To say the Honda Hawk 11 is eagerly anticipated by many around the world would be an understatement. Yet, of course, there are a lot of obstacles to be overcome between now and its September 29, 2022 release date. For one, that’s its release date in Japan—not anywhere else. That leads to point two, which is that Honda has only confirmed a Japanese market release so far.
Will the Hawk 11 remain another in a long line of theoretically awesome bikes that we don’t get? That’s not clear at this point. Full specifications for the bike came out in mid-April, 2022. We knew going in that it was powered by the same 1,082cc parallel twin that powers the Africa Twin and NT1100, but that’s when we learned that, at least in Japan, Honda only plans to release the Hawk 11 with a six-speed gearbox and no optional DCT.
Fast-forward to mid-June, 2022, and Honda has just officially opened its new, dedicated Hawk 11 official webpage to build excitement for the bike. It’s also invited Japanese moto journalists to test out the bike in recent time, and you can see their videos beginning to appear on YouTube, like this one.
Now, of course, the narration is in Japanese, and the only available subtitles in other languages are YouTube’s famously unreliable auto-generated ones. Still, you get a good look at and onboard experience of riding the Hawk 11 in this video, whether you can fully understand what the reviewer is saying or not. You get to hear how it sounds, appreciate the cockpit layout and the display’s visibility in overcast conditions, and even see how it does at accomplishing a U-turn on a stretch of two-lane road. (Well. It does well.)
Obviously, even reviewer opinions are subjective, but the overall impression is that the ergonomics, handling, and especially the sound are all pretty good. This reviewer found himself desperately wishing for a quick shifter, which unfortunately isn’t even available as an optional extra on this bike. He also said that the cowl, while very stylish, didn’t really do a lot to block the wind. Also, the combination of the cowl and the high fuel tank meant that tucking to get his head down below the cowl wasn’t the most practical riding pursuit.
Gallery: Honda Hawk 11 Website
Still, it’s clear that Honda is working hard to build anticipation for the Hawk 11 in what is, so far, the only market where it’s confirmed for release. If and when any plans to release it elsewhere are announced, we’ll be sure to let you know.