2022 Honda NT1100 review | What is the NT1100 like to live with?


To find out what the Honda NT1100 is like to live with, Toad has spent the last couple of weeks touring and commuting around the UK

BEING completely honest, I was a bit gutted that I had to miss the launch of the Honda NT1100 last winter, and even more frustrated that my calendar kept me from riding it for most of this summer! This update has been written by Toad Hancocks.

To read Alex's launch report, click here. 

That frustration was eased slightly though when a man and van from Honda arrived to swap my Honda CBR1000RR-R SP 30th Anniversary Edition for a sleek-looking Grey Metallic version of the NT, complete with a trick DCT gearbox.

I’ve only seen the new Honda NT1100 in the flesh once before, and that was at EICMA in 2021, just before Alex flew off to Almeria for the road-riding launch. With it being based on the Africa Twin’s frame and engine platform, it’s obviously a big bike, with brilliant road presence. I am though impressed by how hard you have to look to spot any of its adventure-derived underpinnings. Like every other big-capacity Honda, the fit and finish is great, and while you’d never call it pretty, it does seem solidly put together, and sensibly designed.

What is the NT1100 like to live with?

The first trip I had on the 2022 Honda NT1100was to a trackday at Silverstone where I was checking out the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S on the Silverstone GP circuit. Now, I’m not trying to say that this 40-mile jog down the A5 was a thorough test or anything, I thought of it more like an easy-going introduction.

Hopping onto the NT for the first time and everything feels eerily familiar – like you’ve walked into a neighbour’s house that is the same layout as your own. All the doors and walls are in the same place, but everything else looks different. The riding position to me felt very much like that found on the Africa Twin, albeit with a lower, more contoured seat. Sadly, for me, the switchgear is also lifted from the Africa Twin, and it still flummoxes me to this day, despite having ridden countless Africa Twin models. The right-hand switch cube is a fussy thing to use, with up and down arrow keys, a left-right joystick and more assorted forward, back, favourite and return buttons. Given Honda’s history of finding just the right place for every button on a bike, I’m still confused as to how they make this system so confusing.

Pulling away from home on the morning of my track day, I left in plenty of time and kept the bike in its most conservative DCT mode, D. It’s the most relaxing of all the shifting schedules on the bike, changing up extremely early until at around 35mph you land in top gear. It might not be exciting in any way shape or form, but it is efficient, helping me to achieve close to 60mpg on the ride over to the track - under normal riding conditions I was getting around 55mpg average. If needs must, the shift switches on the left handlebar will override the system, so long as you aren’t asking it to do something outside of its comfort zone.

The ride to the track was pleasant enough and was impressed by the ride quality of the bike. It’s shod with traditional Showa suspension at both ends, not the electronically adjusted kit found on the Africa Twin Adventure Sports and Gold Wing. Sure, some self-levelling kit on a bike like this would be the dream, but the Show Separate Function Big Piston forks are well set up for UK roads.

After a day spent blatting around the Silverstone GP circuit, the ride home from Silverstone was much more spirited. I slotted the bike into its full power riding more and selected the S3 shifting schedule. Now the bike was holding onto the gears longer and shifting down into corners with much more pronounced blips through the DCT gearbox. The throttle response in Tour is the most direct, and it features full power and a fairly low-level traction control setting.

Taking the NT for a sportier ride was actually quite eye-opening. Despite its Africa Twin DNA and 238kg kerb weight, it dances about on the road surprisingly well. It has brilliant poise on the brakes too and is nicely balanced when you do tip it into a corner. I was extremely impressed by the latest generation Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE tyres when I tested them in Italy, and the Honda NT1100 is just the kind of bike they are aimed at. They provide excellent grip and feel in all weather and a profile that just sits somewhere between conservative cruising and sporty riding.

Is the Honda NT1100 a good bike for carrying a pillion passenger?

Mid-way through the loan of the N1100 I popped over to Aldeburgh on the East coast with my other half for a spot of lunch. It was around a 350-mile day in total and was a great opportunity to get to grips with the bike on a longer ride. The first impressions from my pillion were that the NT1100 was an extremely nice place to be. The grab rails and comfy seat were the two biggest talking points, although she also liked the DCT gearbox and its smooth as silk shifting system. The weather protection for the rider from the adjustable screen is mega, a proper Honda case study in getting the profile and angle of the screen just right. I was told that the protection offered by the screen could just about be felt from the back seat, although not to the same degree. The bubble was definitely there, but you couldn’t ride with the visor up on the motorway as the rider can.

