2022 Honda NT1100 - Long-term review

Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_20

Fairing is more protective than the Africa Twin it’s based on. Wind deflectors around hands and feet are very effective


Price: £13,469 as tested (£12,999 plus £470 top box) | Power: 100bhp | Miles so far: 9700ish

Honda NT1100 DCT Long term test review | Part One


I don’t remember the first few miles on any bike being this enjoyable for a long time. There’s something familiar about Honda’s NT1100 that makes it feel like one of those ‘favourite things’ that blokes have. The riding position is natural, the way it steers and grips on a smooth twisty back road is sublime and the midrange power seems to stretch forever. It really doesn’t matter how many paper horsepowers the NT1100 has because the actual answer is more-than-enough. If you are one of those people who understood why Honda’s CBF600/1000 or ST1300 Pan European or VFR800, Deauville, Transalp or NC750 were such great bikes whatever the noisy stunters of the bike press said, then you are going to love the NT1100. I’d fallen for it in the first 50 miles.


For and against
  • Comfort
  • Well-equipped
  • Rase-of-use
  • Fast-but-frugal too
  • Lack of suspension adjustment
  • Headlights could be better

Between them, BikeSocial's Steve Rose and Simon Hargreaves, have covered almost 14,000-miles on the Honda NT1100 and have a wealth of road-testing experience between them. Steve had a DCT model for a year while Simon was on the manual version – so they got together for a chat about every element of the bike.

Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_27

Styling is futuristic in a scooter-like manner. Headlights are good on dip-beam, less impressive on main beam and the orange driving lights reflect in the wind deflectors


It was the car world that invented the term SUV. They use it to describe a funky-looking off-roader that’s not quite as slow, overweight or prone to rolling over in corners as a farmer’s 4X4, but slightly more cool than a people carrier. SUV’s only claim to sportiness is typically a badge saying ‘sport’ on the boot (like that Hyundai Accent ‘Sport’ that your weird neighbour used to drive). Neither are they especially utilitarian being too big to park, too wide for towns and too thirsty to be anything other than a stylised, booster-seat for middle-class mummies.

Honda’s NT1100 on the other hand is the perfect definition of a Sports Utility Vehicle. It has the potential (if not the suspension) to be a very sporty motorcycle. The NT1100 is brilliant at the utility stuff being comfortable, economical and well equipped for racking up the daily miles. And, by modern standards it’s affordable too. For riders like me who spend much of their week (including weekends) on a bike, the NT is a no-brainer. And unlike some of the humdrum-but-lovely Hondas mentioned above, the NT has some personality and character too. I wanted one as soon as I saw it. I just wish Honda had painted it in more memorable colours.

Sports tourers used to be sports bikes with the handlebars six inches higher while the footrests were lowered. Engines were tamed for less top end power and fairings and screens were bigger.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_28

A sports tourer based on an adventure bike makes a lot of sense. Don’t be distracted by those complaining that it ‘only’ has 100bhp


The NT1100 re-writes this formula. It takes a touring bike (because we all know that adventure bikes are tourers for those of us not ready to admit we want a tourer) swaps the penny-farthing front wheel and chunky tyres for a pair of 17-inch road rims and grippy, long lasting radials. There’s less suspension travel (but a lot more movement – see later), a bit more bodywork, less sophisticated electronics, but panniers and centre stand as standard.

A sports tourer based on an adventure bike feels very different to one that started out as a race-replica. The NT feels spacious and welcoming, like an adventure bike with much more grip and stability. Plus, it steers and brakes like a road bike. It doesn’t feel too tall or unwieldy like some adventure bikes can, although it is still a substantial motorcycle.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_24

Centre stand will make chain management ten times easier than the Africa Twin. DCT transmission doesn’t need a gearlever even if the engine casing still has the ‘one-down, five-up markings.


BikeSocial’s long term test bike has Honda’s Dual-Clutch-Transmission (DCT) which is a semi-automatic gearbox that can be run in fully auto mode (there are four different settings) or used as a flappy-paddle manual gearbox with no clutch.

If you’ve never used DCT or haven’t used one for a while, the first hours are dominated by the experience. Select ‘D’ mode from the rhs switchgear and marvel (not in a good way) at how the bike is somehow in top gear by 31mph. When slowing down, it hangs onto top gear for too long before changing down. Filtering through traffic at 28mph in sixth gear on an 1100cc twin is best described as ‘characterful’, others might call it slappy or chuggy.

Junctions are easy though – the DCT automatically drops into first, there’s no clutch to hold in or need to find neutral – just twist and go.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_18

Select DCT mode here; D is Distracting but the three Sport modes are much better


Select one of the three ‘sport’ modes and the gearbox holds onto the gears for much longer before changing up and changes down differently too. You can over-ride the system at any time changing down or up manually or put it into full manual mode and enjoy having the slickest, quickest quickshifter you will ever experience (and it still changes down into first when you stop).

It takes an hour for DCT to stop being an overwhelming frustration that you can’t believe you paid extra for. Once that happens you just forget about it for most of the time. Select ‘Sport’ (I prefer the S2 mode) and go.

By day three you don’t even notice it unless you’re U-turning on gravel (feels clumsy) or filtering in traffic when not having a clutch lever makes you realise just how daft it is that we still have the same archaic transmission controls on our bikes that we’ve had since the 1920s.

