Big Red makes some of the more versatile touring motorcycles out there, and being a Japanese automaker, practicality is what it always strives for. Currently, we are witnessing a new spike of sports tourers, just like the SUV craze that hasn’t subdued among car-buyers. Honda’s counterparts have been in full swing with new desirable sports tourers like the Kawasaki H2 SX SE+, BMW S1000XR, KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, and the very new Suzuki GSX-S1000GT.
Honda has been lagging here and hasn’t churned out a worthy sports tourer since the ST1300 that ended production in 2012. It sure shines among the adventurers with the Africa Twin (this one is a masterpiece) and mile-munchers with the iconic Goldwing. But the void of a sports tourer was evident.
Now finally, Honda is rewarding our patience with the all-new NT1000 sports tourer. And the fact that it is based on the Honda Africa Twin is enough excitement already! The sharp new tourer shares the frame and engine with its Dakar Rally winning a stablemate and then adds loads of on-road dynamics, comfort, and technology.
So, the Honda NT1100 is essentially a slimmed-down Africa Twin in terms of off-roading capabilities, but you never know! Honda has not left any tables unturned to make this a smashing comeback after the Godly Honda ST1300 left the battlefield. And it sure does look to follow the aesthetic appeal of the good old Deauville and Pan European models, that stirred up quite the attention in Europe.
The Honda NT1100 is essentially an Africa Twin that decided to dress up and wear cozy shoes.
Packs The Same 101 HP Parallel-Twin As The Africa Twin: DCT As The Cherry On Top
The new Honda NT1100 comes packed with the same 1084cc SOHC parallel-twin from the Africa Twin. Performance figures are also identical with 101 HP @ 7,500 RPM and 77 lb-ft @ 6,250 RPM. The only changes here are a revised air intake duct and a new exhaust layout. The base trims pack a 6-Speed manual gearbox, but it is the optional DCT that will attract a lot more.
The DCT was first introduced in the 2009 Honda VFR1200F and it has eventually become the choice of half the Honda big-bike buyers worldwide. The Automatic transmission also allows for seamless integration of riding modes. The NT1100 comes with 3 standard modes – Tour, Urban, and Rain; along with 2 configurable User modes. Each of the user modes can tweak the power delivery, traction control, and wheelie control.
Off-Roading Roots And Cozy Dynamics Makes This A Beautiful Cross-Country Machine
The NT1100 also carries over the mainframe from the might Africa Twin, which will convince you to believe that this one is as good an off-roader as Africa Twin. While the mainframe is the same double cradle unit, the sub-frame is a new bolt-on aluminum unit that caters to a more cozy riding appeal. Talking of riding appeal, this Honda wants you to instantly fall for its curated touring credentials. The wheelbase is an inch shorter and the NT1100 rides on 17-inch wheels with wider wheels for better on-road dynamics and stability.
The rake angle has been reduced by one degree which will add more agility. Suspension duties are taken care of by Showa with a stiffer layout and pre-load adjustment at both ends. This puts the suspension travel at less than 6 inches which translates to a stern high-speed experience. All of this and a curb weight of just 524 pounds make it a light machine. This is where the downside of having the DCT is felt as it adds about 22 pounds to the curb.
A Whole New World Of Connected Riding With The 6.5-inch TFT Touchscreen
We think Apple should rename “CarPlay” to “AutoPlay” now, as connectivity software are now not confined to cars alone. Honda Goldwing got them first, and now we have both Apple CarPlay And Android Auto on the Honda NT1100. Bluetooth connectivity opens up a whole new connected world right in front of you. And it also doubles up as a crisp-instrument cluster when not showing the map data, or controlling various smartphone features.
Apart from the crisp touchscreen and software bonanza, Honda has also stacked the NT1100 with standard heated grips and cruise control. The display acts as a window to various dynamic controls including riding modes, wheelie control, and traction control settings. When equipped with the DCT gearbox, a manual mode allows for paddle-shifting from the left bar. For the manual gearbox models, quickshifter and autoblipper come in as options.
Honda NT1100 Is Sure To Tickle Touring Riders At The Right Spots
The new sports tourer from Honda looks quite sharp and manages to mask its size quite well. Touring is what this motorcycle is made for, and every feature adds up to make a pretty good impression of it. Wind blast has been taken care of with a sizable five-height adjustable visor that also gets upper and lower deflectors to customize airflow.
It also comes with a center stand, a USB and 12V charging ports, and a comfortable riding range of 250 miles. A pair of detachable panniers are standard with a total storage space of 65 liters. The lower seat height of 820 mm makes it an easy machine for riders of varying heights. It also gets an optional 50-liter top case with a built-in pillion backrest.
Honda NT1100: Pricing And US Launch Date
Honda NT1100 is slated for Europe only for now and will be offered in 3 simple shades – Iridium Gray Metallic, Pearl Glare White, and Graphite Black. The European prices start from £11,999 (~$16,500) for the base trim and go up to £12,999 (~$18,000) for the DCT-equipped one. There is no news on a North American release or its pricing, but rest assured, it will be at our shores next year!
Sources: Hondanews.eu, Bennetts.co.uk, Ultimatemotorcycling.com
The much-loved Africa Twin has gotten some impressive updates.
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