Honda is continuing to expand their modern-retro segment, or as they call it ‘Neo-Sports”, with the addition of the 2022 Honda Hawk 11.
The release of the Hawk 11 marks the return of the Hawk name to the Honda range. The original Hawk GT, also known as the NT650, Bros or RC31, was released in 1988 and was one of the first modern naked bikes to hit the streets. It pre-dated the Ducati Monster, which many consider the world’s pre-eminent modern naked motorcycle and although it didn’t have quite the same impact as the Monster, it still amassed a cult-like following. The 1988 Hawk GT was powered by a 650cc v-twin producing 58 hp and 42 Nm of torque, used an aluminium box perimeter frame and featured Honda’s pro-arm single-sided swingarm.
Despite the similar naming convention, the 2022 Hawk 11 has little in common with the original Hawk GT. While that may be disappointing news for GT fans, there’s still plenty to like about this new Honda.
Back in 2017 Honda unveiled a concept motorcycle named the CB4 Interceptor. That bike appeared to use the same bones and engine as the CB1000R Neo Sports Cafe which was released the following year. Side by side the Hawk 11 and CB4 have clearly been penned by the same artist. They share similar lines and bodywork but unlike the Interceptor, the Hawk 11 is headed for production.
While the CB4 concept utilised a 998cc, 142 bhp Fireblade-derived motor, Honda has fitted the Hawk 11 with a twin. This is one of the only things the new Hawk has in common with the old one, although rather than a v-twin, this engine is arranged in parallel.
The Hawk 11 engine is in fact the same water-cooled, 1100cc motor that first appeared in the Honda Africa Twin. The powerplant has proven itself a capable counterpart for dual sport riders, but this is the first time it’s been used in a pure sports bike platform. This doesn’t mean an increase in performance though. According to Honda Japan’s website, the engine specifications are identical to the Africa Twins which sets it up with 102 hp and 104Nm, which is about the equivalent of the Retro Sports Kawasaki Z900RS.
It’s not just the engine that the Hawk 11 borrows from other models in Honda’s current range. The bike’s semi-double-cradle chassis appears to be derived from the latest NT1100 Sports Tourer as do the twin 17-inch wheels, alloy swingarm, exhaust headers, rims and brakes. The Hawk 11 isn’t purely a parts bin special though.
The Hawk 11 features plenty of unique equipment that gives it a character of its own. For starters the bodywork is unique.
At the pointy end of the bike, you get a retro bullet nose style fairing similar to that found on the MV Agusta Superveloce and Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR. The fairing assembly incorporates an LED headlight with a halo running light, the front end turn signals and a pair of retro-looking rearview mirrors.
The bike’s fuel tank has a decidedly modern look about it with lines that flow on from the front fairing. A strong vertical line at the rear of the tank divides the bike at the subframe. Behind that line you’ll find a svelte seat and tail unit that offers just enough room for 2. To keep things looking clean the LED brake light has been incorporated into the tail unit and the turn signals and license plate sit on their own assembly above the rear wheel.
Other highlights of the 2022 Honda Hawk 11 equipment list include clip-on style handlebars and a large single inverted liquid crystal gauge with 80s-style graphics. The forks are inverted Showa items and there’s a single mono-shock at the rear, mounted using Honda’s pro-link system. As for the bike’s tech offering, there are 3 riding modes plus the ability to configure a custom configuration. There’s ABS as standard and Honda’s selectable Torque Control that reduces rear wheel slip.
To complement the release of the Hawk 11 Honda is also offering customers a range of riding gear and accessories. Through collaborations with Japanese aftermarket experts Moriwaki and Daytona, the range includes both street and touring accessories that can be installed to tailor the Hawk 11 to each rider’s individual taste.
The Hawk 11 weighs 214 kg and has a low seat height of 820mm. The seat height is most likely a product of the fact that Honda only has plans to release it in Japan, but if it remains this way for other markets it would make the Hawk 11 an ideal choice for female or shorter riders wanting to get into the modern retro scene.
The 2022 Honda Hawk 11 will be available in 2 colour ways of ‘pearl hawk’s eye blue’ or a sinister graphite black and silver finish. Honda has set the release date for Thursday, September 29th with an RRP of 1,397,000 yen or approx $10,500 USD. If you want to hear the Hawk 11 in action check out the promo video below…