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One of the more anticipated motorcycles at the 2014 EICMA show, off-roaders were expecting to see the new Honda Africa Twin in Milan this week. Instead, Honda trotted out what they’re calling the “True Adventure” prototype. Despite not being a production model, the True Adventure prototype looks ready for prime time, and we got a series of “up-close” photos of the machine.

Most obvious is the bike’s parallel twin engine, which is rumored to be 1,000cc in displacement. That sizing/weight class seems to jive with the dual front brake discs, which also sports an ABS tone ring. We can expect Honda to have traction control operating off the front and rear wheel speeds as well, and other electronic packages as well.

Less noticeable is the fact that the Africa Twin prototype doesn’t have a clutch lever or gear shifter on it. Whether its an overshight from Honda, or the sign of a new shifting mechanism from the Japanese manufacturer is up for debate, but it’s an interesting development, for sure.

Check out the photos after the jump, and let us know if you see any other details from the muddied and camouflaged show bike.

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Photos: © 2014 Rob Harris / Canada Moto Guide — All Rights Reserved

  • Kudeta Merah Putih

    are those mud standard factory color ?

  • Starmag

    Shouldn’t the skid plate cover the exhaust? Looks vulnerable.

    Honda, please take the Gieger out of the tank. Thanks.

  • harlan

    I’ll be hugely dissapointed if it’s a liter bike…
    a modern ~500cc engine is more that enough for it…

  • Ray Lee

    You can kind of see in your fourth photo that it has the same +/- buttons that the CTX/NC DCT models have. There’s another website that shows a better view of that control setup which definitely denotes this is a DCT option.

  • Rordr

    Looks like a winner to me! Hope they’ll make it available soon. Probably my next bike right here.

  • Dan

    Was really hoping Honda wouldn’t make it a “big” adv bike. I guess that’s what sells.

    From a 800GS owner, and contemplating my next ADV bike (yes, I actually log a lot of off road miles) I was hoping for something around or under 400lbs. Specs seen elsewhere on the web say the bike is coming in at closer to 450lbs or more. That’s not persuasive enough to move current mid size ADV bike owners, I think.

    They’ll probably sell, though as it is a Honda. Would just like to see a manufacturer subscribe to the less is more philosophy. And I know a thumper can be ADV bikes, they just can’t do it with the comfort of a multicylinder bike. Maybe there is no compromise.

  • Xan

    @Dan

    I’m curious (honestly), what midsize adv bikes get close to 400 pounds? The 800gs is over 450. The problem is that anything with smaller displacement is either a legit enduro bike or a cheap bike (see CB500X). I can’t think of a single 750cc+ adv bike that weighs 400 pounds….

    Somewhere else reported that the DCT on this thig is standard, which, if true, is pretty much a deal breaker. Regardless of the lck of clutch making plenty of off road maneuvers difficult, it’s going to add to the price ($1000 option on the bikes they offer it on now) and I don’t think a lot of people actually want a semi automatic bike. It’s pretty much like a paddle shifter on a car, aka it has similar function (assuming it isn’t a crappy paddle) to a stick, but pretty much kills the actual fun of a stick.

  • AHA

    Yeah it’s going to be interesting to see what the displacement and the overall weight is. I agree with the guys on here that already said smaller and lighter would be a welcome & bold break from the increasing dull Adventure norm. Regarding Honda’s ‘overshight’ (over-shite?) transmission – this wouldn’t be a ‘new shifting mechanism from Japan’ as more likely Honda’s DCT auto transmission that’s already on many of its production models. I’ve noticed the aftermarket Recluse clutchless system is getting more popular with the hard core enduro crowd so who knows?

  • DFR

    I agree… it’s time these manufacturers (also) build lighter machines with smaller engines. C’mon, not everybody needs (or even WANTS) liter-sized bikes. More 500-800CC offerings would be welcome additions. I ride sport bikes (990-1199CC) and now want to get a ADV type machine with the great hi-tech stuff showing up from most/all of the manufacturers. But, I believe, a lot of us just want a smaller, more fuel efficient variant!!

  • paulus

    Nice lines, but needs a few parts to honour its heritage and make it fully off-road ready
    – clutch. It’s hard to consider it having off-road capability if there is no clutch.
    – radiator guards, those would pancake with the first drop
    – swap out the ‘glide’ plate for a proper bash plate.
    I also wonder what that tank capacity really is….

  • Terpinator

    Hopefully Honda will offer it with and without the DCT, as they do with the VFR120o. Part of the fun of riding a motorcycle is working the clutch and gears.

    One thing I love to see on this motorcycle is a normal exhaust muffler… not some over-sytlized monstrosity that is becoming the norm. An exhast does not need to look like a rocket or turbine…

    Honda, please bring this to the USA (with a regular transmission).

  • Armagedonian

    This is a spectacular looking bike. Its front reminds me of the Super Tenere somehow. I’m also very glad to see it is a DCT automatic for easier bundu bashing without the irritation of having to work a clutch. I hope Honda are still refusing to listen to all those idiots that bleat about how a bike must have a off switch for the ABS for off road work. This makes me re-think my plan to buy a Zero DS.

  • Yeah, that looks like a single to me. Spark plug on the left side, none on the right side. Lots of singles have two exhaust headers; it only means more than 2 valves per cylinder. There’s a reason they didn’t tout this as the “New Africa Twin,” but merely the “True Adventure Prototype.”

    Can you get a photographer in there closer? Zoom in on the right parts please.

  • Craig Loades

    Hummmm, funny things are happening to me. Honda curiosity! Never owned one, always found them dull. This bike has my interest thou. Here’s why,

    After owning two R1’s, three GSXRs, two ZX-Rs and a RSV factory I was bored with road bikes and this is when my dirt bike love affair started. Now ten years later and seven ktms down the track I have come to realise there is a huge gap in the bike market. I won’t be swopping my KTM 250 XC anytime soon but the 690 enduro could be going red if Honda gets this right. The reason I ride a KTM 690 enduro is its the best all rounder I have ridden so far with screen fitted. You can ride the darn thing up the side of a mountain and hound single track if so desired. Long distance comfort even with enduro concepts seat is an issue thou. Honda have the right 21 18 tyre size right and with the smoother twin engine I think they are on to something. As long as they have some beefy twin chamber suspension to take the hits and landings and it doesn’t weight 180kg then it will be a winner if keenly priced. Rides could end up in a sea of red like Yamaha did back in 1998 with the release of the R1 in the sport bike world.
    1000cc+ so called adventure bikes are a joke and nothing more than an SUV of the bike world. Come to think of it how many BMW X5 do you see off road? How many landrover HSE do school runs and never see a field at best. I’m sick of pretent off road/adventure bikes. Don’t mess this up Honda or KTM might just beat you to another market hole. It was Honda that said two strokes where dead. I bet they feel stupid now.

    Full fruit new africa twin please and make us all happy.

    Wishlist as follows,
    Manual gears,
    Clutch
    6 speed
    Bash plate
    Rad braces
    Comfy seat
    Wide foot pegs with some desent spikes

    You can keep the abs and anything else to weight it down. Totally pointless and in my opinion dangerous off road.

  • aristotle

    *** please, for god, put a front wheel 19 in the NC 750X ***

  • Crow7

    Looks awesome. I will be buying two