More Honda Africa Twin Rumors from Europe

04/25/2014 @ 11:50 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS


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 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, 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:


  • Bob

    Take this with a grain of salt, as it’s third-hand (but supposedly ‘solid’) info:

    1000(ish)cc, 100hp
    Benchmarked against KTM 990 ADV
    Dirt-ready ABS
    Dirt-ready TC
    Likely to wear CRF1000R nameplate in U.S. (Africa Twin abroad)
    2015 model

  • Paul McM

    Yes, Yes, Yes. This may be my next bike. I have a DR650 and love it, but would like to see a large-displacement bike of this kind with Honda reliability and ease of maintenance. I hope it will also be a shaftie. Personally, I prefer the “closed system” of a shaft drive. The best thing might be an enclosed chain, but dumb Americans can’t understand the advantages (think of a chain that runs clean even off-road and is really easy to keep lubed). Sadly though, having seen what has come from Honda lately (CTX series, Vultus), I think Honda will probably botch this badly and leave the world disappointed. Seriously, heads need to roll at Honda — with the exception of the NC700, Honda’s recent bikes have been uninspiring at best, and downright disasters at worst.

  • TheSeaward

    I’m still waiting on a 450 version of the WR250R. Good power, good suspension, lightish weight, and high build quality without KTM service intervals.

  • paulus

    Where is the ‘twin’ in using a CRF platform… the desert bike is a single cylinder configuration.
    If the engine is indeed a twin then there will be a distinct difference to the current rally platform.

    @ The seaward
    Wait no more. There is a 450cc version of the WR already out there for many years (WR450F).
    A nice bike for enduro. Although the KTM is better.
    Don’t worry about the KTM service intervals. The unreliability is a thing of the past.
    I have used my 2013 KTM500EXC for 300+ hours of hard enduro… without incident.
    Original piston, rings, clutch, valves, plug etc, Only my conscience is prompting a rebuild.

  • TheSeaward

    The 450F isn’t quite the same thing as an R. My WR250R has 28k mile valve check intervals and is 50 state road legal from the dealership floor. With states like California revoking dirt bike plates and many other states making plates mandatory for off-road vehicles it is only a matter of time before the loop holes close and some people are left with dual sports as the only legal option. Paulus, my dad has an EXC250 and his buddies all have KTMs without issues, but I know in the back of my mind the needing a rebuild would keep me up at night. Maybe it’s just a personal problem.

  • j

    Africa single?

  • CJ

    Paul McM, if the NC700 is the only inspiring product you’ve seen from Honda’s lineup, then I understand why you would want a shaft drive on this bike. Nothing wrong with shaft drives, same as nothing wrong with a motorcycle with half a car motor. But some of us want a light bike that can really work on dirt and chain drive is it.

  • Tim in Texas

    Glad to see this bike may actually happen. It’s taken more than a few years for the ADV segment to take hold here in the USA, and most of the offerings are big and heavy (i.e. Super Tenere) and not really made for off road work. Hopefully Honda will get it right. They’ve lost their way in the last few years (both in cars and bikes), and I’m hoping they will get it right once again.