Honda’s AfricaTwin Adventure Sports bike has undergone a major evolution with its sights now set more firmly than ever on the far horizon, as a comfortable, long-haul, go-anywhere adventure machine. Engine capacity is increased, boosting power and torque, with EURO5 compliance, while weight is reduced by 5kg.
A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit now manages riding modes and HSTC as well as three additional systems – Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control, plus new cornering detection functionality on the DCT version. Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERA™) is also now an option. A full colour 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen incorporates Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity. Dual LED headlights feature Daytime Running Lights (DRL) technology and Cornering Lights. Cruise control, heated grips and an ACC charger are also fitted as standard.
It’s been over three decades since the Honda XRV650 Africa Twin first rolled into Europe and while the motorcycle that now bears its name – launched in 2016 as the CRF1000L Africa Twin – was a brand-new motorcycle from the wheels up, it fully inherited the essence and spirit of what made the original so popular.
It was the balance between power and weight that was at the heart of the original bike’s appeal, just as it was for the new model. With its unique, athletic appearance, an enjoyable, usable engine and capable, comfortable chassis, the CRF1000L Africa Twin proved itself a true modern-day all-rounder and has been hugely popular with round-the-world adventurers, around-town commuters and weekend tourers alike.
2018 saw the Africa Twin, in both manual transmission and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) form, receive Throttle By Wire (TBW) control plus 3 riding modes, expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) options, as well as intake and exhaust development for improved engine response and sound. The platform also expanded: the Africa Twin Adventure Sports – with the same updates but featuring improved wind protection, greater tank range and longer-travel suspension – extended the machine even further into long-range off-road territory. Building on strong European (and global) demand for both models, with over 87,000 Africa Twins sold worldwide since its 2016 re-launch, 2020 is set to be a landmark year.
The CRF1100L Africa Twin* is comprehensively redrawn with an aggressive, compact rally style and concentrated off-road focus. Meanwhile, the touring comfort, technology and all-round capability of the new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports are significantly enhanced – with the added option of Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERA™). Both models also pack more power and torque into a lighter overall package – in keeping with the first principles set out all those years ago.
The new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports shares the frame, engine and riding position of the off-road focused CRF1100L Africa Twin, but has a role very much of its own: to offer riders real continent-crossing long-haul ability and practicality both on and off-road. This comes in the shape of a larger 24.8L fuel tank, extended wind protection (from both the fairing and fairing side panels), height-adjustable screen, large engine sump guard, aluminum rear carrier plus tubeless wheels and tyres. ACC charger and heated grips are also standard fit.
For optimum suspension damping front and rear the Africa Twin Adventure Sports is also available with Showa EERA™ as an option. Four default modes – SOFT, MID, HARD and OFF-ROAD – cover every type of riding situation, and there’s a USER mode for further fine-tuning. Rear spring preload can also be adjusted while stationary.
Just like the 2020 Africa Twin, its engine produces 7% more peak power and 6% more peak torque and is much stronger everywhere in the rev-range compared to the previous design. It’s also EURO5 compliant. The frame too has been revised and now features a bolt-on aluminum sub frame; the swing arm is aluminum and based on that of the CRF450R. And at the center of the Africa Twin Adventure Sports, the addition of a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) allows control not only of the 7-level HSTC but also (new for 2020) 3-level Wheelie Control, Cornering ABS (with off-road setting) Rear Lift Control and DCT cornering detection.
Dual LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are highly visible, improving safety, and cruise control is standard-fit. The Africa Twin Adventure Sports also features three-stage Cornering Lights – also managed by the IMU – that automatically adjust the field of illumination depending on the lean angle. Tailored for control and comfort, the riding position features a slimmer-section seat, which is also set 50mm lower than before. A full color Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen offers immersive engagement with the machine’s systems (including the Showa EERA™) plus Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity.
Designed for the long-haul, the expanded front fairing offers plenty of wind and weather protection, multiplied by the 5-level height adjustable screen. The Africa Twin Adventure Sports now shares its seat height with the Africa Twin at 850-870mm (down considerably from the 900-920mm of the previous model). The tail section is slimmer and the seat itself is 40mm narrower, for easier ground reach; its shape has also been carefully contoured to allow easier back and forth movement. Low 825-845mm and high 875-895mm seat options are available as accessories.
The riding triangle is now common with the Africa Twin itself, giving an upright riding position and comfortable control. Large knuckle guards are standard, as are heated grips and ACC charger. Holding 24.8L, the fuel tank offers a potential range of over 500km, thanks to fuel economy of 4.8L/100km (20.4km/L, WMTC mode). A large engine sump guard, aluminum insert panels and an aluminum rear carrier are included in the specification.
The new dual LED headlights deliver a penetrating beam and, for additional security, feature three-stage right/left Cornering Lights that use speed and lean angle (controlled by the IMU) to automatically adjust the area illuminated when cornering. Daytime Running Lights (DRL) also automatically adjust to ambient light intensity and give a bright, highly visible light at all times. The full color Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen keeps the rider in control of all of the Africa Twin’s systems and each of the riding modes are selected through the top left of the screen. The MID can also be customized to show various levels of information relative to the riding mode chosen, and is easy to use even when wearing gloves.
It also has Apple CarPlay® allowing use of an Apple iPhone® through the touchscreen. Navigation apps can also be accessed and displayed and via a Bluetooth helmet headset calls can be made or received. The iPhone® itself plugs into a USB charging port on the right of the MID. Hands-free wireless Bluetooth connectivity is also an option for an iPhone® or Android device and all control inputs are made from the left-hand switchgear.
The front and rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal function. When braking suddenly over 50kph the hazard lights flash to warn other road users a hard stop is in process. They also auto-cancel; rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation. Cruise control is fitted as standard.