2013 Honda CB1100

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by DOUBLE-O G, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Been here awhile

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    To me most modern sport bikes and "adventure" bikes look like something from a Japanese Manga comic. Too many angles and useless pieces of plastic that seem to serve no purpose, too much "make it intentionally ugly and call it 'art'" styling (coughBMWcough.) And fully-faired sportbikes are efficient and fast, but I swear to God, I can't tell them apart. DItto for the wannabe chopper "cruisers" with their Harley clone styles.

    I started riding in 82 and I remember what an exciting time that was. I devoured every motorcycle magazine I could get my hands on. I remember the hits and the misses (anybody else remember the Yamaha Vision? A water cooled 550cc V-twin that the magazines raved about - and that buyers absolutely ignored.) The turbo bikes (Honda CX650, Yamaha Seca and the Kawasaki GPz 750), the FJRs and even the UJM cruiser bikes.

    In a lot of ways, I think motorcycling reached a zenith then, and after that, motorcycling split into multiple directions. Up through the early 80s the Japanese companies would make one basic platform and then multiple variations of that for cruising, touring, racing, etc. But once we hit about 1986 or so, cruisers went one way, sport bikes went another, and touring bikes yet another.

    It's disappointing to me that in 1982 I could choose from a bunch of bikes that all featured shaft drive, full instrumentation (including, in some cases, a gear indicator), cast wheels, triple disc brakes, and a factory center stand. I'm not sure there's ONE bike you can buy today that has all those features (the lack of a factory center stand on chain-driven bikes is particularly galling to me.)

    Funny that the 1982 Spectre I bought for $800 in 2007 had cast wheels, triple discs, a fuel gauge (albeit a useless one), a tach, a factory tool kit, a center stand and a seat that hinged on the side and opened easily with the ignition key. OTOH, the Triumph Scrambler I bought in 2009 had none of that, and the Center stand was a $200 aftermarket piece that I had to install myself.

    It's not so much that Triumph (and others) couldn't have made their newer bikes as feature-laden as the old ones, it's just that they thought "hey, why should we?"

    I guess the reason the Japanese big 4 loaded their bikes with features in the early 80's was that there was a fierce competition going on, so each company brought their full efforts to bear. Once motorcycling split into specific niches, the competition wasn't so harsh. At least that's one thought.

    About the only real "innovation" I've seen in recent years is EFI, and IMO that's a mixed blessing. Yes, it keeps you from having to clean or adjust carbs, but it also requires a fuel pump, a pressurized fuel system, a low-fuel warning light instead of the simpler petcock, and of course the computer.
  2. M3-SRT8

    M3-SRT8 Been here awhile

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    Ooooh, hold up a sec. ABS Brakes are certainly worthy of inclusion. When I get the cb1100 it will have ABS.
  3. M3-SRT8

    M3-SRT8 Been here awhile

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  4. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    Too bad isn't it. I really miss the self canceling turn signals.
  5. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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  6. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    Well said. Back in the seventies I had a '72 H2, a '72 Water Buffalo, and a '75 XS650. My uncle had a '72 CB750 that I road quite a bit. Its absurd, if an amusing exercise, to compare any aspect of their performance to a modern bike. The '02 FZ1 I had was so superior in handling and braking that.....well it was just a lot better. Its like comparing a 1984 vintage desktop to the ones we buy today.

    The 58 Plymouth is a rolloing work of art :D
  7. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Been here awhile

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    DOH! Yes, I forgot self-canceling turn signals. Which my 82 Spectre and 84 ZN700 both had, and which my much more expensive Triumphs (01 Tbird and 08 Scrambler) did not.

    I mean, really, how hard can it be to add self cancelling signals? :rolleyes:
  8. M3-SRT8

    M3-SRT8 Been here awhile

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  9. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Been here awhile

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    In my posts previous, I lamented the fact that the CB1100 is unlikely to succeed because it doesn't fit into a "niche."

    Well, as I got to looking around, I realized that it DOES fit into a niche. It's a niche that has been very slowly growing in the US motorcycle market but I think it's safe to say that there are now enough bikes in that category to qualify for their own market segment:

    "Retro Bikes." Think about it, when Kawasaki introduced the Zephyr in the late 80s- early 90s, when Honda introduced the CB1000 in 93, when Suzuki had the naked Bandit 1200 and Kawasaki had the naked ZR-7, there really was no "retro" market segment as such. All the effort and money for "retro" styling was going to the red-hot "Cruiser/imitation Harley" segment.