Seriously, once you get over that first hour or two, mix it up between manual mode on the twisty bits and ‘Sport’ mode everywhere else, you’ll understand that DCT is a genuine step forward. Your passenger will love it too because it removes the helmet-bashing clunk that spoils the fun of two-up riding. Try not to judge it on those first few hours though. If you really aren’t convinced by all the above, buy the manual NT1100 and save £1000.

And the good news is that the first few hours on an NT1100 are very pleasant. The riding position is a lovely mix of comfort and ease-of-control. You sit tall but protected by the fairing. And the NT’s screen is a lot more useful than the too-tall item on the Africa Twin. Screen adjustment is stiff and not practically possible on the move. In the lowest position there’s no buffeting and not too much noise. In the highest position it’s much calmer and quieter but six-footers can still easily see over the top of it.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_15

Honda learned a long time ago that 100bhp delivered properly can be exciting (and economical).


First impressions (aside from the DCT) are of an engine with just the right amount of power and torque in exactly the part of the rev range where you’d like it to be. There’s plenty of midrange for overtaking, enough top-end to run out of bravery before you run out of speed and an easily-obtained 55mpg riding like a fool is the perfect antidote for those ‘experts’ who reckon 100bhp isn’t enough power for a two-up sports-tourer. They are wrong because anyone over the age of 25 understands that it’s not just power that makes a bike go (and feel) fast, but a combination of power, torque, gear ratios and fuelling. Thankfully Honda’s engineers know a lot more about making bikes go fast than your mate down the pub and it appears they put their best team on the job for the NT1100.

Sadly, Honda’s crack suspension team must have been paintballing at the time and Honda might have replaced them with the less-crack engineers that set-up the blancmange-like CB1000R. The NT’s standard settings are very soft, which would be ok if they weren’t also chronically underdamped. So although the NT has less suspension travel than it’s ad-ven-chewer AT cousin, it seems to use all the available movement pretty much all of the time on a bumpy, twisty back road where braking and acceleration are dominant.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_01

Brakes are superb but underdamped suspension requires a smooth and grown-up riding style


The ride quality on bumpy urban roads and motorways is excellent and preload adjustment when adding a pillion is easily done. It’s the ‘sports’ bit of sports-touring where the NT comes unstuck. Chasing a mate on a favourite bumpy backroad had the NT’s wheels off the ground as we hit bumps that are bad, but not that bad. In one case the whole bike skipped a couple of inches to the left while on half-lean through a corner. If you’ve ever ridden a first-generation BMW ESA electronic suspension system on the softest setting you’ll be familiar with the feeling.

The only adjustment is preload front and rear. Increasing the preload takes some of the sagginess out of it, but riding a standard Africa Twin (which has fully adjustable front suspension and preload plus rebound adjustment on the rear) to compare made me thankful that almost all the options and accessories I need are standard on the NT because I can spend the money saved on getting a specialist to sort the damping on the rear shock.

Honda’s engineers have gambled that most buyers won’t ride their NT1100s like an ageing road tester with an invincibility complex. At eight-tenths, the NT’s suspension is fine on the backroads.

Other than that (which I’m sure can be tweaked) I love everything about the NT. Next up are some long days in the saddle and a ‘can I get 300 miles to a tankful?’ challenge.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_16

Standard saddle is comfy for 150 miles before the shuffling starts. There’s an optional comfort seat (which begs the question, why not just fit that as standard?)


Honda NT1100 DCT Long term test review | Part Two - Honda NT1100 vs. CRF1100 Africa Twin?


Say hello to the NT1100’s older, more brash, but not-at-all-embarrassing parent


If you’re in the market for Honda’s NT1100 then, interestingly, the other bike you should probably be considering is the Africa Twin sat next to it in the showroom. Suzuki’s GSX1000GT and Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000SX might also be sports tourers, but they play in the buzzier, more frenzied high-revving arena where horsepower bragging rights are as important as covering ground quickly and in comfort. In terms of riding position, power delivery, handling and comfort, the two big Hondas are easily the closest of rivals.

Which isn’t surprising given that they share an engine, transmission, frame, switchgear, clocks and much more. They really are very similar, but there are also important differences that will be essential to each group of customers.


Clocks and switchgear are the same, but the standard Africa Twin lacks the 12v power socket, heated grips and USB connection of the NT1100


The NT1100 comes with panniers, centre stand, twin power sockets (inc USB) and heated grips as standard. Plus a windscreen that brings the ability to ride at 70mph with your visor up or enjoy a satisfyingly sporty roar when lowered and all manner of (not especially easily adjustable) positions in between.

The standard Africa Twin costs £1000 more than the NT has no standard luggage or centre stand or heated grips. But even the base model has superb adjustable suspension, colour schemes that make you just stand and stare at it for hours, plus a six-axis IMU that allows much greater electronic control of traction on all surfaces and cornering ABS too.


If you measure handling ability by lean angles, the Africa Twin is superb. Fully adjustable high-quality suspension and cornering ABS are sorely missed on the NT1100


The NT could manage without the cornering ABS if the suspension weren’t so underdamped. Barrelling into a bumpy corner only to find it tightens up a fraction takes faith in Mr Metzeler’s finest sports-touring rubber because the suspension isn’t going to help you out of this.

In comparison, the Africa Twin with its penny-farthing front wheel and knobbl-esque tyres doesn’t steer as naturally as the NT1100 (although it’s not far off) but feels so much more confident in the middle of a unforeseen cornering event because the suspension at both ends has damping that matches the springs and the ability to tailor it to your weight and riding style. Which allows you to commit more when in the mood, get away with the odd misjudgement and enjoy the ride quality when cruising.

The Africa Twin has a taller seat, but the NT’s is wider, so foot-to-foot measurement once aboard is very similar. As is the riding position which surprised me. There’s something about the NT’s stance and feel on the move that I prefer. I guess it’s down to the fatter tyres and smaller front wheel, which, give it the feeling of an early noughties BMW R1150GS to ride.

That’s a compliment by the way and both the Hondas are far better bikes than the old GS as you’d expect after 20 years’ development in tech, suspension, brakes and tyres. Our Africa Twin had the taller screen option, which is slightly too tall riding at night down country roads. The throw of the headlight – right where you need to look - even on main beam is only visible through the screen, not over it, which once dirty, wet or covered in flies is difficult to see through. On the NT you just lean over the bars and push it down lower.


Engine is identical on both bikes but DCT is linked to riding modes on the AT. That lever is the handbrake (DCT version only), not the clutch. NT gets panniers as standard, the optional top box is bigger on the NT (although I suppose you could choose either – it’s an option, after all), but less aluminium-y than the AT’s ‘Captain Adventure’ item


For my money, I’d probably still take the NT and spend the savings on a new shock absorber and fork overhaul to match. The heated grips, centre stand and luggage are more useful to me more of the time than multi-mode traction control and cornering ABS. But every time I saw an AT in those beautiful colours, I’d look at my ‘sophisticated’ matt grey NT and wonder if I made the right choice.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer part three (1)

12V socket for heated clothing and USB socket for sat-nav/phone power are useful. TFT dash has Apple Carplay and Android Auto too but only works with an intercom connected. So many of us will still need a separate sat-nav.


Honda NT1100 DCT Long term test review | Part Three - The First Long Trip

Turn into the drive at home, switch the engine off…and rest. I love that moment at the end of a challenging few of days on a bike when everything stops and your brain switches from data-gathering and decision-making to fast-idle and memory-moulding. The sound of cooling metal, flies from seven counties are a badge of honour to be cleaned tomorrow…probably. Just short of seven hundred miles since leaving home yesterday morning. It’s not the most hardcore of trips, no one else will be impressed, but for me and the NT1100 it was a rite of passage – the first big trip – we have a bond and a shared history.

The highlights began on a favourite stretch of very fast, very bumpy Lincolnshire B-road. When I lived further north this was my regular test of chassis stability, suspension performance and both ends of any bike’s throttle cable. I’ve wrestled several hundred often ill-behaved, grumpy motorcycles on this road since 1996 and the NT1100 is both brilliant and challenging, which is how the best bikes tend to be. The brilliance comes from the throttle response, raucous exhaust note and genius of Honda’s DCT gearbox when used in manual mode. The challenges mostly concern needing a few inches more road on either side of the tyres to allow for the chassis skipping and slipping as suspension pogos back and forth at mismatched damping rates either end.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer part three (2)

Innocuous looking background belies the ferocity of the road just in front of it. Lincolnshire B-roads we salute you.


Which is the point of this ride. It’s a road test and for me, that means picking a route that has all kinds of roads good and bad. It’s not a collection of favourite roads. Anyone with enough time and a modern sat-nav can plot a twisty, memorable route and, sometimes when I’m riding for fun so do I. Road testing is different. I find fast and busy A-roads, where you’re continually overtaking, stretches of motorway long enough to strain knees and backs. And then 70 miles further in I’ll put another stretch of motorway to double-check how it feels now.

Chuck in a selection of towns, villages, one-way systems and of course a healthy variety of slow, tight, twisty, fast, bendy and bumpy country B-roads to test steering, suspension, brakes, braking while steering over bumps and mud.

Every stretch is planned so I can get a fuel consumption figure for each type of riding and then all of that is distilled down into the stuff that matters that will help BikeSocial users make a more-informed decision. No need to thank us, we do get paid.

I’ve already done a lot of motorway riding on the NT so know the relaxed engine pounds out the miles, covering ground more quickly than the numbers on the speedo suggest. It also does an easy 60mpg on the motorway if you plan ahead and ride smoothly. The seat is comfy, riding position feels natural with room to move about and the midrange-focused power delivery means there’s always enough for an overtake with just a twist of the wrist. Niggles are mostly around the switchgear. The cruise control is a slight stretch-of-the-thumb to operate and the lhs switchgear is as unfathomable and overly-complex now as when we first saw it on a 1970s Moog synthesiser.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer part three (3)

Great screen, comfy riding position, neutral steering, 250 mile range, centre stand, panniers, heated grips and DCT. NT1100 is a sort-of halfway house between a Pan European and a Blackbird


My right knee (old injury) aches after 90 minutes, but thankfully my bladder usually starts grumbling half an hour before that so it’s rarely an issue.

