more forbidden fruit
Honda’s New Motorcycle Pays Tribute to One of Its Best, But We Can’t Have It
Most folks can probably agree that 1969 did a hell of a job closing out a decade. It was a transformative year, to say the least. Of course, the mention of 1969 might cause most folks’ minds to ping to monumental events like the moon landing, Woodstock, and the release of Abbey Road. But perhas just as importantly, that year was when Honda released what would turn out to be one of the most impactful motorcycles of all time, establishing the blueprint to which modern superbikes would still refer even to this day: the CB750.
So here in 2019, Honda has decided to honor the 50th anniversary of the pop-pop of superbikes by…making a tribute to the Honda enduro bikes of the 80s?
Yup, you read right. In honor of the CB750, the bikemaker has teamed up with 5Four Motorcycles on a limited edition CB1100 RS tribute to 1980s-era enduro racing.
The collaboration between Honda and 5Four Motorcycles will produce a very limited run of these bikes — 54 to be exact. They added a number of special features to the already-retro CB1100, like a front cowl, a solo Alcantara seat with rear cowl, 4-in-2 Racefit exhaust, Renthal handlebars (to drive home the enduro point), and Showa suspension. They also painted the brake calipers gold — because, uh, gold is nice?
Honda and 5Four also decided that, in place of plastic panels, they would make fiberglass and hand-formed aluminum panels, giving the bikes a more bespoke feel. All that customizing builds to a hefty price tag of around $19,000 at current exchange rates. (Unfortunately, the CB1100 RS 5Four is only offered in the European market — and to add insult to injury, all 54 build slots are already filled.)
If we can be honest, this whole thing feels a bit strange. To honor the 50th anniversary of an iconic bike, Honda chose to build a tribute to a totally different era of riding, out of a different model of bike than the one they were honoring. Still, strange as it may be…they did end up with a pretty rad looking bike.