It has the body of a Rebel and the heart of an Africa Twin with nice electronics suite

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Honda swings for the fences with its new-for-2021 Rebel 1100 taking its place at the head of the Rebel family. A prime candidate for both the entry-level riders and ones looking for their first upgrade, the biggest Rebel’s engine comes out of the globetrotting Africa Twin. Ride-control and safety electronics come off the top shelf and it comes in a choice between a standard transmission and Honda’s DCT gearbox that delivers automatic-transmission functionality. This new ride rolls for less than $10k to cement its status as a contender in the U.S. cruiser market.

  • 2021 Honda Rebel 1100
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel Twin
  • Displacement:
    1084 cc
  • Top Speed:
    140 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    9299
  • Price:

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Design

  • Black-out styling
  • Under-seat USB-C terminal
  • Narrow width and low seat height
  • Lightweight
2021 Honda Rebel 1100
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2021 Honda Rebel 1100
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A few years ago, Honda set the stage when it reimagined its venerable Rebel line from the ground up with new frame geometry and a look that bears little resemblance to the design that made the Rebel a household name. To be fair, the original was clearly an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of American-style cruisers, and it’s safe to say “job done” as you’d be hard-pressed to name a bike with a more fervent cult following. So, you could say the factory took a risk when it redesigned its rebellious one, and a rather large risk at that.

The Rebel 1100 is the logical, mid-size evolution of its “300” and “500” siblings with clear DNA markers throughout. A slightly-bobbed front fender leads the way between blackout forks. The somewhat-sinister darkness continues onto the tripletree, frame, engine, exhaust, and swingarm in a nod to custom culture that is reinforced by the bobbed rear fender. A low-slung solo saddle rests your juniecakes at 27.5 inches off the deck combing with a short-rise handlebar and mid-mount foot controls to deliver a relaxed, upright riding posture. Not only does this rider’s triangle make it easy to stay in the saddle for long rides, but since the footpegs place your heels under your knees, you can slide side-to-side a bit for some limited body English in the curves.

While the stock bike is fairly bare, the factory offers a robust line of accessories that let you dress it down further yet, or dress it up for cruising comfort and convenience. For visibility, the Rebel 1100 splits the night with a ::four-projector LED headlight, and since all of the other lighting is LED, you can count on seeing and being seen.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Chassis

  • Steel Trellis frame
  • ABS
  • Eager in the corners
  • Compact with low center of gravity
2021 Honda Rebel 1100
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2021 Honda Rebel 1100
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2021 Honda Rebel 1100
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An exposed, tubular-Trellis frame provides the main structure and lends even more antique sweetness with upper members that bring to mind the geometry of the old hardtails. Backswept, nitrogen-charged rear shocks and optional passenger-peg standoffs follow almost the same lines to give the 1100 a rigid-esque look, at least at a distance.

The steering head establishes a rake angle of 28 degrees with 4.3 inches of trail over a 59.8-inch wheelbase for 35 degrees of lean to each side to give the 1100 an eagerness in the corners that we usually don’t find in the cruiser category. You can expect 3.7 inches of travel in the rear shocks, opposite 4.8 inches of travel in the RWU front forks for a fairly plush ride. Cast rims round out the rolling chassis with a 130/70-18 and 180/65-16 on the front and rear respectively.

At 487 pounds soaking wet, the Rebel 1100 falls toward the lighter end of the weight range so the single, 330 mm disc and four-pot caliper up front is plenty to provide the bulk of the stopping power. Out back, a single-piston anchor and 256 mm disc take care of business, and all-around ABS comes with the stock equipment package.

Front Suspension/Travel: 43 mm fork/ 4.8 inches
Rear Suspension/Travel: Pro-Link® single shock/ 3.7 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 28°
Trail: 4.3 inches
Front Brake: Single radial-mounted four-piston caliper with full-floating 330 mm discs; ABS
Rear Brake: Single-caliper 256 mm disc; ABS
Front Tire: 130/70-18
Rear Tire: 180/65-16

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Drivetrain

  • 1084 cc Twin-cylinder engine from the Africa Twin
  • Torque anywhere in the rev range
  • Available DCT transmission
  • Cruise Control
  • Wheelie control
  • Slipper/Assist clutch
2021 Honda Rebel 1100
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2021 Honda Rebel 1100
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2021 Honda Rebel 1100
- image 954410

Honda powers its newest Rebel with a retuned version of the same engine that drives the proven Africa Twin. It sports revised timing in the SOHC valvetrain, altered ignition timing, and a beefed-up flywheel with 20-percent more mass and 31-percent more inertia that helps with the low-down grunt. A liquid-cooled parallel-twin mill, it mounts in the frame with a jaunty 22.5-degree forward cant and sports a 92 mm bore and 81.5 mm stroke for a total displacement of 1,084 cc and 10-to-1 compression ratio that’ll call for at least mid-grade fuel or an octane additive to prevent knock/ping/dieseling. The 270-degree firing order gives it an attractive lope at idle and smooth power at the upper rev range.