At Bedford I swap motorways for the ‘not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be’ B660, which is still twisty and challenging but now at the council-restricted speeds where you hear ‘The girl from Ipanema’ elevator music playing in your head as you wait for the next corner…and wait.

From Kimbolton north the speed restrictions lift and once again the Honda’s engine, chassis and almost perfect riding position easily outperform the suspension.

Back on the A1 at Peterborough just to reprise the motorway hell, but off again at Colsterworth and then fast A-roads and busy Bs – constant overtaking, making some serious progress. Adventure bike levels of visibility over cars, plus pokey midrange and DCT in manual mode make short work of 25 miles that would take an hour in a car.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer part three (10)

The NT’s CRF1100 cousin would be off up that trail like a shot. 


More of this and then more again up through Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire. A quick lap of the Yorkshire Wolds and then stop at York for the night. 310 miles, average speed 61mph and 56mpg (best was 63mpg on the motorway, worst was 48mpg on Lincolnshire’s back roads – sorry Lincolnshire) which is impressive, given that many of the speeds began with a number (much) greater than 6.

Up very early the next day for a couple of hours playing in the deserted Yorkshire Dales (timed it beautifully between farmers going to work and tourists arriving), remembering just how stunning the roads are up there. And how challenging too. This is the moment when it becomes apparent that Honda should have probably fitted either better suspension or cornering ABS to the NT. Having neither makes the ride more memorable but not always in a good way.

Brake hard into a bumpy corner and the front-end dives reasonably progressively. Sadly the front and rear suspension don’t appear to have been designed by the same team and the back end lacks the damping to keep it under control. The imbalance between the two kicks out the back right at the point you were hoping to steer, which in turn unsettles the front. So, you have to let off the brakes earlier than you’d like. Cornering ABS would fix this, without it the best solution is to brake earlier for corners, remember this is a bike on the ‘touring’ side of the sports-touring scale and ride it like the grown-up you have become and not some road tester who still thinks it’s 1997.

Do this and the NT1100 makes light work of bumpy, twisty Dales roads because apart from the rear shock, the rest of it is pretty damn near perfect for what I want from a bike in 2022.

The destination this morning is Altberg boots in Richmond. If you haven’t heard of them, you should look them up. You won’t see anyone in MotoGP wearing their kit any time soon, but for UK road riders they offer something unique.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer part three (4)

Altberg boots in Richmond. Lovely people, quality products, old-fashioned service.


And then it’s just the 350 miles to get home. Leaving early afternoon with a plan to criss-cross the country heading gently south till Bedford again and then a final 100 miles of motorway. I leave at 1pm, get home six and a half hours later. Which is where we came in.

My knee aches, I’m mentally knackered and can’t actually remember where I last blinked or breathed out, but the bike has been awesome. The ride has been awesome and we’ve properly bonded.

The only sad point is that the Metzeler tyres are starting to square off a little in the middle already. There’s plenty of tread left – at least another couple of thousand miles – but tipping into corners has already become a little more clumsy. So I’m looking to replace them even though they are still very legal. Not sure with what yet, has anyone out there swapped tyres on their NT yet? If so, what did you fit?


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer part three (34)

The styling is growing on me, still not sure about the conservative colour schemes though

2022 Honda NT1100 long termer (4)


Honda NT1100 long term review | Part 4

6000 miles in six months; blazing sun, torrential rain, new tyres, useful accessories, looking forward to winter and loving the DCT gearbox.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer (27)

Both of these bikes are sports tourers. One is a sports bike with added comfort, the other is a comfortable bike with sporting ability. Only one of them is painted like an elephant


Apologies, it’s been a while since I last caught up on the BikeSocial Honda NT1100 long term test bike. Summer was memorable for falling back in love with Honda’s DCT gearbox. Three out of the four auto modes are usable and SII seems to match my typical riding style best. But the lightbulb moment came during Thruxton BSB weekend in August (I said it was a long time). Blasting through Sussex and Hampshire early in the early morning and late in the evening going back and forth to help out on the Bennetts stand. In manual mode the DCT NT1100 demolishes twisty backroads in a way that no other bike does. Hold the throttle wide open and click-click-click with the paddles up or down. Always slick, always instant, allowing the increasingly wide-eyed rider to focus on the line, the lean and the future. There’s no fork dive because the throttle stays open, no unsettling of suspension just more speed or less speed in a linear, predictable manner. I’m not sure how else to describe it – DCT in manual on this bike turns a big-boned sports tourer into a weapon. I haven’t used auto-mode since.

The other thing Thruxton weekend showed up was how the nowhere-near-worn-at-4000-miles Metzeler Roadtec tyres were starting to get a little too squared off for that kind of behaviour. Dunlop launched a new Roadsmart 4 this year and they seemed like an interesting replacement for the Metzelers.


Tyres are as important as any part of your bike. Choose well, get them fitted by experts and don’t forget to check your chain, sprockets and brakes while you’re at it.


Two Tyres in Greenwich are a long way from my house, but they’re good guys who know their stuff and support Bikesocial members with discounts, so I went up there for a natter while they changed the tyres.

