Honda, as a company, looks to the future; yet always with one eye on, and great respect, for the past. To that end, the Honda CB1100 mixes originality with a timeless sense of design, and substantial character. It represents a finely balanced blend of performance, with broad capacity, ability and adaptability.
But it also has something else, almost an intangible – a small part of the soul of a true original: the Honda CB750 Four.
The CB750 Four has cast a long and influential shadow over motorcycling since its debut in 1969. Soichiro Honda, ever the engineer, leading an engineering company, wanted to prove that there was more to the two-wheeled formula than small and medium capacity twin-cylinder motorcycles, and did just that with the ground-breaking 749cc, 67bhp air-cooled, SOHC four-cylinder four-stroke power unit.
A competent chassis – with another first, a single disc brake up front – provided handling and stopping power to match the engine, and the CB750 Four was an instant success. The mass-production superbike had been born, the blueprint drawn for the future.
Motorcycling has changed a great deal over the last 5 decades since the very first CB – the Benly CB92 – was introduced. Motorcyclists themselves have changed too: while many still aspire to the ultimate performance available, just as many today perhaps have other reasons to own a motorcycle.
Some are looking back, at the bike they wanted when they were young but simply couldn't afford. Others want something that performs like a new machine, but with a certain, classic look that lends retro-heritage to a contemporary lifestyle.
And some riders just want an exquisitely engineered motorcycle that blends real-world usability with an honest sense of history. The common factor is fun.
BENLY CB92 SUPER SPORT
Honda believes motorcycles are very personal things, much more than mere transport. And none more so than the CB1100, as the following insight from the man that created it, shows: