As we reported last month, Honda is introducing a new bagger version of the Rebel 1100. The 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T adds a fork-mounted fairing and color-matched hard panniers. For the U.S., the bagger model will only be offered with DCT, while some markets may offer a manual transmission option.
How’s this for a no-pressure assignment? Completely redesign the Harley-Davidson Sportster, the best-selling Harley that’s been around since 1957. Start with a clean sheet. Make a motorcycle that appeals to people who’ve never considered a Sportster. Whatever you do, don’t offend the Base. On the other hand, it’s okay and even preferable that it offends some people – the ones who’d never consider a Harley under any circumstances.
We were kicking candidates back and forth for this year’s MOTY awards, when somebody threw out as a possible Best Standard the Honda NC750X. Hey wait a minute, I’m the only guy around here who ever liked the NC! Maybe my stately mature influence is rubbing off on the kids at last? For me, it was love at first ride of the original NC700X, way back in 2012. By then, I guess I’d been subjected to enough compromising positions on exotic high-maintenance motorcycles to appreciate the NC’s practical advantages and comfort – and I wasn’t even doing any of the maintaining.
Honda Europe released a teaser video across its social media channels for what is expected to be the NT1100, a sport-tourer based on the Africa Twin. According to the video, the 2022 Honda NT1100 will be revealed on Oct. 21. As of this writing, American Honda hasn’t take part in the teaser campaign, but we suspect there will be a separate launch window should the NT1100 be brought to the U.S.
Honda sprung news today about upgrades for its 2021 Gold Wing, the biggest of them being a capacity increase for the Tour version’s trunk. Shrinkage in luggage capacity was the chief complaint with the heavily downsized 2018 ’Wing: the new trunk holds 61 liters of storage, compared to the previous 50 liters, which Honda says will easily accept two XXL full-face helmets (even when equipped with headsets).
Dang, it sounds like Honda has given one of my personal favorites a little more of everything that makes it a favorite: More power, more rpm, outstanding fuel efficiency (up to 66 mpg), 13 fewer pounds of weight, a bigger storage compartment, lower seat height, sharper styling, ride modes, a slipper clutch for the 6-speed version – and the automatic Dual Clutch Trans is still an option, which gives the NC really all the best features of a motorcycle and a scooter. Which makes it interesting that Honda categorizes it as an Adventure motorcycle (where the current NC’s price is $8,099 in the US).
Any motorcycle reviewer will tell you it takes a long ride and several miles to really understand how good – or bad – a motorcycle is. This is especially true when the motorcycle in question is a model refresh and not an entirely new machine. But this might be the first time I can remember where just riding from my house to the stop sign at the end of my street left an impression that would last my entire time with the bike. The updated, 2020 Honda Africa Twin is good. Really good.
Back in July, Honda released a video teasing a new “ True Adventure” model, expected to be an upsized Africa Twin CRF1100L. Thanks to new vehicle certification documents published in Australia, Motorcycle.com can confirm the 2020 Honda Africa Twin will have a 1084cc engine, a choice of manual or dual clutch transmissions, and be offered in both a regular and Adventure version. According to the documents, the 1084cc engine produces 101 hp at 7500 rpm, whereas the previous 998cc engine is certified at 94 hp.
When I first laid eyes on the 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports at the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show, I thought to myself, “Dang that’s a nice paint job and I love the white frame, but man, what a long name.” After talking to some Honda reps about the bike’s intended place in the market and in its own line-up, I left the conversation a bit more confused than when I had started. You see, the Africa Twin Adventure Sports is aimed to more directly compete with the bigger adventure motorcycles that publications and consumers alike, were already comparing it to.
Today was one of those days I’d like to forget. I awoke with a headache that, by the time I had the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour fully loaded, was blooming into a migraine. Oh joy. Nevertheless, I pushed ahead because I was 900 miles from home, and I had a schedule to keep. I remember the ride into Los Alamos, NM as being scenic – and little else other than the pain in my head.