Honda’s Africa Twin has been one of the UK’s biggest selling motorbikes in recent years, and the adventure bike’s momentum doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon, with a new model rumoured to be coming out next year.
The Africa Twin is commonly spoken in the same sentence as the BMW F 850 GS and the Triumph Tiger 800, so it has a lot of competition in the hotly contested adventure bike category.
Once you have decided that the Honda Africa Twin is the bike for you, you then have to make the decision between the standard bike or the Adventure Sports. We’ve ridden both versions and have highlighted the main differences between the two variants, asking the questions that most riders will ask when choosing which variant to go for.
This is a deal breaker in most cases, as there is never a ‘universal’ seat height that truly caters for every rider.
The standard AT has a seat height of 870mm, however, there is a manually adjustable lower position of 850mm. With a quick search on the internet, you can purchase an aftermarket 30mm lowering kit for under £100, which could take your seat height down to 820mm but does mean modifying the rear suspension.
This is where the Adventure Sports gets crossed off of a lot of people’s lists. The standard seat height is 920mm, which would even put many a tall rider off balance if the ground they are stopped at isn’t too level. There is also the opportunity to manually change the seat height down to 900mm. Again, with a quick search on the internet, you can find a lowering kit that will take the Adventure Sports down another 30mm to the lowest setting of 870mm, which coincidentally is the highest setting you can get for the standard Africa Twin.
Africa Twin seat height:
Standard – 850mm
Low position – 830mm
Africa Twin Adventure Sports seat height:
Standard – 920mm
Low position – 900mm
The standard Africa Twin has an 18.8-litre fuel tank which will most likely last longer than your backside on a long journey. The Adventure Sports has a whopping 24.2-litre tank and you can certainly feel the difference from a seating position point of view, as the extra 5.4 litres pushes your legs a little wider apart to accommodate the extra capacity and, when full, adds extra weight.
Africa Twin: 18.8 litres
Africa Twin Adventure Sports: 24.2 litres
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Although it isn’t the most glamorous of subjects when it comes to motorcycles – weight is a key factor to many, especially from a manoeuvrability perspective.
The Africa Twin’s kerb weight comes in at 232kg, which is 4kg heavier than the BMW F 850 GS (228kg) and 1kg heavier than the three-cylinder Triumph Tiger 800 XC (231kg).
The Adventure Sports has a kerb weight of 243kg, which is 11kg heavier than the standard Africa Twin. A significant part of this extra weight will be from the larger fuel tank, as mentioned before. This makes the Adventure Sports very top heavy when full of fuel, and it can unassumingly catch you off guard if yourself and the bike’s weight is ever so slightly off balance when coming to a stop or making a U-turn.
Africa Twin kerb weight: 232kg
Africa Twin Adventure Sports kerb weight: 243kg
The Adventure Sports also comes with a few extras that would incur an additional charge if they were specified as options on the standard version. As well as the aforementioned increased fuel capacity, the ground clearance is increased by 20mm because of the longer travel suspension and the handlebars are 33mm higher. The Adventure Sports also gets an 80mm taller screen. You also get a larger skid plate along with the same crash bars that come on the standard bike. The Adventure Sports version also comes with heated grips and a 12 volt socket as standard.
Importantly, for many, the Adventure Sports model carries a £1000 premium over the standard version. Whether the extra features and kudos of the bigger bike are worth it is a matter of opinion but, either way, Honda’s latest generation Africa Twin model continues to be a popular choice among British motorcyclists.