If you’re black and blue from pinching yourself, you can stop now: You’re not dreaming. Honda really has introduced a total of 17 new models for 2014, which means it’s a great time to be a riding enthusiast because there’s literally something for everyone in the Honda lineup.
Honda’s latest model release includes the return of the iconic Interceptor®, a machine that delivers a special V-4 experience that’s purely Honda in feel and function. A unique combination of torque and an aggressive rush of power kicks you in the seat of the pants as the tach needle swings up in the powerband. At the same time, a distinctive engine feel and the signature exhaust howl tells you this is the stuff of Honda V-4 legend.
Credit the compact 782cc DOHC 90-degree V-4 engine with a rev-happy oversquare bore and stroke of 72mm x 48mm. This engine features aluminum-composite cylinder sleeves high-pressure-formed from sintered-aluminum powder impregnated with ceramic and graphite. These composite sleeves provide better wear resistance and superior heat dissipation than conventional sleeves. There’s also the Honda-exclusive VTEC valve train that combines the power characteristics of both two- and four-valve cylinder-head designs. The engine breathes through two valves per cylinder at lower engine speeds for maximum torque, then switches to four valves per cylinder for high-revving horsepower. With the 2014 Interceptor, this system has been tuned so the power builds in a more linear fashion than ever before.
The engine is mounted as a stressed member of the aluminum frame, a light and compact design incorporating triple-box-section twin spars. The Honda Pro-Arm® rear suspension system uses a new single-side swingarm to help produce excellent suspension action, while the Pro-Link® rear suspension offers spring preload and rebound damping adjustability for excellent sport performance. The large-diameter 43mm fork offers adjustable spring preload for added versatility, and radial-mount front brakes deliver cutting-edge stopping action.
The riding position is upright for greater long-range comfort, and optional Handlebar Risers from Honda Genuine Accessories can be added to lift the bars another 0.6 inches to create an even more upright seating position. Also, the seat height is adjustable, varying from 31.0 inches to 31.8 inches.
The Deluxe model adds even more features: Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) for added stopping confidence in varying road and weather conditions; Traction Control to limit rear-wheel slippage during hard acceleration or during acceleration on low-traction road surfaces; a more advanced 43mm fork that adds adjustable rebound damping capabilities for a higher level of sport performance; a remote spring preload adjuster in the rear for more convenient access; an electronic self-canceling turn signal system that monitors speed, distance and time parameters for more accurate functioning; plus grip heaters and a centerstand.
All in all, there’s plenty here to satisfy long-time Interceptor fans as well as riders who want to mount up on this Honda V-4 icon for the first time.
There’s another exciting sport bike that’s brand-new from the ground up: the CBR650F. This is a machine that offers plenty of fun sport performance while also being versatile and comfortable enough to ride every day of the week. Remarkably affordable, the CBR650F strikes a great balance between full-on sport bike styling, nimble handling, overall performance, comfortable rider ergonomics and plenty of versatility.
A completely new liquid-cooled 649cc inline four-cylinder engine powers the CBR650F; its dual overhead camshafts are tuned to deliver high torque through the low-to-mid rpm range, especially below 4,000 rpm. This powerplant uses a stacked six-speed gearbox and starter/clutch layout with the four cylinders canted forward 30 degrees to produce a compact package. The DOHC 16-valve cylinder head employs direct cam actuation, and bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 46mm. The pistons were developed with Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), and short, asymmetric skirts minimize bore contact and reduce friction for increased power delivery. The engine was also designed with an eye toward aesthetics; no external plumbing mars its appearance.
The CBR650F’s steel twin-spar frame has been tuned with a balance between strength and ride comfort, and it uses cast pivot plates and an aluminum swingarm. The rear shock works directly on the swingarm and functions in concert with a 41mm front fork. Twin 320mm wave-style front discs and a single 240mm rear disc deliver fine stopping power.
A low center of gravity, slim feel and high-set clip-on handlebars give excellent control and confidence. And the CBR650F’s sharp lines are enhanced by an abbreviated but effective full fairing that shows off the engine to best advantage.
