Following the announcement that a new Honda Africa Twin can be released in 2020, James Oxley seems at what we will anticipate from the newest incarnation of the big-selling adventure bike.
Africa Twin is a moniker that has rightfully earned its place in motorcycling folklore.
The unique XRV650 was inspired by Honda’s Dakar-winning motorcycles and carved out a popularity as a globe conquering machine. It turned a firm favourite with motorbike travellers because of its capability and reliability as a long-distance tourer. That was until it was discontinued in 2003.
So, in 2016, it was no surprise that Honda selected to revive the Africa Twin model when it launched a new adventure bike to tackle the likes of the mighty BMW R 1200 GS. The outcome was the CRF1000L, a brand-new machine from the wheels up.
It was a bold transfer, and one not without dangers. That distinctive Africa Twin emblem positioned on any new motorbike was sure to make expectations soar. It had to be good, excellent. Briefly, Honda nailed it, producing an outstanding machine that was as snug tackling desert piste because it was continental street touring, or commuting in busy city streets.
Admittedly, not everybody was glad, as is the case with the launch of any new bike. There have been grumbles from some quarters that the brand new Africa Twin wasn’t off-road targeted sufficient, being too huge, heavy, and that includes suspension that may backside out if pushed it too arduous.
Perversely, some individuals complained it wasn’t road-focused sufficient, with less climate safety than its rivals and an excessive amount of suspension travel, resulting in obscure steering together with that 21-inch entrance wheel.
Nevertheless, no bike is perfect and Honda didn’t got down to design a devoted filth bike, simply as it didn’t funnel its analysis and improvement yen into the last word adventure tourer. As an alternative, the design idea for the Africa Twin was ‘go anyplace’.
It produced an outstanding do-it-all bike, one that’s simply as comfortable blasting across France and scratching around the Alps as it is tackling sections of the Trans Euro Path, or one of the USA’s Back Country Discovery Routes.
It’s a machine that is probably not the perfect at something but aims to be the perfect at doing all the things. The last word journey bike you may say, although there’ll be plenty of BMW and KTM house owners able to shoot down that relatively daring declare.
The CRF1000L Africa Twin proved successful for Honda, and it was followed up in 2017 with the revealing of the beefier Adventure Sports activities version. This featured a much bigger gasoline tank, more ground clearance, a better touring display and more suspension travel, addressing a few of the considerations raised by the unique CRF1000L’s detractors. It additionally seemed one million dollars.
Each versions of the Africa Twin enabled Honda to make an enormous splash in the adventure bike world, promoting 87,000 bikes between them and gaining a robust foothold in what’s a fiercely aggressive market. Nevertheless, up to now couple of years the competitors has hit back, with a slew of latest and improved bikes vying in your hard-earned cash.
The likes of the KTM 790 Journey and the Yamaha Ténéré 700 have raised the bar in the mid-sized phase, while machines like the brand new BMW R 1250 GS and its Adventure variant, in addition to the Ducati 1260 Enduro, have packed huge adventure bikes with more energy, more know-how and more refinement than ever earlier than.
Briefly, the ‘new’ Africa Twin models have been in peril of getting left behind already. Honda in fact was absolutely conscious of this (it’s not the world’s best-selling motorbike manufacturer for nothing), and has introduced the launch of latest Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports activities fashions in 2020.
The bikes are because of be unveiled to the general public for the first time at the EICMA motorbike present in Milan this November. Both machines will function a raft of upgrades, together with a rise in engine measurement and power, and all the signs are pointing in the direction of vital enhancements to what have been already extraordinarily succesful bikes.
So, without additional ado, this is what you possibly can anticipate from the newest incarnation of the Honda Africa Twin in 2020 (we’ll take a look at the updates to the Journey Sports in a separate story).
The large news is the Africa Twin’s parallel twin engine has been given a bigger displacement for 2020, up from 998cc to 1,084cc. Consequently, peak energy increases from 94bhp to 101bhp. Peak torque goes from 99Nm to 105Nm at 6,250rpm. Throttle by wire remains.
This small hike in energy will partially be to cater to new Euro 5 emission requirements that come into pressure in 2020. By growing the engine capability of the Africa Twin, Honda can off-set any power loss brought on by the new restrictions.
With this in mind, the modifications to the engine symbolize an evolution not a revolution. The Africa Twin’s parallel twin is a peach of a powerplant, providing clean power delivery and loads of torque, although it’s no secret that the CRF1000L lacked a bit of oomph – there was sufficient power there, nevertheless it wasn’t probably the most thrilling.
There are four rider modes, with the previously out there city, tour, and gravel settings being joined by a new off-road mode.
Honda says the brand new CRF1000L has a ‘sharply renewed give attention to off-road core potential’. It’s design and styling are slimmer, more compact, and more aggressive than ever before, including a shorter fastened display designed for off-road driving.
It appears clear that the previous model’s all-rounder credentials on and off-road might nicely have been sacrificed to offer the standard mannequin Africa Twin higher efficiency in the filth. Is that this the suitable strategy for a motorcycle that has proved a well-liked street tourer? Solely time will tell, but robust sales this yr of the off-road targeted KTM 790 Adventure R and the Yamaha Ténéré 700 recommend Honda are onto one thing.
