In spite of the Japanese manufacturers’ general retreat from the cruiser market, Honda is going against the current with its third iteration of the reborn Rebel branding. The 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 is here, and it has a secret weapon—DCT, if you want it. Let’s check it out.
- Honda took the latest Africa Twin powerplant and repurposed it for the Honda Rebel 1100 with different tuning. It’s the same 1084cc Unicam design, with the cam acting directly on the intake valves and via rockers for the exhaust valves. The crank fires at 270 degrees to emulate the V-twin pulse—a hallmark of cruisers. Apropos of its ADV heritage, it’s a semi-short stroke motor.
- The Africa Twin motor brings along a choice of six-speed transmissions for the Rebel 1100—manual and DCT. The fully manual six-speed version will soothe the concerns of traditionalists, as will the chain drive. However, the DCT will welcome in riders who have not mastered the art of clutching, or for riders who prefer convenience over ritual. As with other Honda DCT transmissions, the Rebel 1100 allows the rider to use left-handlebar mounted shift switches to select the desired ratio, or the DCT will pick the right gear fully automatically.
- Honda gives the Rebel 1100 DCT plenty of electronic rider aids. There are three riding modes—Sport, Standard, and Rain. In addition to modifying the power delivery, automatic-shift points, the modes change the level of traction control, engine braking, and wheelie control.
- The Rebel 1100 should be a compact motorcycle, as the dimensions aren’t that different from the Rebel 500 and 300. The Rebel 1100’s seat height of 27.5 degrees is just 0.3 inches higher than the 500. The 28 degrees of rake and 4.3 inches trail are unchanged. The 1100’s wheelbase is just 1.1 inches longer than the 500’s. The rear wheel is a 16-inch unit on both, with the 1100 getting a wider, lower-profile tire—180/65 vs. 150/80. Honda bumps up to an 18-inch front on the 1100, compared to the 500’s 16-inch front. The pegs are mid-mounted on both. The fork tubes on the 1100 are two millimeters larger in diameter and the twin Showa shocks have piggyback reservoirs. Suspension travel at both ends is nearly identical to that on the 500.
- For Rebel 500 or 300 riders looking to step up, the transition should be easy. There’s obviously more power, and the weight does increase—the standard Rebel 1100 is 73 pounds heavier than the Rebel 500 ABS. The DCT adds 22 pounds to the package, pushing it over the 500-pound threshold to 509 pounds. In comparison, the Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 hits the scales at 564 pounds.
- Braking is upgraded for the Rebel 1100. That’s a radially mounted four-piston monobloc caliper working on a 330mm disc in the front.
- Honda kept the price below $10k for both Rebel 1100s. The standard model has an MSRP of $9222, and the DCT version has a price tag on the showroom floor of $9999—exactly the same as the H-D Iron 1200. That’s aggressive pricing.
- Look for the 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 to appear at dealers in January. With it will come a wide variety of Honda accessories to personalize the look and usage.
2021 Honda Rebel 1100 (and Rebel 1100 DCT) Specs
- Type: Parallel twin
- Bore x stroke: 92 x 81.5mm
- Displacement: 1084cc
- Compression ratio: 10.1:1
- Valvetrain: SOHC; 4 valves
- Fueling: EFI w/ throttle-by-wire
- Transmission: Manual shift 6-speed (DCT: manual or automatic shift)
- Clutch: Manual (DCT: auto clutch)
- Final drive: 525 O-ring chain
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 43mm cartridge-style fork; 4.8 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Spring-preload adjustable Showa piggyback-reservoir shocks; 3.8 inches
- Tires: Dunlop D428
- Front tire: 130/70 x 18
- Rear tire: 180/65 x 16
- Front brake: 330mm floating disc w/ radially mounted four-piston monobloc caliper
- Rear brake: 256mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 59.7 inches
- Rake: 28 degrees
- Trail: 4.3 inches
- Seat height: 27.5 inches
- Fuel capacity: 3.6 gallons
- Curb weight: 487 pounds (DCT: 509 pounds)
- Colors: Bordeaux Red Metallic; Metallic Black
2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Price: $9299 MSRP
2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT Price: $9999 MSRP
2021 Honda Rebel 1100 and 1100 DCT Photo Gallery