Welcome to the new touring era.
Fancy travelling? With the new NT1100, Honda presents its new, well-equipped companion. Whether the thoroughbred tourer keeps what it promises, we want to find out during an extensive test drive.
Finally a tourer from Honda, who should accompany us on extended trips! Basically, a good idea to take the popular Africa Twin as a basis here and with some adjustments to put a solid touring bike on the road. So what has changed? There were only the smallest changes to the frame and engine. Showa's chassis, on the other hand, is now designed for the road and the seat height has been reduced to 820mm. The suspension travel has been reduced and the front and rear tires are now 17-inch. All this combined with many important travel features in series production and three additional equipment packages available makes the NT1100 a new, independent touring bike.
Well then go and swing on it. The sitting position proves to be extremely pleasant and comfortable. The seat height of 820mm is moderate and does not cause us any problems. On the contrary, Markus with his 1.77m comes here excellently with both feet loose over the entire surface on the ground. The position of the footpegs is perfect and also the handlebars feel very comfortable in height and width and ensures a quite upright sitting posture. The seat is reasonably tight but still very comfortable. For even more sofa feeling, there is of course also a comfort seat in the accessories.
The NT1100 also shows the passenger from its best side and, in addition to the comfortable seat, offers good grab handles and plenty of space to spend several hours happy and satisfied while enjoying the passing landscape. The maximum payload is 194 kg and can be easily stowed in the two side cases (65 L) and a 50-litre top case. However, the helmet only finds enough space in the top case – but also two. Also good: Honda offers a single-key system!
As far as the colors are concerned, Honda is holding back in the case of the NT1100. With the three variants black, white and gray, the case is closed. If you expect spring-fresh, bright colors here, you will unfortunately be disappointed, at least in this point. Nevertheless, we find that the subtle colors basically fit quite well with the overall rather unagitated style of the machine. The Tourer performs really well in terms of wind and weather protection. The windscreen is fivefold adjustable and can be changed by 164 mm in height. In the highest position, it is really pleasantly quiet behind the generously laid out pane.
Already the standard equipment of the Honda NT1100 has a lot to offer, which should be of plenty of use for many on a big tour. Side cases, centre stand, adjustable windscreen, cruise control, infotainment at its best, heated grips, wheelie control, ABS, traction control, driving modes and the easily accessible connections for USB and cigarette lighter installed in the cockpit immediately give the driver the feeling of being ready for the tour. If that's not enough, you can choose from the three equipment packages URBAN, TOURING and TRAVEL for an extra charge. In addition, everyone has to decide for themselves whether they want the available DCT. Sure, you no longer have to clutch and shift, which can be quite practical and comfortable, especially with such a travel vehicle. You always have the right gear in it and in addition to the rather sluggish D mode still 3 S modes, which are a bit crisper to the point. Otherwise, the DCT shifts smoothly from one gear to the next, without the driver noticing much. However, costs of at least 1000 € and 10 kilograms more weight could speak against this, with which the feature strikes to book. In the end, it's simply a matter of taste and probably divides the world of motorcyclists into two camps, which is perfectly fine.
The cockpit of the NT1100 is - as far as the two-part display is concerned - clear and tidy and is easy to read. The controls were not so tidy. A veritable armada of buttons and switches means that you have to find the turn signal yourself. But jokes aside: you certainly learn to deal with it quickly. Only in the first moment (so much criticism must be allowed) the controls are more reminiscent of the cockpit of a Boing.
Now that the initial shock about the scope of the controls has been overcome, we want to concentrate entirely on driving. And that makes the Honda NT1100 extremely good and trustworthy. You sit very comfortably and only very discreetly tilted forward, whereby the machine gives a stable impression. Nobody gets stressed and we really like that on our short test tour.
So we could, if we could, continue to cruise through the area forever and enjoy relaxed. But we are not on holiday but are supposed to test the machine, so: The chassis is well tuned and behaves rather neutrally. The powerful parallel twin with 1084 cc runs smoothly and the 102 hp provide the necessary thrust to drive the 250 kg forward. Five riding modes (Tour, Urban, Rain + two user modes) are available.
Now we have installed the six-speed dual-clutch transmission in our test machine, which provides additional leaning back. Again, you can choose between four modes (D, S 1-3). The brakes (two 310 mm discs with radial four-piston calipers at the front / a 256 mm disc with single-piston caliper at the rear) perform reliably. The sound of the tourer with Africa-Twin engine also appeals to us, whereby the stationary noise is below 95 dB. The maximum speed is specified as 200 km/h. Thus, even longer, fast motorway passages should be reasonably relaxed to master. All in all, we would describe all this as absolutely comfortable, harmonious progress. In short: The motorcycle more than lives up to its reputation as a touring machine.
The consumption is also moderate at 5 liters and, in combination with the 21.4-liter tank, leads to a theoretical range of about 400 km. Maintenance is recommended after the 1000 km initial inspection every 12000 km.
Honda's NT1100 invites you to travel and certainly appeals to many drivers of high age (as well as us) with its unagitated, elegant design. Well imaginable, for example, as a successful upgrade for drivers of an NC750 or similar and of course all Deauville and Pan European fans. All those who want to ride comfortably longer tours and want to rely on a comfortable, solid bike are certainly well served here. Whether it will be possible to appeal to younger drivers, we think is rather questionable. In addition to the joy of color, the NT1100 may also lack one or the other corner or edge or let's put it this way: It is not exactly peepy.
If you take it exactly, the selection of competitors of the Honda NT1100 is limited. After all, it really is a thoroughbred tourer and not a hybrid like an adventure motorcycle trimmed for roadworthiness or a crossover bike with the genes of a super sports car. Nevertheless, you could perhaps compare it with a Yamaha Tracer 9, Kawasaki's Versys or even a BMW 1250 GS if you want to go on a long journey.
The Honda NT1100 is available from 13,899 €, with DCT from 14,899 €. The additional equipment packages available cost 675 € (URBAN package), 965 € (touring package) or 1636 € (travel package).
The test bike was kindly provided by Motofun in Kaltenkirchen . So if you want to take a relaxed test drive, you can do that there.
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