NEW HONDA NT1100 Review 2022

 

Honda’s line-up has a hole in it; a hole they’ve successfully filled in the past. It’s shaped like a bike for all seasons and all journeys; neither too heavyweight nor too small-bore – so not a flagship tourer, but around 1000cc. Something comfy and touring-orientated but not an adventure bike – so plenty of luggage options and a full fairing but on conventional suspension and wheels. Something like a nice-sized, versatile all-rounder – the kind of bike Honda can normally make in their sleep.

Enter the 2022 Honda NT1100.

‘NT’ stands for ‘New Touring’ – every Honda model designation has a meaning – and the NT1100 joins a long and mostly distinguished line of Honda sports tourers: bikes as diverse as the iconic VFR750 and 800, the ironic VFR1200, the underrated CBF1000, the sweepingly magnificent Blackbird, the unloved first gen Crossrunner, the best-forgotten Pacific Coast PC800 and of course the revered NT700V Dullville. I mean Deauville. Sorry, old habits.

The NT1100 is the first Honda NT not to be powered by a V-twin. Instead it uses the 100bhp parallel twin Africa Twin engine; not only that, the NT also uses the Africa Twin’s fame and electronics – but the NT’s running gear features conventional 17in wheels and road-based suspension, with a full fairing. So, basically, the NT is an Africa Twin in road bike running gear.
The NT also features a host of standard spec features traditionally bought as accessories – including 32 and 33-litre panniers, heated grips, an adjustable screen, centrestand, and hands and feet wind deflectors.
So as 2022 shapes up as the year of the sports tourer, how does the Honda fare against rivals such as Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000 SX, Suzuki’s GSX-S1000 GT and Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT?

BikeSocial finds out at the NT1100 launch in the hills around Barcelona.

 

For and against
  • Ergonomics – lovely seat, perfect riding position, all-day bliss
  • Handling – agile, light steering, great balance and good ride quality
  • Weather protection – huge range of screen adjustment, great fairing
  • Fuel consumption – why’s it so much more thirsty than an Africa Twin?
  • No manual transmission on the launch – we can only imagine how good a manual NT1100 with a quickshifter is...
  • No low seat option – it’s a big deal for a lot of people, literally
2022 Honda NT1100 reviewed!
Simon Hargreaves takes us on a trip around Sardinia on the press launch of the new Honda tourer based heavily on the Africa Twin

 

2022 HONDA NT1100 Honda NT1100 price and availability

The NT1100 will be on demo from January 2022 and for sale from February. It costs £11,999 on the road and comes in three colours: Matte Iridium Grey Metallic, Graphite Black or Pearl Glare White. A DCT version is available for £12,999.

The NT1100 is £203 cheaper than Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT – possibly the Honda’s closest rival in terms of performance spec and level of standard equipment. The NT is £249 more expensive than Suzuki’s new GSX-S1000 GT, which comes with considerably more engine performance but considerably less standard equipment. 

Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000SX in Tourer-spec costs £450 more than the NT and Ducati’s new Multistrada V2 S is £2496 more expensive.

 

Honda NT1100 v rivals (base model specs; accessorised versions available)

 

Honda NT1100

Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

Suzuki GSX-S1100 GT

Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX Tourer

Ducati Multistrada V2 S

Price

£11,999

£12,202

£11,750

£12,449

£14,495

Engine

1084cc parallel twin

890cc inline triple

999cc inline four

1043cc inline four

937cc 90° V-twin

Power

100bhp

117bhp

150bhp

140bhp

113bhp

Kerb weight

238kg

220kg

226kg

235kg

225kg

Seat height

820mm

810-825mm

810mm

835mm

830mm

Adjustable seat height

N

Y

N

N

N

Centrestand

Y

Y

N

N

P

Panniers

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Cruise control

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Heated grips

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Up/down quickshifter

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Adjustable screen

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto

Y

N

Y

N

N

 

The NT1100 has three accessory ‘packs’: Urban, Touring and Voyager.

