Mugen Honda CB1100 faithfully translates concept to reality

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Look closely, this isn’t the Honda CB1100 Customize Concept that was shown alongside the production Honda CB1100 back in September, but rather a customized version of that production bike from Mugen. It’s hard to tell the difference, so look at this Mugen’s weedier forks, rear grab handles, smaller “Mugen” branded seat hump and slightly darker shade of red, those’re the changes. Not bad, this is a near direct interpretation of concept to reality. Are we getting any CB1100 here in the US? Well, it’s up to American Honda’s product planners, who are under pressure from across the company to find a way to bring it in.

There don’t appear to be any actual mechanical changes over the standard
CB1100, which is a little disappointing. While the 1140cc
air/oil-cooled inline-four makes a fairly convincing case for a retro
standard, 87bhp and 535lbs (wet) don’t translate terribly well into a
more performance-oriented bike. We’d like to see clip-ons beefier forks,
some basic engine work and wider wheels that could fit stickier rubber.
Guess that’s not the point though, you could always do that yourself.

Like the Customize Concept, this Mugen gains the silver bikini fairing,
black fenders, bullet seat and megaphone exhaust over the standard

Mugen via BikeEXIF

  • Chris

    Just don’t care. This bike is boring.

  • V

    A bit of a porker, ain’t she? Still has the right curves, though. MSRP needs to be low to encourage mod tomfoolery.

  • Ken

    Filmed in Dunedin using the same Ginza playboy type with the disinclination to whizz along quickly; ergo official Honda propaganda.

    The thing that’s difficult and expensive in aftermarket is putting in high comp pistons and fiddling with valve timing and that sort of malarkey, so why doesn’t Mugen do that eh? 100bhp is a suitable rating for gentlemen, especially from something big and fat with cafe racer pretensions.

  • tony starr

    if i were to purchase a CB1100, i’d fit those twin black pipes. what a nice looking daily rider it will be.

    i’m curious though, there’s been a few people putting down this bike (not just on HFL). what would you ride home from a dealer’s showroom?

    • Russ

      Based on pure looks alone?

      1. Moto Guzzi V7 Classic or Cafe
      2. Triumph Scrambler
      3. Triumph Bonneville (Wes says it rides like a sewing machine, but I think it sounds better than one)

    • pauljones

      If it’s just about the looks, I would go for a Triumph Thruxton. It’s actually less powerful (albeit about 30 pounds lighter) than the Honda, but for me, it kind of defines the image that I have of small, retro bikes like cafe racers and the like.

      I will say that I do like the looks of the CB1100, though.

  • tony starr

    i know it’s not all about looks. but if you’re after a new retro styled motorcycle, your choice is a little limited.

    i’m a fan of the modern triumphs but i don’t know, something about running tubes and a lack of big brakes on something heavy like that, puts me off on a new bike (i know the new bonnies are tubeless).

    i wish the guzzi had more power. or the honda above had less weight. and ducati didn’t stop making the sport 1000. but then we don’t live in an ideal world.

    • pauljones

      No, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun with what we’ve got. I’ve heard complaints about the CB1100 being “boring”, too. That’s just fine by me. I don’t always feel the need to stand out from the crowd or anything. It doesn’t even have to be performance machine that Wes is thinking it could be; it’s got enough power to be fun. It just needs to be comfortable and reliable.

      • tony starr

        very true.

      • todd

        Hear, hear.

        You know, I tune into this blog just to get a laugh from all the schizophrenic comments, e.g.

        VFR1200 – “It’s too full of advanced technology – we can’t work on it in our garage with our Sears tools!”

        CB1100 – “It’s too retro! We want the most modern technology in our bikes!”

        Any electric bike – “They’re so cool and modern, and it is okay that they don’t have any range and are expensive.”

        VFR1200 – “Who wants cool and modern when it doesn’t have any range and it is so expensive?”

  • robotribe

    That’s one sexy boat anchor. It hides its fat really well.

  • Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

    The lack of actual mechanical improvements isn’t suprising coming from Mugen.

  • CafeRacer1200

    I’m loving that seat and fairing. Slap some old style Superbike Bars on it and it’s a winner. Porky? Sure. Underpowered? Maybe. That’s why I keep room in the garage for two or three bikes though.

  • Ian

    Will be interesting to see if it goes to the US. They’ve already stated it’s not coming to the UK/Europe. Surely they need to sell it outside Japan alone to get the development cost back?! I’d think about the 1100R if that ever makes it.

  • DoctorNine

    It’s not overweight, merely appropriate weight for a liter standard, built in classic Honda style. The Triumphs are nice, but a lot smaller engines. This Honda is like a wrestler one weight class above the Triumph; it isn’t really a good comparison. And the 48HP Moto Guzzi V7 is, shall we say, anemic, in comparison to anything else on this list, having the odd handling that you get with a transverse v-twin. Sure it’s pretty. But hardly useful for the kind of mods that you can do on the Honda.

    I will buy one of these CB100′s when they come to America. It fits my idea of a standard to a T.

  • BL


    way better looking.

  • Core

    Wish Honda America would bring over the Transalp…

  • sofjr

    I like it! Then again, I like most bikes. Bikes rule! Yeah!