One of the biggest stars on Honda’s stand at last week’s Motorcycle Live Show was the new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports.
Based on the updated 2018 Africa Twin, the Africa Twin Adventure Sports sits some 20mm taller, gets a flatter seat more suitable to riding on the rough stuff, and a more upright riding position, plus a host of other detail changes.
The footrests have been moved slightly to give a bit more comfort in the leg. There’s better wind protection from the 80mm taller screen and wider fairing, and the bike comes with a large sump guard to fully protect the underneath of the bike when faced with rocks off-road. That said, the bike’s extra suspension travel means it now sits 20mm further away from any obstacles likely to take a lump out of your oil pan.
One of the biggest moans about the CRF1000L Africa Twin was its 17-litre tank (though I achieved 350km [217 miles] on one tank when riding an Africa Twin in Norway last year). But Honda have answered the forum moaners/owners by fitting an extra 5.4 litres to the Adventure Sports version. That puts the tank at 24.2 litres, still some 5.8-litres down on the BMW R1200GS Adventure with its enormous 30-litre tank. But Honda now claim a tank range of 500km (310 miles) for the new bike.
In terms of the motor, it’s essentially the same 998cc parallel twin as the standard model, making 93.87bhp. There are tweaks, including a new airbox which Honda say adds more mid-range oomph, and an exhaust which increases performance and adds a bit more sound to the Africa Twin’s muted soundtrack. There’s a slipper clutch too.
Like the standard bike, the Adventure Sports gets ride by wire throttle with three engine riding modes to suit different riding conditions, and a revised range of torque control settings. There are now seven settings for the torque control instead of three, including ‘User’ mode which allows riders to set the bike’s electronics to suit them and store it as a setting. Other modes are Tour, Urban and Gravel. Honda has also moved the rear pillion pegs and the rider pegs to make it more comfortable when standing up off-road.
Both manual and DCT versions will be available. Heated grips and an AC charging socket are standard.
Although the Adventure Sports version feels generally taller and bigger because of the extra suspension travel and the bigger tank, Honda say they’ve taken 2.3kg off the weight of the bike by replacing the lead battery for a lithium ion unit.
Suspension comes from 45mm inverted forks up front, with a fully adjustable rear shock and the same 310mm wavy discs with Nissin twin calipers at the front.
To cope with its off-road intentions, a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel are fitted with stainless steel rims and stainless spokes to prevent rust. Again, rusting spokes was a big criticism of the CRF1000L on forums the world over. Continental knobblies are now approved for use, too, and it gets LED headlights.
The bike weighs in at 243kg wet for the standard, and 253kg for the DCT model.
No prices are yet available.