Honda CBR 1100XX Super Blackbird




Make Model

Honda CBR 1100XX Super Blackbird




Four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder.


1137 cc / 69.3 cu-in

Bore x Stroke 79 x 58 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 11.0:1
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil Synthetic, 10W/40
Oil Capacity 4.6 Liters / 4.9 quarts
Exhaust System Layout 4-1-2 into 2   (all models)
4-1-2 into 2 with 3 catalytic converters (2001


Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection 42 mm Throttle Body


Computer-controlled digital transistorized 

Spark Plug NGK, CR9EHVX-9
Starting Electric

Max Power

152 hp / 13.3 kW @ 10000 rpm 

Max Torque

119 Nm / 12.1 kg-fm  87.8 ft-lb @ 7250 rpm

Clutch Hydraulic wet multi plate


6 Speed 

Final Drive  ‘O’ or ‘X’ ring Chain
Primary Drive Gear Teeth Ratio  56/ 88 (1.571:1)
Final Drive Sprocket Teeth Ratio 17/ 45 (2.647:1)
Gear Ratio 6th 25/ 24 (1.042:1) 5th 28/ 24 (1.167:1) 4th 28/ 21 (1.333:1) 3rd 30/ 19 (1.579:1) 2nd 32/ 16 (2.000:1) 1st 36/ 13 (2.769:1)
Frame Aluminium twin spar

Front Suspension

43mm H.M.A.S. Cartridge-type fork,

Front Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Rear Suspension

Pro-Link single shock with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability,
Rear Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Front Brakes

2x 310mm discs 3 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 256mm disc 3 piston caliper

Front Tyre

120/70 ZR17

Rear Tyre

180/55 ZR17

Rake 25°
Trail 99 mm / 3.8 in
Dimensions Length 2,160mm / 85.0in
Width 720mm / 28.4in
Height 1,170m / 46.1in
Wheelbase 1490 mm / 58.6 in
Seat Height 810 mm / 31.9 in
Ground Clearance 130 mm / 5.1 in

Dry Weight

223 kg / 490 lbs

Wet Weight 254 kg / 559 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

24 Litres / 5.2 gal

Honda first introduced the CBR 1100XX Super Blackbird in late 1996 as a 1997 model in the original colors: Black, Titanium and Red. Being a great product, it soon became a popular motorbike for its combination of smooth powerful engine, good handling, comfort, reliability and quality. You will notice that the biggest CBR hasn’t suffered important improvements through the years as it was bulletproof built from the beginning.

The year 1998 doesn’t bring any changes to this motorcycle except the update to the thermostat housing. The colors available were the same (depending on what part of the world you were in). As you already now the 1100XX Super Blackbird could be delivered in any color as long as it was black (only in the U.S in the first years of production).

In 1999 Honda decides to change to their PGM-FI Fuel Injection System. Slight changes were also found at the tail light, air box, RAM Air ducts, oil cooler, and clutch. They kept the Black color for the U.S. but in Europe Blue entered the scene.

After those significant improvements and the adding of a new color, Honda believed that their sport-tourer didn’t need any more changes for 2000 so the motorbike remained virtually the same.

For 2001 the Blackbird was upgraded to a digital dash and Silver was added for Europe. This is the year when the color changed for the U.S.: Red was preferred instead of Black.

2002 doesn’t bring any changes except the adding of Silver for the U.S., only to return at their initial color (Black) in 2003 when the last model of the 1100XX was released in the U.S.

Honda kept producing the Blackbird for the European market but it only changed the colors: 2004 marks the introduction of two-tone Black/Silver color scheme, the 2005 and 2006 models received Silver two-tone and Blue two-tone while the 2007 1100XX features Iron Nail two-tone color scheme.

As you could see the Blackbird kept is original characteristics through the years and it is still going strong in a class with much desired supremacy.   In any domain, but especially when it comes to motorcycle building, bigger and faster is the aim and Honda made no exception when it introduced their biggest model in order to steal Kawasaki’s crown. They succeeded and the Blackbird became the world’s fastest production motorcycle. But the happiness didn’t last long because Suzuki had prepared their biggest model for 1999, the GSX1300R Hayabusa, when the title “The World’s Fastest Production Motorcycle” was obtained with 5 extra mph.


Kawasaki later introduced today’s monsters and the main competitors for the Blackbird and Hayabusa, ZX-12R and ZZR1400. Both Kawasaki models reached more mph at the top end so the battle today is taken between Suzuki and Kawasaki, Honda remaining a comfortable sport-touring alternative with a lot of power only a twist of a throttle away. 

When I first approached the Blackbird, back in ’96 I was astonished of its size. This is a really large motorcycle and frankly it kind of scared me because I was expecting Honda to follow the tendency of increasing the amount of horse power positioned in a relatively small frame. But they based the aerodynamic nose design on that of an aircraft which owned the title of the world’s fastest aircraft for quite a while and that is pretty cool as well as the bike’s design. A stealth motorbike, even a pseudo stealth one, is unusual and I don’t think many shapes could carry it off. This, however, manages to look classy and somehow sinister at the same time.

The initial design of the CBR 1100XX hasn’t changed through the year because, as I already said, it is kind of the only thing that reflects the motorcycle’s capabilities. The only thing that changed were the colors but I believe that the matt black paintwork with pale gold wheels and titanium detailing echoes the aeroplane even further.

Today we encounter the same fairing dimensions and sharp look that we already gotten used to Iron Nail two-tone painted giving the impression of bare metal, kind of the aeroplane’s fairing in the early days.


Would a motorcycle even count if it wouldn’t perform the way it looks? I’m sure we all know the answer but thanks to Honda’s engineers who made sure that the Blackbird will have a big heart (1137 cc liquid-cooled, inline four cylinder engine which is compact and lightweight), we don’t have to worry about awesome performance. Those same smart Honda people came with the idea of incorporating a dual-shaft balancer system, a unit which revs up very smoothly eliminating the annoying secondary vibration. This evolved into a directly bolted engine to the dual spar, triple box section aluminum frame without using rubber mounts, obtaining even further overall rigidity.

The suspension system, combined with the motorcycle’s lightness, provide it with outstanding agility and satisfying maneuverability while still maintaining the main sport-touring characteristic: comfort.

Such a fast and big motorcycle needed a performance braking system in order to come to a safe stop and Honda had it just ready for mounting. The Dual-Combined Brake System, which actuates the front and rear brakes by either pulling the hand lever or pressing the foot pedal is a ingenious solution for fast stops in complete safe. Kind of what we would expect from Honda