The tail of the bike has been made slimmer along with the seat which is 40mm narrower. The form of the seat has additionally been redesigned to make it easier to mover round on the bike, a function often discovered in additional off-road targeted motorcycles.
There’s additionally a change to the height of the handlebars which have been raised 22.5mm to provide a more upright driving place while standing.
One grievance made about earlier Africa Twin models was that they featured a one-piece frame, quite than having a bolted-on sub body. This meant should you have been to crash and twist the frame, there was more probability of the bike being a write off. I know this for a reality because it occurred to me just three weeks after shopping for a model new Africa Twin Adventure Sports activities. The bike was indeed a write off.
For 2020, Honda have addressed this by giving the bike a bolted on aluminium sub frame. In truth, Honda says the power and rigidity of the body was utterly re-examined to offer higher performance on and off street. This consists of more rigidity on the steering head to offer higher feel for entrance end grip.
General, 1.8kg has been shaved off the load of the frame.
Measurement and weight
The Africa Twin has trimmed 5kg of fat general, taking its moist weight right down to 226kg. The seat peak stays between 850mm and 870mm, though lower and higher seats can be found as extras. Ground clearance is unchanged at 250mm.
The tank measurement remains at 18.8l. The bike rolls on a 21-inch chrome steel spoked entrance wheel and an 18-inch rear, which use tubes.
Regardless of seemingly aiming the Africa Twin on the off-road adventure bike rider, there are many features and creature comforts that recommend it is going to proceed to be a strong touring bike. These embrace cruise management as normal, a 6.5-inch touchscreen TFT dash (usable with gloves), a USB charging point, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Hand guards additionally come a regular as well as daytime operating lights that routinely modify to the ambient mild. The LED headlights have been mounted barely greater than the previous model to improve visibility.
Technological wizardry measures wheel velocity to routinely cancel indicators, slightly than the often-frustrating technique of merely relying on a timer.
The bike also features wheelie management and four levels of traction management, with three levels of engine braking so that you can modify.
If an automated motorbike is your factor, Honda is promising an improved DCT system on the brand new Africa Twin, together with incline detection that adapts gear modifications relying on the gradient of the hill you’re on.
There’s additionally a new cornering detection function which recognises the bike goes around a flip and adjusts the gear shift programme for probably the most pure gear change.
While the Africa Twin Journey Sports activities emitted a primal growl that made our hairs stand on end, the usual version sounded just a little muted. Honda will tackle this with the new model by adding a variable exhaust control valve to the muffler to create an improved low-rpm sound, and in addition improve high-rpm performance.
The 2020 Africa Twin features adjustable Showa suspension with 230mm journey at the entrance and 220mm on the rear.
The press launch of the brand new Honda Africa Twin and the Africa Twin Journey Sports is due to happen in Sardinia in the coming days and we’ll be there to place it by means of its paces. You’ll be capable of learn the complete evaluate in the November/December concern of Adventure Bike Rider journal.
|Sort||SOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke Eight-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam|
|Bore & Stroke||92mm x 81.5mm|
|Max. Power Output||75kW at 7,500rpm|
|Max. Torque||105Nm at 6,250rpm|
|Oil Capability||Four.8/4.three (5.2/4.7 DCT)|
|Gasoline Tank Capacity||18.8L|
|CO2 Emissions||112g/km MT
|Gasoline Consumption||Four.9L/100km (20.4km/L) MT
4.8L/100km (20.8km/L) DCT
|Battery Capacity||12V-6Ah Li-ion battery (20hr)|
|ACG Output||0.49 kW/5,000rpm|
|Clutch Sort||Moist, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch
DCT – 2 moist multiplate clutches with coil springs
|Transmission Sort||6 velocity guide (6 velocity DCT)|
|Sort||Semi double cradle|
|Dimensions (L´W´H)||2330mm x 960mm x 1395mm|
|Seat Peak||850/870mm (low seat choice 825mm, excessive seat choice 895mm)|
|Kerb Weight||226kg (DCT 236kg)|
|Sort Front||Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and DF changes, 230mm stroke|
|Sort Rear||Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Hyperlink with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping changes, 220 mm rear wheel travel|
|Sort Entrance||21M/C x 2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim|
|Sort Rear||18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim|
|Rim Measurement Entrance||21″|
|Rim Measurement Rear||18″|
|Tyres Entrance||90/90-21M/C 54H (tube sort)
(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /
Metzler Karoo Road)
|Tyres Rear||150/70R18M/C 70H (tube sort)
(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /
AX41T Metzler Karoo Road)
|ABS System Sort||2 channel with IMU
Selectable ABS MODE with on-road and off-road setting
|Sort Front||310mm twin wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metallic pads|
|Sort Rear||256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metallic pads. 2-channel with rear ABS OFF mode.|
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS|
|Instruments||LCD Meter, TFT 6.5inch touch panel multi info show|
|Safety System||Immobiliser, safety alarm (elective)|
|Electrics||Daytime operating lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple Carplay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop sign, IMU, HSTC and wheelie control)|
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