Honda NT … | Best Sport Touring Motorcycle Head-to-Head
Looking for a new sport tourer this year? Or… you just want to know what’s the best bike available right now and like our content? Well, first of all, thank you, very kind of you – and second, here is our last one-on-one comparison!
Before we start, if you want a full, in-depth review of any of these bikes, we have launch reviews both on site and on YouTube: Yamaha Tracer 9 GT and Honda NT1100.
Now let’s put them face to face and see which one ranks first as the best official Visordown sport touring motorcycle. Watch the video here, or read on…
Face-to-face with athletes: Honda NT1100 vs Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
Both bikes borrow an engine elsewhere in their respective ranges, with the NT1100 taking the known 1084cc parallel twin of the Africa Twin, and the Tracer 9 GT housing the famous triple CP3 of the MT-09 – where the Tracer was “born. “as an MT-09 variant in 2014 (but has now really taken off).
The NT1100 has a 270º crank, delivering peak power figures of just over 100 hp at 7,500 rpm and 104 Nm (76.7 lb-ft) at 6,250 rpm. It can certainly push with its 270º crank – but ride with the DCT in its automatic setting and you’ll often find it excessively smooth and calm. Don’t get me wrong, thousands of pilots will attest that the Twin is a great tool as seen in the Africa Twin, but catch it on low revs and you may find yourself chugging until the revs go up, where you find the mid-range of traction.
While the Tracer 9 GT has a slightly smaller 890cc triple CP3 (or crossplane) engine, it spins higher and delivers 117 bhp at 10,000 rpm, 93 Nm (68.5 lb-ft) at 7,000 rpm. It can really reduce horsepower effortlessly, and that triple engine is a lot of fun to drive. With different ride modes to choose from, you can effortlessly navigate two-on-one with luggage for a relaxing tour, or you can get inside and put the Bridgestone Battlax T32 tires to the test. It all starts to seem a bit lary and unreal fun.
Tracer 9 GT takes it, for me.
You are positioned straight and neutral on both, and a nice place for long stints on the highways or off-piste. Simply put, both are extremely easy to fly.
Despite the NT’s 238kg weight (or 248kg with the DCT installed), the forward feel is superb in the turns, planted and secure in all conditions, with most of the weight carried low on the bike, the semi-double cradle steel frame with bolted -on aluminum subframe. 43mm Showa big piston fork with preload adjustment (150mm stroke) and one-piece aluminum swingarm combined with a Showa pro-link damper, preload adjustment and 150mm travel.
Shorter riders will get by with the 820mm seat, it’s versatile and stable, and the radially mounted 4-piston dual calipers with 310mm discs up front (256mm rear) on all 17 wheels are superbly tuned, it is smooth and effortless to ride without excessive diving under braking.
Switching to the Tracer, it is certainly lighter and “sportier”. Riders’ legs started to cramp at the end of our 2 day Wales test drive, but it has an 810-825mm adjustable seat to accommodate the rider’s preferences. The wet weight is 220 kg and the Deltabox CF die-cast aluminum frame allows for a nimble character.
The swingarm is 64mm longer than the previous generation for greater stability, it features a 6-axis IMU with tilt-sensitive driving aids, but the centerpiece really is the semi-active suspension. KYB. Fully adjustable front and rear, 130mm front and 137mm rear travel, it will be automatically and perfectly configured for you every time you jump on it. The 17-inch wheels feature a dual 298mm front disc and a single 245mm rear disc, and braking is precise with the forged wheels.
With a touring hat on, the NT1100 trumps handling with smooth suspension and braking.
You have an 18 liter tank on the Tracer 9 GT, which gives you a range of just over 200 miles, heated 10-step grips to keep you warm, and hard side cases using a fully floating rack system. which will fit a full face helmet. An almost infamous 3.5-inch TFT instrument panel displays basic information in LCD format. While the adjustable screen is okay, but can be a bit windy even when hidden behind. It’s two little worries.
The NT1100 has a larger 20.4-liter tank, has a claimed range of 250 miles to empty. The 6.5-inch touchscreen is simply a delight, has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, and a dedicated “Africa Twin” screen underneath that always transmits your speed. Be careful, the saddlebags are small and will not quite fit a large helmet. The adjustable screen does its job well, creating a weatherproof cocoon with 5-step heated grips keeping your mittens warm.
Two-handed riding on either machine promises supreme comfort. Two slightly different approaches, but I think the NT1100 is just pointing it here – the TFT screen is a game changer that borders it for me, and it’s a bit more comfortable over long distances.
Electronics and specifications
As mentioned, the Tracer 9 GT features supreme electronics with a six-axis IMU and semi-active suspension, high-low quickshifter, LED cornering lights and cruise control. It’s a spaceship in every way.
Honda’s tourer features the unique and popular dual-clutch transmission setup, which can shift into manual or automatic mode depending on your needs and do a quality job – shifting gears faster than a quickshifter. could never dream. It has cruise control, but no six-axis IMUs are taken from the Africa Twin – Honda did not find this necessary.
Tracer 9 GT wins in the electronic magic category.
Style and fun factor
These 2 categories are a bit of a personal bag: fun factor, style.
Colors: the Honda is available in gray, white or black – very discreet. The Yamaha is available in gray and black “Icon performance” for the R1M, in gray-green “tech kamo” and in red. Lary. For style, I simply prefer the Tracer 9 GT, period.
In terms of fun, both do a great job on the roads, with the Tracer 9 GT keeping one foot in the lary box for a sporty and thrilling ride. The Honda tourer is a lot smarter, still a lot of fun… but not as fun (to me) as the Yamaha.
Based on current prices, the base model 2022 NT1100 costs £ 11,999, with DCT it is £ 12,999.
The 2021 Tracer 9 GT costs £ 12,300 – for comparison, the base Tracer model (with significantly fewer bells and whistles) costs £ 10,300.
Of course you can dive into the accessories and bonuses, but I think we have to get a win for the NT1100, thus beating the GT on the base price if you don’t go for the heavy but powerful DCT option. . But you get what you pay for with the Tracer 9 GT.
Scoring the points, it looks like the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT is our winner in sport touring – and to be fair, I would pick her as my personal winner. But it’s incredibly close, both platforms offer some serious touring capability – and if you’re in the market, only a try of both will give you the answer you’re looking for.
You could easily argue that the Honda NT1100 is the better tourer if you appreciate that little bonus of comfort, DCT and a better screen!
But, our winner today is the almighty Yamaha Tracer 9 GT.
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