Honda Rebel 1100 incoming! Africa Twin-powered CMX1100 revealed

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With the all-new Honda Rebel 1100, the firm are re-entering the big-bore cruiser class in 202. It's a large-capacity version of their popular Rebel 500.

As predicted by MCN back in April 2020, the new Rebel takes a retuned version of the parallel twin from the current CRF1100 Africa Twin.

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Like the 500, the new CMX1100 Rebel has manageable proportions (seat height is a low 700mm) blended with fat-tyred cruiser styling. The balloon front tyre is a 130-section 18-incher with a fat 180-section 16-incher at the rear.

The 1084cc motor comes with Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), making the new Rebel 1100 the first cruiser available with the semi-automatic gearbox.

Honda CMX1100 Rebel dash

The SOHC engine also gets also revised valve timing and ignition settings plus a heavier flywheel – all intended to both give more cruiser character and boost low and midrange performance.

The result is peak power of 86bhp at 7000rpm and torque of at just 4750rpm, compared to the Africa Twin’s revvier 100bhp at 7500rpm and 78lb.ft at 6250rpm.

The reworked engine also benefits from three default riding modes (Standard, Sport and Rain) plus an extra, customisable ‘User’ mode.

2021 Honda Rebel with Tour accessories

The 1100 Rebel follows the template of its little brother with its tubular steel frame but with fatter tubes. There are conventional telescopic forks and twin rear shocks, although these are beefier than those on the smaller Rebel and preload adjustable.

A single front disc provides the stopping power, although this is a larger 330mm item now gripped by a radial-mount, four-piston caliper. The round headlight features four LED bulbs while instrumentation is via a 120mm reverse-LCD dash.

There are two lines of accessories on offer to further customise your cruiser. The Street line features different seats, pillion delete kit, revised pegs and more, while the Touring line offers luggage, screens and the like. 

The Honda CMX1100 Rebel is in dealers now, costing £8,999 for the manual and £9,899 for the DCT version. You've got a choice of black or red colour schemes. Keep an eye out for our Honda Rebel 1100 review coming soon. 

Rebel with a new cause: Honda Rebel 1100 project takes aim at H-D and Indian

First published 14 April 2020 by Jordan Gibbons

Honda Rebel 1100 sketch

Honda are working on a larger capacity version of the Rebel – and it will be based on the Africa Twin. The Rebel has been popular across the globe for people who want something a little different from your average cruiser.

Until now though there’s only been a 500cc model available – small fry next to Harley-Davidson and Indian machines. But now Honda are working on a larger capacity model to boost the appeal.

The new bike will be called the Rebel 1100 and will be powered by the 1082cc parallel twin from the Africa Twin. If it stays in a similar state of tune, then we can expect a boost from the current bike’s 45bhp to 100bhp – however it’s more likely that Honda will retune the motor.

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With a bit of a fiddle the twin could get more torque and a fatter midrange, which would knock peak power down to under 94bhp – helpful if they want to offer an A2 compliant version. Using the Africa Twin motor also gives Honda the option of selling a DCT version.

Bringing over the motor from the CRF1100L twin also opens the door for the addition of electronic rider aids. The current CMX only has basic ABS but if the 1100 model was to pick up the IMU from the CRF, then it could get cornering ABS and lean sensitive traction control as well as Honda’s ‘comfort’ electronics for a bit of touring.

To go with the new motor, Honda will also develop a new chassis. Patents that emerged last week suggest the chassis could have some big changes, towards a more upright stance. However, the style of the current CMX 500, and cruisers in general, is quite rigid and Honda will want to ride the wave of popularity.

Going upmarket

Honda won’t just put a big engine in – expect posh suspension and nicer components to match the increased power. The standard Africa Twin has 78ftlb of torque but a retune could see this in the mid-80s – more than enough to get you cruising.

Honda do an S-model of their existing Rebel, which comes with a few tasty extras, and we’d imagine they will pull the same trick again here. New electronics could include: ride by wire, self-cancelling indicators, keyless ignition, traction and cruise control.

Given the competition, we’d expect an 1100 Rebel to hover around the £10,000 mark – depending on finish and to be unveiled at Eicma, Milan in November.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.