Performance – While this is a retro bike, Honda has plonked in plenty of displacement, all 1140cc of it, that along with 4-cylinders and 16-valves is enough to punch out 88 HP at 7500 RPM and 93.5 Nm at 5500 RPM. Now the output numbers might not sound impressive for a bike with a litre plus cubic capacity but the charm lies in the way this output is dolled out, in a smooth, refined and punchy manner in the lower end of the rev band.
You can adjust the preload of both the front and the rear suspensions
However, one still has to downshift in higher gears to get a quick overtake done because the gearing is short in 5th and 6th gear. The transmission is smooth shifting and the slipper clutch has moderate weight (not too light, not too heavy). Being an air-cooled motor, it does heat in stop-go traffic but what really excites on this motorcycle is the exhaust note, it just sounds right, reminds you of the old times and even mis-fires, clearly, a ton of work has gone into making the CB1100 RS sound the way it does and it simply works.
Riding Dynamics – Being the sportier of the two CB1100s, the RS obviously has more upmarket components, be it the suspension, brakes or the wheels. The Showa sourced suspension is on the stiffer side, not an issue on smooth Malaysian roads but not really apt for bad roads. With a flatter handlebar, sharper steering geometry and a shorter wheelbase when compared to the EX, the RS clearly isn’t about taking it easy. Come to a corner and push it, you can feel the 252 kgs weight a bit but after that it settles into a rhythm, offering surefooted handling and good feedback to push around the twisties. The brakes also offer good stopping power with ample amount of feedback at the levers and great grip from the tyres.