Honda is bringing the NT moniker back with the unveiling of the NT1100. Back in the day, the NT650 and the NT700 were among the top names in the touring motorcycle segment for people who desire the practicality of a touring motorcycle but in a compact size. Times have changed since then and living with a big bike has become relatively easier and in recent times the segment has been dominated by the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX, BMW R 1250 RT and Yamaha Tracer 9.
The NT1100 is Honda’s take on sport-tourer. Apart from that, it will also fill the void between the tourer and sports tourer segment left by the VFR series as Honda has decided not to update their engines to meet Euro5 emission norms.
In terms of design, the NT1100 is crafted to attain the best rider ergonomics and aerodynamics. It has a tall 5-way adjustable windscreen and upper and lower deflectors to protect the rider from the windblast while long-distance touring. To aid the same, it has a large 20.4-litre fuel tank. The luggage panniers are standard equipment and have a combined 65-litres of storage capacity. There is an optional top box with a pillion backrest with ‘Urban’ or ‘Voyage’ packs that will add additional 50-litres to the volumetric space. Considering its road-going nature, the NT has a friendly seat height of 820mm.
For the NT, Honda has used the tried and tested 1084cc parallel-twin engine with its electronics suite from the CRF1100L Africa Twin. With the new intake duct length and the exhaust muffler internals, the engine is mildly tweaked to give the bike a better bottom end while it continues to produce an identical 100.6bhp at 7250rpm and 104Nm at 3250rpm. The six-speed manual and the DCT (dual-clutch transmission) versions of the ’box has also been carried over from the Africa Twin but minor external casing difference. The DCT gearbox provides seamless gear shifts by selecting two gears simultaneously using two clutches and shifting by simply disengaging one and engaging the other. The DCT has two modes. The Automatic Transmission (AT) mode shifts gear on its own by judging the vehicle speed and engine RPMs whereas the Manual Transmission (MT) puts the rider in command of choosing gears via the paddles on the left side of the handlebar.
With the DCT and its electro-hydraulic system, the NT1100 is 10kg heavier than the manual gearbox variant, tipping the scale at 248kg. Apart from that, the rest of the hardware remains largely the same with the Africa Twins’ steel double-cradle frame and aluminium rear subframe. The steering geometry is slightly different with a sharper angle and it is suspended on the Showa's 43mm USD forks with preload adjustability at the front, while it uses a gas-charged adjustable monoshock at the rear. Both ends have suspension travel of 150mm. Braking duties are handled by dual radially-mounted four-piston Nissin calipers gripping the 310mm discs and a single-piston caliper with a 256mm single disc at the rear. This setup comes with dual-channel ABS.
Having a look at the features list, it has a 6.5-inch TFT screen that can be paired with a smartphone via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It has five riding modes — Urban, Rain, Tour, and User 1 and 2, which are customizable by the rider and it will save user-specific settings. As standard, the NT1100 has throttle-by-wire, heated grips, cruise control, self-cancelling indicators and an emergency stop signal. For rider aids, it has dual-channel ABS and wheelie control. And lastly, with an accessory pack, it gets a quickshifter, fog lights, comfortable seats and aluminium cosmetic panels for the luggage.
No announcements have been made so far regarding, Honda bringing the NT1100 to India as of yet. But, considering the demand for such bikes in our country, we can expect the bike to eventually make its way to Indian shores. As far as pricing is concerned, we can estimate that it will be priced around in the ballpark of the ex-showroom price of the Africa Twin, which has a starting price of Rs 15.96lakh. In terms of rivals, the Honda NT1100 will go up against the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX, the newly unveiled Suzuki GSX S1000 GT and most notably, Yamaha’s Tracer 9.