With stylish looks, a large array of available Honda Genuine Accessories and the option of ABS, you have the makings of an instant favorite for a variety of riders.
Sometimes you just happen to fall in love with a bike, and the CB1100 is that kind of machine. Give credit to its timeless look and appeal that draw in riders with a passion for the sport. But there’s a lot more than misty memories here; the CB1100 delivers big-time roll-on power, nimble handling and more modern performance features than the iconic, original Honda CB750K0 Four could begin to approach.
All that comes courtesy of a potent 1140cc air/oil-cooled inline-four engine with a just-right look that also offers a smooth, sophisticated feel for a rewarding riding experience. Dual overhead camshafts with a central chain drive and a narrow included valve angle of 26.5 degrees foster an open combustion chamber for a clean and efficient burn. By circulating oil through passageways that surround the spark plugs, the area around each combustion chamber is cooled and cylinder head temperatures in general are lowered. A bypass valve adjusts the flow of oil in the cylinder-head cooling system as needed to create more consistent operating temperatures.
Also in keeping with modern sensibilities is Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI). This setup continuously monitors numerous variables to ensure the correct fuel mixture is delivered for the existing riding and atmospheric conditions. Result: remarkably crisp throttle response over a wide variety of riding conditions. New for 2014 is a six-speed transmission in place of the previous five-speed gearbox, and that makes an excellent powertrain even better.
The chassis includes a steel-tube frame, stout 41mm fork adjustable for spring preload, classic dual-shock rear suspension system that features spring preload adjustability and dual front 296mm disc brakes with powerful four-piston calipers plus a rear 256mm disc brake for strong stopping power. Also, a new meter package features MPG, trip computer and gear position indicator.
That love affair with things classic expands to added dimensions in 2014 with a new Deluxe version of the CB1100—a newly styled ride that extends the retro feeling even further. With the new CB1100 Deluxe, Honda adds an Anti-Lock Braking System to boost stopping confidence in varying road and weather conditions, larger fuel tank with 0.5-gallon extra capacity for added range, sleek four-into-two exhaust system and a new seat with a retro-pattern, plus newly restyled side covers. The Deluxe shares the new six-speed transmission and instrumentation with the standard model. All that adds up to a memorable riding experience that gives a nod to iconic classics. At the same time, riders enjoy impressive street-going power and agile handling for a sky-high fun factor on just about every kind of road.
Montesa Honda Cota 4RT Replica
As proof that Honda does indeed think outside the box, for 2014 there’s the Montesa Honda Cota 4RT Replica, a pure competition Trials bike featuring Repsol Edition graphics and powered by a Honda four-stroke engine. This is a direct shot at helping the sport of trials competition to grow in the USA, via a top-level bike equipped with premium components and impeccable fit and finish.
Spanish motorcycle manufacturer Montesa started business in 1944, and it quickly established a solid reputation for building successful competition bikes. Honda brought the brand into its fold in the mid-eighties, and today the company makes some of the best trials bikes in the world.
Built strictly for trials competition, the liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine features a bore and stroke of 78mm x 54.2mm for a displacement of 258.9cc. A single overhead camshaft actuates four valves. There’s also an electronic fuel injection system and a revolutionary decompression system that reduces engine braking for a character similar to that of a 2-stroke, which competitors prefer. A quick-shifting five-speed transmission and extra-wide footpegs for more control on all sorts of terrain help give this bike a leg up on the competition.
The chassis includes a lightweight aluminum frame and swingarm, premium 39mm Showa cartridge-type telescopic fork with spring preload adjustability, and compression and rebound damping adjustments for 6.9 inches of travel. The rear suspension is a Honda Pro-Link setup with a single Showa damper with spring preload and rebound damping adjustments for 6.7 inches travel.
With these final 2014 additions, Honda’s expanded line of products truly reaches all segments of the powersports world, and demonstrates why the company is the world’s largest powersports manufacturer. Across all categories, Honda has released unique and fun products for everyone from die-hard enthusiasts to new riders, and made the coming riding season more exciting than ever before.