Think of Moriwaki, and you probably think of snarling racebikes tearing around Suzuka in the 70s and 80s. Invariably piloted by hairy-chested legends like Graeme Crosby (above) and Wayne Gardner.
These days, the family-run race team is also a big name on the Japanese custom scene, with a huge range of hop-up parts carrying the famous blue-and-yellow logo. The company has just turned 40, and to celebrate, they’ve turned the Honda CB1100 into a classic café racer.
Being Moriwaki, there’s a serious amount of engineering going on here. The highlight is the lightweight fuel tank, which is crafted from three blocks of billet aluminum. It’s built using 5-axis machining—the same method Moriwaki uses for its Moto2 racebike frames.
The seat unit is also machined from solid aluminum billet, and designed to be as light as possible without compromising strength. With kicked-up styling, it instantly removes the slightly staid vibe of the stock CB1100—plus a much-needed few kilos of weight, too.
Power gets a boost from a stunning black one-piece exhaust system, but the Moriwaki engineers have wisely focused on dropping weight. The stock engine is smooth and torquey, but the showroom CB1100 weighs the wrong side of 500 pounds.
So we get a truncated rear subframe, a new steering stem, top yoke and clamps, and lightweight foot controls. The bike veritably drips with featherlight parts, like carbon and aluminum side covers, headlight brackets and compact lights.
To keep the rear end planted, Moriwaki have installed Öhlins shocks. And sitting right above them is the only splash of color on the CB1100: a beautifully finished tan leather seat.
It looks absolutely gorgeous and you can bet it’s a blast to ride. So will it go on sale? Unfortunately, no. According to Jin Sasaki of Moriwaki’s Race Department, there’s over $50,000 of work in this CB1100.
“Some of the parts are one-offs,” he tells us, “and too expensive for us to reproduce at reasonable pricing for the public. But we’re considering selling some of the bolt-on parts.”
Let’s hope Sasaki-san gives the go-ahead. Quite apart from being pure mechanical sculpture, they’d give the underrated Honda CB1100 a much-needed shot of sex appeal.