Watching people who know what they’re doing is always enjoyable. Picking their brains is even more interesting and so, having learned more about tyres in half an hour than the last ten years I was back on the road, confusing the traffic by weaving around like a racer to try and scrub them in.

The long way home via Kent, Surrey and Sussex (sat nav set to avoid motorways) was a reminder why Roadsmarts are probably the best all-round sports touring tyre available. Stable at all speeds, neutral steering, plenty of grip even when ridden like a grown-up.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer (13)

Sorry I’m early, I came by bike etc. Calm before the storm at Brands Hatch BSB finale.


At Thruxton in mid-August we’d been reminding ourselves to make the most of the 29-degree sunshine because, being England, it would be raining by September. And when it rained it really hammered it down. Leaving the BikeSocial office in rush hour made it an easy decision to take the back route. The clouds appeared as soon as I hit the B660. And they closed in quickly – torrential rain turned parched tarmac into a greasy, slippy aquaplaning challenge. The NT1100 is good in these conditions; stable, easy-handling and (in manual mode) the engine is flexible enough to find the right revs easily for tricky conditions.

But it’s not perfect. I’d set the screen low for maximum cooling windblast in the heatwave and you can’t raise it on the move. Plus, the mini air deflectors direct water up onto the mirror glass ruining your view behind and a surprising amount of water seems to gather in your crotch. Not the best moment to discover the laminate in your waterproofs has failed.

This definitely-not-a-shower continued till I hit Kimbolton. Not the worst weather I’ve ridden in but a shock to the system after four months of near perfect summer weather. And the ever-more-heavy downpour continued through Bedford, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Uxbridge, Reigate, Crawley and pretty-much all the way home. And through much of October and most of November so far. It’s as if the man at Dunlop controls a micro-climate directable at high-mileage road testers to prove how effective their current tyres are in the wet.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer (15)

The Dunlop Roadsmarts are superb wet or dry


I knew that already – the transformation in Dunlop’s wet-weather road tyre performance in the last 10-15 years has been stunning. These Roadsmart 4s have so much confidence and work really well with (or despite) the NT’s ‘enthusiastic-puppy’ suspension. The Metzelers they replaced might have been just as good but only about 150 of the 4000 miles I did on those were in the wet (where only about 500 of the 2000 so far on the Dunlops have been in the dry). Thankfully most of the rest of the rain-soaked miles have been with the NT1100’s screen on full height, which is tall enough to keep much of the rain at bay, but not so tall you can’t still see over it.

The last thing to update on is the addition of one of Honda’s accessory packs to the NT1100. There are several available. I imagine the most popular will be the touring pack which includes fog lights, comfort seats for rider and pillion and wider pillion footrests for £804. The urban pack has a 50-litre top box with pillion pad and matching colour panel and lock to match your bike’s key, plus a 4.5 litre tank bag for £661. And the one Honda put on my bike which is the Voyage pack, which effectively combines the two packs above and costs £1465. Considering the NT already comes with heated grips, cruise control, panniers and connectivity, which means a fully spec’d NT with all the bells and whistles including DCT gearbox is £14,964 on the road. A fully-loaded manual NT1100 is just under £14k.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer (21)

Honda’s optional comfort seat is noticeably better over long distance. Wonder if they do a heated one too?


What difference do all these accessories make? I already had the top box fitted and it’s lovely. Big enough for any kind of day-to-day use, sturdy and has no effect on high-speed stability (at least my definition of high speed which generally involves numbers beginning with ‘9’ not ‘1’. The comfort seat feels slightly taller (or maybe wider, or maybe both) than the original and on my regular 300-mile round trip to the BikeSocial office it’s now my dodgy knee and not my backside that aches when I get there. So that’s a big tick too. I haven’t ridden with a pillion since the new seat and footpegs were fitted and the bits of Sussex I ride through are far too posh to have something as common as fog, so the rest of the package hasn’t been tested yet.

The fog lights do add some extra light either side of the bike on unlit back roads which gives the rider more perspective of where the kerbs are and which way the road is going. That’s useful as the headlights on the NT1100 are ok, but not as bright on main beam as a big Honda should be.

While the accessories were being fitted Honda also reset the DCT on my bike. I never knew about this, but after a while DCT gearboxes can get a bit sloppy in the way they change gear and in their off-on throttle response. Some dealers do it at service time (it’s a very quick procedure using the controls on the handlebar), some owners do it themselves. I wasn’t having any issues with mine, but at 5500 miles it makes sense to have it done anyway.


Fog lights add a lot of extra perspective either side of the bike for a big difference on unlit roads


There is also a tweak to the NT1100 that dealers are doing right now. A few reports of bikes stalling prompted Honda to look at the mapping. My bike had done it a couple of times. It would stall straight away after starting, before I could put it in gear. The starter motor is sluggish anyway and I assumed it might be a battery issue from the tracker fitted. Apparently not and now it’s been tweaked and hasn’t done it since (although the starter is still very lazy – they’re all like that apparently).

If your NT1100 is doing this, speak to your dealer. If you don’t yet have an NT1100, might I suggest you go and try one. It grows on me every month that I ride it. Comfy, quick, easy to ride, a hell of a lot of fun when you’re feeling daft enough, imperfect enough in places (rear suspension mostly) that you feel like you can make a difference and then capable of covering enormous miles in stupidly quick times on one tank of fuel while keeping your hands warm too.