After the ride, I checked in with the good lady to dig a little bit deeper into the way the bike performed from her perspective. From a comfort and security point of view, she really couldn’t fault it. The grab rails are in easy reach, and the overall riding position was described as perfect. We both ended the day ache-free and feeling fresh. If there was one slight grip of the trip, it was when we wanted to dump the bulky textiles before heading for lunch, we really struggled to her jacket and mine into the cases, and you have no chance of fitting in a full-faced lid. You get 33 litres on one side and 32 on the exhaust side. Now, that is a decent amount of space, but the packaging of the bike is overall very slim – likely to make filtering a little easier. The squished pannier design means you are going to have to pack cleverly on longer trips, and if you are the kind of rider that ditches the helmets when you reach your destination, go for the optional 38 or cavernous 50-litre top cases.

What is the Honda NT1100 like to live with?

Is it the most inspiring motorcycle Honda has ever made? No. Does it have massive headline-grabbing specs and numbers? No. Does it make you go ‘ohhh, I’m gonna ride the wheels off you’ every time you open the garage? Not really. Does any of that detract from how good it is on two-up trips and tours? Again, no. The 2022 Honda NT1100 for me is an example of Honda doing what Honda absolutely does best, taking a very specific design brief and executing it perfectly. Some of the best bikes from Honda’s back catalogue have also been a little bit bland. Bikes like the VFR1200F, Crosstourer, and Pan European, none of them really had one thing about them that made them such big hitters with riders, they just did every really rather well. That’s kind of how I feel about the Honda NT1100.

That’s not to say I don’t have some gripes with the bike though, narrow panniers being one, another being the way the positional lights (in the indicator) reflect off the wind deflectors making me think I’ve left my indicators on, and the screen is a ball ache to adjust - and cannot be done on the fly. And don’t even get me started on the switchgear…

Overall though, I think Honda has smashed it with this one and fans of the bikes I mentioned above will likely be looking at this as a worthy replacement for their VFR, Crosstourer, or pan European. And in truth, I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t make the jump.

2022 Honda NT1100 launch review | Written by Alex Strange

Adding to a popular yet ever-growing segment of sports tourers, we were invited out to Barcelona to test the new Honda NT1100 due for release in 2022. Just how much tourer is packed into this sports tourer?

We got our first look at the new tourer around a month ago when it was revealed by Honda, and the ultimate goal for the Honda NT1100 is an attempt at making a road-focused tourer capable of providing top levels of rider comfort and practicality two-up or solo, allowing for tours in all weather conditions laden with full luggage and pillion.

With the superbly popular engine and chassis from the Africa Twin acting as a foundation, the NT has an emphasis on on-road ergonomics & weather protection, promising the perfect setup for long days in the saddle.

We were out in Barcelona, exploring the nearby hills and mountain roads of Muntanyes de Prades on a DCT equipped model, accessorised with the ‘Urban Pack’ (standard-fit 65-litre panniers and 50-litre top box, with a 4.5-litre tank bag).

Side note on the route - absolutely incredible. Despite setting off in wind & rain (were we in Spain or Skegness?) the asphalt on the Spanish roads is consistently smooth, topped with endless views and filled our twisty dreams. Plus there was little to no traffic. Add it to the list if you are after a tour.

Honda NT1100 2022 price and availability

Due to be available in UK dealers in the first few months of 2022, the 2022 NT1100 will be priced at £11,999 for the manual model, and £12,999 for the DCT model. 

With a choice between Graphite Black, Matt Iridium Gray Metallic (as seen), and Pearl Glare White, the NT1100 will also have a few accessory packs available (Tour Pack +£730, Urban Pack +£600, & Voyager Pack £1330 (plus fitting costs to add)) adding further touring credentials to the catalogue.

Compared to the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT (£12,400 with panniers), Yamaha Tracer 9 GT (£12,200) and BMW K1600 range (all over £20,000) - amongst others - the NT1100 is priced competitively to do battle with its big-touring counterparts.


Chief amongst the battle stats is the engine. Utilising the Africa Twin 1084cc parallel twin with 101 bhp @ 7250 rpm and 104 Nm / 77 lb-ft @ 6250 rpm, the twin unit with 270º crank is transplanted into the NT1100, nestling low within the chassis and protected by the huge front fairing.

