After starting to ride over the past couple of months I’ve slowly developed a soft spot for motorcycles. While I’ve always liked and appreciated them, and vividly follow MotoGP, I’ve never really had a lot of opportunity to experience them. While they will never replace going flat out on a track in a car, they provide a thrilling experience no matter what the conditions. Maybe it’s because my 200SX has been going through a lot lately and I’ve haven’t had the chance to drive it, but there really is something about bikes.

So I decided to buy one for my own. I’ve been riding all the bikes that I have available at work but I don’t think it will ever replace learning and experiencing your own, and of course, I would like to modify one too.

I didn’t know this bike even existed until I started looking for one; it’s a Honda CB1100SF X-11. A naked version of the CBR1100XX Blackbird, with a slightly detuned engine (135hp) for more low end torque. There are a few other differences of course but in principle that’s what it is. It’s a big bike and a heavy one, but as I’m well over 6ft it fits me nicely.

I weighed the bike on automotive scales with a full fuel tank:

Total KERB weight: 256.5 kg
Front Weight Percentage: 47.8%

I’m surprised how rear biased it is.

The bike has these very distinct front cowls for the radiator that direct the airflow through the radiator and around the bike. Honda says they’re to improve cooling and also provide downforce and increase stability!

The bike is mostly stock, but the previous owner made a few tasteful and functional mods, which I appreciate. Firstly the front hand controls have been replaced with a proper handle bar from LSL and risers. The front fork springs have been replaced with progressive Spiegler units and there’s a nice billet upper triple clamp cover too, also from Spiegler. At the end of the handlebar there are some nice retro/cafe mirrors.

At the rear the shock has been replaced with an adjustable Wilbers one. It’s quite stiff.

There are a few cosmetic changes too, like LED indicators and rear light.

The braking system is easily the most complicated one I’ve ever seen on any bike or car. Honda call it the Dual-CBS, which stands for Combined Braking System. As the name implies both hand and foot brake levers apply braking pressure to both the front and rear calipers, in a proportioned manner. The RH front caliper is fixed, while the LH one car rotate and apply pressure to a second master cylinder which is in turn connected to the rear caliper. The hand lever only applies pressure to the two outer, larger pistons. The smaller inner pistons are actually pressurised from the rear foot lever to provide braking force at the front. So far, from a few emergency braking tests the system seems to perform very well and I’m sure it is quite secure for on-road panic braking, if you don’t have ABS. Although I would be interested in seeing how it works on a track environment where the rear wheel gets quite light.

The first things I’m going to do are remove the centre-stand (weight reduction, bro), replace a few service and damaged items, and then repaint the radiator cowls.


Twin external wastegate F20C. Look at the size of the turbo in comparison to the engine.

JDMilano Squad 2016-04-07

April 10, 2016

R Performance Switzerland

November 7, 2015

Another team making their way down from Switzerland was This is the first time I’d seen them at a Time Attack Italia event, obviously making the long trek from central Switzerland for the opportunity to race on the incredible Imola.

They had a few cars; this Turboed Integra and 2 all motor CRXs.

The Integra was one of the wildest ones I’ve ever seen, with an enormous aero kit sporting huge splitters and diffusers.

Turbo powered B18.

The CRX was also very nice, and must have been incredibly light. There was literally nothing inside the car, just a seat and a steering wheel.


After a massive rush to get the car ready I was able to make it to the 4th round of the Italian Time Attack championship at Adria International Raceway. The event is known for being a night race, starting at 5pm and closing off at midnight. This is both first time attack event I’ve seen and competed in, and I was incredibly impressed by the level of builds in Italy. The championship has exploded over the past couple of years with a lot of interest bringing in some impressive Italian and Swiss builds. The following photos only capture a small amount of what was present, about 120 cars, as I didn’t have time to thoroughly explore the pack.

The cars competing ranged from fairly light tuned roads cars, like this Integra, to purpose built Time Attack cars.

All classes except the Extreme classes can run up to Semi slicks (with width restrictions); Extreme can run racing slicks as seen on this S2000.

Minis were super popular.

The incredibly quick J-Spec Performance Evos came down from Switzerland to compete. Some of the fastest street legal entries.

Running the new ZE40s.

Angelo’s quick S14A. Almost 400hp and some serious lap times to prove it.

I’ve really just scratched the surface of what was there. Some high power cars coming out of Italy and a lot of them also street legal.

April 6, 2014

Best Motoring’s Champions Battle 1997