A dentist needs her first daily-driven car.
‘For riders who are willing to trade modern features for classic styling’
Do you remember how your dad’s big bikes looked like? If he rode sometime in the early ’80s until the late ’90s, he would’ve probably owned a muscle bike—one that was stocky, decked in chrome, and boasted a long wheelbase, big turning lights, a skinny telescopic front fork, a plain analog instrument panel, long exhaust pipe, and a cable-operated clutch and brake system.
These two-wheelers that once ruled the roads were seen as status symbols, and people regarded their riders as strong and determined. No matter that muscle bikes had limited features—during that era, what mattered most were big, protruding steel frames and swing arms and large fuel tanks made of metal sheets.
Unlike the much lighter present-day motorcycles, these big bikes hardly used any plastic materials; both in looks and feel, they were very solid. Their sizes and shapes made them truly worthy of the ‘big bike’ label. The riders never complained about the bikes’ weight because there were fewer cars back then, so maneuvering these burly steeds on the streets was easier.
Such was the popularity of muscle bikes that Japanese motorcycle manufacturers took a shot at producing their own versions. These awesome machines have had their heyday, too.
One iconic model is the Honda CB1300. First produced in 1998, this classic standard followed the CB1000. Both bikes offered not only terrific styling, but also a more comfortable ride. In fact, the CB1300 continues to be so successful that it’s still being manufactured in Japan up to now. It has become an epitome of a motorbike with timeless design and engineering.
Its 1,284cc liquid-cooled, 16-valve, in-line four engine is still the best for riders who are willing to trade modern features for old, classic styling and bulletproof reliability. Even better, the CB1300 Super Four’s resale value (as well as that of other big bikes with classic features, in general) is more stable compared with other motorcycle categories.
We’re still waiting for Honda Philippines to start selling motorcycles with big engine displacements, but recently, we stumbled upon a brand-new CB1300 at 7 Power Motors and Trading in Bangkal, Makati. Rayner Lorenzo, the company’s owner, has four units of the CB1300 Super Four in red/white, red/gray, and solid metallic black color schemes, each priced at P780,000. Lorenzo says there are many CB400 Super Four owners in the Philippines right now, and he believes that many of them are dreaming to upgrade to the CB1300.
The new units are almost the same in form, size and shape as the ones from the early 2000s, except that Lorenzo’s CB1300s are equipped with advanced electronic fuel-injection and ABS. He claims, too, that the double-cradle frame is now lighter. That said, present-day CB1300s are still equipped with double 310mm, four-piston caliper brakes in front and a single disc at the back, as well as 130/70 ZR17 front and 190/60 ZR17 rear tires, twin shocks with adjustable spring load, a huge 21-liter fuel tank, and square side mirrors in chrome. Thanks to the improved fuel-management system, the average consumption of this handsome beast is 16km/L.
The CB1300 looks amazing in the flesh— it’s no wonder it has endured decades of tight competition and continues to be highly regarded by motorcycle enthusiasts. When I first saw it being rolled out of Lorenzo’s garage, I had goosebumps all over. Its long, stainlesssteel exhaust system looked immaculately clean and shiny. I had a flashback of CB1300s as police bikes and escort units for VIPs—they are fitting symbols of authority. The rich heritage of this Japanese muscle bike almost made me kneel in front of it as a gesture of respect and admiration. I’d compare it to the legendary Land Rover Defender, which lived on for decades with very minimal changes.
Harley-Davidson used to monopolize the heritage-bike market, but Honda wants to break this by continuing the production of the CB1300 Super Four. It’s not clear yet if it will be among the big bikes that Honda Philippines plans to bring in come the end of 2017. It would be awesome to see the CB1300 alongside the Japanese brand’s long line of new offerings. The CB1300 Super Four could well get the loudest applause from the dads and titos among the welcoming party.
HONDA CB1300 SUPER FOUR Engine: 1,284cc, in-line 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled Power: 100hp @ 7,000rpm Torque: 114Nm @ 5,500rpm Transmission: 6-speed Final drive: chain Seat height: 30.7in