Urban includes a 50-litre top box and tank bag and costs £600 unfitted, Touring comes with a comfort seat, comfort pillion pegs and fog lights and costs £730 unfitted, and the Voyager pack combines both Urban and Touring, but costs an un-discounted £1330 unfitted – you’d think you’d get a few quid off for buying in bulk!

 

Honda NT1100 PCP details

Cash price

Deposit

36 monthly

Total payable

Final payment

APR

Max mileage

£11,999

£2847.59

£109.00

£13,393.04

£6621.45

5.9%

4000

 

Honda NT1100 DCT PCP details

Cash price

Deposit

36 monthly

Total payable

Final payment

APR

Max mileage

£12,999

£3054.59

£119.00

£14,511.04

£7172.45

5.9%

4000

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_09

 

Power and torque

100bhp / 75.7Kw @ 9250rpm

77 lb.ft / 104.4Nm @ 6250rpm

 

Engine, gearbox and exhaust

The NT1100 motor is pure, undiluted Africa Twin – a 1084cc 270° parallel twin featuring Honda’s Unicam single overhead cam and running the same pistons, rods, crank, valvetrain, combustion chamber and cam timing as the adventure bike. Intake lengths and exhaust are modified to suit the NT’s bodywork, plus minor fuelling changes, but apart from that the engine is identical to the Africa Twin – same performance, same character. Gearing is altered slightly with a 40-tooth rear sprocket instead of the Africa Twin’s 42-teeth, to compensate for the new wheel sizes – so it’s effectively the same gearing. And that’s it.

The Africa Twin motor is nothing if not versatile; Honda use it in the recent CMX Rebel 1100 – a kind of custom cruiser – and it also powers a four-wheel ATV buggy in the US market. So that’s the same powerplant in an adventure bike, cruiser, dune buggy and now road bike. It’s this kind of cross-platform pollination that allows even a company as massive as Honda to build and sell a bike like the NT1100 at the price they can.

 

 

And it’s a good engine; not abundantly powerful or possessed of mind-bending midrange, but flexible, surprisingly nippy and, above all, deeply civilised. It’s easy to look at its power figures and assume it’s somewhat modestly endowed, because it is – the NT11 is the least impressive of its all-rounder/sport tourer rivals, losing out by 17bhp to the Tracer 9 GT and a whopping 50bhp to Suzuki’s GSX-S1000 GT – and it certainly hasn’t got the Yamaha’s impressively entertaining midrange surge or the Suzuki’s top end rush.

But here in Spain, on damp roads in the hills north of Barcelona, the NT throbs off the line with a pleasing, 270° crank pulsing vigour, sprinting away with the front wheel going light and beetling up to a level cruising speed without much in the way of drama. There’s no frenzy of acceleration or eye-widening wow about the NT’s power delivery – it’s what some critics might call slightly dull, but it’s what we all understand as classic Honda: responsive, refined, smooth and great therapy for coping with the madness of life. Pinning the NT is like being nuzzled by a hot, slobering labrador – it’s comforting and safe; a bit thumpy in a nice way, with a hint of potential, lovable silliness if you tickle its tummy. But headbanging petrolhead thrills are neither the NT’s intention nor in its repertoire.

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_10

 

A quick word or several about transmissions: all the NT11s on the launch are DCT-equipped models (Honda’s clutchless Dual Clutch Transmission), so I can’t tell you how light the clutch level action is, what the gearshift is like, or what an NT that weighs 238kg as opposed to 248kg feels like. For me these are pretty important elements of machine control and dynamics – and, with Honda unable to give an explanation for the absence of conventional transmission bikes to test ride, it’s a significant limitation for the introduction of a new model. It’s like being invited to a party and finding it’s soft drinks only.

DCT is a typically clever piece of Honda engineering – it’s basically the motorcycle equivalent of an automatic car. The bike decides when it’s going to change gear for you depending on which drive mode setting you choose (three levels of ‘Sport’ and one of ‘D’). Or you can override the bike’s choice using a pair of up and down paddles on the left bar. There’s no clutch, no gear lever and no stalling – and, for the most part, gearshifts are slow and smooth.

