First Ride Review 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT This cruiser does more than just a cruiser

First Ride Review 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT

I understand that all of us do not want to be seen in public, especially in certain audiences, in a Honda NC750X virtue 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 Honda is done trying to copy Harley with fake cooling fins on flabby V-twins and chrome plastic gewgaws (though the Fury et al. Remain 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. Kudos to Honda for putting in at least a little effort. Honda's Euro website says that dual-clutch transmission technology has reached its eleventh year of production, and 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 their marching orders on when to switch. Or, at any time, a light touch of the gear stick on your left index finger gives you an instant upshift. Downshifts are installed with your 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 this 270 degree crankshaft AT engine is from the 2020 version: The same attributes that make it a good Adventure engine also serve it up in cruising looks. 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.

Does this mean that we will play even more if we reprogram the maximum volumetric efficiency for both cylinders all the time? We'll get back to you ...

The 3.6 gallon tank is a bit small, but we'll give it a step as it's perfect and the Rebel gets over 40 mpg.

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 going 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 for balance.

American Honda doesn't deal with nonsense like horsepower numbers, but Italy's Honda tops it: 87 hp at 7,000 rpm with 72 ft-lbs of torque at 4,750 rpm for the Rebel, he says, versus 102 hp at 7,500 rpm and 77 ft-lbs @ 6,250 rpm for the Africa Twin.

The business end of this cruise means business, and it goes off with a healthy honk and a 72 foot-pound claim at just 4750 rpm.

So the Rebel is giving up 7% of the torque from the AT, but hitting 1500rpm earlier. On a cruise ship, that seems like a good trade-off. A couple of riders in our group were able to keep the front wheel a foot or two in the air in second gear - there's wheelie control, but turning traction control off also disables it.

We haven't yet managed to run a DCT bike on the Dynojet, but the editorial cylinder head dynamometer registers around 80 rear-wheel horsepower and 72 pound-feet of torque almost seems like a conservative estimate. If you want your power right now from a standstill, the Rebel offers it, especially in Sport mode. As for top speed, it looks like it's preparing to go through the ton with ease just as the governor kicks in at 100 mph. It's probably for your own good, son.


Someone on the trip said, "the center controls suck", and someone else replied "not as much as the front controls." I agree. The Rebel had my hip flexors concerned at first, but even my old body adjusted pretty quickly to the taller pegs under the 27.5-inch seat. I could hang my 30-inch legs above the pegs when walking to stretch them, and I think the optional passenger pegs would work well as a seating option as well. For me, the handlebars were a bit forward; later I was able to rotate it down and back a bit, where it was near perfect. For me, the thick seat is thinly shaped and comfortable enough. Overall, despite its cruising appearance, the Rebel has you in a reasonably good stance for cornering, which it does surprisingly well.

It's also not a bad thing to run 80 or 85 mph on the highway at 5000 rpm - you're sitting low enough behind the fuel tank and instrument module to deflect the gust of wind a bit, and the magic that is the standard electronic cruiser. . control means you can give either hand a rest as needed. Also, this is a twinsmooth running. Honda says: "The secondary vibrations are neutralized by the reciprocal movement of the pistons, while the primary vibrations of inertia and coupling are canceled by the use of biaxial countershafts."

It's not that bad, actually, and it's only 27.5 inches off the ground.

The intended setting of the cruise ship, however, is the cruise ship, and to chatter around town, the rebel, especially the DCT, is king. The low seat is ideal for stopping and starting. Initially it annoyed me that we weren't dividing lanes through city traffic on our official Honda SoCal press trip, but after a while I stopped worrying because sitting in the Rebel on a good day is as easy as sitting in a car. with an automatic. I have to say that the cruise people may be on to something; I think the ladies of Our Time were looking at me even more than usual. Short bikes make you look taller. Oh yeah ... go GPTB. I'm a bad boy, a rebel ...

Bordeaux? Or black?

There's really nothing in particular that stands out about the Rebel, but Honda did a good job with the round tube frame and deep tank paint with no seams on top. Those fenders are real steel, and being a Honda, there are no unsightly wires or dangling particles. It's obviously a cruiser, but this Honda isn't trying to be something it's not or to hide anything it's ashamed of. It is elemental.


The downside to cruising is the same as ever. As long as the pavement is smooth, everything will be fine. But where there are bumps, the largest ones go up the spine and try to dislodge the internal organs that are still connected to it. You just can't absorb shock with your legs and feet as well as you would on a non-cruise.

The 43mm cool purple nitrided fork at the front does a good job, and the dual-speed piggyback shocks at the rear do the best they can with their 3.7 inches of wheel travel (both are preload adjustable), but you're still taking something. Pretty heavy body hits the big lumps unless you lift your arms when you see them coming. Some sneak up on you. Oh.

For sporty use on back roads, the suspension is marked. With 4.3 inches of trail, a 59.8 inches. wheelbase, that fat 18-inch. Front tire and its low cg, the Rebel relies more on stability than fast handling. But that doesn't mean it's not as fun as any other motorcycle to pull around corners. Honda claims it has 35 degrees of rake in both directions, but it feels like more. The footrests don't start to creep until it feels like you're going fast enough for Dunlop D428 cruiser tires. For a sports bike, 509 pounds is a bit swine; for a cruise it is quite light. (The last The Sportster 48 we tested [my son did a good job on that one!] Claimed to weigh 551 pounds. Indian Specifications 555 lbs. for your Scout Bobber.) If you opted for the Rebel 6-speed manual, it's 22 pounds lighter, at 487. (Honda's declared weights have been very close to our measured lately)

.The DCT doesn't care if you decide to hit it in another gear in the middle of the corner (in fact it doesn't "bang" at all or upset the chassis in the slightest) to get the angry giant goose honking again, but the engine has so much torque in the medium that is generally faster to just go with the gear you're in.

