1983 Honda CB1100F
The 1983 Honda CB1100F
Photo by Doug Mitchel
1983 Honda CB1100F
Claimed power: 108hp @ 8,500rpm
Top speed: 144mph (period test)
Engine type: 1,062cc DOHC 16-valve air-cooled transversely-mounted inline four
Weight (wet): 583.5lb
Price then / now: $3,698 / $2,000-$4,000
Between 1969 and 1982, Honda rolled out an amazing selection of four-cylinder bikes. The legendary Honda CB750 got the wheels rolling, inspiring everything from the little CB350 Four to the middleweight CB500/550. Yet as great as it was, by 1978 the CB750 was looking a little long in the tooth, a reality that eventually led to the development of the 1983 Honda CB1100F.
Rivals Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki were all producing more technically exciting machines, and Honda needed to catch up. To regain the market’s attention, Honda gave its legendary CB750 a comprehensive overhaul, equipping the 1979 CB750 with an up-to-date dual overhead cam engine with four valves per cylinder that improved the breed markedly.
Sales of the new DOHC models, available both in Super Sport and K variations, surged as buyers also appreciated the added power and smoothness of the new engine. The Super Sport was listed as the “F” model while the dressier version wore the “K” badge. Ergonomics on both flavors were improved over the previous iterations, and the new bikes came complete with a host of mechanical and cosmetic enhancements.
Yet the horsepower wars were in full fight, and the buying public, being what it is, soon viewed even the twin cam 750 as needing more power. New models from Suzuki and Kawasaki in particular, boasting more powerful engines and better quarter-mile times, also helped move Honda’s progress along. 1980 saw the introduction of Honda’s CB900C, a cruiser-style four that featured a five-speed, dual-range gearbox with a low range for boulevard cruising and a high range for stretching out, well, on the highway. Although using the engine developed from the then Euro-only Honda CB900F, which was itself a further development of the twin cam CB750, the “C” models were pitched to the Custom Crowd, offering a more comfortable perch and less sporty demeanor.
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