It’s a lovely motor to ride with, plenty of low-end pull with smooth top-end power, but catch it in the low rev-range in high gears, and it’ll ‘chug-chug-chug’ until it finds some torque. Keep on top of gear changes and this isn’t much of an issue.

This motor is also found in the CMX 1100 Rebel, but is tuned and geared for tours and pillions in mind. It has enough power in the corners, it’s always up for an overtake, and cruising at 70mph is smooth with no distracting vibrations.

With ride-by-wire, there are 5 modes to pick from: Tour, Urban, Rain, User 1 & User 2. Tour is the designated high-power mode, with the display returning the most info. Urban is in the middle, and rain is the lowest power output & lowest engine braking. 

Honda Selectable Torque control features, as well as slip rate control, and you can personalise all of the above with the User modes to craft your own ‘super tour’ or ‘pillion mode’ settings.

If matched to the DCT the machine becomes an immensely capable touring unit, with all the on-road guile you’d expect from the Big Red Wing firm. It’s surprisingly agile despite weighing in at 248kg with DCT you’ll be pleased to hear it’s perfectly balanced, with the majority of weight low on the bike, making it well set up for carving up the road.

Dual Clutch Transmission

The Dual Clutch Transmission is certainly worthy of its own segment here. Honda says that over 200,000 DCT-equipped models have been sold in Europe since it was launched with the 2009 VFR, with the rider granted more focus on the ride, line choice and a bit of scenery on their tours.

Refined for the Honda NT1100 with bespoke settings, the ‘box is unsurprisingly smooth, automatically clicking through gears with barely any interruption to power - though it was extremely keen to shift up to high gears at any opportunity when holding a steady throttle. 

For motorway and tour riding that’s fine, but it became a bit tiresome in the hills and mountains if you don’t adjust the shift rate, with the downshift button becoming the most used on the bike. - flick to manual mode, and it opens the door to ride exactly how you need to with well-placed up/down buttons on the left switchgear.

If you’ve ridden with a Honda DCT before, you know the score - and around 50% opt for the DCT ‘box. But if not, it’s not simply an ‘automatic gearbox’. With dual clutches, gear changes are quicker than a quickshifter, and once you get to grips with it, it’s difficult to consider going without the added benefits.

Namely, the lack of disturbance or pitching when shifting up and down - pillions will be glad to hear that, it’ll limit helmet clashing!


Continuing the Africa Twin theme, the steel semi-double cradle main frame is inherited with a slim straight main spar, 6 engine mounts and new NT-specific headlight and radiator stays. The bolt-on aluminium subframe is set to support a pillion and luggage, and is completed with a new 644mm swing arm from gravity die-cast aluminium.

The project leaders for this machine also have a history in the Crossrunner, Crosstourer, VFR & CRF models, and the Gold Wing, so some of that experience has paid dividends here.

The front end feel is superb in corners, and it feels planted and sure-footed even in the wet (which we set off in), ensuring top cornering performance and consistent feedback - despite the 238 kg (248 kg with DCT) wet weight, without factoring in 1/2 riders with luggage.

It has a fairly long wheelbase at 1535mm, making it stable on the roads but somehow not sacrificing the manoeuvrability, particularly when moving the bike around at walking speed. 

Brakes & suspension 

Starting with the suspension, 43 mm Showa separate function USD front forks with 150mm stroke are set with 20-clicks of pre-load adjustment, with a rear pro-link swingarm with mono-shock damper (preload adjust and 150mm travel). 

The Honda engineers were keen to hear what we thought of the suspension, and it was so smooth and effortless I had to genuinely think about my response.

There’s little to no dive under normal braking, and they contribute to superb road feel once moving - it was genuinely impressive how sporty it felt on twisty roads, and I hadn’t even thought about the suspension. That’s a positive in my book.

Fitted to 17 inch front and rear wheels (with Metzeler Roadtec 01 hoops) are dual 310mm front floating Nissin discs, radially mounted with 4 calipers - and a single 256mm disc on the rear. Initial bite is sharp and crisp, with progressive power provided without unsettling the bike or activating the ABS - but heavy braking will activate the hazard lights, which I’m always hesitant to do.

All in, the NT110 is supremely stable, and again I’ll use the adjective ‘smooth’ to describe the responsiveness on the road.


