– NEW 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Review / Specs + More! | Rebel 1100 Faster than a VTX 1800? Performance Comparison | Manual or Automatic Transmission Cruiser Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide! –
We’ve been talking about the new 2021 Rebel 1100 and how it was on the way for some time now… The day has finally come, Honda has officially announced the NEW 2021 Rebel 1100! Honda has had and still does have quite a few holes in their cruiser motorcycle lineup for 2021 (and years passed) but this is a massive step in the right direction with this new Rebel. If you’ve always like the Rebel 300 / Rebel 500 but wanted more horsepower, this is all you!
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The Rebel 1100 is stacking up to be quite the ringer when you look at the power-to-weight ratio specs on it versus other models in Honda’s cruiser lineup. Let’s compare the new Rebel 1100 against the highest horsepower cruiser in Honda’s model lineup, the Fury 1300. Example:
- Honda Rebel 1100 VS Fury 1300 Performance Comparison:
- Honda Fury 1300 | HP: 67 / TQ: 79 / Weight: 663lbs = .101 horsepower per pound
- Honda Rebel 1100 | HP: 86 / TQ: 72 / Weight: 492lbs = .175 horsepower per pound
- What does that mean? In short, the Rebel 1100 will smoke the fastest cruiser in Honda’s current cruiser motorcycle lineup.
Honda has also made a few other 1300 cruiser motorcycles utilizing the same engine as the Fury that I used in the comparison above. Those models were the Honda VT1300 Sabre, Interstate and Stateline. All have been discontinued over the last few years, after being introduced in 2010 alongside the Fury that is still in the production lineup.
Now, let’s compare the performance numbers of the Rebel 1100 against some other recent cruiser models from Honda like the VTX1300 / VTX1800 models and the Magna, Shadow models etc. Just how fast is the Rebel 1100?
|Horsepower per lb / Power-to-weight
|Honda Magna 1100 (84-86)
|Honda Rebel 1100
|Honda Magna 750 (94-03)
|Honda VTX1800 (lightest “C” model)
|Honda Rebel 500
|Honda VTX1300 (lightest “C” model)
|Honda VT1300 (lightest VT was the Fury)
|Honda VT750 (Phantom)
|Honda Rebel 300
Why am I bringing up these performance numbers on the Rebel 1100 VS other motorcycles from Honda? To drive home the point that engine size isn’t everything and even though the Rebel 1100 might be lacking in the cc size debate, it makes up for it in the weight department with shaving off weight and that “smaller” engine is no slouch as you can see from the horsepower and torque numbers out of the Rebel 1100. The new Rebel 1100 is no joke, it’s a pretty fast cruiser! We’ll dive more into those nitty-gritty engine details below among many other things that really set the Rebel 1100 apart from the rest of Honda’s cruisers in the model lineup – because this is a massive step for Honda and they really are trying to spice up their existing model lineup and get people excited again about the new tech heading this way!
- Quick Rebel 1100 Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Model Lineup Options:
- Option 1: 2021 Rebel 1100 (manual transmission)
- Option 2: 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT (automatic Dual Clutch Transmission)
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Price / MSRP: $9,299
- 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT Price / MSRP: $9,999
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Release Date: January 2021
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Colors: Metallic Black, Bordeaux Red Metallic
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Horsepower: 86 HP @ 7,000 RPM
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Torque: 72 lb/ft TQ @4,750 RPM
- 2021 Rebel 1100 MPG: 48 Miles Per Gallon
- 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT MPG: 44 Miles Per Gallon
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Seat Height: 27.5 in.
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Weight: 487 lbs
- 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT Weight: 509 lbs
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Fuel Tank Capacity / Size: 3.6 gal.
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Front Suspension: 43mm conventional telescopic fork w/ adj. preload & dark titanium oxide coating; 5.5 in. travel
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Rear Suspension: Dual Showa shocks w/ 12.5mm shafts & adj. preload, piggyback pressurized reservoirs; 3.7 in. travel
- 2021 Rebel 1100 VS 2020 Rebel 1100 Changes: None, new model introduction
- Special Note: USA spec Rebel 1100 models do not come standard with the passenger seat or pegs. You have to purchase those additionally as an accessory etc. You’ll see some pictures below with both stock Rebel 1100 models and accessorized, so I wanted to point that out as a lot of people aren’t aware that Honda ships all Rebel 300 / 500 / 1100 models that way for the American market.
