For more than a year it’s been common knowledge Honda has been working to bring a new Africa Twin to the market and after teasing us with last year’s True Adventure concept bike the firm has now released the first official images of the production version.
Honda has still been shy to reveal the Africa Twin. The two official pictures are closely cropped and deeply shadowed, but AMCN has another set of pictures from the bike’s design patent that show the entire bike in detail.
As well as confirming that the Africa Twin name will be used, along with the title CRF1000L which aligns the new bike with the CRF250L in the firm’s range and helps emphasise that it’s intended to have real off-road capabilities, Honda says the machine will be on sale in Europe before the end of this year. A bold statement in the firm’s official release claims that it will ‘redefine the expectations of what a large-capacity adventure motorcycle can and should be capable of, both on and off-road, and opens an entirely new chapter in Honda’s illustrious history of dual-purpose motorcycle made for true adventure.’
Looking beyond the darkened pictures of the official release and to the clearer patent images reveals more details of the bike and the changes that have been made since the True Adventure concept was shown. Most notable are towards the rear, where the production version gets a much larger silencer to incorporate a catalytic converter and meet noise regulations. It also features a completely different seat, split into two sections for rider and passenger instead of the single, long, motocross-style pad of the concept bike. We know from earlier patents that this seat will allow the rider’s section to be adjusted up and down to give multiple seat height options.
The pillion grab rail is also now cast aluminium rather than tubular steel, and incorporates a luggage rack that’s likely to mate to an optional top-box. Mounting brackets on the sides of the seat also reveal that clip-on panniers are certain to be offered alongside the bike.
There are still no official details about the 1000cc parallel twin engine that powers the Africa Twin. We know it’s likely to use a 270-degree crank and feature twin balancer shafts, and power should be somewhere in the region of 110bhp. It’s mounted in an aluminium frame that takes its design cues from Honda’s Dakar race bike, and its likely that the bike’s route to serious off-road ability will come via a lighter all-in weight than its rivals. It will also lack the bulk of some competitors thanks to clever design including a split airbox that straddles the front of the frame, just above the twin, side-mounted radiators, to keep the tank area between the rider’s legs as slim as possible.
The patent images reveal that where the True Adventure featured seriously knobbly off-road tyres, the standard kit on the production version will be more road-friendly rubber. However, buyers are likely to be offered the option of something more suited to off-road use if that’s what they need.
To accommodate the touring element of the bike’s multi-role intentions there’s an adjustable screen – likely to be manual rather than electric to save weight – and there will be the option of a DCT semi-auto transmission, although the pictures here show the traditional manual version, complete with clutch and gear levers.
Check out the video from Honda.
Get your Australian Motorcycle News
Like AMCN on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/aumotorcyclenews
Follow @AMCN_mag on Twitter http://twitter.com/AMCN_mag
Subscribe @AMCNTV on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/AMCNTV
Follow Instagram AMCN_mag http://instagram.com/amcn_mag
Pin on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/amcnmagazine/
Digital editions of AMCN at our iTunes store
Join our mailing list to receive the Australian Motorcycle News email newsletter direct to your inbox