Honda created the NT1100 to address the needs of riders that desire performance, handling, long range comfort, and technology but not necessarily the image or physical dimensions of an adventure bike. It is a straightforward touring machine ideal for a weekday commute or extended tour.
The NT1100 takes on Hondas modern design language, with slit-type headlights as seen on the X-ADV. It comes with full LED lights (with DRL), self-cancelling indicators and Emergency Stop Signals. The body features upper and lower deflectors for wind and weather protection around the arms and lower body. The windshield offers 5-stages of adjustment for height and angle. Heated grips are standard equipment, as is cruise control.
It offers the rider a wide, thick seat, with its height at an accessible 820 mm. There’s also a large grabrail for the passenger that extends from the rear rack.
To maximize cargo capability, the exhaust muffler is set low to allow the installation of large panniers. Honda offers standard-fit, detachable panniers that are one of the NT1100’s key features. They’re deliberately designed to be as slim as possible for around-town riding, being just 901mm across at their widest point. Pannier volume is at 33L left and 32L right.
As we mentions, the NT1100’s underpinnings are well-proven and tough. They’re the Africa Twin CRF1100L’s steel semi-double cradle frame and bolt-on aluminum subframe. For better handling on-road, it rides on 43mm Showa cartridge-type inverted front forks with 150mm travel and are preload adjustable. Like the forks, the single-tube pressurized Showa rear shock offers 150mm axle travel; it uses a 14mm diameter rod. To make carrying a pillion and/or luggage easier spring preload adjusts hydraulically, and remotely.
Its wheels are aluminum, fine die-cast with a sand core allowing a hollow hub center for the front. Tires are sized 120/70-17 front and 180/55-17 rear. Nonetheless, it still offers 175 mm of ground clearance and a curb weight of 238 kg for the manual and 248kg with DCT.
Bringing it to a stop are dual 310mm front discs with 4-piston radial-mount calipers. The rear 256mm disc uses a 1-piston caliper. All braking is ABS-controlled.
Powering the NT1100 is the same 1,084cc SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine from the Africa Twin. Peak power is at 75kW at 7,250rpm and 104Nm at 6,250rpm peak torque. It uses a 270° phased crankshaft and uneven firing interval.
It’s managed by Throttle By Wire (TBW), but is designed to return a pleasing, low-rpm ‘throb’ and smooth, powerful acceleration married ideal for relaxed highway cruising. As expected, the engine is Euro-5 compliant with multiple systems designed to ensure clean combustion at all times.
The rider gets 3 pre-set modes to choose from and 3 levels of management for Power and Engine Braking, with level 1 delivering the maximum of either parameter. Urban mode is an all-round middle setting of engine power and engine braking. Rain mode reduces engine power and engine braking for extra reassurance on wet or slippery surfaces. Tour mode gives full engine power and standard engine braking, for strong acceleration while carrying a pillion and luggage. There are also User 1 and 2 modes that are customizable for the preferred combination. Once set, the User setting is automatically stored so there’s no need to re-set each time the ignition is turned on.
It also comes Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) and Wheelie Control, with level 3 providing the highest intervention. Mode selection is done with the left-hand switchgear; an indicator in the instrument display activates when HSTC is working.
Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
One of the options for the NT1100 is the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). It delivers consistent, seamless gear changes and very quickly becomes second nature in use. One clutch is for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears, the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging.
The DCT system comes in two modes: Automatic Transmission (AT) and Manual Transmission (MT). Automatic mode comes with pre-programmed shift patterns which constantly read vehicle speed, gear selected and engine rpm to decide when a shift should occur. Manual mode allows for gear changes using the paddle-shift style triggers on the left handlebar.
There are two settings within AT to choose from; D mode offers effortless riding and maximum fuel efficiency. S mode serves up 3 levels of sports-based shifting. Level 1 is the most modest, changing gears in the medium rpm range. Level 3 is the most aggressive and operates at high rpm with Level 2 is the intermediate point between the two. The preferred selection can also be saved.
All of these riding modes and setting can easily be seen on the 6.5-inch TFT touch screen. If comes in 3 display modes: Gold shows all numeric and mode information; Silver centers on the speedometer and rev-counter, Bronze puts focus on the rev-counter. The background color has a default setting plus the choice of black or white. As expected, it’s compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth connectivity allows access to smartphone functions via the TFT display. There’s also a USB socket and power socket for charging as standard.
The NT1100 will be available in the following colour options: Matte Iridium Gray Metallic; Pearl Glare White; and Graphite Black. For now, it’s only available in Europe but should be offered in the rest of the global markets soon.