Honda’s Africa Twin has reached new heights (guffaw) by breaking the record for the highest altitude reached by a twin-cylinder motorcycle.
The scene of the record was the world’s highest active volcano, the Nevado Ojos del Salado – situated between Argentina and Chile – on which a team of five riders rode the Africa Twin to a record-breaking 5,965 meters above sea level. Fabio Mossini, enduro champion from Honda’s Sud America race team was the man chosen to reach the height before further progress was halted by two meters of snow.
After five days of acclimatization, and riding standard Africa Twins specially equipped with Termignoni exhaust, revised final sprockets, new Metzeler MC360 tyres and a range of Honda accessories, the international team completed their ascent within 24 hours. Their route took them – in temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees Celsius – through broken asphalt, gravel, mud, sand and finally stretches of ice pockets known as ‘penitentes.’
This altitude does not constitute an outright motorcycle record, since it didn’t get higher than the 6,471 m (21,230 ft) milestone that Gianfranco Bianchi managed in 2015 on a Suzuki RM-Z450. It still qualifies as a world record for twin-cylinder motorcycles though, given that all previous records were set with single-cylinder enduro bikes – like the current record-holding Suzuki, and the Husaberg FE 570 before it.