Motorcycles

New 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 designed to relax and excite while cruising

The 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 is a new addition to the Honda powersports lineup.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Rebel 1100 is a new addition to the company's Cruiser family, joining the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500. It's more powerful and pricier than its Rebel stablemates. The bike was designed with a "relax and excite" theme, which is meant to appeal to a variety of rider types.

It has a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio. The motorcycle is powered by a 1,084cc twin-cyclone engine. That's the same power plant that is in Honda's African Twin. Honda offers the engine with an available dual-clutch transmission (DCT) that allows for automatic or manual shifting. Operators can change gears via handlebar-mounted buttons. They can also choose between Standard, Sport, and Rain drive modes.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Antilock brakes are standard. Cruise control is available.

"With the evolution of cruiser culture, today's rider demands a motorcycle that expands on the capabilities that have traditionally been possible in the segment," said Lee Edmunds, Senior Manager of Powersports Marketing for American Honda. "The all-new Rebel 1100 fits the bill, providing cruiser customers with technologies—including DCT—and riding experiences that were previously unavailable in the category. It's truly a motorcycle for the modern cruiser rider."

Riders sit at seat height of 27.5 inches with the engine allowing a 35-degree bank angle. The bike's suspension includes a 43 millimeter conventional fork with a cartridge-type damper, and twin Showa shocks with piggyback reservoirs, while the front brake has a monobloc, four-piston, radial-mount caliper with a floating rotor.

Models equipped with the DCT weigh just over 500 pounds.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Buyers can customize their bike thanks to the company's roster of accessories that range from minimalist to touring-focused equipment.

The 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 is scheduled to arrive at dealerships in January. Purchasers can choose from a Metallic Black or Bordeaux Red Metallic paint job. The Rebel 1100 with a manual transmission sells for $9,299 while the DCT version has a starting price of $9,999.

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The Polaris Slingshot is one of the most unique vehicles on sale today.

Polaris

The Polaris Slingshot is an interesting beast. It is, by far, one of the most unique vehicles you can buy in the U.S. today, though depending on where you live, it may require a motorcycle license. However, in most states, you can buy and drive one just like a normal car, albeit one that should only be driven while wearing a full-face helmet.

I recently spent a week with a 2021 Polaris Slingshot R and came away from the experience more than a little conflicted. On one hand, it's too much for me on a personal level, as I think it's too wildly styled and costs too much money. On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore the charm of the thing. It's loud, too quick for its own good, and a totally crazy driving experience that lands somewhere between being a complete riot and terrifying, depending on how and where it's driven.


2021 Polaris Slingshot There's no ignoring this when it's next to you in traffic.Chris Teague


However, for many, the Slingshot remains a complete mystery, so here are three things you need to know.

It's Loud

No, I don't mean loud in the sense that you can hear it coming – though that's part of the deal, too. I mean loud in the visual sense. Like, 1990s ugly sweater loud. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the one thing that isn't up for debate is that the Slingshot is eye-catching. Add a couple of people wearing full-face helmets and it's nearly impossible to look away from the thing.

It's a Crazy Driving Experience

It's true that this isn't a motorcycle, but the way the Slingshot puts its passengers' rear ends just a couple of inches off the road surface and not all that far away from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine creates one lively experience. Every bump, crack, and sound can be felt and heard, though it's not unpleasant at all and adds to the experience. Couple that with the open-air driving experience and giant tires communicating it all into the steering wheel and the Slingshot is a wild ride.

It's Surprisingly Quick

I tested the Slingshot R, which is one of the flashier and more expensive models Polaris makes. Its in-house four-cylinder engine checks in at 2.0 liters and delivers 203 horsepower, 144 pound-feet of torque, and a whole lot of noise. The advertised 0-60 mph time for the R is 4.9 seconds, which is quicker than some sports sedans, though it feels much more violent and faster than that in person. The optional Autodrive five-speed gearbox is an automated manual, which means that it will shift itself when asked, but is happiest with the driver firing off shifts with the steering wheel-mounted paddles.



The Slingshot is one of the few vehicles that defies almost everything to be what it is. It doesn't make sense for people who want a motorcycle and it's not particularly appealing to someone wanting a convertible or roadster. You have to be in the market for a Slingshot to end up buying a Slingshot, and for those that are, they've never been better than they are now.

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.


2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.


2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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