RideFast October 2019


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Retro Honda CB1100 RS

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 retrotastic

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-andslippers

than leathers-andknee-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 Alcantaracovered


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.


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