Back on the throttle, you can count on the DCT to get you back up gear every time the LCD tach that runs around the perimeter of the big instrument hits “7”. It has Rain, Standard, Sport and User modes, and once you've loaded the User's chosen power levels, traction control, engine braking, and DCT function, it will stay that way even after the ignition is turned off.

A real cruise ship does not need TFT; Everything you need to know is clearly displayed here, including an easy-to-read tachometer.

Maybe you want a short shift? Bink the paddle with your left index finger. Instant change every time. The earlier DCTs I rode didn't always downshift when you wanted them to - with the Rebel version, whenever I was about to shift the downshift lever, whether to brake around a corner or stop me, the DCT would do it for my. , complete with a beep from the throttle, as if reading my mind, sometimes even two quick downshifts in tight corners.

I like the sport mode, but when you're just cruising, stay in gears longer than you want before shifting to a higher gear. That's not even a problem, as you're now thoughtfully tapping the upshift paddle. You can switch to Standard or Rain mode for low-rpm upshifts and the least aggressive shift schedule, but you also get less throttle response. If you're just getting started on this bike, it's probably not a bad thing. Anyway, everything is easy to understand even without consulting a millennial, and easy to see on the LCD screen.

The front brake on our bike is a bit spongy, but it still stops cruising very hard. A good steel brake line would be a nice upgrade. The rear disc is at least easy to use even with cruising ergos and very effective.

In short, DCT is awesome 99% of the time. “Additional benefits,” says Honda, “include durability (no damage due to mis-meshed gears), inability to shut down, less stress in urban driving, less driver fatigue, and more focus on driving in terms of cornering trajectories, braking and acceleration points. "Pretty spot on.

Two magic buttons: DCT and cruise control. The paddle shifters are on the left side.

I'm not normally a cruiser guy, but the Rebel 1100 isn't a normal cruiser (neither was the sweet Rebel 500 that we tested last year.) This one goes around corners like a sports bike when you ask, goes as fast as you always need to go (as long as it's not faster than 100), and is as convenient to race as a scooter, thanks to DCT ... You'll need a cup holder for your coffee somewhere. Naturally, Honda already has nice saddlebags that you can order at the time of purchase, along with a bunch of other things like heated grips, a bat-style fairing and windshield, etc. .

One of the many accessories that Honda has prepared for lever make a little more than "less than $ 10K" out of you.

And the price is also correct. Honda says its Rebels 300 and 500 have been a great success.

Maybe there will be some aftermarket for this Honda? Vance & Hines already has this slip-on.

But when those bike owners want to move up the ladder, they've had no choice but to defect to a different brand: 64% of Rebel 300 trades and 73% of Rebel 500 dealers moved to "other brands. "Honda laments. Now that the 1100 is here, they have excellent reason to return to the Honda dealer at trade-in time.

And for $ 9,999, this one should appeal to a lot of "other brand" riders too. (It looks like by this time next year there will also be a standard style Honda with this engine and DCT for you to see, probably called something like the NT1100.)

There have been many unmemorable cruises to try to remember. for decades, but I'm pretty sure the Rebel 1100 is the most fun I've had riding one, by a pretty fair margin. (Is the Triumph Rocket 3 a cruiser?) Whichever category you want to put it in (style without stereotypes, says Honda), it feels like a high-performance, bipartisan motorcycle - even coastal elites can be behind.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT

+ Highs

  • Looks great, less padding: 509 lbs. wet
  • A cruiser who thinks she's a sportbike
  • How did people live before DCT, daddy?

- Sighs

  • The front brake is a bit spongy on ourbike
  • Cruiser, the errors here are less awkward than on most cruisers
  • I can't complain that there is no standard cruise control

2021 Honda Rebel CMX 1100 DCT Specifications


$ 9,999 ($ ​​9,299 without DCT)

Engine Type

1084cc Liquid Cooled Parallel-Twin, SOHC, Four Valves Per Cylinder

Bore &

Stroke 92mm x 81.5mm

Compression Ratio

10.1: 1

Rear Wheel Power

87 hp @ 7000 rpm (stated)


72 lb.-ft. at 4750 rpm (declared)


6-speed dual-clutch transmission (automatic)

Final drive


Front suspension

43mm fork; adjustable for spring preload, 4.8 in. travel

Rear suspensionshock absorbers

Showa dualwith pressurized reservoirs; adjustable for spring preload, 3.7 in. travel

front brake

330mm disc, radial 4-piston caliper, ABS (not lean sensitive)

256mm rearbrake

disc, 1-piston caliper, ABS

Front tire

130 / 70-18

Rear tire

180 / 65-16

Rake / Trail

28.0 deg / 4.3 in


59.8 in.

Seat Height

27.5 in. At Empty


509 lbs. (reclaimed); 487 no DCT

Fuel Capacity

3.6 gal.

Observed Fuel Mileage

41 mpg


Metallic Black, Metallic Burgundy Red


1 year limited transferable unlimited mileage warranty; Extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.

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