New Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin details

Honda has now officially confirmed the details of the new CRF1000L Africa Twin adventure bike. It has been a long time coming, but now that we’ve had a chance to take a look at the pictures and videos, we like what we’ve seen.

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We now know that in addition to the standard model, two further versions will be available: the first with ABS and multiple mode Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), and the second equipped with Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission (featuring new off-road functionality), ABS and HSTC.

Here’s what Honda said about the new CRF1000L Africa Twin:

Inheriting the “go anywhere” spirit of its celebrated predecessors, the all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin packs an innovative and powerful parallel twin-cylinder engine into a lightweight, agile chassis ready for true adventure both on and off road, whether crossing continents or commuting.  In addition to the standard model, two further versions are available: the first with switchable rear ABS and multiple mode Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), and the second equipped with Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission (featuring new off-road functionality), switchable rear ABS and HSTC.

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The essential features of an adventure motorcycle – strong engine, tough chassis with long travel suspension, upright riding position and wide handlebars – ensure its usability whatever the terrain. This practicality has been key to the popularity of these machines: they are easy to ride, comfortable and adaptable, at home on the road whether touring mountain passes and highways, or filtering through jammed city streets. And when the desire for a true adventure takes hold, they’re capable of traversing great swathes of distance after the tarmac runs out.

Throughout the development of the CRF1000L Africa Twin, the search for the optimal blend of off-road performance, touring comfort and agility was a constant theme. One motorcycle consistently impressed with its usability, poise and handling both on road and in the dirt: the original XRV750L Africa Twin. It proved a worthwhile benchmark when set against today’s myriad choice of adventure bikes. The machine that now bears its name may share no common part with the old model but – on road or off-road – it inherits to the full the essence and spirit of what made the XRV750L Africa Twin so popular.

It all starts with the engine, which has to perform in off-road situations as well as on-road long-range touring, and all points in between. The CRF1000L Africa Twin’s 998cc parallel twin power plant draws heavily on Honda’s CRF250R/450R competition machines, using the same four-valve Unicam head design for compact overall dimensions.

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Strong and linear power and torque deliver instant response anywhere in the rev-range – accompanied by a satisfying, characterful deep growl as rpm rises. A 270° phased crankshaft gives the power delivery a distinct character as well delivering excellent feel for rear wheel traction. Biaxial primary balance shafts cancel vibration.

The semi-dry sump engine’s short height contributes to the CRF1000L Africa Twin’s 250mm ground clearance. It also uses clever packaging of componentry to both dynamic and aesthetic effect. The water pump is housed within the clutch casing, and both water and oil pumps are driven by the engine’s balancer shafts.

The lightweight six-speed manual gearbox uses the same shift-cam design as found on the CRF250R/450R to ensure positive changes and is equipped with an aluminium assist slipper clutch.

In addition to the standard model, two further versions are available: the first with ABS and multiple mode Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), and the second equipped with Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission (featuring new off-road functionality), ABS and HSTC. On ABS-equipped models, it is possible for the rider to turn off the ABS system for the rear brake, allowing the rider to lock the rear wheel when riding off-road. There are four levels of control to choose from the Honda Selectable Torque Contol: Level 1, 2, 3 and Off. The degree of intervention decreases as the levels rise, allowing increasing amounts of rear wheel spin.

The unique DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) version features the standard manual mode – allowing the rider to operate gear shifts through triggers on the left handlebar – and two automatic modes. D mode offers the best balance of fuel economy and comfort cruising whilst S mode has been revised to give extra levels of sports performance, with three different shift patterns to choose from.

Of course, for the CRF1000L Africa Twin, DCT is also fully equipped to operate in an off-road environment and off-road functionality is enhanced by the G button. Pushing the G button in any riding mode modifies the control of the clutch system to give a more direct drive.

Tony Carter

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