The CB1100R was Japan’s first four-stroke homologation-spec proddie racer, a class that would go on to form the backbone of sportsbike development for the following 20 years.at first glance the 1100R looks little more than a dressed up, bored-out CB900F. But Honda built the 1100R to win races
The tubular steel cradle frame, for example, derived from the CB750/900, was more rigid thanks in part to the previously removable lower left rail being welded in place.the 37mm forks were air-assisted (later RC/RD models got 39mm TRAC unit), piggyback Showa shocks were fully adjustable, the lightweight aluminium fuel tank was hand-welded, and the motor shouted ‘trick’ from its forged pistons, saucier cams, beefed up primary and 33mm Keihin carbs. It was as trick as four-strokes got in ’81.
It worked too, winning both Australia’s and New Zealand’s then massively popular Castrol Six-hour races, as well as numerous production races and titles in the UK in the hands of Ron Haslam, Joey Dunlop andwayne Gardner.
Given the impact of the RC30 that appeared seven years later it’s easy to overlook the CB, but this bike paved the way for it.