By John Burns Editor Score: 87.25%
2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT
Editor Score: 87.25%
I get it. I understand all of us don’t want to be seen in public, especially in certain publics, on a Honda NC750X virtue signalling our tiny, 745cc 60-mpg carbon footprint. Nor does everybody want to assert their elite adventurousness aboard an Africa Twin in $2000 worth of Gore-Tex® regalia if they’re not all that interested in striking off into the hinterlands – especially if they already live there. You might get away with those things in California, but everybody doesn’t live in Lala-land. Only 12% of Americans. And plenty of them aren’t interested in being Power Rangers either.
For a helluva lot of American motorcyclists, tradition is important, and a lot of people want something that looks traditional on the outside, even if it’s verging on revolutionary inside. I think that’s kind of what’s going on with Honda’s new Rebel 1100.
The profile says cruiser, but a slightly closer look reveals Honda’s done trying to copy Harley with fake cooling fins on flaccid V-twins and plastic chrome gewgaws (though the Fury et al remain in the lineup). The new Rebel wears its 1084cc Unicam parallel Twin and cooling system outside its pants for all the honest world to feel, even as the Honda badging remains subdued.
Closer inspection of the DCT version also reveals the absence of a clutch lever and shifter. Before this Rebel, the only way to get an automatic trans was via the aforementioned Hondas in paragraph one, or in a scooter or Gold Wing. If the goal has been to recruit new riders, that’s downright baffling. Hats off to Honda for making at least some effort. Honda’s Euro website …read more