But there’s also no clutch control, limited use of gears for engine braking, no blipping the throttle going through tunnels, a tendency to run on in corners if you try and get a boogie-on, and a distinctly uneasy feeling while filtering. One journalist on the launch forgot not to blip the throttle while DCT was engaged and rear-ended another bike. Others look a bit unsteady pulling away on soggy Spanish roads – and not having a clutch to modulate throttle control at walking pace is generally unhelpful for low-speed U-turns on car park gravel. It focusses attention on throttle fidelity at minute openings – any hint of snatch is translated into jerky forward motion, and hefty use of the back brake is required.

So, just like automatic v manual transmission in cars, there are pros and cons of using DCT – but it’s not for everyone, and that’s why making it the only choice of transmission on a new model launch is a bit limiting.

 

 

It’s also worth addressing the most frequent internet criticism I’ve seen of NT1100: “Should’ve been shaft drive!” I asked Honda about this, but the reply is obvious: this is the bike they wanted to make at the price they wanted to sell it. Re-engineering an existing powertrain and chassis like the Africa Twin’s chain drive to become a shaft drive would mean effectively re-designing the entire motorbike. It would need a new transmission, power delivery, frame, subframe, riding dynamic, suspension, swingarm, a complete new shaft drive system designing; the weight would go up, power would come down, and cost would go sideways. A shaftie Africa Twin wouldn’t necessarily make financial or engineering sense. The whole point of the NT1100 is be affordable – and considering its features and spec, it’s outstanding value.

And so yes, you can have super-trick DCT, but no, you can’t have shaft drive.

 

2022 Honda NT1100 Economy

Honda claims 56.5mpg for the NT1100; with a 20.4 litre fuel tank that’s a theoretical range of 250 miles to empty, or 200 miles to reserve. After a damp but fairly twisty launch ride of 160 miles, almost exclusively mid-throttle in third and fourth gear, the NT’s trip says it’s doing 41.5mpg – 150 to reserve and 186 to empty. Not brilliant, but acceptable.

Honda claim 61mpg for the Africa Twin Adventure Sport. I ran an Africa Twin Adventure Sport as a long-term test bike in 2021 and it averaged 55.2mpg over the season – but it was ridden pretty hard, ahem. It’s not immediately obvious where the AT’s extra fuel economy comes from; with the same engine and weight as the adventure – and presumably with more effective aerodynamics, why would the NT use so much more? Answers on the back of a fairing, please.

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_15

 

Handling, suspension, chassis and weight

The NT1100 handles with peerless ease. Low speed balance is magnificent – even DCT can’t counter the NT’s low centre of gravity giving the bike an instant, intuitive confidence at walking pace – the way it manages trickling around slippery roundabouts and mid-morning traffic is impressive. A new rider’s period of adapting to the NT1100 can be measured in milliseconds; get on the bike and it instantly feels as if you’ve been riding it for years. Familiarity counts for a lot when it comes to finding confidence in your riding companion.

Mid-speed steering is just as effortless. With the engine’s weight between your knees in typical mass-centralised Honda style, the NT has a glorious lightweight rolling sensation from side to side, and a fabulous feeling of secure roadholding even on greasy Spanish tarmac. Metzeler Roadtec 01 tyres help with this; it’s refreshing not to ride a launch bike on sub-optimal OE rubber. There’s no sense of pushing against the resistance of an oversized 190/55 rear through the one-piece handlebars as you turn in (the NT has a 180/50), no undue wallowing from the suspension fighting against chassis weight, no significant dive on the brakes and excellent ride quality.

 

 

Suspension spec is one obvious area Honda have saved money over the more expensive Africa Twin – that bike gets fully adjustable Showas, and the option of semi-active. The NT gets Showa forks and shock with only preload adjustment on either – the rear via a remote adjuster. There’s no damping adjustment and no semi-active option – not even as an upgrade, because another area of cost saving is the NT’s electronics – we’ll get onto it later, but to work effectively, semi-active suspension needs a 6-axis IMU and the NT hasn’t got one.

