The A2 licence-friendly 500cc twin-cylinder CMX500 Rebel, released in 2017, provided a unique take on custom cool, fusing ‘bobber’ tradition with ground-breaking new ideas. Eye-catching, fun to ride and easy to live with, it found a place in the hearts of riders across Europe, and in 2019 was the continent’s third biggest selling custom-style machine.
Now for 2021, the CMX500 Rebel has a bigger, bolder sibling: the CMX1100 Rebel. By taking the essence of what makes the smaller bike so special and adding more performance, more character and a wealth of Honda’s most advanced technology, it offers a step up – or across from another segment – for a wide range of riders looking for something that extra bit different. It has been designed, deliberately, as a motorcycle with dual personality, equally ready for a leisurely laidback cruise as it is for an exciting ‘blast’ whenever a twisty road presents itself.
Those moving up from smaller bikes will appreciate the Rebel’s manageable dimensions, 700mm seat height and 223kg wet weight; the more experienced will get instant enjoyment from the chassis’ handling potential – with its stiff tubular steel frame, 43mm cartridge-style front forks, piggyback rear shock absorbers and radial-mount four-piston front brake. And all riders will enjoy exploring the character and performance offered by the 1,084cc, parallel twin-cylinder engine (derived from the CRF1100L Africa Twin) which, with 64kW peak power and 98Nm peak torque, features super-strong bottom end and mid-range punch, plus characterful feel and exhaust note.
The big Rebel’s stripped-back style speaks volumes with its minimalism. Steel mudguards front and rear sit atop fat tyres; the circular headlight mixes old school looks with new school LED bulbs and mirrors the round, negative LCD instrument display. The rear seat pad also quickly, and easily, unbolts. Under the surface sit a host of cutting-edge features: Throttle By Wire (TBW) management that adds 3 default riding modes plus a fourth user-customisable option, 3 levels of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Wheelie Control, cruise control and the option of Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission for the six-speed gearbox.
This special combination of classic look and the most modern of technologies means the new CMX1100 Rebel offers something refreshingly unique to a market where genuine innovation is hard to come by.