With or without the COVID-19 pandemic, life goes on for the global motorcycle industry. In fact, instead of busying themselves separating fact from fiction regarding the global health crisis, the motorcycle media are tuning into rumors about upcoming two-wheeled products. Like the saying goes: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Speaking of fire, Team Red seems to be a hot topic right now with all the talk going around that it is currently working on the 1,100cc Twin-based Rebel. If this big displacement Rebel turns out to be true, then it would lock horns with cruisers from Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Triumph—models which are already in the Philippine market.
Reports consistently say that the retro-styled Rebel 1100 would likely inherit the 1,082cc parallel-twin mill of the Honda Africa Twin unveiled in September 2019. What makes the Africa Twin a standout among adventure bikes is its dual-clutch transmission that allows clutchless gear shifting, so it would not be surprising to see this functional feature on the Rebel 1100 as well.
To match the armory of the premium cruisers, Honda must see to it that the big Rebel features an exciting electronic package with things like traction control, cornering ABS, a quick shifter, slipper-assist technology, and so on. Currently, the Rebel 250cc and 500cc are available in several markets, and both variants have made an impact thanks to their classic styling, bare-bones features, and robust engineering.
If this project is indeed being pursued by Honda, we will likely see the finished product at the EICMA show in Milan in November 2020. Let’s just cross our fingers that the COVID-19 pandemic will subside soon so that this annual motorbike exhibit can stick to its original schedule.