Honda CB1100R Concept by Oberdan Bezzi

08/24/2016 @ 7:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS


We’ve got air-cooled bikes on the brain today, so it seemed appropriate to share one of Oberdan Bezzi’s latest work. The Honda CB1100R concept imagines an air-cooled inline-four engin, wrapped in the bodywork of a sport bike that harkens back to the Honda RC30.

Two classic bikes from Honda’s lineup that make for odd bedfellows, Bezzi’s concept strikes a chord though – especially with more veteran riders who remember when 100hp was more than any street rider could hope for.

Despite the advent of Euro4 emission regulations and crack-downs by the EPA, air-cooled motorcycles are finding their second wind. Free from having to achieve outright performance figures,  less powerful air-cooled motorcycles are filling a niche where more simple and affordable bikes are the most alluring.

I’m not sure what the market response would be for a bike like the one proposed here, but it certainly would be interesting.

Would older riders, who maybe started out on an air-cooled machine, find more space in their garage for something more nostalgic? Would new riders be lured into riding something more simple and affordable?

In an industry that’s seeing the price of new motorcycles out-pace the price of inflation, and having difficulty reaching out to cash-strapped millennials who account for $1.3 trillion dollars in student loan debt, Bezzi’s proposal here has some interesting merits. What are your thoughts?

Source: Oberdan Bezzi (Blog)

  • David Booth

    not nearly as nice as Honda’s version

  • ‘Mike Smith

    I like the looks, but I can’t see this bike as having much appeal performance wise. Throw in the almost certain high price tag and I’d call it a flop.

  • CBR Sean

    I could not say no.

  • Kenny

    There’s a bunch of features to this concept that I just can’t wrap my head around. The steel frame with the single sided swingarm, the old CB gas tank with the old VFR/CBR bodywork. The VFR/CBR fairings without a perimeter frame. I know Ducati does/did single sided swing arms with trellis frames but for whatever reason it looks wrong to me.

    As for the resurgence of air cooled engines. If a bike is light, well suspended, agile and has enough power to get me into trouble, in that order. I couldn’t give two fiddlesticks about what kind of powerplant or frame it’s running.

  • Spurdog1

    I usually love Bezzi’s concepts but thought this one didnt really work. I get what he is trying to suggest and the RC 30 is a gorgeous machine but this looks too much of a bitsa. Maybe a new tank would help but that kinda defeats the purpose of the idea. I like what BMW are doing making cheaper versions of the Nine T and I personally prefer bikes with less electronic aids than a lot of the newer models out now. ‘Keep it simple’ is still a good way to go surely… less to go wrong!

  • MrDefo

    I think it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t expect it to light up a track, but as a street bike it would be a lot of fun.

  • Tom

    Not for me. It looks like it weights 650lbs.

    Make Honda’s version at less than 500lbs and take ALL of my money.


  • Jorge

    I’m getting “older” so character and simplicity is more important than HP numbers. Having an air cooled engine is a prereq to bringing a bike home. I would buy this in a heartbeat however I doubt Honda is smart enough to bring this to production.

  • Starmag

    Bezzi’s got some great concepts, but Honda’s own version of this concept is far prettier. It’s not even close. Since this won’t perform on a level with a modern open class SS, the way it looks is paramount.

  • motobyte

    Major fail with the exhaust pipe on the same side as the single swinging arm.

  • n/a

    Hardly a ‘concept’ when it’s a cheap rip-off of an RC30?

  • Frick

    That is functional for easy wheel/tire changes… VFR owners want to move our exhausts to that side!

  • motobyte

    The exhaust needs to be far enough away from the swingarm to avoid contact and overall balance of the bike would look off with the left side cluttered. Also, imagine your passenger’s foot getting caught between the two.

    Many BMWs have the same exhaust issue you speak off. Sometimes you can just sneak the wheel past and other times you need to move the exhaust. I should know, I wrench on my R1200ST.

  • Peter

    Aesthetically, the “wheel” side of a single-sided swingarm is the “pretty” side- with nothing blocking the view of the entire wheel. Fantastic design.

    Functionally, the “swingarm” side does all the business, and it allows direct access to the unencumbered wheel on the “pretty” side for easy removal. Again, brilliant design.

    Placing an exhaust on the “pretty” side is just, well, idiotic. It makes the “pretty” side ugly, and interferes with wheel access. Brainless design. Just ask Frick and other VFR owners how they feel about it…

  • keithfinnie


  • Alam Rahman

    Not as much as flop as that silly flag!

  • ‘Mike Smith

    It really bothers you that much, huh? Good, that’s why I have it. Have a great day!

  • Aaron Mezger

    While I like it rather well, I do think I prefer the Honda concept. Regardless, they’re both riffing on the CB1100R from the early 80’s, the Bezzi adding cues from the RC30. And while I like those cues, they actually kill the thing in a production sense as they’re almost completely unnecessary to achieve what this idea is reaching for. SSSA? Nice, pretty, helps with maintenance, but also much more expensive and total overkill. Radial brakes? Also much more functional and more cachet. Also more costly and more overkill. Especially on a model that would be somewhat price sensitive as it’s not about outright performance, but rather ‘adequate’ performance. People aren’t gonna buy a bike like this to be at the pinnacle. They’re gonna buy it to have retro vibes with a modicum of modernity.

  • grahluk

    I agree this is not Bezzi’s best. It does look like a lot of shed built specials we see on forums. The question it poses though is worth exploring. Nothing wrong with a modern oil cooled engine. 100ish HP in a modern light chassis is a recipe for a fun engaging moto that in good hands can shame any 200hp electronics leashed spec war missile on most roads save the open freeway. I thought Ducati was winning with their oil cooled family of Monsters & Hypermotards of various displacements. They were relatively simple but modern bikes and were attractive without the air conditioner grill & plumbing. Bring back simple bikes, real world (i.e. street proportioned) power, and modern chassis’ & design. Money waiting for a new take on the Ducati 900SS.

  • darren636

    it’s an nc30