New African conqueror from Honda

Not so long ago, if you were considering a dual-sport motorcycle, the Honda Africa Twin would have featured high up your list.

Now, this segment has been overrun by the Germans and Austrians but I took the reins of a Japanese legend to find out if it could once again conquer the African landscape.

Ready for adventure

Once the Africa Twin, or CRF1000L if you prefer, arrived at the office, we instantly noticed that this was no ordinary derivative, it was the Adventure Sport. The Africa Twin was always a simple and easy to use, service and repair offering since it made its first appearance 31 years ago in the form of an XRV650. While for the most part, this theme carries through to this day, Honda has added a few modern touches to the Adventure Sport to steer buyers back to the Japanese option.

Firstly you will notice the White, Blue and Red colour scheme on the 24.4-litre petrol tank, 5.4-litre more than on the standard version, contrasted by striking gold-coloured wheels, 21-inch at the front and 18-inch at the rear. Atop the tall motorcycle, a flatter seat comes fitted at 900mm above the ground, 50mm higher than on the standard version. The Adventure Sport test unit came fitted with the optional sump guard and crash bars but features an AC charging socket and heated grips as standard.


Fitting snugly in the frame is a liquid-cooled 4-stroke, 8-valve, 1.0-litre parallel-twin motor which offers up 70 kW and 99 N.m of torque. While Honda claims fuel consumption of 4.5L/100km, I could only achieve a respectable 4.8L/100km. The abovementioned motor sent its power through the six-speed Dual-clutch transmission and ultimately the chain, final drive, our test unit came fitted with. Assisting in managing the power output is a new ride-by-wire system with three riding modes; Tour, Urban and Gravel and seven levels of traction control.


While I don’t consider myself short, the Africa Twin in Adventure Sport guise did give me a slight Napoleonic complex when mounting. While this increased ride height might be a problem for short riders, the extra 20mm suspension travel and increased ground clearance do instil confidence when the going gets tough. While I would have liked cruise control, there has been electrifications made to the Africa Twin since its inception and yet, one gets the feeling it is a simple motorcycle, one that is easy commute daily, easy to maintain and most importantly easy to navigate over the rough stuff.


Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sport Manual DCT – R217 490



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