Sunday, January 20, 2013

Removal of LinkWithin

This is off topic but I wanted to share to non readers of this blog seeking to remove LinkWithin. I have disabled the LinkWithin widget as I suspect it to be in some way malicious. This widget once installed seems to embed its code and the company will not supply any information how to remove it. That should ring alarm bells.

Because I do not know if what I have done is safe or not I suggest if you want to remove it then first look up the methods suggested elsewhere. What I did was find the one line with linkwithin word in the HTML of blogger and alter it’s reference to the script HTML4 to read HTML5 then save which prompted blogger to ask if I want to remove this code or words to that effect.

Always back up your blog before doing anything. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Honda CB1100 long term update and info summary


(Further update below)

The new CB1100 is now a global model and no doubt that will bring many new sites with lots of information about it but in the mean time here is a summary from the CB1100 Facebook community page that I have run the last couple of years. I want to summarise the Facebook page since all older posts and therefore the bulk of information shared there is simply lost as it does not appear in a web search nor to new users of the page.

First up some frequently asked questions.

CB1100 FAQ

What accessories can I get for the new CB1100? – There is a wide range of factory accessories that people seem not to be aware of. I will post some of the Honda factory accessories catalogue below for people to get an idea. I actually scanned and posted the entire book but Facebook has somehow deleted all but a few pages. Do a search or look on Honda Japan web site.



Where can I obtain aftermarket parts from? – From Japan is perhaps best option at the time of this post, I expect that will soon change as the model goes on sale in Europe and USA. Shops like Rakuten will ship international. If you search the factory part number in Google a list of shops with the item will appear. There are freight forwarders in Japan just like everywhere else in the world in these days of global online shopping so if you take a bit of time it is not hard.

Is there hard luggage released for the CB1100? Yes, top boxes and side panniers both available in Japan.

Where can I get a screen or bikini fairing for my CB1100? – There is a wide selection of bikini fairings being produced for the bike in Japan. If you like the 70’s look then you can recreate this. Also simple screens are also available


Where can I get workshop manual? - English manual is available from Honda, part number is 62MGC00

What is fuel range? - About 240km useable range. I have seen this on number of occasions having had the reserve flashing since 200km and when fuelling had 2 litres left in tank. That will drop with spirited use of throttle.

Who sells the old CB750 style parts for the new CB1100? – Whitehouse Japan.


What is performance like? – In a word ‘ample’. But if your focused on motorcycle performance figures then perhaps not the right motorcycle for you.

What tyres are best on the new CB1100? – always a subjective thing tyres. I like the Bridgestone Battlax BT45 I have now fitted. The original Dunlops were vague, but I feel that way about all Dunlops.


What model oil filter will fit? – Takes same filter as CBR600 – there is heaps of choices, search Google then jot down number and head down to your local auto shop.


What aftermarket exhausts are available for the CB1100? -Yoshimura make a 4-2 system, and aftermarket mufflers are made by them and Moriwaki and Mugen. Note the factory system has a interactive exhaust valve.


Where can I get a 4 into 4 exhaust for my CB1100? Mine was custom made by Pipemasters in Brisbane Australia. In Japan there is a aftermarket 4-4 system made by Endurance.


I’m 6’ how will I go comfort wise? – Yes you may want the higher seat that is available from Honda. It is factory part. I too am 6’ and rode with the lower seat for some time however the higher seat really makes it more comfortable for people with longer legs.


Can I lower the pegs instead? – Yes anything is possible but the pegs are already lowered so further would reduce ground clearance too much. For comfort with long legs a higher seat is the better option.

Is there other seats available? Yes if you want to spend big then Kanda make some beautiful seats or you can simple ask in your local area if you want to reupholster.


Can I raise or lower the bars? – The bars sit comfortably to tall riders but you could fit a different bend of bars or change the bar risers easy. The CB1100 has rubber mounted bar risers to reduce vibrations so keep this in mind.

Is there a pillion grab rail for the new CB1100? – Yes a nice factory item is available from Honda, I just installed one for the looks alone.


Where do I get the chrome instruments pods for the new CB1100? – These are a another of the many factory accessories.


When is the CB1100 released in North America? – Now – 2013.

Well that is a bit of a summary of the most often asked questions on the Facebook page. I have stepped away from Facebook completely for my personal use and now I will be extending that to the two community pages I admin there including the CB1100 page to refocus on here where information shared can be easy found by others.

And now my thoughts on the CB1100 after a reasonable length of ownership. First my gripes - I think Honda should have released with the high seat as standard and made the lower seat an option – really going about it the wrong way as it stands. Also I wish ABS had been made available here as an option – but I understand that would have pushed up the price on what originally was a very low volume almost boutique import model. I know here riders have a dislike of ABS which is really stupid given I have seen a number of accidents that were caused by brake lockup, I hope we might catch up with our thinking on this as it can save lives. 

