2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Review | Ridden & Rated

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT action
The Honda Rebel 1100T adds useful functionality to the base model with a fairing and saddlebags, making it a lightweight and relatively low-cost bagger option. And with an impressive 35-degree lean angle and sporty engine, it’s just as fun as it is practical. (Photos by Killboy)

Many motorcyclists – including me – got their start on a Honda Rebel, and they need not jump ship once they’re ready for something with more kick. Honda’s lineup of Rebels includes the 300, 500, and 1100, providing a ladder for riders to climb when they get the itch for something bigger. The lineup expanded last year with the addition of the Rebel 1100T DCT, a bagger-style cruiser.

Related: A Girl and Her Honda Rebel

The “T” in “1100T” stands for “touring,” and added features include a batwing fairing and saddlebags with a combined 35 liters of storage – not enough room to carry all your belongings but enough for clothes and personal items for a few days. The fairing includes a short windscreen, and taller or shorter windscreens are available as options. In standard trim, the Rebel 1100 is set up for a solo rider, but a passenger seat and footpegs are available. The 2023 test bike used for this review is Bordeaux Red Metallic; for 2024, color options include Metallic Black and Matte Armored Green Metallic.  

Related: 2024 Honda Gold Wing, Rebel, and NC750X Returning Models 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT action
The Rebel’s low seat height was a welcome feature for
this short rider. Taller riders might feel cramped with the high-mounted footpegs.


The Rebel 1100 came on the scene in 2021. It’s powered by the liquid-cooled 1,083cc Unicam parallel-Twin from the Africa Twin but modified for a cruiser application. At 87 hp and 72 lb-ft of torque, the Rebel 1100 makes less power than the Africa Twin, but peak torque arrives earlier in the rev range (4,750 rpm vs. 6,250 rpm). The engine has a 270-degree crankshaft for a rumbling V-Twin-like character, and the Rebel uses different camshaft profiles and ignition timing for its two cylinders – one makes more power below 4,000 rpm, and the other makes more power above 4,000 rpm. It comes with four ride modes (Rain, Sport, Tour, and User, which is customizable), each with different settings for throttle response, traction control, engine braking, and (on DCT versions) the transmission’s shift points. 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Foothills Parkway
The Rebel 1100T DCT is the perfect steed for a ride on the Foothills Parkway, a beautiful road in Tennessee with sweeping curves and gorgeous views.

As with several models in Honda’s lineup, the Rebel 1100 is available with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission. The DCT is a popular option, accounting for about half of sales for models on which it’s available, including the Africa Twin, Gold Wing, and NC750X. With DCT, there is no clutch lever or foot shifter. Just release the parking brake, click the bike into Drive, and ride. Riders who want more control can switch to Manual mode and use the paddle shifters on the left side of the handlebar to click through gears. For 2024, the Rebel 1100T is available in either a manual or DCT option. 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT right hand controls
Buttons on the right side of the bar switch the bike from Neutral into Drive and from Manual to Automatic. There’s also a cruise control button and a switch to the right of it that adjusts cruising speed by 1 mph increments.

This test was my first experience with Honda’s DCT, and I shared the same concerns as others – that an automatic motorcycle would feel strange and take away from the riding experience. It does take some time to get used to, but after more than 1,000 miles aboard the Rebel 1100T DCT, I see the merit and came to enjoy the transmission. 

The beauty of the DCT is that it allows the rider to spend more time focusing on the ride and less time worrying about shifting gears. There’s no need to shift up and down while rolling through town, which means you can pay closer attention to traffic, and your left hand won’t get tired of pulling in the clutch lever. When you head out for a more scenic ride, you have more time to admire the view. And when you get into the twisties and desire more control, you can click the bike into Manual mode and shift with the paddle shifters. 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT instrumentation
The single gauge shows a lot of information. The bottom section, seen here showing Trip A, can flip through two tripmeters, odometer, fuel range, and more options.

In each of the Rebel’s four ride modes, the round LCD display shows settings for power, traction control, and engine braking, and these parameters can be adjusted in the user-configurable mode. While in Automatic mode, the shift points parameter also shows. I enjoyed the visual representation of how each mode changed the riding experience on the display, and it made it easier to set my preferred parameters. Additional features include cruise control and a USB-C charging port located under the seat. 