    But as cruisers are becoming somewhat old hat, several manufacturers have started pushing "retro" style bikes. I would argue that Triumph really kicked off the trend in 2000 with the Bonneville, which has steadily grown from one to about 5 different models (Bonnie, Thruxton, T100, Scrambler, America, Speedmaster) and has well established itself in the US motorcycle market.

    Around the same time, Kawasaki brought out their retro-styled ZRX-1100 (later 1200), Eddie Lawson replica. Although it had a "modern" (water cooled) engine, it had the old-fashioned tube frame and dual rear shocks that most true "sportbikes" hadn't used in almost a decade. Although the ZRX is gone now, it was quite a popular bike for a while (and still is - try buying one used and you'll see just how 'in demand' they are!)

    In 2008 Moto Guzzi introduced their retro-style V7 Classic in a couple of different configurations. This year they've released the V7 Stone with a bigger gas tank and cast wheels but it still has the classic styling.

    On the small end of the market, a few years back Suzuki replaced the cruiser-styled GZ250 starter bike with the retro-styled TU250.

    Given all that, I think I may have to revise my earlier pessimism. Retro bikes do seem to be something of a viable market niche. I only hope Honda has the fortitude to stick it out and to market the bike so people actually buy it.

    If Honda's CB1100 catches on, and if Triumph continues to do well (and they've been doing great, despite the global recession), one can only wonder what may happen next. Maybe Kawasaki could bring the W800 to the US market? Who knows (not sure if people would buy an imitation Triumph when they can buy the "real thing" unless there is a significant price difference.) Better yet, perhaps Kawasaki could be persuaded to bring out a modern version of the venerable Z1, or perhaps Suzuki could revisit their GS series of bikes, or Yamaha could think about bringing out a "modern" XS11.

    Personally I would like to see more smaller size bikes in the 500 - 750cc class, as I think that size represents a perfect compromise in terms of size and power vs. weight. However, I can understand why MC manufacturers tend to move to larger bikes - it's the same reason car and truck manufacturers would rather sell a big SUV or pickup - the profit on the larger item is bigger.

    Still, we could be seeing the beginning of the "next big thing" in motorcycling. Or at least we can dream! :clap
  10. Gas Hog

    Gas Hog Two Wheel Fanatic

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    I beilive you are right those are total POS..How much you want for it? :wink:
    Gary
  11. furious_blue

    furious_blue Adventurer

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    IMHO, retros in the US are already the 'next niche thing'..

    I'll be giving up my Speed Triple to make garage space when the CB1100 arrives.
    The S3 seems to have it all in a 'naked bike', power, handling, sound, brakes.. I had dreams that it would be the '70s Triumph Trident that I couldn't have (at the time) because I was too poor..

    but I never was quite 'in love' with it.

    I know I will love the CB1100.

    Since I'm 3rd in line at my non-Powerhouse Honda dealer I wonder if that will happen this year... maybe if enough people voted with their $$$ deposits, Honda would consider an extended production run to meet demand (if demand is really there.. we could be living in an enthusiasts bubble here on this thread).. we'll see... but this year, next year or the next, I'm getting one of these things...
  12. Scoobynut

    Scoobynut Been here awhile

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    The W800 is a better facsimile of a classic Triumph than the current Triumph classic line. Not to mention dealers everywhere with Kawasaki. The 'heritage' and 'prestige' of the Triumph name mean very little to me, so I'd take the W800 every time if it were available here. If it were available here, I think I would already have one, and might forego the CB1100 if it had been introduced later -- at least in such an imaginary scenario. But, most likely I will get a CB1100. Are you listening, Kawasaki?
  13. The other Ferret

    The other Ferret Motorcycle nut

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    Yes you can get factory service manuals for every bike.

    While its true after riding new bikes for the last 30 years, that riding bikes that are now 30 years old, although exciting visually, is not as exciting emotionally when you realise the brakes are a bit dull feeling, they usually leak oil a bit, they need near constant work to keep running if you ride them daily etc...but thats one of the great things about the CB 1100 because it will not only excite visually, being new, there will none of the issues associated with owning a 40 year old motorcycle. It will be completely modern, it will just appear old...sounds perfect to me.
  14. Guth

    Guth Been here awhile

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    That's good news. I had seen some mention of a master service reference manual (or something to that effect) and was afraid that the detailed individual service manuals were no longer being produced.
  15. Moonshiner

    Moonshiner aka "B-dog"

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    If it hasn't been posted before in this thread, let's remember some of the attempts at "retro" that are no longer sold in the U.S. such as the Kawi W650, the Kawi ZRX, and other older Honda attempts like the GB500.

