The times, they are a-changin' at Honda. First, Big Red discontinued its air-cooled inline-four-powered CB1100 in 2021. The brand didn’t send the old steed galloping off into the sunset without commemorative EX and RS Final Edition liveries. The iconic CB400 Super Four met the same fate this year, taking its farewell tour in a special-edition Super Bol d’Or configuration.
According to Japanese outlet Young Machine, the Japan-exclusive CB1300 could be next on the chopping block in 2023. Honda introduced the CB1000 back in 1992. Throughout the model’s 30-year run, the modern-classic has adopted the latest technology. In 1998, Team Red renamed the platform CB1300 thanks to the liquid-cooled inline-four's new 1,284cc volume.
By 2003, the platform earned a rebuilt engine and double cradle frame yet lost 46 pounds in the process. To meet the latest emissions standards, Honda engineers updated the intake and exhaust system in 2021. While the team was at it, they added a new fly-by-wire throttle system, unlocking three ride modes, traction control, and cruise control.
Despite all those upgrades, sales have slumped in recent times, forcing Big Red to consider discontinuing the CB1300. If that happens, Young Machine has a few requests for Honda’s obligatory commemorative edition. Taking the model back to its roots, the publication rendered the CB in its original white/red livery. Throughout the naked bike’s 30-year history, it frequently wore this standard colorway, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for Honda’s paint department.
On the other hand, the media outlet also makes a special request for what it calls the "Spencer Color", a replica of Freddie Spencer’s silver/blue-adorned CB750F raced at the 1982 Daytona 200. The connection with the CB1300 seems loose at best, but it’s certainly an eye-catching paint scheme on the neo-retro. We have to note that these are just speculative renderings. Honda could have something entirely different up its sleeve.
In June, 2022, Young Machine reported that Japan’s Big Four could potentially axe up to 20 models in the coming year. If the CB1300 goes the way of the dodo, hopefully, Honda does indeed send it off in style.