After six months and 6000 miles the only thing I’d change is the colour scheme. It’s dark and anonymous and hard for drivers to see. I get that it’s a sensible grown-up bike and not quite right for the Urban Tiger or Repsol treatment. But why not put one brighter, colourful scheme in the range? Maybe a retro 80s or 90s tribute for those of us of an age who are likely to buy one. A jelly mould CBR1000F tribute or the red and white scheme from the 1991 CBR600FM? Or even better the red, white, blue and yellow of the mid-90s NS400R? An NT1100 in those colours would be beautiful.

How about it Honda?


Honda NT1100 - Long term update part five


2022 Honda NT1100 long term test part 5 (12)

BikeSocial’s NT1100 in winter commuting trim. No panniers for optimal filtering, huge top box stuffed with road tester secrets, fog lights, heated grips (been permanently on since October) and screen fully raised. Heated clothing wiring plugged into power socket too.


The overhead motorway sign is grim; ‘M11 J8-7 one hour delay’. It’s the back end of a very long day, the rain is teeming down, and I don’t have an alternative route. No choice but to ride straight into it.

The queue starts at the junction for Stansted and lasts for nine miles. It takes me 18 minutes to get through it, average speed around 30mph. Normally it takes about eight minutes to do that stretch (I know, I’m a geek) so that’s a ten-minute delay on the bike instead of 60 mins in a car.

And that’s why I ride all year round. In the 20 weeks from Nov-end of March I reckon I saved around five hours a week not sitting in jams on the M23, M25, M11, A14 and A1. That’s 100 extra hours at home with my family while others were stuck on a motorway. Like having four days extra leisure time every 20 weeks, which is about ten extra days to be me every year. How many people on their death beds will croak ‘If only I could have spent more time queuing between J28-J30 of the M25’? If you ride all year, you know there’s nothing else like it.

Winter is the time when bikes become a tool. Four months where filtering agility, comfort, weather protection, confidence and ease-of-use dominate the pages of any road tester’s notebook.

Scratching, touring and spontaneous adventure are swapped for efficiency, predictability and the getting out of the way of distracted idiots en-route to an accident. Just…get…home… as quickly and smartly as possible.

I knew the NT1100 was going to be a great winter bike. Comfy riding position, tall screen, small-but-effective winglets deflecting cold air and rain around the rider, heated grips as standard plus power sockets for heated kit and a centre stand for all the chain adjusting that comes with riding in salty, greasy winter slush (although that didn’t quite work out – see later).


2022 Honda NT1100 long term test part 5 (17)

It might be filthy, but it still purrs along at motorway speeds averaging 55mpg. DCT makes filtering simple


And mostly I’ve been riding around in a huge cloud of ‘smug’ because the MT is as brilliant at making winter on the M11 enjoyable as it is as making summer through the twisties fun. One simple example; filtering. This is a big bike with wide handlebars and an 1100cc parallel twin engine with a semi-automatic gearbox. It could have been a lumpy handful at low speeds – just what you don’t need when you’re knackered, grumpy and at the wrong end of a nine-mile tailback on the M11. But it’s brilliant. Put the DCT in manual mode so you control the gears and the revs without a clutch to worry about. Enjoy the NT’s superb low-speed balance and be intrigued how you can filter through hundreds of cars and trucks and only clonk the mirror of one idiot who decided to switch lanes without indicating while actually alongside another vehicle (and right under the sign that says ‘congestion, stay in lane’). The back brake and DCT in manual mode are sensitive enough to moderate speed while filtering without needing the front (most of the time)


2022 Honda NT1100 long term test part 5 (6)

Dunlop Roadsmart 4 suit the NT’s chassis and help it turn, grip and remain stable at all speeds in all weathers.


Dunlop Roadsmart 4 tyres fitted at the back end of summer have played a big part in this winter security. Even ten years ago the idea that we could have a tyre that steered this sharply and gripped this well in summer could also be as confident in the wet and cold as these Dunlops would have seemed ridiculous. The biggest compliment I can pay them is that I never think about grip or stability, or anything tyre related at all ever. They just spin round and round, doing what tyres do with who-knows-what technology allowing them to cope with anything.


2022 Honda NT1100 long term test part 5 (14)

Comfort seat delivers on its promise without making the NT any taller or harder to manage. The riding position is as perfect for plotting a route through snarled-up traffic as it is for hitting apexes on a summer B-road.


Honda fitted a few accessories to our test bike just before winter. A comfort seat, wider pillion pegs, fog light and a tank bag. To be honest I haven’t used the tank bag much in the same way I’ve only used the standard-fit panniers a handful of times too. The top box has seen a lot of action though and the comfort seat is definitely worth having if you regularly do long stints in the saddle. On the standard seat I was starting to fidget by two hours. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but an ever-increasing shuffle was needed to keep the aches at bay. On the comfort seat I can do three and a half hours before reaching the same point.


2022 Honda NT1100 long term review part 5 (19)

It’s dark and you need to indicate/sound horn/ flash hazards or change gear in thick winter gloves. None of these switches are lit. Good luck.


That’s not to say the NT is without niggles, but I can live with them.

