Honda NT650 and NT700 Deauville, produced for 15 years, from 1998 to 2013, were loved by many for their calm disposition and practicality in a compact body, which is rarely the case with touring motorcycles, even of average cubic capacity. And now Honda plans to resume the NT series, or rather, to revive it in the form of a single model, but a completely new one, based on the inline-two from the CRF1100 Africa Twin and the CMX1100 Rebel cruiser.
This was revealed when Honda filed a new trademark application with the European Trademark Office. Once confirmed, the application will entitle Honda to use the NT1100 name for “motorcycles, as well as components and accessories for them”…
Rumors of a touring motorcycle powered by an engine from Africa have been circulating for a long time, but the new brand name is excellent confirmation that there is a basis behind these rumors. Submission of the application means that the company is not just considering the development of such a motorcycle, but is already preparing for its serial production, and the only question remains whether it will be possible to release it under this name (that is, whether someone will object). Recently, there were leaps of information that an Africa Twin-powered sports tourist could be released under the CB1100X name, but it is likely that the NT1100 is the same project.
The appearance of the Rebel 1100 in the 2021 lineup showed that Honda is happy to use the Africa Twin’s inline-two alongside the DCT semi-automatic transmission on bikes far removed from the original turenduro model for which they were created. The use of the same engine in different classes nowadays is no surprise, and one example of a universal engine at Honda is the small two-cylinder half-liter engine used on the CB500X touring car, CMX500 Rebel cruiser, CB500 road bike and even the CBR500R sport bike. The same goes for the NC700 / NC750 engine, which is used in touring cars, touring cars, road cars and even the Integra and Forza 750 scooters. So why not the great Africa Twin engine to repeat the success of its small-cubic counterparts?
In addition, the NT1100 will close a gaping hole in Honda’s touring and touring range. The old ST1300 Pan European on the V4 has long been out of production, the same applies to the VFR1200F, and the Euro 5 economy can bury the VFR800 as well. It turns out that the only Honda touring bike in the current lineup is the Gold Wing, which is too big, heavy and expensive for most motorcycle travelers.
The 1084-cc in-line twin on the Africa Twin produces 101hp, and on the Rebel 1100 – 86hp. It is reasonable to assume that the NT1100 will be equipped with a more powerful variant that will provide it with about the same power as the old VFR800, but much more torque (Africa Twin produces 104Nm at 6250rpm, and the VFR produces 74Nm at 8500rpm). The engine is slightly behind Pan European, which had 200 cc and 2 cylinders more and produced 117hp and 116Nm, but the light and compact Africa Twin engine will make the NT1100 much leaner and nimble than the old ST1300.
Most likely, the Honda NT1100 will be available with both manual and DCT transmission options., but whether the latter option will be equipped with a manual gear selector (foot, push-button, both) is unclear, since this function is generally not required for a touring motorcycle. It is also not yet known when this motorcycle will be released – will it become part of the 2022 lineup and will it be announced in 2021? Previously, Honda’s announcements were timed to coincide with major motorcycle exhibitions, but now, due to the pandemic and the incomprehensible status of these exhibitions, motorcycle manufacturers are free to announce new items whenever they want – even much in advance, like Indian, which announced the 2022 model in winter 2021, even for the new season, like Harley. that same winter, which presented models for 2021. What Honda will do, we do not know yet, but we hope that the release of NT1100 will not take too long – at least, the trademark application indicates that the new product will be ready soon.