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Model Lineup Options:
2021 Rebel 1100 Release Date / Order / Shipment Updates due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) | 11/24/2020: Let’s touch on one more thing before we get to all of the Rebel 1100 information below. I will keep updating Rebel 1100 release information as things change. Currently, the scheduled release date for the 2021 Rebel 1100 is January of 2021 but they will be fairly limited at first. Orders for the limited initial production and release from January through March will be automatically created by Honda for the dealers. Initial order confirmations will start being shown to dealers on 11/29 with estimated ship dates. Estimated ship dates / release dates for the Rebel 1100 will be scheduled in January through March based on the initial production schedule. Dealers can not adjust their initial orders for the Rebel 1100 with a different color or model type. The next planned order period for the 2021 Rebel 1100 will be in February for April delivery. Long story short, if you are wanting one of the first 2021 Rebel 1100 models in stock and released to your local dealership – I would start getting on their list right now. Inventory is incredibly hard to come by right now due to COVID-19 and we have severe shortages on not only motorcycles but ATV / SxS models too. The next few months will be interesting.
- 2021 Rebel 1100 Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction
- 2. | Model Overview
- 3. | Key Features / Development
- 3.1 | Styling & Equipment
- 3.2 | Engine
- 3.3 | Engine Electronics
- 3.4 | DCT Automatic Transmission (optional)
- 3.5 | Chassis
- 4. | Accessories
- 5. | Videos
- 6. | Photo Gallery / Pictures
- 7. | Technical Specifications
1. | Introduction
In recent years, the evolution of the motorcycle market has produced a cruiser culture populated by men and women from diverse backgrounds and experience levels, and seeking a wide range of two-wheel experiences. Some are brand-new to riding, others are stepping up from entry-level cruisers, many are transitioning from other segments, and still others are grizzled cruiser veterans. Similarly, the riding experiences these enthusiasts pursue range widely. While many are content to limit their seat time to short jaunts at a relaxed pace, some enjoy more spirited outings on winding roads, and still others look to cover longer distances in a relatively straight line; a growing number want to do some combination—or maybe even all—of the above. In almost every case, these riders have a strong sense of community, and prefer their time on and around motorcycles to be shared with friends. In short, today’s cruiser customer doesn’t fit a stereotype, and neither should today’s cruiser.
Enter the all-new 2021 Rebel 1100, a forward-looking midsize cruiser made for the modern cruiser rider. With a feel and sound like nothing else on the road, plus Honda’s advanced automatic Dual Clutch Transmission, it’s a high-function motorcycle that only Honda could design and build, ready to take riders to their activities while delivering memorable experiences along the way.
Developed according to an ambitious “Relax and Excite” design theme, this adaptable machine is raw but purposeful, elemental yet modern, and is equally adept at classic no-rush “cruising” and adrenaline-filled outings marked by brisk acceleration and exhilarating corners. Marked by clean, serious styling and built around a retuned version of the high-performance, water-cooled parallel-twin engine from the Africa Twin, this motorcycle introduces new technology to the cruiser market—including the aforementioned DCT. Thanks in large part to its carefully developed geometry, sport-worthy components and its best-in-class power-to-weight ratio, this motorcycle has excellent performance, in terms of both acceleration and cornering prowess. It also has a unique, deep, pulsing exhaust note, as well as a high-level finish, Honda’s renowned reliability and an extremely competitive price.
2. | Model Overview
The CMX1100 Rebel has a dual personality. It’s been designed for a leisurely laidback cruise, but also to offer an exciting riding experience when a twisty road presents itself. Riders moving up from smaller bikes like the Rebel 300 / 500 will appreciate the manageable dimensions and weight (plus the low 27.5 inch seat height), while more experienced riders will find instant, accessible enjoyment from the chassis’ handling potential, with its stiff tubular steel frame, quality naked bike-spec suspension and high-powered braking.