When riding a motorcycle with a manual transmission, I leave the bike in gear when parked. That’s not possible on the Rebel 1100T DCT, as it always switches to neutral when turned off. To keep it from rolling away, there’s a parking brake lever on the left side of the handlebar. Setting the parking brake is easy enough, but I found releasing it to be a bit difficult, which involves pulling back on the lever while pushing a button on the side, requiring two hands. This means that there are no hands on the handlebar when the brake is released, so I needed to keep my right foot on the rear brake pedal to prevent the bike from rolling when stopped on an incline. This requires a bit of learning, but it wasn’t a problem once I became used to it. 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Tail of the Dragon
The Honda Rebel 1100T DCT tackled the Tail of the Dragon with ease.

Suspension duties are handled by Showa components, with a 43mm nonadjustable fork with 4.8 inches of travel and a pair of rear shocks with adjustable preload, piggyback reservoirs, and 3.7 inches of travel. Stopping power comes from a single radial-mount 4-piston front caliper with a 330mm disc and a 1-piston rear caliper with a 256mm disc. ABS is standard, and though few riders may need it, the Selectable Torque Control system (Honda’s term for traction control) includes three levels of wheelie control. 

With high, mid-mount footpegs, the Rebel 1100 has an impressive lean angle of 35 degrees. The wheelbase is 59.8 inches, wet weight is 520 lb, and fuel capacity is 3.6 gallons. Honda could’ve added more touring capability to this bike with a larger fuel tank. During this test, the low-fuel light came on whenever the tripmeter reached about 110 miles, and I averaged 46.4 mpg (about 167 miles of range). 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Tail of the Dragon
The bike’s sporty character and low weight were great for a spirited morning sprint on the famous Tail of the Dragon.

Seat height has always been approachable on Rebels, and that holds true on the 1100, which has a very low seat height of 27.5 inches. As a short rider (5-foot-1), I appreciate being able to flat-foot on a motorcycle. However, the Rebel 1100T’s footpeg position requires the rider to sit somewhat scrunched up on the bike. The seating position puts pressure on the rider’s spine, which became uncomfortable after a few hours in the saddle. Although I didn’t expect Gold Wing levels of comfort, a bagger-style cruiser like this would benefit from a more comfortable riding position. However, after a quick break at a scenic overlook or gas station, I was ready to hop back into the saddle. 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Foothills Parkway
Honda’s DCT took some time to get used to, but it was easy to appreciate its simplicity while enjoying the views along the Foothills Parkway.

Although I found the riding position uncomfortable for long hours, the Rebel 1100T DCT is an absolute blast to ride on twisty roads. Its low weight and responsive handling make the bike easy to dip into corners, and the engine pulls strongly when accelerating out of turns. On particularly technical roads, I enjoyed switching the bike into Manual mode and clicking through gears with the paddle shifters, which offers a more simplified experience without needing to pull in the clutch or roll off the throttle, making gear changes quicker and easier. 

The Rebel 1100T’s fairing and saddlebags are the only differences between this model and the standard version, but those extras create a package that’s more practical for overnight trips. The fairing provides good wind protection and blocks wind from the chest and hands. The saddlebags add enough storage that I could pack everything I needed for a couple nights. My only complaint about the bags is that the latching mechanism is a little finicky and takes some effort to close. The top-loading bags are lockable, or they can be left unlocked for quick access. 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT action
As someone who started riding on a Rebel 250, it’s exciting to see how the model family has evolved.

The trim on the Rebel 1100T might not be enough to turn it into a full-fledged long-haul touring bike, but it’s a useful addition for the type of trips I like to do, which are two or three days with minimal luggage. The bags allow me to pack my clothes and necessities without needing to wear a backpack, and the fairing provides enough protection to keep me comfortable for longer periods of time.  

On top of the Rebel’s practicality, its sporty engine, good cornering clearance, and low weight means that once I get near my destination, I can enjoy the roads in a way that a heavier bagger wouldn’t allow. As far as compromises go, this one strikes the balance to suit my needs just fine. And with the Dual Clutch Transmission, I can focus less on shifting gears and more on the ride. 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT
2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Specifications

  • Base Price: $11,299 ($11,349 in 2024) 
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles 
  • Website: Powersports.Honda.com 
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, SOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. 
  • Displacement: 1,083cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 92.0 x 81.5mm 
  • Horsepower: 87 hp at 7,000 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Torque: 72 lb-ft @ 4,750 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, automatic Dual Clutch Transmission 
  • Final Drive: Chain 
  • Wheelbase: 59.8 inches 
  • Rake/Trail: 28 degrees/4.3 in. 
  • Seat Height: 27.5 in. 
  • Wet Weight: 520 lb 
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.6 gal. 
  • Fuel Consumption: 46.4 mpg 
  • Estimated Range: 167 miles 

The post 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Review | Ridden & Rated appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *