The Honda CMX1100 Rebel is a £9,000 bobber with Africa Twin power
Soichiro chills out a bit, goes for a cruise
Honda's just unveiled an 1,100cc cruiser called the CMX1100 Rebel. It's a laid-back bobber that pinches the characterful parallel-twin engine from the Africa Twin adventure bike. It's available with Honda's dual-clutch automatic gearbox as an option and it costs from £8,999.
The CMX1100 is a whole new thing for Honda. It's produced a small 500cc Rebel for a few years, but this is the first time it's used a big torquey engine in the cruiser segment.
The CMX1100 Rebel comes in two colours – gunmetal black and this Bordeaux red metallic (erm, purple)
Power from the 1,084cc engine is down from the Africa Twin's 100hp to 86hp, but this means bottom-end and mid-range torque is more pronounced – you get peak torque of 98Nm at just 4,750rpm, which should make this a relaxing bike yet one that's still capable of firing you out of corners at an entertaining rate of knots. The Africa Twin's 270-degree crank and uneven firing interval survive intact – these give the adventure bike a properly nice exhaust note, so it'll be good to see how it works on a cruiser.
Honda's given the big Rebel's flywheel 32% extra mass over the Africa Twin, which should deliver a slower-revving charm, and make it an easier bike to handle at slower speeds. You'll be able to buy the CMX1100 with either a traditional manual gearbox or a dual-clutch option, which puts the price up to £9,899.
Enough engine chat – how will it look and ride?
The big Rebel uses all the typical Bobber styling cues, tweaked with a few modern touches. Sure, it has traditional chunky tyres (180/65 on a 16-inch wheel at the back, 130/70 on an 18-inch rim up front) and a seat that's almost on the floor, but the classic round headlight houses modern LED bulbs and the single instrument cluster is all LCD. There's even a USB-C port in the three-litre storage space under the seat for keeping your phone charged.
As you'd expect for a bobber-style bike it's low, with a 700mm seat height, and Honda says the mid-mounted footpegs nestle you properly in the bike.
Honda claims that the CMX1100 has a dual personality – the ability to potter around in a leisurely manner while retaining the ability to hoon it down a twisty road, and the specs appear to back that up.
It weighs 223kg wet which is relatively light for this sort of bike – a Triumph Bobber weighs 5kg more without any fluids at all. Honda says you can get a decent 35-degree lean on before you start scraping footpegs, but the only adjustment on the suspension is preload at both ends of the bike.
Braking is handled by a single radially mounted monoblock caliper up front grabbing a 330mm disc, and a regular single-piston caliper on a 256mm disc at the back.
Does this nine-grand bike have any electronics?
Yup. The biggy is that cruise control is standard, as are ABS and four rider modes that let you tweak the traction control and wheelie control to your taste. The preset modes are rain, standard and sport, and finally a custom mode which retains your favourite settings.
Can I tart it up?
This is the Street pack…
You'd be mad to release a custom-style bike and not sell a range of accessories, and Honda is sensibly providing plenty of ways to add to the list price. You can get a whole bunch of accessories to bolt to the CMX1100, including two packs – the street pack and the tour pack. Street adds a replacement stitched seat (there's a brown option if you're feeling brave), a rear rack, an American-style headlight fairing, wheel stripes and a short front mudguard.
… and this is the Tour pack
Tour adds the new seat, as well as a passenger back rest, a screen and fabric saddlebags.
You'll be able to grab one when the first bikes arrive in dealers in March 2021.