Honda announces CB1100 RS 5Four limited-edition retro bike
Honda has teamed up with British bike builder Guy Willison to tart the CB1100RS up into a replica of an 80s-era endurance racer. Best known for his TV work on The Motorbike Show, Willison will produce 54 of these CB1100RS 5Fours for sale.
According to Willison, the retro-tastic CB didn't need a ton of fettling to take it where he wanted to go – which was in the direction of the Bol d'Or 24-hour racers he and his mates used to drool over in the "golden era" of 80s racing. Honda had already nailed most of the look and feel, from the analog clocks and twin shocks to the tank shape and exquisitely finned, air-cooled engine.
While the bike's performance is a touch more pipe-and-slippers than leathers-and-knee-sliders at a modest 89 hp, all reports indicate it's a pleasant and grand thing to ride, and the RS model's uprated Showa suspension was deemed good enough to roll with for the kinds of riders that were leaning over French fences watching the bikes go round 35 years ago.
So instead of huge performance mods, it was mainly the look that needed a tweaking, and Willison set about making a series of small and tasteful changes that maintain the look of a factory-built bike. A small headlight fairing was crafted out of aluminum, as was a single seat tail unit with a nice diamond-stitched Alcantara-covered saddle.
The bars were switched out for lower, wider Renthals in satin black, with adjustable short levers, mini mirrors and Tomaselli grips, and the bar-end weights were binned. Racefut supplied a set of titanium Growler slip-ons for the 4-into-2 exhausts. Willison chopped off the pillion footrests to stop your drunk friends from trying to hop on the back, and polished up the main footrest hangers to a mirror finish.
The finishing touch: a 5Four badge (5Four being Willison's bike building company, named after his old callsign from a million miles of London dispatch work in his younger days). Each bike of the 54 planned for sale will be individually numbered, and hand-painted – including the logos. No decals here.
And that's it. The CB1100RS 5Four is a tasteful and minimal retro mod built upon what you might call a tasteful and minimal platform. Shy of the sexy seat cover, people might not even pick it as a custom. That strikes us as a very Honda way to do things. There are plenty more shots in the gallery, or check out a video below.