Race to Rebuild: Honda CB1100F Resto-Mod

The Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle resto-mod Honda CB1100F is finished and ready to ride.

  • Finished in record time, it’s hard to believe this is the same 1983 Honda CB1100F we showed you just a few months ago.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • Stock gas tank and side covers get new accents.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • Keihin CR carbs promise better performance.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • Upside-down GSXR front end with custom Buchanan’s spoked wheels looks brilliant.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • 1983 Honda CB1100F
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • 1983 Honda CB1100F
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • Dime City Cycle’s Herm Narciso preps the CB1100F’s freshly powder-coated frame. Next up, the engine.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • Engine in, swingarm and Gazi shocks in place.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • And suddenly it’s almost a motorcycle again, with the full suspension, wheels, brakes, headlamp, handlebars, switchgear, speedo and wiring back in place.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • Comparing the finished bike (shown here) to our mostly stock 1983 Honda CB1100F starting point highlights the work Dime City Cycles put into giving our Honda upgraded looks and performance with a factory feel.
    Photo By Erick Runyon
  • Comparing the finished bike to our mostly stock 1983 Honda CB1100F starting point (shown here) highlights the work Dime City Cycles put into giving our Honda upgraded looks and performance with a factory feel.
    Photo By Erick Runyon

Whoever said “slow and steady wins the race” never spent any time with Herm Narciso and Jason Paul Michaels at Dime City Cycles, because if they had, they’d know that not only can you work fast if you want to, sometimes it’s the best way to get things done.

Proof comes by way of our latest Dairyland Cycle/Motorcycle Classics Race to Rebuild, the 1983 Honda CB1100F that as of last issue was a long way from done. In fact, in our last update two months ago, our project Honda hadn’t progressed much beyond a partially stripped hulk, with visible progress limited to the test install of a 2007 Suzuki GSXR front end in place of the original unit. More than one person politely asked just how we thought we could pull this together in time for this issue.

Well, to give credit where credit is due, “we” didn’t really do anything, but Herm and Jason have, in less than two short months as the accompanying photos amply illustrate, successfully morphed our Honda from an old school mid-1980s sport bike into a new school retro ride — a resto-mod.

This was a unique build for Herm and Jason, representing their — and our — first dip into the resto-mod waters. Dime City Cycles has strong cred in the café scene, with multiple super-slick café builds to their credit, including the recently completed The Ace, a modern take on the classic Triton theme.

Cafés are cool, but for this build we all agreed it was time to do something different, and after polling enthusiasts on Facebook we settled on the resto-mod route.

So what is a resto-mod? If you’ve been to the local hot rod show, you’ve probably seen one. Remember that sleeper ’57 Chevy with the LT1 ‘Vette engine and fully upgraded, disc brake-equipped chassis sitting on a nice set of color matched GM rally wheels, all hidden under a mostly stock, restored body? That’s a resto-mod.

1/18/2014 2:11:30 AM

have to agree with the schurkey guy, not about the engine swap but spoke wheels, and you ditched the corbin seat for that, NO, cafe racers were built to function better than the stock machines they had, this is a honda chopper posing as a cafe bike.beautiful paint though, ang I guess I could go with that fairing to change the look, but 4 outta 10 on this one guys!

1/17/2014 1:49:28 PM

I've deliberately held-off on posting about this bike. My outright anger has dissipated into mere disappointment. I am an 11F owner since June of '83. The short story is that the bike was (almost) built completely backwards. The best part of the bike was destroyed, and what needed to be changed (except for the front fork and brakes) wasn't. The DOHC 750/900/1100 F-series were among the most beautiful "naked" bikes of their time. The 1100F engine has known issues that affect durability at high RPM. I was expecting something along the lines of an air/oil cooled Suzuki GSXR 1100 engine stuffed into the CB frame; upgraded forks and proper wheels. Some time spent figuring out how to cleverly and tastefully put Honda emblems on the Suzuki case ends. What we got was Full-Throttle Vandalism of the esthetics, removal of the air filters (unsuitable for street use) and spoke wheels (ugly as hell, and unsuitable for competition use.) At least the paint is easily fixed. >>>If it wasn't for the fork and brakes, I'd call it a total loss.<<<

12/17/2013 8:00:08 PM

The motorcycle looks great but... That Harley XLCR fairing looks odd. Maybe its the solid color of the fairing or that the striping from the body work should have been carried over on the fairing. Maybe I'm just to fond of the original CB1100F.

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