Honda Blackbird CBR1100 XX (1999)

Americade 2010 - Lake George, NY

How I got this bike:

  After a 1999 high school re-union, I stayed contact with a friend who flew planes and rode motorcycles (not at all what he was like back in the 60's).  In 2003 we arranged to meet at the Marcus Dairy meet in Connecticut.  I showed up late after a very high speed run down the Thruway and across I-84, and we spent maybe 20 minutes talking in a McDonald's parking lot. He had this bike and I expressed an interest in it if he ever wanted to sell it.  (I was riding my ZX11 at the time). 


Marcus Dairy - 2003

  Five years later (2008), he contacts me asking if I would want the bike.  He was in a minor accident on the bike and hurt his shoulder.  He got cut off and the bike went down.  He's retrieved the bike from the tow yard, is getting a full insurance settlement, but doesn't want to ride the bike.  He says he doesn't like the idea of the bike getting junked since it is totally rideable with just minor damage.  He's insistent that he's done with it, offers me an incredible deal, telling me the bike is an easy fix and that I shouldn't feel obligated unless this is something I want.

  The deal is so good I jump on it immediately.  July 4th weekend I stay at my brother's and pick up the bike the next morning in Kings Point Long Island.  It has some extras.  It's in perfect running condition and has less than 10k miles.

July 4th 2008 - Kings Point, NY


  With the bike I got;

  • - the original windscreen (to replace the broken one)

  • - the original seat and a nice Corbin seat

  • - two Givi large hard trunks

  • - extra fairing fittings

  • - extra oil filter

  • - Honda and Clymer manuals

  The bike came with;

  • - pulsating daytime headlight

  • - 3 pulse brake light

  • - alarm system (not so easy to figure out and it triggers when installing the battery)

  • - tank bra

  • - Throttlemeister throttle lock

  • - external battery charger connection and radar detector wiring


Scuffs to fairing and alternator cover

 What it needed and what I replaced;

  • alternator cover, scratched but totally functional ($115)

  • left lower fairing ($350)

  • left mirror aluminum bracket ($20, the mirror was broken off but easily put back on and re-wired)


 The bike has been an amazing performer.  The linked brakes system works extremely well and has an excellent feel. The Corbin seat is firmer and lower.



           ScotchRidge Road - July 2011                    November Ride 2012


Summer 2012 - Catskills



  Battery installed June 6.  Started instantly as always.  Inspected the first day of riding at 16,250 mi.  Oil changed at 16,830. Aluminum bar risers added.  Moving the bars up .75 inches has made a slight improvement in ride position.

  End of season miles, 17,814.  Battery out in Dec.


Hudson View Cemetery - Sept. 22, 2013

(Elmer Edward Ellsworth Civil War Hero Gravesite)



  First ride is to Americade, June 4th.  Two more rides to Americade that week.  18,320 miles by the end of June.

  A day trip to Caramoor (July 20, 2014) to see Phil's Rainforest Installation.  Took routes 90, 9H, 82, Taconic, 84 and 684 down, 132 miles.  And 684, 84 and the Thruway back at dusk.  High speed all the way, 280 mile day.  Faultless performance, and the smooth roads on the way back enhanced the experience.  18,700 miles.

  End of season miles, 19,000. Battery out, Nov. 3.



  Battery in late in the season (July).  On the way back from a ride to Clifton Park, the FI light starts to flicker, and continues to do this, moreso at higher throttle settings.  An internet search states that the problem is with the main wiring loom on the left side under the seat. This problem resolves itself after I charge the battery but I don't believe the battery was the actual issue.  Internet research shows a recall/replacement on wiring harness (but that is long since expired).  Problem is due to moisture/condensation at a large connector plug at low point in the in the wiring loom.  After some time, the issue has disappeared and not recurred.

  New front tire at 19,060 miles at Joe's in Mechanicville and inspection done at the same time.



  First ride early July. 19,600 miles. Oil and filter (K&N 303, PH6017A) changed July 11, 2016 at 19,800 miles.  Battery out Oct. 25th, 19,957 miles.



  Did not ride this bike in 2017.  Spent time riding other bikes on group rides where I would have been frustrated not being able to ride the bike the way I'd like.



  Tranferred the license plate last used on the 2016 Honda CB500F and re-registered this bike on April 23rd.  Battery in (same as the VStrom 1000) and it starts right up.  Hits 20k miles the next day.  The riding position is not ideal for me.  Not as easy as I'd like when stopping at intersections but still a great performing bike and well-engineered.  Aug. 20 mileage is 20,200.

  New rear tire at 20,280 miles at Pro Cycle Halfmoon.

   Battery out Nov. 1 at 20,340 miles.



  The Blackbird was not used in 2019.  Battery in June 12th (20,340 miles).  Oil checked, tires set to 36F and 42R.  Starts right away.  Alarm not connected due to likely dead battery in keyfob (battery replaced A23 - 12v alkaline).

  Clutch fluid bled at 20,460 (DOT 4 brake fluid).  

  Oil and filter (semi-synthetic) at 20,720 miles.


  Battery in Aug. 10th.  Easy startup at 20,867 miles.  Oil is fine from end of last season.  Rear brakes need bleeding since they are not activating but this involves a complicated sequence of bleed steps due to the Blackbird's Linked Brake System.  This work is done at Saratoga Motorcycle Center on Rt. 50.  Solves the problem.  Chain adjusted and the bike is fully functional again.


  The bike is ridden over to my new house.  Starts right up and runs well.

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Edited July 17, 2020