The African Rebel
The Honda Rebel 500 has been a huge success for new and experienced riders seeking a mid-displacement cruiser-style motorcycle, but what happens when you cram Honda’s notorious 1084cc parallel twin (taken from the legendary Africa Twin) into the mix? The CMX1100 Rebel is what happens.
The Rebel 500 had a very low seat position (I would know, I rented one for a 1000km ride and have never been in more pain in my life – keep in mind I’m a giant), and this new 1100 is no different. The new 2021 CMX1100 Rebel’s seat sits at 27.5 inches (700mm) making this bike very easy and comfortable to ride despite the big jump in engine size. * There was confusion with this last comment. A low seating position will make maneuvering a 1100c bike much easier, and this motorcycle will be far more comfortable for 97% of the population that is shorter than 6’3″.
Speaking of engine size, the engine is a retuned 1084cc, 270° parallel-twin taken from the CRF1100L controlled by a ride-by-wire configuration allowing for a total of three riding modes. The engine also sees a heavier flywheel and revised valve timing (compared to its off-road counterpart) to increase the low and midrange powerband for a more authentic cruiser experience.
This new Rebel will also be one of the first cruisers to ever be manufactured and sold with an automatic gearbox due to the option of including Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). If the automatic transmission isn’t your thing, it’s also available in a standard 6-speed manual gear configuration as well.
The suspension is similar to the 500, but this version brings full control over preload around the bike through its telescopic front fork and twin rear shocks. The front wheel is equipped with a single 330mm disk that utilizes a four-piston, radial-mount caliper for your stopping pleasure.
This new model will set you back $9,299 USD, and Honda has included a wide variety of factory add-ons such as saddlebags, headlight cover, quilted saddles, and a few more items to make the bike that much more ‘cruiser-styled’.