    I remember when one of the mags did a comparo between the "new" Hinckley Bonnie and the Kawi W650. Their take on it was that Kawi made a better Bonneville than Triumph did. Yet, it's the Triumph that's still selling.

    If the CB1100 is a success in the U.S., then maybe we'll see more of the Japanese retro bikes that we currently don't get here in the U.S. But, I'm not holding my breath.
  16. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Been here awhile

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    My worry WRT the Honda is that I still think the MSRP is overpriced for this particular niche. The Bonnie/Scrambler/T100 line MSRP between $7500 and $8900, the Guzzi V7 is around $8300 and the HD Sportys start around $7500. That puts the CB between $1000 and $1500 higher than any of its competitors.

    And of course, you can argue that it's "more bike" with its bigger motor, 4 cyl vs. 2, and more HP, and I wouldn't disagree, but the question that has to be asked is whether the person who is in the market for a retro bike will value those things over look & feel.

    What I don't know about Honda is the relationship between MSRP and actual dealer price. With a lot of consumer products, the "MSRP" is meaningless, it's set artificially high by the manufacturer so the dealer can then offer great "discounts" on the product that aren't really discounts at all (like a car with an MSRP of $20,000 that sells everywhere for $17,500.) If I understand the market, "boutique bike" brands like Triumph and Guzzi stick pretty close to the MSRP because their market is much smaller.

    So, a Honda "MSRP" of $10k might simply mean "if this is a red-hot seller, we will charge full MSRP or maybe even a little more, but if the market response is lukewarm we can sell them OTD for $9k and still make a profit."
  17. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Good post Hap. Right on the money.
  18. The other Ferret

    The other Ferret Motorcycle nut

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    Like I said before I had a 2003 Bonneville, T 100 but I had to put Triumph TOR pipes on it just to hear it for $450, a grab rail $250, and a centerstand $ 250. The basic bike was $8000 but I had to put an additional thou in it and it was still a 790 cc twin cylinder with 58 HP and a single disc front brake. For $10 k on the Honda you get a 4 cylinder liter bike with a centerstand, and 87 HP and double disc front brakes.

    With regards to the Moto Guzzi my issues are no dealer network, again a single disc front and no centerstand. Rider recently tested a 2013 Stone and it only dyno'd 43 HP. They also said it had a lousy transmission with many missed shifts. Retail $8390.

    Although not a retro, the BMW F 700GS Enduro is a 798 cc twin with a dual front disc, the centerstand is optional and its base price is the same as the CB 1100s at $ 9990.

    Id rather have the CB 1100!
  19. M3-SRT8

    M3-SRT8 Been here awhile

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    Niche bike, or no niche bike, priced fair, or overpriced, I just ordered one. With ABS.

    [​IMG]
  20. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Been here awhile

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    All true but also irrelevant.

    So you would. But you have already decided that you prefer the CB.

    But the hypothetical customer that Honda is trying to woo is someone who is not already sold on a CB. And that's the rub. Because that customer is looking at the T100, the V7, and possibly some other similar type of standard bike from the likes of Ducati or BMW, and that customer is the one who is wondering whether it makes sense to shell out an extra $1500.

    The HP difference is only relevent if the buyer is one who values HP. How many people who buy retro bikes put a premium on HP? Ditto for the brakes - how many people who would buy this bike would know or care about the difference between a single disc up front and a double disc?

    I completely agree that the Honda gives you "more." But a buyer will only buy it over a competing brand if the "more" that Honda gives is something that the customer wants. If it's not something that the customer wants and is willing the pay extra money for, then the only difference between the CB and its competitor is the price, and in that comparison, the more expensive bike loses.

    The euro bikes also have a name cachet that Honda lacks. For the likes of Triumph, Ducati, Guzzi or BMW name is an asset. The European marques have "snob appeal" (whether it's deserved or not.) OTOH, "Honda" means "reliable but not particularly exciting" and in the motorcycle world, Honda is the vanilla ice cream brand. Not bad, but nothing you'd cross the street for.

    That's the uphill battle I see the CB1100 facing. I don't think it's insurmountable, I just wonder whether American Honda has the intestinal fortitude to stick it out. Maybe yes, maybe no. But having a higher MSRP than the competition puts the Honda at a disadvantage right out of the gate, and that worries me for the future of the CB in the US market.