(Further update below)
The new CB1100 is now a global model and no doubt that will bring many new sites with lots of information about it but in the mean time here is a summary from the CB1100 Facebook community page that I have run the last couple of years. I want to summarise the Facebook page since all older posts and therefore the bulk of information shared there is simply lost as it does not appear in a web search nor to new users of the page.
First up some frequently asked questions.
What accessories can I get for the new CB1100? – There is a wide range of factory accessories that people seem not to be aware of. I will post some of the Honda factory accessories catalogue below for people to get an idea. I actually scanned and posted the entire book but Facebook has somehow deleted all but a few pages. Do a search or look on Honda Japan web site.
Where can I obtain aftermarket parts from? – From Japan is perhaps best option at the time of this post, I expect that will soon change as the model goes on sale in Europe and USA. Shops like Rakuten will ship international. If you search the factory part number in Google a list of shops with the item will appear. There are freight forwarders in Japan just like everywhere else in the world in these days of global online shopping so if you take a bit of time it is not hard.
Is there hard luggage released for the CB1100? Yes, top boxes and side panniers both available in Japan.
Where can I get a screen or bikini fairing for my CB1100? – There is a wide selection of bikini fairings being produced for the bike in Japan. If you like the 70’s look then you can recreate this. Also simple screens are also available
Where can I get workshop manual? - English manual is available from Honda, part number is 62MGC00
What is fuel range? - About 240km useable range. I have seen this on number of occasions having had the reserve flashing since 200km and when fuelling had 2 litres left in tank. That will drop with spirited use of throttle.
Who sells the old CB750 style parts for the new CB1100? – Whitehouse Japan.
What is performance like? – In a word ‘ample’. But if your focused on motorcycle performance figures then perhaps not the right motorcycle for you.
What tyres are best on the new CB1100? – always a subjective thing tyres. I like the Bridgestone Battlax BT45 I have now fitted. The original Dunlops were vague, but I feel that way about all Dunlops.
What model oil filter will fit? – Takes same filter as CBR600 – there is heaps of choices, search Google then jot down number and head down to your local auto shop.
What aftermarket exhausts are available for the CB1100? -Yoshimura make a 4-2 system, and aftermarket mufflers are made by them and Moriwaki and Mugen. Note the factory system has a interactive exhaust valve.
Where can I get a 4 into 4 exhaust for my CB1100? Mine was custom made by Pipemasters in Brisbane Australia. In Japan there is a aftermarket 4-4 system made by Endurance.
I’m 6’ how will I go comfort wise? – Yes you may want the higher seat that is available from Honda. It is factory part. I too am 6’ and rode with the lower seat for some time however the higher seat really makes it more comfortable for people with longer legs.
Can I lower the pegs instead? – Yes anything is possible but the pegs are already lowered so further would reduce ground clearance too much. For comfort with long legs a higher seat is the better option.
Is there other seats available? Yes if you want to spend big then Kanda make some beautiful seats or you can simple ask in your local area if you want to reupholster.
Can I raise or lower the bars? – The bars sit comfortably to tall riders but you could fit a different bend of bars or change the bar risers easy. The CB1100 has rubber mounted bar risers to reduce vibrations so keep this in mind.
Is there a pillion grab rail for the new CB1100? – Yes a nice factory item is available from Honda, I just installed one for the looks alone.
Where do I get the chrome instruments pods for the new CB1100? – These are a another of the many factory accessories.
When is the CB1100 released in North America? – Now – 2013.
Well that is a bit of a summary of the most often asked questions on the Facebook page. I have stepped away from Facebook completely for my personal use and now I will be extending that to the two community pages I admin there including the CB1100 page to refocus on here where information shared can be easy found by others.
And now my thoughts on the CB1100 after a reasonable length of ownership. First my gripes - I think Honda should have released with the high seat as standard and made the lower seat an option – really going about it the wrong way as it stands. Also I wish ABS had been made available here as an option – but I understand that would have pushed up the price on what originally was a very low volume almost boutique import model. I know here riders have a dislike of ABS which is really stupid given I have seen a number of accidents that were caused by brake lockup, I hope we might catch up with our thinking on this as it can save lives.
OK now my long term thoughts. The nature of the bike is something I really enjoy. The totally benign handling and smooth power delivery means you can just enjoy the ride. That engine has a character about it that just brings a smile to my face when riding, big lazy revs four that has smooth drive from low and then winds up to deliver a satisfying upper rpm push. I’ve had twins, triples, a V4 and peaky high powered inlines but this style is really the pick of the bunch for me.
Be aware if you change the exhaust it will soften the lower rpm drive a little.The factory muffler has a interactive valve. I had to quieten my 4 to 4 down just to make it something to live with but in doing so my lower rpm response firmed back up and I was lucky to find the sweet spot where it is now.
There is no handling issue with the conventional twin shock suspension and 18” wheels – both work fine and the handling is neutral and confidence inspiring, pay no heed to idiots on the net that cannot get there head around the fact you don’t need the latest crotch rocket and chewing gum soft tyres to enjoy a quick dash on a curvy road – they simply have no riding skills. If you wanted to the bike can be ridden fairly spiritedly however that is not the most rewarding way to ride this bike.
The fit and finish are really good, the paint and chrome plating are of a high quality. Riders on others brands seem collectively to bad mouth Honda, I don’t know why, it makes no sense, but then so much of what you read doesn't either. I don’t understand the ‘haters’ and their stream of misinformation into public online areas.
It’s arguably a very attractive motorcycle if you like the era it pays homage to. I get a lot of comments and questions whenever I ride it, people ask what year it is and are surprised to hear it is a recent model, so I would say Honda have done a good job to capture the look.
For me the CB1100 is for the most part an enjoyable ride, however it is made for the rider who has advanced in their riding mindset. I have no idea what horsepower it actually has - nor any of the other motorcycles I have rented when travelling in recent years. I don’t seek to get through a corner as fast as possible – actually I want to maximise the defy gravity joy of riding a motorcycle thus strive for a balance between less pace that still delivers a satisfying lean. If your over the stage of needing to prove something to others then you would not be disappointed riding one.
Final update October 2013: Ok I have now nearly 3 years on the bike and while I still like it there is two things that I think are not as good as they should be. The main item is the comfort which is either the rear shocks not being valved correctly or the springs being bit too stiff for solo riding on bumpy roads. The other item is the fuel range which like the comfort is ok for day trips but if you want to do any touring then the low range starts to be a problem in rural Australia. I have sold the bike now as I am moving overseas.