With a Honda Rebel 1100 in the pipeline, the Japanese firm prepares to dive into the deep end of the cruiser market
Honda are clearly looking for a slice of the big cruiser pie, slotting the 1,100-cc motor from the Africa Twin into the biggest Rebel ever. The Honda Rebel has been around since 1985, first powered by a 250-cc twin, while current versions can be had with either a 300- or a 500-cc powerplant. This long-running compact cruiser platform has been an ideal starting point for young riders looking for their first bike, before graduating to a full-size cruiser, and Honda now want to keep these riders within the fold by giving them just that.
The current Honda Rebel platform, last updated in 2017, seamlessly merges the minimalistic cruiser aesthetic with modern technology. Comfort, light weight, easy manoeuvrability, competitive pricing and manageable power from the compact 300- and 500-cc motors have translated to an ideal urban cruiser, evident by the model’s successful 35-year run. BMW Motorrad just launched a salvo at the established American cruiser manufacturers with the massive R 18, powered by their all-new 1.8-litre boxer motor (you can read that story here), and now the Japanese have jumped into the mix with the Honda Rebel 1100.
The 1,082-cc liquid-cooled parallel twin makes 102 hp at 7,500 rpm and 105 Nm of torque at 6,250 rpm in its adv guise, and we can expect Honda to squeeze out more low-end torque for this upcoming cruiser application. Also, considering that the Africa Twin can be had with either a manual or a DCT transmission, there’s no reason why Honda shouldn’t include this in the option list for the Rebel 1100 as well.
We don’t know yet if we will see the Honda Rebel 1100 in our market, but a big cruiser with Japanese reliability and an attractive price tag does sound promising.