Many riders today want performance, handling, long-distance comfort, and a wide range of technologies, but not necessarily the image or physical dimensions of "adventure." What they want is a simple touring machine with a long list of features and a sporty edge to its performance — the kind of bike that can handle the weekday commute as well as an extended tour, two-up and fully laden.
That is exactly what the new NT1100 is. A comfortable, nimble, and entertaining New Touring breed, it's intended to appeal to people with fond memories of comparable Honda motorcycles from the past, as well as younger riders wishing to progress from a middleweight machine. The frame and characterful twin-cylinder engine of the CRF1100L Africa Twin serve as the foundation for engaging performance. However, it is also loaded with amenities that enhance and widen the attractiveness of any motorcycle.
Available in three modern paint finishes – Matte Iridium Grey Metallic, Pearl Glare White, and Graphite Black – the sleek, unobtrusive style provides efficient aerodynamic performance with a riding posture tailored for touring comfort. The screen height is adjustable in five positions, and upper and lower wind deflectors help to keep the rider safe. Large integrated panniers, heated grips, a centre stand, cruise control, and USB and ACC charging ports are all standard features. The lighting is entirely LED, featuring Daytime Running Lights for improved visibility, as well as self-cancelling indications and Emergency Stop Signals. The seat height is a reasonable 820mm.
The steel semi-double cradle structure has a short wheelbase and precise steering geometry, and the suspension is of exceptional quality. Showa cartridge-type inverted front forks and a single-tube rear shock with 150mm travel in both directions. The preload on the rear springs is adjusted hydraulically. The front discs are 310mm in diameter and are mated with 4-piston radial-mount callipers; the tyres are 120/70-17 in the front and 180/55-17 in the rear.
The NT1100 also has a 'full-fat' engine with 75kW of power and 104Nm of torque, as well as intake and exhaust tuning for super-smooth acceleration and a nice low-rpm sound. The performance does not come at the expense of fuel efficiency, as the 20-litre fuel tank allows for a 400-kilometer range.
Honda's 200,000-seller Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) is available as an option for the six-speed transmission, and it fits well in with the NT1100's choice of trigger-based manual gear changes or smooth, efficient automatic shifting.
The NT1100's comprehensive electronics package offers three default riding modes (URBAN, RAIN, and TOUR), as well as two configurable USER modes, three levels of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), and three levels of Wheelie Control. A 6.5-inch TFT touch screen with Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto®, and Bluetooth® connectivity enables full-color, configurable displays.
The NT1100 provides even another dimension to Honda's uniquely broad and diverse motorcycle line-up, with its vast specification sheet and comprehensive adaptability, practicality, and comfort.