Honda Rebel 1100 DCT 2021
Editor’s rating: 87.25%
|Motor||18.0 / 20|
|Suspension / Handling||12.5 / 15|
|Transmission / Clutch||9.75 / 10|
|Brakes||8.0 / 10|
|Instruments / Controls||4.5 / 5|
|Ergonomics / Comfort||7.5 / 10|
|Appearance / Quality||9.0 / 10|
|Attractive||8.5 / 10|
|Value||9.5 / 10|
|Overall score||87.25 / 100|
I understand. I understand that we all do not want to be seen in public, especially in certain audiences, with a Honda NC750X that indicates our small carbon footprint of 745cc and 60 mpg. Nor does everyone want to assert their elite adventure aboard an Africa Twin worth $ 2000 in Gore-Tex® badges if they are not so keen on going inland, especially if they already live there. You may get away with California, but not everyone lives in Lala-land. Only 12% of Americans. And a lot of them aren’t interested in being Power Rangers either.
For a lot of American motorcyclists, tradition is important, and many people want something that looks traditional on the outside, even if it is almost revolutionary on the inside. I think that’s what’s happening with the new Honda Rebel 1100.
The profile says cruiser, but a slightly closer look reveals that Honda is done trying to copy Harley with fake cooling fins on flabby V-twins and chrome plastic gewgaws (although the Fury et al stay in the lineup). The new Rebel uses its 1084cc Parallel Twin Unicam and its cooling system out of its pants for the honest world to feel, even when the Honda insignia remains subdued.
A closer inspection of the DCT version also reveals the absence of a clutch lever and gear lever. Before this Rebel, the only way to get an automatic transmission was through the aforementioned Hondas in paragraph one, or on a scooter or Gold Wing. If the goal has been to recruit new passengers, it is frankly disconcerting. Hats off to Honda for at least making an effort. Honda’s Euro website says that dual-clutch transmission technology has reached its 11th year of production and that more than 140,000 DCT-equipped Honda two-wheelers have been sold in Europe since 2010.
Just put the thing in D to drive with your right thumb, and from there Honda’s dual-clutch transmission will do the rest; the Rebel’s must be Generation 3. Setting the ride mode to Standard, Sport, Rain, or User gives the trans its marching commands on when to switch. Or, at any time, a light touch of the gearshift lever on your left index finger allows you to instantly upshift. Downshifts are installed with the left thumb, and don’t worry if you’re leaning to the left at the moment; changes up or down are fluid and fluid. It’s still easy to honk when you want to signal a turn and vice versa, but downshifting is at least on its own. Using the shovels quickly becomes thoughtful.
Africa Twin Power
Honda tells us that this 270 degree crankshaft AT engine is from the 2020 version – the same attributes that make it a good Adventure engine also serve it in cruiser form. The Unicam head keeps the weight mostly low and with the heaviest parts of the engine towards the bike’s center of gravity. The heaviest part could be the mass of the flywheel, which according to Honda is 20% heavier for 32% more inertia. We’ve overhauled the cam timing and lift, designed to “shift the volumetric efficiency between the cylinders for a unique pulse feel at 4,000rpm,” and the thing has a single nasal canadian goose honking through its box. tuned air and exhaust when the throttle hits open, along with telltale acceleration.
New riders will love not having to clutch, but in this case, they should be aware that opening the throttle in first gear results in go somewhere immediately, especially in Sport mode. With no clutch to modulate, slow-speed parking maneuvers require making sure the learner is also familiar with how to drag the rear brake to maintain balance.
American Honda doesn’t deal with nonsense like horsepower numbers, but Honda of Italy surpasses it: …