A ride-by-wire throttle transmits rider demand to the engine after it washes through the filter that is the Honda Selectable Torque Control. The HSTC prevents spinout at the rear wheel, plus there’s a quartet of power-delivery profiles – three pre-programmed and one that’s user tunable – for total power control, and a Wheelie Control that helps prevent moonshots when you come out of the hole.

What kind of power you ask? Well, the Rebel 1100 cranks out 86 horsepower at 7,000 rpm with 72 pound-feet of torque at 4,750 rpm. This gives it 0.175 horsepower-per-pound that will hold you in good stead against the general U.S. cruiser category. A six-speed manual transmission is the stock drivetrain configuration, but if you prefer a simpler riding experience the Dual Clutch Transmission option might be for you. Use the switches on the handlebar to shift up and down the range, or put it on full auto for twist-and-go operation.

Engine: 1,084 cc liquid-cooled Unicam® four-stroke 22.5° parallel-twin
Bore & Stroke: 92 mm x 81.5 mm
Induction: PGM-FI electronic fuel injection (Throttle By Wire)
Ignition: Full transistorized ignition
Compression Ratio: 10.1:1
Valve Train: SOHC; 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission: Six-Speed Manual, DCT: Six-speed Automatic DCT
Final Drive: #525 O-ring-sealed chain; 16T/42T

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Price

2021 Honda Rebel 1100
- image 954396
2021 Honda Rebel 1100
- image 954389

Honda wants $9,299 for its base Rebel 1100 in Metallic Black or Bordeaux Red Metallic. If you spring for the DCT, you can expect to spend $9,999. No matter which you choose, you’re getting a lot of bike for just under the $10K mark.

Model ID: CMX1100A, DCT: CMX1100D
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty. Optional Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Metallic Black, Bordeaux Red Metallic
Price: $9,299, DCT: $9,999

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Competitors

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200
- image 871403
2021 Honda Rebel 1100
- image 954414

The Rebel line has always been all about the American-style cruiser look, so it seems fair to see how it stacks up against the genuine. With that in mind, I went straight to the Harley-Davison Motor Company for its Iron 1200 from the Sportster lineup.

Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200
- image 850764

Like the Rebel 1100, the Iron 1200 sports liberal blackout treatment and numerous classic custom references to deliver an old-school look with bobbed fenders, bullet fairing, and classic teardrop fuel tank. A stock solo seat breaks even with the Rebel’s seating capacity, though you can easily add a p-pad and some passenger footpegs if you like to share the fun with a friend.

Honda is alone in the higher electronics to leave the Sportster with optional ABS as the only safety electronics. H-D powers its entry with a proven V-Twin that’s based on the evolution engine first rolled in 1986. The air-cooled mill churns out 73 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm for a razor-thin advantage in grunt numbers, but only offers five speeds in its gearbox and has no answer for Honda’s DCT package and electronics suite. To compound Harley’s woes, the Vivid Black Iron 1200 starts at $9,999 MSRP, ABS is a $795 option and the color upgrades bumps the price up to $10,349 which leaves Honda looking pretty good at checkout.

He Said

“Let me just say that I really like this bike. I have fond memories of my old Rebel 450, and while the Rebel 300/500 was kind of cool, the 1100 is a proper mid-size motorcycle. Its weight makes it friendly at stops, and its low seat provides plenty of leverage so you can be confident when you put your feet down. Plus, the DCT makes this bike available to riders who need/want that twist-and-go operation.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “My initial reaction to the new Rebel was ’Oh wow!’ and I really haven’t seen anything to make me think otherwise. It has the same charm as the smaller-displacement Rebels we’ve known and loved, and it has the awesome performance of the Africa Twin engine. The electronics package you get is really nice for a bike under $10k.”

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 1,084 cc liquid-cooled Unicam® four-stroke 22.5° parallel-twin
Bore & Stroke: 92 mm x 81.5 mm
Induction: PGM-FI electronic fuel injection (Throttle By Wire)
Ignition: Full transistorized ignition
Compression Ratio: 10.1:1
Valve Train: SOHC; 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission: Six-Speed Manual, DCT: Six-speed Automatic DCT
Final Drive: #525 O-ring-sealed chain; 16T/42T
Chassis:
Front Suspension/Travel: 43 mm fork/ 4.8 inches
Rear Suspension/Travel: Pro-Link® single shock/ 3.7 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 28°
Trail: 4.3 inches
Front Brake: Single radial-mounted four-piston caliper with full-floating 330 mm discs; ABS
Rear Brake: Single-caliper 256 mm disc; ABS
Front Tire: 130/70-18
Rear Tire: 180/65-16
Dimensions& Capacities:
Wheelbase: 59.8 inches
Seat Height: 27.5 inches
Curb Weight: 487 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 3.6 gallons including 1.1-gallon reserve
Fuel Economy: TBD
Details:
Model ID: CMX1100A, DCT: CMX1100D
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty. Optional Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®
Colors: Metallic Black, Bordeaux Red Metallic
Price: $9,299, DCT: $9,999

Further Reading

Honda

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TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: powersports.honda.com, harley-davidson.com

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