Honda rediscovers its sense of adventure with the new Africa Twin | The Daily Star
11:46 AM, July 26, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:56 AM, July 26, 2015

Honda rediscovers its sense of adventure with the new Africa Twin

The waiting is over and it's time to hit the kill switch on the rumor mill. After a 12-year absence, the Honda is returning to the roads as well as heading off the beaten track with a new adventure bike.

The original Africa Twin adventure bike took the Paris-Dakar and subsequently, the motorcycling public, by storm when the slightly more refined road-going version went on sale in 1989.

And with the new bike, the Africa Twin CRF1000L, Honda is hoping to make a similarly grandiose return to the adventure bike segment, a segment that has been transformed over the past decade thanks to the likes of BMW's GS range.

So, it had better bring something impressive to the party to keep fans of the original happy and make potential buyers think twice before going German.

In terms of technology, it is the first motorcycle in the segment to offer a Dual Clutch Transmission for immediate handlebar trigger-shifted up and down changes for seriously fast forward progression.

However, when touring and enjoying the view or when stuck in heavy traffic -- let's face it, the suspension travel and riding position of these bikes makes them perfect commuter vehicles -- it can be dropped into a choice of automatic modes, instead. This will boost fuel economy as well as comfort, according to Honda.

There is a three-stage traction control system for minimizing clutch slip, and, as a last resort, riders will be able to switch off the ABS system to the rear wheel when the going gets particularly tough.

The engine, a 1000cc parallel twin will be familiar to Honda owners in terms of specifications -- 94bhp and 98Nm of torque -- but maybe not in terms of packaging.

Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L: The bike is also designed to be a supreme commuter machine. Photo: AFP/Honda

To reduce weight and to ensure reliability and sufficient ground clearance off road, the engine gets a lightweight cast camshaft, the compact four-valve Unicam head design used on the CRF450R and the water pump's inside the cutch casing. For the same reason, bodywork is kept to a minimum.

However, thanks to long-travel Showa inverted forks, Showa hydraulic shocks and a seat with 20mm of adjustment (850-870mm), it should be comfortable, no matter where it takes the rider. And that could be some distance: the 19.8l fuel tank is good for 400km between refuelling stops.

When it goes on sale in Europe later this summer, the CRF1000L Africa Twin will be available in three colour options: CRF Rally, Tricolor and Black, and prices will start at €12,000.

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