Our Product-Dev guy, Erik “Westy” Westergaard is probably the fastest guy at Biltwell, so when it came time to test Honda’s 2018 CB1100EX it just made sense to have this one-man wrecking crew spend some quality time with this impressive machine…
Honda has always been a go-to brand for me whether it be racing, riding for pleasure or work. They produce some of the most dependable equipment you can buy and the function of a Honda-branded-anything is something I will always trust.
Even at first glance, it’s immediately obvious that the overall styling is a well thought out homage to a time long-passed where less is more, and the beauty lies in its simplicity. When throwing a leg over it, you really grasp its width. The familiarity of the cockpit to a CB750 of my past was undeniable, and If you are used to a narrower single-cylinder motorcycle, you will instantly notice that the engine is as wide as your feet when on the pegs. The modern sportbike-style shape of the tank is well done and does not take away from the bike’s classic appeal. The display is straight-forward, giving the rider everything required and nothing that isn’t, in an elegant and simple layout. The cockpit is comfortable and the giant bread-loaf seat seemed as though it would be a little too bulky, but ended up being just about perfect.
All-day motorcycle riding can take a toll on your body, especially in the sun. Fighting the wind, terrain and the mental drain from watching out for competing traffic can easily make you want to stay in bed a few more hours the next morning. I found myself looking forward to getting back on it for each morning commute, and there was never a moment where I didn't want to ride it. Touch the button and the bike purred to life without a single worry every time. Urban riding all day long on the CB1100EX and for days on end with some freeway stints to let me stretch its legs was comfortable and easy. Predictable handling during some fast canyon-running was confidence inspiring and the stop-and-go of downtown riding was a non-issue with the easy clutch and smooth transmission that is very typical of Honda machines. The brakes were plenty powerful and while I try not to put myself into panic situations on purpose, out of curiosity I did attempt some hard stops to try and lock up both front and rear and the ABS worked quite well. It goes as well as it stops! The Honda has plenty of grunt under hard acceleration to pull the front wheel off the ground, and this is no lightweight machine. We weren’t supposed to wheelie it, but if you accidentally get it up on the rear wheel, it’s very well balanced and easy to keep it there. Allegedly.
When shopping for motorcycles, people like the "wow" factor, whether it be styling, performance or maybe a little braggadocio. From the simple and classic styling, the moderate but completely adequate power and at a price point that won't break the bank, The Honda CB1100EX doesn't really fit any of those but this is the only bike most of us really need, even if we don't realize it. - Westy
||1140cc air-cooled inline four-cylinder
|Bore And Stroke
||73.5mm x 67.2mm
||PGM-FI with automatic enrichment circuit, 32mm throttle bodies
||DOHC; four valves per cylinder
||#530 O-ring-sealed chain
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES
||41mm fork with spring preload adjustability; 4.21 inches travel
||Twin shocks with spring preload adjustability; 4.49 inches travel
||Dual four-piston calipers with full-floating 296mm discs with ABS
||Single-caliper 256mm disc with ABS
||27.0 degrees (Caster Angle)
||114mm (4.4 inches)
||540 pounds. Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.
||Meets current EPA standards. California version meets current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment.
FACTORY WARRANTY INFORMATION
||Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
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