All-comers will love the character and performance of the 1,084cc parallel twin-cylinder engine (originally used on the CRF1100L Africa Twin), which has been re-tuned for super-strong bottom and mid-range punch and character, plus an evocative, enhanced exhaust note. Throttle By Wire management brings with it sophisticated rider aids: there are 3 default riding modes with a cluster of different parameters to suit riding conditions or rider mood, including engine power delivery, engine braking, the level of Honda Selectable Torque Control and Wheelie Control, and the shift schedule of the optional Dual Clutch Transmission technology. Cruise control comes as standard.
As a 21st century bobber, the Rebel 1100’s stripped-back style speaks volumes with its minimalism. Steel mudguards front and rear sit atop fat tires; the circular headlight mixes old school looks with new school LED bulbs and mirrors the round, negative LCD instrument display. For modern day convenience, there’s a USB-C charger in the underseat storage space.
The 2021 Rebel 1100 will be available in the following color options:
- Bordeaux Red Metallic
- Gunmetal Black Metallic
3. | Key Features / Development
3.1 | Rebel 1100 Styling & Equipment
- Raw style a statement of muscular, stealthy simplicity
- Full LED lighting with 4 bulb LED headlight
- Ignition also opens the seat, which hides storage space and USB-C charger
- Cruise control
Simple, raw and casual-yet-serious, the Rebel 1100 has a striking appearance when parked but looks even better in use, thanks to a handlebar-seat-foot peg triangle that unites rider and bike.
The narrow, curvy steel frame has a simple, organic profile. Its 35 mm main tube contributes a bulky appearance to the machine’s sleek form, while the rear has looping lines. The low, long, scallop-style, flangeless fuel tank is enhanced by subtle, low-contrast, two-tone colors. Fuel capacity is 3.6 gallons, including a 1.1 gallon reserve—sufficient for touring.
The narrow, saddle-type seat has a soft texture and progressive foam thickness, maximizing comfort for long trips. The narrow front section makes it easier to put both feet on the ground at stops, and the dished design holds the rider comfortably in place, even during vigorous acceleration. The seat is easily removable, revealing a 3 liter storage space, plus 3-amp USB-C terminals, handy for stowing and charging a smart phone or other gadgets.
The front and rear fenders are both made of 1 mm steel, produced through a drawing process, and are attached with handsome, die-cast aluminum brackets. An available accessory passenger seat bolts to the rear fender.
The engine, frame, suspension and other components are blacked out; even the D.I.D drive chain is plated with black highlighting, enhancing the bike’s raw, cool character.
The ignition switch is located away from the handlebar, on the left side of the frame. The switch can also be used to remove the seat.
The handlebar bend makes for an upright rider position, and one-inch clamps provide a tough look. The left-hand switch cluster includes DCT upshift and downshift controls, a horn, an up-down toggle for scrolling through riding modes, a select/enter button and a hazard-light switch. The right-hand cluster houses the start button and cruise-control switches.
The stylish, round multi-function meter is offset-mounted and has a 4.7-inch diameter screen. It mimics the look of a large analog gauge while the inverted LCD display adds a touch of modern, high-tech beauty. In addition to speedometer, tachometer and tripmeter readings, the cruise-control and transmission functions are displayed on the gauge, all in an intuitive layout.
The modern headlight is 6.9 inches in diameter and houses four direct-emitting LED bulbs with thick inner lenses, achieving a cool, iconic look, and its low mounting position contributes to the bike’s sleek profile. Conspicuous light-directing guides are arranged on both sides of the housing to highlight the character lines of the lenses and enhance the field of vision.
The LED taillight has a thin, simple, oval design that complements the low-slung cruiser style. A small LED light illuminates the license plate.
Cool, raw styling, stimulating performance, modern controls and relaxed comfort come together—all in one machine.