I think it’s worth covering the style of this NT up close. Designed in the Rome R&D facility, we first locked eyes on the CB4X at EICMA 2019, but we’re told this NT1100 had been in the pipeline for around 2-3 years, despite becoming a parallel twin in its final form.

The styling of this machine is rather surprising. In photos and videos, it looks almost top-heavy and ‘bulbous’ for lack of a better word. But in person, you can see hints of the sleek concept drawing, and even with conservative colour options, it’s not as bad in the metal. 

The huge fairing and wind deflectors serve a purpose, too. With a 5-step adjustable screen, top & bottom wind deflectors and that big ol’ fairing, you enter an almost cocoon-like realm at speed.

With the screen at its highest setting, a slight lean forward grants me a noiseless ride, with arms stretched naturally to a wide bar and legs placed nicely on pegs beneath - I came off the bike with no aches.

Touring features

Last, and perhaps most important for most riders looking at this, are the touring features. Standard fit: cruise control, 65 L panniers (33 L on the left, 32 L on the right), 5-step heated grips, a 6.5” touchscreen TFT display with secondary LCD, USB and ACC sockets as standard in the dash, LED lights all round, and a wide pillion seat (60mm thick) with grab rails, low pegs and 175mm ground clearance.

The standard seat height for the NT1100 is 820mm, with a 51 front / 49 rear weight distribution. Fully fuelled, the 20.4-litre tank is said to provide around 250 miles of range - in real-world riding, I’d expect lower. Our ride was 220 km and at the end of the ride we were on the last bar.

Special mention to the 6.5” TFT screen, which as standard allows the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, which is an absolutely huge feature for some (myself included). Connecting your phone will mean all the music, phone and navigation you could ever need, and you can flick between the smartphone and Honda display easily. 

Panniers will unfortunately not fit a lid in, but add the 50L top box and you should be able to fit yours in there. Some may be after a larger pannier box, but that would increase the width and make filtering difficult - so they say. 

Riding in adverse weather is no problem, either. Grippy and comfortable to push on in the wet, the weather protection is seriously good when you’re moving. 

But as far as tourers go, this NT1100 ticks all of the boxes. Perhaps the fuel range would be worth a look, given our ride seemed to return less than the 400km given range, but considering you can fill up and continue on in a matter of minutes it’s palatable (yes, that’s an electric motorcycle joke). 

Like /dislike

Like: TFT screen, top rider comfort for long days in the saddle, very easy to ride thanks in part to DCT. 

Dislike: Miles per gallon is in question, DCT box loves to shift up (without fiddling with settings), some may say it’s fairly conservative in style.


Honda will hope that its on-road based tourer will tempt the touring market, and with the gadgets and tech (like the TFT dash and DCT), it’s certainly worth a look. 

Personally, I think Honda has gone for function over form here. With a long-running history of reliability and cutting-edge design, the package on offer is absolutely a head-turner - whether that’s for the eyebrow-raising style or the touring capability here.

It’s all designed in a way to make riding comfortable, easy and ultimately fun. DCT, smooth riding experience, touring gadgets, cocoon weather protection. It’s rolled up in a package that makes an all-day ride simply a joy.

It’s fairly understated in the sense that a Honda would typically be, it’s not as lairy as the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT, not as ‘sporty’ as the GSX-S1000 GT, but it slots right in as a ‘function over form’ machine that many Honda fans will appreciate.

When reviewing bikes, I think one of the most important barometers is seeing whether I’d want to do it all again the next day - was it any fun? The answer tends to be yes, because who doesn’t love riding motorcycles, but ultimately I was extremely keen to go and do it all again. 

I’ll admit that I wasn’t brimming with anticipation prior to riding it, but I’m happy to say this did it all.

Waking up the next day and seeing the bikes being readied for the next group, I’d have happily donned my RST gear and gone for another ‘mini tour’. The NT1100 was effortless to ride, so smooth and balanced, filled with tech, and certainly a happy place to be - it’s a big tick in the box. 

I’d certainly recommend a go on one of these, they should be ready for test rides in January in UK dealers, and the DCT box is a huge distinguishing factor - particularly for tourers who may enjoy the ease of use of the DCT.

Huge thanks to Honda for having us out on the launch, check the Honda site for full details, specs and to build your own. 

Watch the Honda NT1100 (2022) review here;

HONDA NT1100 2022 Review | New Honda NT1100 Launch | Visordown.com