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_17

 

The NT’s frame is, like its engine, pure Africa Twin – steel double cradle with detachable aluminium subframe, with a few brackets changed to adapt for use in the road bike (the Africa Twin’s seat height adjusters and exhaust bracket are removed, and an extra stay for the headlight is added along with new radiator stays – the NT features a single rad; the Africa Twin has a split rad design).

So is the NT a sports tourer? Honda explicitly don’t label the NT as such – but seeing as the 1100’s project leader for handling and stability, Nonoyama-san, is an ex-international race licence holder and lists his favourite hobby as ‘sports riding’, I’d say his input has taken the NT1100 a decent stroll down the sports tourer path. It certainly ducks and dives with enough agility and suspension control to manage a track day at Cadwell Park.

 

2022 Honda NT1100 Brakes

Fairly standard-spec 4-pot Nissin radials on 310mm discs up front stop the NT1100 with expected ease. ABS is present and unobtrusive – with no 6-axis IMU there’s no option for cornering ABS.

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_18

 

Comfort over distance and touring

The NT is built for comfort; normally over a couple of hundred miles I can tell which bits of my arse will ache after another couple of hundred – whether the seat is too narrow, or too soft, or the wrong shape. But the NT’s seat is wide and supportive, spreading the load (so to speak) and minimising pressure points and bits that might chafe. It’s just the right depth and consistency too – not too spongy or too springy, more like memory foam than normal seat foam. If feels expensive. And that’s just the standard seat; a comfort option is available which is even plusher. Sadly, the NT seat isn’t adjustable and there are no low of high options.

 

 

The rest of the riding position is pure bliss – it requires no adaptation or acceptance of the bars being in slightly the wrong place or grips at just the wrong angle. There’s good legroom, a nicely-canted forward upper body, and the screen is five-way adjustable from a low setting about the same height as the clocks to near vertical and with a six-footer looking through it with a dip of the head. It’s an excellent range of adjustment and delivers the kind of still pocket of air at speed you normally only get on grand tourers. The only problem with it is adjusting it on the move; Honda clearly don’t encourage such behaviour because the thing is super-stiff to move and needs both hands – one of the reasons cruise control was invented.

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_19

 

The NT also comes with a pair of wind deflectors (above) as standard, guiding air around the hands and arms, and a pair of foot protectors added to the fairing lowers that do a remarkable job of keeping Supertechs dry.

 

 

Rider aids and extra equipment / accessories

The NT is well-equipped: heated grips, cruise control, wind deflectors, Apple Carplay/Android Auto for maps on the TFT dash, adjustable screen, and a pair of panniers; 33 litres one side and 32 litres the other. Depending on the helmet you might be able to squeeze it into the bigger pannier – an Arai RX7 won’t fit, but someone on the launch claimed to have got a Shark in one.

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_24

 

The dash is the same size and style as the Africa Twin’s: touch sensitive, bright and colourful, with different customisable styles. It’s flanked on the left by a 12v socket and the right by a USB port. The menu system isn’t the most intuitive in the world, but it’s the sort of thing an owner would either get to know or ignore. The buttons on the left bar cluster are also the same as the Arica Twin’s. There are a lot, but the biggest problem for me is pressing the indicators when I want to change down a gear on the paddle shift – when you’re diving into a bend wanting a lower gear to slow you down, hitting the indicators doesn’t quite have the same effect.

The NT1100 hasn’t got the Africa Twin’s 6-axis IMU, so has no access to cornering lights an ddeep traction control because the bike doesn’t ‘know’ the bike’s spatial condition – it’s not measuring pitch, yaw or roll. So the NT’s traction control is based on algorithms around wheel acceleration differentials, throttle position, vehicle speed, engine speed and gear position – I’ve not lost the back end on an Africa Twin or an NT1100, so I’m not qualified to pontificate on the difference in effectiveness. What I do know is it helps make the NT1100 cheaper than the adventure bike.