3.2 | Rebel 1100 Engine
- 1,084cc parallel twin drawn from the CRF1100L Africa Twin
- Strong performance, with a well-defined character from revised valve timing and ignition settings, plus increased flywheel mass
- Throttle By Wire engine management and tuned exhaust note
The Rebel 1100’s 1,084cc SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine is based on that of the CRF1100L Africa Twin, but with a variety of key changes that have completely altered its nature and feel to cater for its new cruiser duties. Peak power of 86 HP @ 7,000 RPM with 72 lb/ft TQ @ 4,750 RPM peak torque are healthy numbers in this segment of the market, and a guarantee of strong performance. Increased inertia from 32% extra flywheel mass means the low-rpm response is not only extremely strong, but is delivered with real character.
Less obvious – and what makes the engine perfect in this application – is that its compact dimensions (thanks its adventure-bike origins, which gave it a Unicam drive train and semi-dry sump crankcase) centralize mass neatly, making for a low center of gravity with maximum ground clearance when coupled with the Rebel’s low-slung frame design. The parallel-twin design makes it possible to locate heavy parts on the rear of the engine, enhancing mass centralization and a low center of gravity. Further contributing to the compact engine layout are the Unicam® single-overhead-camshaft valvetrain design. Also found on Honda’s high-performance CRF450R motocrosser, the design lowers the engine’s cylinder head, contributing to the mill’s compact size. In addition, a dry-sump lubrication system places the oil tank inside the crankcase, allowing a thinner oil pan.
The engine is managed by Throttle By Wire (TBW) and PGM-FI feeds the throttle bodies from a 7L airbox. Adding to riding satisfaction is the exhaust note, which has been tuned to deliver a deep, low-frequency sound pulse through the 5.3L oval-section muffler below 4,000rpm married to a much more powerful, high-frequency note as rpm climbs.
Architecture is unchanged from the Africa Twin; the crankcases split vertically and the water pump is housed within the clutch casing with a thermostat integrated into the cylinder head. Manual and DCT versions of the engine share common crankcases with only minor external differences. Secondary vibrations are neutralized by the mutually reciprocating motion of the pistons, while primary inertial and coupling vibrations are cancelled by the use of biaxial balance shafts. The water and oil pumps are driven by the balancer shafts.
A crank pulsar – with relator teeth spaced at 10° intervals – manages misfire detection, important for OBD2/EURO5 compliance. In addition for EURO5 Linear Air Flow (LAF) sensors in the downpipes give accurate measurement of the air/fuel mixture ratio.
Together, these features contribute to the Rebel 1100’s excellent handling and a deep bank angle for aggressive cornering, while still allowing the squat styling and low seat height (27.5 inches) that are intrinsic to cruisers, and that enable riders to easily place both feet on the ground at stops or during parking-lot maneuvers.
3.3 | Engine Electronics
- 3 default riding modes to choose from, plus USER customization
- 3-level Honda Selectable Torque Control and Wheelie Control
In keeping with—and contributing to—its surprising sporting capabilities, the Rebel 1100 touts electronic rider aids not typically associated with the cruiser segment. Throttle-by-wire allows features including Honda Selectable Torque Control (which incorporates Wheelie Control) and riding modes, as well as cruise control.
These electronic rider aids, as well as DCT, are controlled and utilized through different ride modes, each of which provides a distinct riding experience, enhancing the Rebel 1100’s “Relax and Excite” ethos.
Three preset ride modes give the rider distinct options that result in different experiences for varying riding conditions, including commuting, long-distance trips, slippery road surfaces and carrying a passenger. Each ride mode is comprised of carefully balanced settings for power, HSTC (including Wheelie Control), engine braking and DCT shift timing.
- Standard: This mode has middle-of-the-road settings for all parameters, resulting in a riding experience that can be relaxed for city riding or cruising, yet exciting when the throttle is opened. Power is brisk but manageable, shift-timing is appropriate for a wide range of situations, engine braking is natural-feeling and HSTC suppresses unexpected slip.
- Sport: Programmed for exciting, spirited riding, this mode is great for exhilarating outings, on winding roads for example. It has an aggressive, strong power delivery and low intervention for HSTC. Engine braking is natural-feeling, and gear-changes up and down occur at higher rpm, with vigorous blipping on downshifts to emphasize aggressiveness.