OK now my long term thoughts. The nature of the bike is something I really enjoy. The totally benign handling and smooth power delivery means you can just enjoy the ride. That engine has a character about it that just brings a smile to my face when riding, big lazy revs four that has smooth drive from low and then winds up to deliver a satisfying upper rpm push. I’ve had twins, triples, a V4 and peaky high powered inlines but this style is really the pick of the bunch for me.

Be aware if you change the exhaust it will soften the lower rpm drive a little.The factory muffler has a interactive valve. I had to quieten my 4 to 4 down just to make it something to live with but in doing so my lower rpm response firmed back up and I was lucky to find the sweet spot where it is now.

There is no handling issue with the conventional twin shock suspension and 18” wheels – both work fine and the handling is neutral and confidence inspiring, pay no heed to idiots on the net that cannot get there head around the fact you don’t need the latest crotch rocket and chewing gum soft tyres to enjoy a quick dash on a curvy road – they simply have no riding skills. If you wanted to the bike can be ridden fairly spiritedly however that is not the most rewarding way to ride this bike.

The fit and finish are really good, the paint and chrome plating are of a high quality.  Riders on others brands seem collectively to bad mouth Honda, I don’t know why, it makes no sense, but then so much of what you read doesn't either. I don’t understand the ‘haters’ and their stream of misinformation into public online areas.

It’s arguably a very attractive motorcycle if you like the era it pays homage to. I get a lot of comments and questions whenever I ride it, people ask what year it is and are surprised to hear it is a recent model, so I would say Honda have done a good job to capture the look.

For me the CB1100 is for the most part an enjoyable ride, however it is made for the rider who has advanced in their riding mindset. I have no idea what horsepower it actually has - nor any of the other motorcycles I have rented when travelling in recent years. I don’t seek to get through a corner as fast as possible – actually I want to maximise the defy gravity joy of riding a motorcycle thus strive for a balance between less pace that still delivers a satisfying lean. If your over the stage of needing to prove something to others then you would not be disappointed riding one.

Final update October 2013: Ok I have now nearly 3 years on the bike and while I still like it there is two things that I think are not as good as they should be. The main item is the comfort which is either the rear shocks not being valved correctly or the springs being bit too stiff for solo riding on bumpy roads. The other item is the fuel range which like the comfort is ok for day trips but if you want to do any touring then the low range starts to be a problem in rural Australia. I have sold the bike now as I am moving overseas.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Holiday reading

My motorcycle tour for this years festive season was impacted by weather and personal illness so I ended up spending more time indoors than on the road.

This allowed me to catch up on some reading, motorcycle touring books of course. And I will give a brief review on each.



This is a selection, a ‘best of’ collection, of short stories by Peter Egan who writes for Cycle World, a North American motorcycle magazine.

I purchased this based on the glowing reviews to be found on Amazon when they sent me a voucher last year. It is an easy read of mostly short articles, some about camping motorcycle trips taken by the author and more about collecting and restoring old motorcycles.

Unfortunately none of the articles really grabbed me in anyway. Not a boring book but not terribly funny or insightful (for me) either. Perhaps not being a motorcycle collector much of the book is wasted on me. I love the look of older bikes but restoring and maintaining them would leave me no time to ride. As for collecting then again it is not something that appeals to me. I can afford to have more than one motorcycle if I want but I can only ride one.

The authors views that 5 motorcycles is the idea number needed for happiness was just lost on me.


Route 66

Picked this book up on eBay for next to nothing. I have not seen the TV series but thought the book would make a nice holiday read.

When I mention I did a tour of North America people always say ‘Route 66?’ and if I say no then they give me a puzzled look or make some surprised comment as if I went to Egypt and did not see the pyramids. But if looking at the best motorcycle roads to ride then you would steer clear of the remains of 66 as it does not offer a rider anything. All the same I thought maybe this book might offer something interesting.

Billy Connolly is a funny guy and there is some laughs in his Route 66 book, but much of it is a little dry reading and not enough about riding.

I think the TV series might be a better choice than the book, that is after all the medium he is known for and the visuals of Blly and the riding through the countryside would add a lot. I am going to watch it next time it airs on tv here.



Twisting Throttle America

I reviewed this book long ago and just remembered I removed the post because it was attacked by spam comments (before I locked that feature)

Mike Hyde is a New Zealand guy who loves iron butt rides. He rode around Australia in a 17,000km butt breaker and then decided to do America.

Mike is a very funny guy, he has a bit of a warped sense of humour and you will at first not realise half of what he is saying is in jest, later into the book you almost need to go back and read from the start now that you have ‘tuned in’ to his style and sense of humour.

In his 2nd book Twisting Throttle America you will follow Mike as he rides 50 states in 60 days and as the maths suggests it is fast paced trip at times which is perhaps my only gripe in what is otherwise an enjoyable read.

I do wish he had talked more about the many good roads in North America. Recently I rode the North West USA and Canada and was totally blown away by how superb the riding was there, easy up with the best I have experienced anywhere in the world if you stay away from the Interstates.

That point aside of the 3 books this is the only one I am recommending as it is a read most riders will be able to connect with, has more insights than Leanings that Amazon buyers gushed all gooey about and is genuinely laugh out loud at times.