Black Honda CB1100 with a bug screen


α CMa
Honda CB1100
Naked bike
1140cc air-cooled inline four
Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact Tires 110/80-18; 140/70-18

With gas prices as high as they are I recently decided to sell my Honda S2000, Vela. Though I normally say that there is never a reason to buy a new vehicle when a used one can be had that’s just as good, depreciates less, and is cheaper, I’ve decided to break my own rule and ordered a new truck (more on that in a later post). However, even though I placed my order in October of 2021 I have yet to hear anything from the manufacturer. I was getting tired of the almost 2 hour each way commute by bicycle-bus-train-bicycle, so I decided to get a temporary vehicle until my truck comes. I wanted something that was cheap, had good gas mileage, and that was easy to repair so that I wouldn’t have to pay a mechanic to work on it if I ran into trouble, so I decided to go with a motorcycle. I ended up finding a Honda CB1100 with ~76k miles at a reasonable price and went for it!

drive side of a Honda CB1100 with a windscreen and luggage rack non-drive side of a CB1100 showing the exhaust and slightly rusty pipes

Since I named each of my cars after constellations, I decided to name my motorcycle after an individual star: Sirius.

Star map of Canis Major

Star Map of Canis Major

Star map by Torsten Bronger and Kxx, CC-BY-SA

New Tires

The first thing I did is put some new rubber on it, jacking it up was interesting, to say the least.

A motorcycle supported by its center stand and some ratchet straps looped over the ceiling joists and under the fork

I went with the Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact Tires after several recommendations from local shops. They were the same as the worn ones which were already on the bike and were one of the few tires I could find in the relatively odd combination of 110/80-18 and 140/70-18. I put ~40 miles/day on the bike commuting to work, so some fresh tires were important.

No change (Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact Tires 110/80-18; 140/70-18)

I’m not planning on building the bike out in any particular way (nor do I have the money), so I’m not sure that this will turn into a longer build blog, but I hope to get lots of high-gas-mileage and fun miles out of Sirius. As always, I’ll update this post with any modifications I make, or possibly with short trip reports that aren’t worth a full post on their own. In particular, I’m looking forward to a ride in the North East Georgia mountains sometime very soon!

Until then, ride on!



I haven’t done much “fun” riding since getting Sirius, mostly just my daily highway commute to and from work. Similarly, I haven’t done many fun mods outside of basic maintenance (oil changes, brake pads, etc. that are worth mentioning on this blog. Today though I did something that, while still boring maintenance, at least looks good: updated to an LED headlamp! A few days ago my headlamp went out, so I picked up an h4 style LED lamp with a built-in fan for $30 at a local motorcycle dealer. It cost a lot more than a halogen bulb, but should also last a lot longer and be a lot brighter.

Here’s a quick comparison of the color profile of each bulb:

motorcycle headlight with a yellow tint motorcycle headlamp with a blue tint

While I was pulling the headlamp assembly off I also noticed that one of the horn ground wires had broken, making it half as loud as it should be. This was a good opportunity to fix another minor problem that had probably been happening since I’ve had the bike!



One of the downsides to buying a CB1100 is that they weren’t very popular, and no one makes accessories specifically designed for them. I’d been trying to find a way to mount a set of soft panniers for a while, but could never find anything that would work easily without a custom bracket and re-locating the tail lights.

Luckily, I found a set of hard panniers with lights built in at a local motorcycle shop that sells used parts. For $20 plus about half that for a can of automotive grade spray paint and primer I was able to create a set.

The first step was to remove all the hardware and sand them down:

The panniers started out red with lock cores, lights, and shiny paint. Afterwards they appear scratched and the top is detached.

Then they got sprayed down with primer and glossy automotive-grade paint.

The two panniers are now black, making the red tail-lights stand out more.

After a few coats they were ready to be re-assembled and installed on the bike. However, that will have to wait until later when I can figure out the best way to re-locate or remove the existing turn signals while still making it possible to put them back on later.

Group Rides


Yesterday I took a quick diversion from my normal Saturday schedule to go on my first group ride! We met up with the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club (not the Veteran club, a local group) at their garage in Marietta. After a quick safety and route briefing, a few of us took a short jaunt out to a local lunch spot, then to the old paper mill at Sope Creek.

Sadly, I forgot to record a GPX track, but I did snag a picture of the bikes after it turned out the parking lot was full (we had to leave our one three wheel rider behind at this point, sadly):

Several motorcycles pulled off onto the dirt between a trail and the road.

It was a short ride, but also a very friendly group and it made for a great first-group-ride experience.