- Rain: Not just for wet conditions, this mode is ideal for situations when traction is limited, but also when a relaxed, enjoyable, comfortable, energy-conserving riding experience is desired. Throttle response and engine braking are both mild, and gear changes occur at lower rpm, for minimum shift shock and vehicle pitching. HSTC has high levels of intervention.
- User: In addition, a customizable User mode can be set up to the rider’s preferences. When the bike’s ignition is turned on, the ECU remembers the previously selected mode.
HSTC / Wheelie Control
By controlling the throttle opening (and thus engine torque), Honda Selectable Torque Control inhibits rear-tire slip during acceleration and cornering, increasing rider confidence. When the level setting is switched on, the system detects differences between front- and rear-wheel speeds (suggesting that the rear tire is spinning). As the calculated slip ratio goes beyond a specific level set by the rider, the ECU controls fuel injection to the optimum level, and optimized engine torque controls the rear-tire torque. An indicator light on the meter panel turns on when the system is in operation.
HSTC also incorporates Wheelie Control, which limits front-end rise during acceleration. When the system detects that the front wheel is decelerating while the rear wheel is accelerating, it infers that a wheelie is occurring and intervenes. Again, the result is an increase in rider confidence.
The Rebel 1100 is the only model in its class to come standard with cruise control.
3.4 | Rebel 1100 DCT / Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission
- 3 default D mode (automatic) shifting schedules mirror the riding modes
- USER mode offers customization
Introducing advanced gear-box technology to the cruiser market, the Rebel 1100 is available with a six-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission—a Honda exclusive in the powersports world. Contributing to a steady, safe, comfortable and fun ride, DCT is a geared transmission with the durability and efficiency of a conventional gearbox, but that has automatic clutch and gear-shifting, allowing the rider to focus on other operations. There is no clutch lever or foot shift lever.
Honda’s DCT technology is now in its eleventh year of production, and over 140,000 DCT-equipped Honda two-wheelers have been sold in Europe alone – since 2010. The latest-generation Honda DCT featured on the Rebel 1100 has two coaxial main shafts and two automatic clutches, one for the odd-numbered gears (1/3/5) and one for the even-numbered gears (2/4/6). Multiple gears are engaged simultaneously so that the transmission is constantly prepared for the next shift. Data, collected by a series of sensors, is processed by the ECU, which uses an advanced algorithm to determine when the shift-control motor should hydraulically trigger gear-changes. At those moments, one clutch disengages and the other engages, resulting in shifts that are quick, smooth and seamless. Power is delivered to the rear wheel via an efficient and durable 525 chain.
The result is a consistent, fast and seamless gear change. Furthermore, as the twin clutches transfer drive from one gear to the next with minimal interruption of the drive to the rear wheel, any gear change shock and pitching of the machine is minimized, making the change feel direct as well as smooth. Extra benefits include durability (as the gears cannot be damaged by missing a gear) impossibility of stalling, low stress urban riding, reduced rider fatigue and extra ‘brain space’ to concentrate on pure riding aspects such as riding line, cornering, braking and acceleration points.
The DCT system offers two distinct riding approaches – the Automatic settings, with pre-programmed shift patterns which constantly read vehicle speed, gear selected and engine rpm to decide when a shift should occur, and the Manual Transmission setting for gear changes using the paddle-shift style triggers on the left handlebar.
Through TBW control, the DCT shift patterns are linked with the 3 riding modes.
- In STANDARD riding mode, the DCT shift pattern offers a balance between high-gear, low-speed cruising and low-gear, full-throttle excitement.
- RAIN selects higher gears more quickly for a super-smooth ride.
- SPORT delivers higher-rpm and lower gears, holds onto revs for longer before upshifts, and downshifting at higher rpms for more engine braking effect.
- The USER option also allows the rider to adopt any of the three DCT shift patterns in any riding mode according to preference.
Don’t want to use the fully automatic transmission mode? The DCT Rebel 1100 also an optional manual mode, with gear changes accomplished via buttons on the left switch cluster; even when riding in automatic mode, the rider can force manual shifts, with the transmission returning to automatic shifting after several seconds.
