Admit it, you’ve always wanted to crouch down behind a bullet fairing and peg the throttle wide open just to see what 1100 ccs of raw whining power are capable of. We’ve all been there, but not all of us have been treated to the pleasure of such an experience. Honda wants to change that, but without the mess of carburetors or decades-old spaghetti-framed death wobble. Meet the new Honda Hawk 11. It has the neo-vintage look we’ve all been begging for, but with a modern chassis and reliable electronics.
This wondrous machine is powered by the same 1100 parallel twin as the venerable Africa Twin and the Rebel 1100. It’s a good solid motor with enough power to have fun, but it’s also a compact and lightweight unit, which makes it ideal for a sport-ish ride. Full details for the bike haven’t been released yet, but you can expect essentially the same 101 horsepower 77 lb-ft engine. Judging by the photos, it even uses the same forward section of the exhaust as the Africa.
It looks like the Hawk 11 even goes so far as to share the same steel framework as the Africa Twin and NT1100, and the swingarm looks like it’s cribbed directly from the touring-focused NT. Similarly, the NT’s 17-inch wheels also make an appearance here. For a sportier ride, Honda saw fit to equip redesigned Showa forks and larger Nissin calipers. The bodywork, obviously, is all new, but much of this bike is built from the parts bin, which means it’s an easy shoe-in for production right as it sits.
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It’s an interesting choice to build a throwback aesthetic sport tourer from the bones of an adventure tourer, but leave it to Honda to continue to make bold choices. The engine is a good one, if not a particularly inspiring one, and the shape is totally awesome, while promoting an upright and comfortable riding position. It isn’t going to set any speed records, but it’ll look hella cool without killing your wallet or back.
Honda hasn’t yet announced anything really about this bike, dropping little more than photographs around the web. We don’t know yet which markets will get the Hawk 11, but it’s a pretty good bet that it’ll end up in the U.S. market. Pricing is a total unknown at the moment, but we can make some educated guesses. The Africa Twin starts at $14,499, for example, so I’d wager the Hawk 11 will end up costing around that, maybe slightly more.
Honda already sells a smattering of upright naked sports bikes under the lineup name of “neo-sports cafe” and this looks like it would fit right in with them. I really liked my time with the CB650R, and would love a revamp of that bike with a bullet fairing. If you want something with a bigger and more touring-focused ergonomic layout, then maybe the Hawk is the bike for you. I look forward to swinging a leg over one soon.