Sim­ple plea­sures

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

This quiet con­tender might just be the most gen­uine retro of the year. Where the CB1100 RS is a new model, the EX is a sub­tle up­grade of the ex­ist­ing ma­chine. Aimed more at the tra­di­tional retro mar­ket, it gains the same larger tank as the RS as well as its slip­per clutch, styling al­ter­ations, more chrome and stain­less steel de­tail­ing.

How­ever, where the RS has 17in wheels and ra­dial brakes, the EX packs con­ven­tional fourpis­ton brakes and 18in spoke wheels. And for me this makes it the bet­ter bike.

Where the more ex­pen­sive RS is try­ing slightly against its will to be a café racer, the EX is what Honda does best – a steady-away retro that looks good, has won­der­ful de­tails and rides beau­ti­fully.

The new Showa forks are fairly soft, but the qual­ity of their ride is im­pres­sive and the EX glides over bumps. The seat is huge and padded in such a way that pil­lions will love it (and has in­built grab rails and even bungee hooks) and the mo­tor suits re­laxed rid­ing per­fectly while re­tain­ing a bit of spirit that is lack­ing in the slightly lack­lus­tre Bon­neville T120.

And, for my money, it han­dles bet­ter than the Bon­nie as the Honda’s match­ing 18in wheels don’t give that dis­con­nect you get from the Tri­umph’s miss­matched 17in rear and 18in front wheels. If the sun is out and you want a care­free ride on a great­look­ing retro, there aren’t many bet­ter op­tions cur­rently on the mar­ket than the CB1100 EX.

The EX of­fers sim­ple retro class with­out try­ing too hard

The clocks ooze old-school cool

Lovely four-into-two pipes

Twin shocks and lash­ings of chrome

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