3.5 | Rebel 1100 Chassis
- Signature tubular steel frame underpins Rebel styling
- Steering geometry provides stability with easy handling characteristics
- 43mm cartridge-style front forks and piggyback rear shocks, both spring preload adjustable
- Radial mount four-piston front brake caliper and 330mm floating disc
- 130/70B18, 180/65B16 front and rear tires
With a 59.8-inch wheelbase and a 30-degree fork angle, the Rebel 1100 achieves a cruiser style that belies its sporting capabilities. This is possible because the caster angle is actually 28 degrees and the trail length 4.3 inches, achieving both straight-line stability and neutral handling. Spirited riding is also facilitated by the aforementioned 27.5-inch seat height, the middle positioning of the foot pegs and foot controls, the neutral location and bend of the handlebar, the 35-degree bank angle (much more than most cruisers—similar to naked-bike), 4.7 inches of ground clearance and the 509 pound curb weight for the DCT version.
Also contributing to the sporting potential are high-performance suspension components. Consistent with the bike’s blacked-out styling, the 43 mm conventional telescopic fork has stanchions that are coated with dark navy titanium oxide, while the two-part sliders are wrought and die-cast aluminum. A cartridge-type damper and 5.5 inches of wheel travel contribute to the machine’s sporty performance.
Rear suspension comprises dual Showa shocks with 12.5 mm shafts and pressurized piggyback reservoirs for tough looks, good road-holding performance and consistent damping force. Rear-wheel travel is 3.7 inches. The tubular swingarm has a 50.8 mm diameter.
At both ends, preload can be adjusted to tailor the ride to load and passenger conditions. The rear preload-adjustment range is particularly broad, allowing appropriate setup for a wide range of rider weights and preferences.
Slowing and stopping the Rebel 1100 is accomplished with high-quality braking components similar to those found on sport bikes, resulting in high-level vehicle control in a broad range of riding conditions. The single front caliper has a monobloc, four-piston, radial-mount design and squeezes a floating 330 mm rotor. The rear caliper has a single piston and works a 256 mm rotor. ABS is standard.
Attractive, sporty, cast wheels with five Y-shaped spokes are used both front and rear, providing optimum rigidity and contributing to the bike’s neutral handling character. The tires are size 130/70-18 (front) and 180/65-16 (rear), for a voluminous look and powerful styling.
4. | Rebel 1100 Accessories
As a motorcycle born to be accessorized there are a range of Honda Genuine Accessories ready to bolt straight on to the Rebel 1100.
More than any category, cruisers are about customization—for performance, appearance and convenience—and Honda makes that possible with a long list of Rebel 1100 accessories, from minimalist to tour-focused. Examples include cowls, bags, seats, backrests, short fenders and tank pads, heated grips, alarms and more.
- Wadding Seat – Standard/forward set replacement black/brown seats
- Rear cargo rack (solo type)
- Rear cargo rack
- Passenger pegs / seat
- Passenger back rest
- Tank pad
- Headlight fairing cown
- Short front mudguard
- Fabric saddlebag
- Fabric Grips
- Wheel stripes
Here’s a few pictures of the Rebel 1100 with accessories installed:
5. | Videos
6. | Photo Gallery / Pictures
7. | Technical Specifications
|1,084cc liquid-cooled Unicam® four-stroke 22.5º parallel-twin
|SOHC; four valves per cylinder
|Bore x Stroke
|92.0mm x 81.5mm
|PGM-FI electronic fuel injection w/ 46mm throttle bodies (Throttle By Wire)
|Full transistorized ignition
|6 speed automatic DCT
|6 speed manual
|(2) multiplate wet
|525 chain, 16T x 42T
|43mm conventional telescopic fork w/ adj. preload & dark titanium oxide coating; 5.5 in. travel
|Dual Showa shocks w/ 12.5mm shafts & adj. preload, piggyback pressurized reservoirs; 3.7 in. travel
|Single four-piston monobloc, radial-mount hydraulic caliper w/ floating 330mm rotor; ABS
|Single one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 256mm rotor; ABS
|Rake (Caster Angle)
|110mm (4.3 in.)
|3.6 gal. (1.1 gal. Reserve)
|Metallic Black; Bordeaux Red Metallic
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.