All good things must come to an end, and Honda’s air-cooled four-cylinder engines appear to be the latest example. As OEMs work to refine their model ranges to meet increasingly stringent emissions standards, eagle-eyed enthusiasts have learned to look out for the models that haven’t received updates. Sometimes, the race into the future is a race of attrition.
On September 3, 2021, Honda seemed to confirm what some enthusiasts had expected for some time. Do you remember the CB1100? While it’s no longer sold in the U.S., as is frequently the case with many models, the air-cooled, four-cylinder, 1,140cc mill proved more popular in other markets. Thus, it no doubt broke some hearts when Honda made a single, simple post on its Twitter feed.
The post consists of two images and three lines of text. The first image depicts a rider clad in a vintage-look black motorcycle jacket and helmet, seen from the back. He’s wheeling a CB1100 EX out of a garage, and the entire image is shrouded in shadow. The text on the image is the same as the text elsewhere in the post, which reads, “CB1100 EX/CB1100 RS Final Edition Coming soon …"
The second image is a closeup of the cooling fins on the cylinder head assembly, as seen in profile. No further details were given by Honda at the time of this post. Luckily, though, it turned out that fans didn’t have long to wait before they could see what these Final Editions were about.
On September 3, 2021, Honda Taiwan officially announced the 2021 Honda CB1100 RS Final Edition. The announcement also confirmed that Honda is discontinuing its large-displacement air-cooled engines, which are no longer up to the task of meeting various emissions requirements in markets around the world.
Honda Taiwan’s CB1100 RS Final Edition comes in two colors: Matte Denim Blue and Honda Classic Red. The aesthetics of a modern classic are etched all over this bike, from its café racer styling (like those tank scallops) to the carefully placed chrome accents and round mirrors. The brown saddle on the Matte Denim Blue colorway is a particularly classy touch. If you’re going to go out, why not go out the way you came in?
While we expect the CB1100 Final Editions to roll out in other markets, details (including colors) will likely vary. In markets where the CB1100 already exited prior to 2021, it’s unlikely we can expect to see the Final Edition.