmanship it also holds almost four and a half gallons for a super-clean, classic look as well as impressive cruising range.
Honda pioneered the modern motorcycle inline-four engine and the CB1100 EX carries that tradition displacing 1140cc and featuring air cooling along with a modern blacked-out look while the single round headlight and twin instrument dials denote the classic rides from a bygone age.
Speaking of Honda’s original inline-fours, they and the Japanese manufacturers Grand Prix bikes featured twin-loop full-cradle steel chassis in basic black. The CB1100 EX offers the same look, but executed with modern engineering. The classic tubular-steel frame has relaxed steering geometry, sure-footed stability and neutral handling characteristics.
The 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve fork (SDBV) and twin Showa shocks offer improved suspension compliance, and ABS brakes are standard. The subtly blacked-out engine breathes more easily thanks to revised inlets and smaller, lighter dual chrome mufflers, producing linear, instantly accessible power and torque. An assist slipper clutch makes for easier lever engagement and rear-wheel stability on downshifts.
With its classic lines, the CB1100 EX conjures memories, mixing the engine’s addictive performance and soulful sound with evocative appeal. It’s also a machine to savor and contemplate from every angle.
Adding crisp-edged modernity, the front and rear lights are now LED and new 18-inch wheels run stainless steel spokes.
The CB1100 EX will be available in Candy Red as of May 2017. The price has yet to be announced.