Firstly, the headlights should be better on a big Honda sports tourer. Dip beam is ok, but main beam doesn’t illuminate enough of the road ahead. The accessory fog lights give a broader spread of light close-up, helping your peripheral vision but don’t light up the distant hazards like a decent main beam headlight would.

The switchgear really needs backlighting. The left-side has so many functions and buttons in close proximity that even in the daytime it can be a lottery whether you illuminate the indicators, change down a gear or sound the horn. Riding Honda’s CMX1100 Rebel recently (same engine and mostly the same electronics but half the number of switches on the LHS) was a breath of fresh air because even though the Rebel’s switches aren’t backlit either, they don’t need to be because there’s enough space to hit the right one at the right moment.

And also, while those funky winglets divert the winter around you without the need for an even bigger screen and adventure-bike style handguards, any moisture in the air swirls upwards and settles on the mirror glass meaning they need regular wiping in the wet.


2022 Honda NT1100 long term test part 5 (2)

Long distance winter riding without an automatic chain oiler fitted. The bike gets cleaned after every ride and the chain is lubed at the same time but still looks like this after 8000 miles. The rider will be buying a Scottoiler


Build quality is generally as good as you’d expect from Honda, but the OE chain went bright orange with rust sometime in January despite the bike being cleaned and chain lubed every week. Also, after cleaning, the ignition, fuel cap and top box locks feel stiff until I squirt a bit of WD40 in them.

Other than the chain the NT1100 cleans up like new every time despite 2000 miles of winter riding.

The only issue so far of any note was that as March ticked by into April the front brakes started sticking a little. I’m used to the pads binding to the discs when put away after cleaning, but this was something different. It feels like the caliper pistons aren’t retracting fully when you release the lever. The calipers are the same as those on the Africa Twin and many of us have done many winter miles on those without an issue, so I’m guessing this might be a damaged seal. Honda are looking at it and I’ll let you know what they found in the next update.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_519

9700 miles in 12 months, two sets of tyres, no major problems


Honda NT1100 14-month summary.

Now that’s what I call a long-term test.

It’s unusual to have a long-term test bike for this much time. Honda are clearly confident that the NT1100 is a bike that grows on us, and my experience (mostly) has been just that. You might remember from the very top of this collection of articles that I fell for the NT from day one. It’s not exactly a poster bike – the design is much more functional than it is memorable – but that’s why I like it so much.


Standard seat is good for a couple of hours before the shuffles set in. Optional comfort seat (£126 for rider, £93 for pillion) adds at least another hour


The riding position has proved to be equally suited to high-intensity A and B-road excitement as it is to cutting through 15-mile queues of stationary traffic on the M11 or consecutive 450-mile days on tour. Highlights were a crazy couple of days going faster and faster on the A272 backwards and forwards to Thruxton BSB. Long distance rides to the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland and Derbyshire and around 250 laps of the M25, plus M23 M11 and A1.

The amount of motorway miles shows up in my geek’s diary of numbers. In 9700 miles my NT averaged 63mph and 55mpg. The OE Metzeler Roadtec tyres were swapped at 4000 miles for Dunlop Roadsmart 4s. The Metzelers were about half worn but had started to square off affecting the NT’s almost perfect natural steering. At the time it went back, the Roadsmarts had done almost 6000 miles and were still riding like new (and I should say are utterly brilliant in the wet) 

The engine has a sweet spot, like most big twins. 70mph in top is 4000rpm, 80mph feels like everything is working in absolute harmony. Thankfully, there’s also enough torque to keep pulling and hide your embarrassment/laziness when the DCT slips into too high a gear at too low revs and you can’t be bothered to manually downshift. Or so I remember because, in truth I rode it in manual mode for the vast majority of our time together.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_504

DCT gearbox is £1000 extra. In manual mode it’s the best gearshift of any production motorcycle out there.


Above 4000rpm the engine pulls really strongly. Those who claim 100bhp isn’t enough clearly don’t understand

  1. The difference between what they think is power and what engineers would call ‘thrust’
  2. How gearing works
  3. That it is no longer 1998 and motorcycling has moved on from that kind of macho nonsense.

The best Honda sporty tourers going back to 1989’s original Pan European have all made somewhere around 100bhp. Honda knows why this matters and much else besides. Power delivery is what counts here because the NT is a tourer with mischievious ambitions as opposed to a sports bike with taller handlebars that’s been ‘detuned for more midrange’.

My last trip, returning the bike to Honda was typical of our time together. Up at 5.15am, a quick and very easy 100 miles of motorway at 68mph average and 55mpg. Hit the A-roads for 40 miles of cross-country traffic-busting bend swinging and a needless-but-amusing distraction on a couple of favourite B-roads in Rutland and Northants. Last leg is a mixture of rush hour traffic, between the last three villages and a couple more fast flowing A-roads to Honda’s test-fleet depot.

Just shy of 200 miles in a little over three hours on one tank of fuel with around 30 miles range still remaining.

The rider is comfy and ready for more, thanks in part to the excellent screen and small winglets that deflect air around me. Honda’s optional comfort seat adds an extra hour to the standard seat’s ‘two-hours-before-the -shuffling-starts’ performance.

