Honda Hawk 11 motorcycle blends heritage-laced style with modern tech

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Honda’s motorcycle division is keeping busy. While its car-making counterpart was inaugurating a wind tunnel in Ohio, Honda used the Osaka Motorcycle Show in Japan to unveil a number of new models including the sporty Hawk 11 and a new version of the Dax.

One of the Hawk 11’s most striking styling cues is the front cowl, which is shaped like the unit fitted to race motorcycles in the 1960s. It incorporates a round LED headlight and a small windscreen, and round mirrors on thin mounts poke out from either side. The rest of the Hawk 11 is pretty bare, so the engine is exposed for everyone to see. It’s a look that’s inspired by older bikes without being full-on retro.

Although the design is new, the underpinnings are familiar. Enthusiast website Motorcycle News reports that the Hawk 11 is an evolution of the NT1100, a relatively big bike related to the Africa Twin and developed for the open road. Parts like the frame, the swingarm, and the 17-inch wheels come directly from the NT1100 parts bin. It’s an exercise in parts-sharing that shows just how modular a motorcycle can be.

Power comes from a 1.1-liter two-cylinder engine. Horsepower and torque figures haven’t been announced yet, but the twin develops 101 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque in the Africa Twin. Water-cooled, it spins the rear wheel via a six-speed manual transmission.

Honda will release additional details about the Hawk 11 in the coming months. As of writing, the model has only been confirmed for the Japanese market. The company made no mention of American availability, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the bike makes its way here.

Moving further down the two-wheeler spectrum, Honda also announced that the Dax (shown above) will make an unexpected comeback for the 2023 model year. Straddling the line between a moped and a motorcycle, it stands out with a retro-inspired design, a seat long enough to fit two passengers, and a single-cylinder, 125-cubic-centimeter air-cooled engine rated at nine horsepower. Pricing for the modern-day Dax hasn’t been announced yet, and it’s too early to tell whether it will be sold in America — one of the original model’s biggest markets.

Also called ST-Series, the Dax was offered in numerous configurations from 1969 to 2000. Bringing it back makes sense: The nameplate had lain dormant for the past 22 years, but demand hasn’t disappeared and the design has been copied by several Chinese companies.

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