10 Things Every Motorcycle Enthusiast Should Know About The Honda Hawk 11 Café Racer

We currently see more models of adventure bikes on the trails (and highways) than any other type of motorcycle. There is also still a great appetite for heritage motorcycles of all shapes and sizes and most manufacturers have now combined the two categories with heritage adventure motorcycles.



While other manufacturers have added a heritage touch to their new Adventure bikes, but HondaThe approach of is a little different, instead of making an 80s themed Africa Twin they gave us a complete cafe racer made from Africa Twin parts.

It’s a novel approach, but it’s an approach that we think works quite well thanks to the fact that they resisted the temptation to create a unique concept bike and instead opted to offer something clearly ready for production.

Related: 10 Things Only True Enthusiasts Know About The Honda VFR750R RC30

ten Africa Twin Engine

At its heart is the parallel twin of the much-loved Africa Twin. That’s not a bad thing because it’s proven and very affordable to maintain.

No specs have been released, but we expect them to keep it in the same relatively soft state of tune, meaning it will make around 100 horsepower. They will most likely leave the performance upgrades to the aftermarket.

9 Not a sports bike

The engine and frame are from the Africa Twin Adventure bike, the wheels, suspension and rear swingarm are all from the NT1100 touring bike.

That’s all a fair bit of weight, the two bikes it shares its components with tip the scales at around 500 pounds wet, so while it should be slightly lighter, don’t expect much real-world performance thanks to its poor power-to-weight ratio.

Related: Here’s Why The Yamaha XSR900 Is The Most Underrated Cafe Racer Ever

8 Neo-Sports Cafe Racer

Honda already has its own line of cafe racer bikes and this will make an interesting addition to the two 4-cylinder bikes already on offer.

There is no doubt that the middleweight segment is where all the growth is happening right now and it will slot nicely between the 650 and the more powerful 4-cylinder CB1000R.

seven Heritage bandwagon

Although this is billed as an “all new” motorcycle, as mentioned earlier, there’s literally nothing new or innovative about it.

It’s Honda bowing to the public’s demand for a more affordable retro bike, they’ll probably test the waters for about a year and then launch it internationally if deemed profitable. If the numbers don’t add up for them, we may never hear from them again.

6 Suspension And Brakes

Obviously this is something not stolen from the Africa Twin, but rather the NT1100 (above) and then tuned to meet the specific needs of this edition bike heritage.

Honda relies on its regular supplier Nissin (which supplies most Japanese brands) to handle braking duties, which should be sufficient for the bike’s relatively moderate performance.

Related: The difference between drums, discs and air brakes

5 Back to basics approach

It won’t be a fast bike like other sportier editions, but it should be affordable.

Honda has followed a minimalist approach throughout the design, and we can only hope that means it delivers more for its money.

4 Comfortable ergonomics

The longer platform provides a more stable ride and an upright, comfortable riding position that will suit most riders, regardless of height.

It’s hard to say without a real-world test, but we doubt the handling will be anything out of the ordinary, but it’ll be more of a cruiser than a canyon chaser.


3 Unusual platform

Their choice of platform is clearly a way to introduce another bike into this segment without actually spending money on research and development.

The Japanese market will serve as a testbed and if all goes according to plan, they will have a new bike at virtually no cost to the company, and a bike that will require no retooling to produce.

Related: 10 Things We Love About The Honda Africa Twin

2 Polarizing Looks

The design just doesn’t flow. It just seems like the designers looked at too many different bikes from the 80s and 90s and ended up including elements that do not necessarily complement each other. The end result will please some and put off others.

In fact, we like it a lot, but there are sure to be some who don’t, and we suspect purists will hate it, especially when they find out it has a parallel-twin engine.

1 Ready for production

The beauty of this particular concept is that it’s not really a concept, it’s an innovative way to use the resources already available to create something totally different.

We hope to see more bikes like this, where mass-market parts are pulled from a parts bin to create limited-run or limited-edition bikes that might not appeal to a wider market. This is less about the bike itself and more about a lesson in how manufacturers should shake up their product line to offer niche products without losing big bucks.

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