The fact that I never got round to swapping the suspension shows that although soft and missing some high-speed damping (that’s high-speed as in reacting to big bumps, not the speed you’re riding at), it wasn’t that bad, and I mostly got used to it. The lack of rear damping just made me chuckle in the end.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_513

Chain drive on a big twin designed to do big miles in all weathers is always going to be a challenge. This one was cleaned, lubed and adjusted twice a week throughout winter and was pretty much scrap after less than 10,000 miles.


A handful of niggles in the last few months show took a little of the shine off. The front brakes seized in winter despite the bike being cleaned after pretty much every round trip. The battery seemed like it was on its last legs despite regular use (Honda’s test bikes have a tracker fitted, which won’t help, but the starter motor on the NT always sounds very laboured). The fuel filler cap lock got very stiff at the same time needing regular drips of 3-in-1 oil to keep the pins moving. And the drive chain went very rusty very quickly and was needing adjustment every 300 miles despite being cleaned, lubed and kept in perfect adjustment it’s whole working life.

There are some who might say that motorcycling is supposed to be all about excitement, speed and excess. The same people who would compare buying an NT1100 to ordering an omelette in a curry house. That’s fine. There are many other sports tourers that are much more flash and sportier. But not everyone wants that, and we should thank Honda for building something with such a smart and bold idea behind it.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_512

Rear suspension damping is set for touring not sport but the DCT gearbox in manual mode takes away a lot of the challenges. Increased rear preload helps make bumpy roads more consistent 


For me, the NT1100 isn’t really a sports tourer. One of my first thoughts over a year ago when it first arrived was that this bike is the actual definition of a sports utility vehicle. Fourteen months on and almost 10,000 miles later, I still that’s what sums it up best. And it’s built for purpose. All too often, when a manufacturer adds panniers and high bars to a sporty road bike and calls it a sports tourer (Suzuki and Kawasaki, we are looking at you here…) the panniers stick out a bit too far, the screen isn’t big enough, the riding position isn’t quite right and the sporty steering doesn’t always feel as re-assuring two-up in the wet as you’d hoped. Or the handling doesn’t suit sports touring tyres too well.

The only rival that comes close for the money would be a base-spec BMW R1250RS. The Beemer doesn’t come with DCT, a centre stand, panniers or heated grips as standard, but it does have shaft drive (no centre stand required) an even more engaging engine, slightly more sporty riding position and better headlights.

As much as I love Honda’s DCT gearbox, I’d take the BMW’s shaft drive in preference. Reading an interview with Maurizio Carbonara (his real name apparently…) on Motociclismo’s website via the excellent NT1100 Facebook group shows how price and value was a huge consideration for the NT’s design team. Honda’s previous NT range – the 600/650/700 had both shaft (NTV and Deauville) and chain (NT Bros, Hawk) versions.

If the NT were shaft drive it’d probably be my perfect motorcycle right now. My hunch is that it’ll become another Pan European – adored by those who own them, and a cracking used buy in a few years’ time too.


Honda NT1100 2022 long term review price spec_550


An owner’s view.

BikeSocial member Tom Taylor has done 6000 miles on his NT1100

I am Tom from Stoke on Trent, I've been riding for about 15 years and my bike is a Honda NT1100 with DCT transmission. Why did I pick DCT - well I have used the DCT version of Honda bikes since I had the NC750X. The DCT gearbox makes riding easy - you can simply concentrate on riding and not have to think about gears.I have not added any accessories on to the bike other than a top box which has greatly  increased the carrying capacity. I have taken the panniers off for daily riding.I have now done 6000 miles since new and I mainly use it for travelling to and from work but take the long route home some nights. What problems have I had - the main one is a current ongoing problem where the bike switches modes by itself. So you could be in Rain mode and it will switch to tour mode giving full engine braking in the wet -not a good situation  on a wet road. This has been with Honda for a few months now with no outlook for a fix as they don't seem to know what the answer is yet - I am regularly speaking to my dealer. I am still on the original Dunlops which seem perfect for me.

The good bits are that the bike is so comfortable to ride and runs perfectly. I have had DCT bikes for the last 6 years and it is such an easy system to use. The bike is used every day unless there is snow or ice and hasn't missed a beat through all the weather. I was at the dealership when my bike was delivered to them and the salesman said "here's your police bike being delivered" and as it is white it does look like one. It was one of the first ones in the country. It regularly gives 54 miles to the gallon which I feel is good for the size of bike used mainly around town except when taking long runs home.


2022 Honda NT1100 long termer (47)


2022 Honda NT1100 Technical Specification

New price

£13,429 as tested (DCT version with top box)



Bore x Stroke

92.0 x 81.5mm

Engine layout

270° parallel twin

Engine details

Water-cooled, 8v, SOHC


100bhp (75kW) @ 9250rpm


77 lb-ft (104Nm) @ 6250rpm

Top speed

140mph (est)


6 speed, chain (DCT option)

Average fuel consumption

55mpg (tested)

Tank size

20.4 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

247 miles

Reserve capacity

36 miles

Rider aids

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


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




2240mm x 865mm x 1360mm (LxWxH)



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

238kg (248kg with DCT)

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated but would be 2/5 as standard


Unlimited miles / two years