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_25

 

The NT1100 has five rider modes: Tour, Urban, Rain and two User modes. Settings for traction control level, engine braking, throttle response and screen display type are configurable for the two User settings.

 

Styling

If you spot a hint of Honda’s X-ADV crossover scooter in the NT1100, that’s because the NT is styled by Maurizio Carbonara, working from Honda’s Rome-based R&D, who also styled the X-ADV and the current Africa Twin (and also drew the VFR1200 concept in 2008 – remember that?). Some have suggested the X-ADV family resemblance isn’t a good thing – the drop of the NT’s nose, its headlights and the sculpted balance between the front and the rear of the bike do look, from certain angles, too much like the X-ADV.

But overall the NT1100 looks much better in the metal than it does in pics – the bike has a presence and looks, as all Honda’s do, quality – the bits you can see and touch are well-finished and neat. Shame about the lack of imagination with its colours: at a coffee stop during the launch, Tanaka-san, the NT1100 Project Leader, asked which colour I preferred – I had to reply I didn’t like any of them; too plain, too monochrome. Something like a coloured stripe to break up the panels would be good – apparently it might become a decal kit for the bike. Or maybe I made that last bit up.

 

 

2022 Honda NT1100 verdict

The NT1100 successfully plugs the all-rounder hole in Honda’s line-up. It’s an unusual bike in some ways – an adventure bike engine has never been turned into an all-rounder road bike before, let alone in the same adventure bike frame. Honda say the NT wasn’t in mind when the new Africa Twin was launched in 2016 – the NT has been developed over the last three years, which would place its inception around the time the Adventure Sports was launched in 2018.

But it works exceptionally well as a road bike. The ergonomics are fab; supremely comfy, with outstanding weather and wind protection. The engine will prove to be a popular blend of unobtrusive utility with just enough spice and character to keep riders engaged. The chassis is effective with great balance, steering and roadholding. The list of standard-fit extras is, with the exception of a quickshifter, ticking off many must-have boxes. And the price is right.

Honda will sell a lot of NT1100s.

 

2022 Honda NT1100 spec

New price

From £11,999 (£12,999 DCT)

Capacity

1084cc

Bore x Stroke

92.0 x 81.5mm

Engine layout

270°parallel twin

Engine details

Liquid cooled, 8-valve, Unicam sohc

Power

100bhp (75kW) @ 9250rpm

Torque

77 lb-ft (104Nm) @ 6250rpm

Top speed

140mph (est)

Transmission

6 speed, chain (DCT option)

Average fuel consumption

41.5mpg (tested)

Tank size

20.4 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

186 miles

Reserve capacity

30 miles

Rider aids

Traction control, rider modes, ABS, cruise control, TFT dash with Apple Carplay/Android Auto, USB & 12v ports,

Frame

Steel double cradle

Front suspension

43mm Showa big piston USD Forks

Front suspension adjustment

Preload only

Rear suspension

Showa monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload only

Front brake

310mm disc, Nissin 4-pot radial

Rear brake

265mm disc, Nissin 1-pot

Front tyre

120/70 R17 Metzeler Roadtec 01

Rear tyre

180/50 R17 Metzeler Roadtec 01

Rake/Trail

26.5°/108mm

Dimensions

2240mm x 865mm x 1360mm (LxWxH)

Wheelbase

1535mm

Ground clearance

175mm

Seat height

820mm

Kerb weight

238kg (248kg with DTC)

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated

Warranty

Unlimited miles / two years

Website

honda.co.uk/motorcycles

 

Honda NT1100 2022 Review Price Spec_01

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has, and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.

 

BikeSocial

Customer Quote

Bennetts direct insurance customers get membership for FREE, or you can become a member for just £6 / month and start getting rewarded today.

  • Discounted track days and rider training at some of the top UK circuits
  • Exclusive savings and discounts on everything you need from the world of motorcycling
  • Unique experiences and VIP access at the very best motorcycling events
  • Exclusive competitions and prizes all year round