After we spotted the name “Africa Twin” in the USPTO online filings, buzz about a proper adventure-touring model from Honda have been swirling the internet, and even in print. German magazine Motorrad adds to the rumor mill, saying that the recently released privateer racer-only Honda CRF450 Rally will serve as the basis for the ADV model.
Italian online site Moto.it confirms that the Africa Twin will be visually similar to the CRF450 Rally, and goes on to say that the new model will likely not debut in 2014, but instead Spring 2015.
According to Moto.it, the Honda Africa Twin will have a strong off-road bias as an adventure model (a 21″ spoked wheel up front), be roughly 440 lbs at the curb, and have a displacement between 900cc and 1,000cc.
With HRC’s Dakar program maturing rapidly, the Honda CRF450 Rally is now at the point where HRC feels comfortable selling it to private race teams — something that many mistook for Honda’s announcement and release of the CRF450 Rally as a production bike to consumers.
Though misguided in that thought, today’s rumors suggest they weren’t too far off the mark regarding future intent, as it seems the Honda CRF450 Rally serving as the basis for the new Honda Africa Twin.
While the adventure segment has run the gamut in terms of on-road and off-road bias and performance, for the most part we have seen OEMs producing big 1,000cc+ machines that are touring ready, and off-road capable.
This has left a bit to be desired from the dirt-loving crowd, who essentially want a dirt bike that can handle difficult trails, while still being able to cruise highway speeds comfortably. With Honda tying the Africa Twin to the CRF450 Rally, it is signaling just that very machine.
Similar to the bike that is winning stages in the Dakar Rally, there should be little thought given to the Africa Twin’s off-road capability, and with a few amenities the new ADV bike should be plush enough for casual tarmac work — do these words remind anyone else of the original Africa Twin model?
2013 Honda CRF450 Rally Race Bike: