We already had an inclining that Honda was set to bring a new Africa Twin model to market, and now that rumor seems very, very real as Big Red has begun teasing another “True Adventure” motorcycle.
The rumor before today was that the Honda Africa Twin would see an update for the 2020 model year, primarily to prime the ADV bike for the upcoming Euro5 emission standards.
If you believe the latest internet gossip, a new updated Honda Africa Twin is on the way. The news comes from UK site BikeSocial, which says that the potent adventure bike will get a displacement bump for the 2020 model year, among other upgrades.
More specifically, the 2020 Honda Africa Twin is said to target a new displacement of 1,080cc, which should be good for a 5hp increase in peak power, bringing the machine to just shy of 100hp.
Perhaps more importantly though, the new displacement size will help the Africa Twin deal with the power-sapping Euro5 regulations, which will make tailpipe emissions for motorcycles much more stringent going forward.
The Honda Africa Twin gets a sibling for the 2018 model year, as the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports debuted today at Honda’s pre-EICMA launch event.
As expected the Africa Twin Adventure Sports is a more off-road focused version of the Honda Africa Twin, and comes with a robust set of features that make it easier to go globetrotting on the plucky adventure-tourer from Honda.
Like on the now revised 2018 Honda Africa Twin, the Adventure Sports version comes with improvements over the original Africa Twin design.
This includes new foot rests, a new instrument panel, ride-by-wire throttle control with three throttle maps, seven levels of Honda’s traction control system, a new exhaust design, and a lithium-ion battery.
Internally there are some changes as well, like a modified airbox, which improves the mid-range response, as does a lighter balancer shaft.
Honda seems set to update the Africa Twin, its plucky ADV model, with a more off-road focused machine. Teasing the new model online, the Honda Africa Twin “Big Tank” – nicknamed for its supposedly larger 22-liter fuel tank – is expected to debut next week at the EICMA show in Milan.
Not too much is known about the machine, but we expect it to borrow heavily from the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports Concept, which debuted at the Osaka Motorcycle Show last year.
When it comes to adventure-tourers that can actually go off-road, the Honda Africa Twin easily rises to the top of the list. Couple that to Honda’s pursuits in the Dakar Rally and other rally raid events, and its easy to see where the Honda Africa Twin Rally could be born.
A special model being built by Italy’s Honda importer that was unveiled at this year’s Motodays show, the Africa Twin Rally won’t be hitting other markets any time soon (read: never), though it shows a machine that many ADV riders have been clamoring for, since the first shots of the Honda CRF450 Rally hit the internet.
File the Honda Africa Twin Enduro Sports concept under things we like, as the adventure-bike concept takes perhaps the most off-road competent ADV bike on the market, and raises its dirt credit by another factor of ten.
Built off the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin, the Enduro Sports concept is intended to expand the Africa Twin family, and to help the new adventure bike attract more riders into its Cult of Brap.
To do this, Honda’s R&D department came up with several lighter weight chassis components (Honda does say what specifically, of course), which were initially developed for the Honda CRF450 Rally race bike, which competes in the Dakar Rally.
The styling is aggressive, especially with the revised headlight assembly. The windscreen and fairings have been re-styled for a sportier look as well, and of course the Termignoni exhaust system is eye-catching, in utilitarian sort of way. Overall, the effect is quite stark.
Honda concept bikes have a funny way of becoming production models in a year or two’s time. As such, we wouldn’t mind have one in our garage. Would you?
The Honda Africa Twin doesn’t lend itself naturally to a supermoto format, though it is one of the most capable off-road adventure bikes on the market, but you have to admit that this photoshop render by French designer Nicolas Petit is very intriguing.
Maybe it’s our obvious bias towards anything supermoto that is talking, or maybe it’s that there is something to the idea of taking the Africa Twin, adding 17” wheels, and lowering it just enough that riders can actually flat-foot the machine while sitting on it.
Add in some styling cues that scream “supermotard” and you have a very handsome machine that is ready to conquer anything the urban environment can throw at it. Hell, it’s probably just a scary clown costume away from a good time on a gravel road. Right??!
We doubt Honda has any eyes on offering a more on-road version of the CRF1000L, though if they did, and it looked like this, we might be intrigued. Just leave the DCT off of it.
Honda’s flagship factory, in the Kumamoto Prefecture, is now back to normal production levels, after its slow recovery from earthquake damage sustained earlier this year.
For those who don’t remember, Honda took the Kumamoto factory offline on April 14th, resumed minor operations on May 6th, and resumed production of key models on June 6th.
Honda says that its large motorcycle production lines are now ready to go back to work, meaning the production at the Kumamoto factory is now back to its normal levels, though mini-vehicle parts production has been transferred to Honda’s Suzuka factory.
“If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to” seems to be KTM’s marching orders right now, as the Austrian brand is pushing into seemingly every segment and market with its motorcycle lineup.
KTM already has a robust off-road lineup, which they have used to launch themselves into the ADV category with great success. As such, the KTM 1190 Adventure series already sees strong sales success with adventure-touring riders, but KTM isn’t resting on those laurels.
Set to debut a 800cc parallel-twin platform later this year, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has revealed, while talking to MCN, that his company will soon have a rival for the Honda Africa Twin.
After seeing the region devastated by earthquakes, the Honda factory in the Kumamoto Prefecture is slowly coming back online. The Kumamoto factory (seen above, before the earthquake) has been offline since April 14th, though resumed minor operations on May 6th.
Honda says it has finally completed removal of debris from its most affected facilities; and as of June 6th, the company has partly resumed production of its main motorcycle models.
This is of particular note for American motorcyclists, as it means that Honda can once again being producing the Honda Africa Twin adventure-tourer, which was mid-production for the US market at the time of the earthquakes.
Episode 22 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast starts off with a frank and insightful conversation about traction control, and how it applies in off-road scenarios. Quentin and Jensen discuss the various ways OEMs and racers control the rear wheel’s movements, and what “true” traction control really means, if there is such a thing.
Moving along from that discussion, Quentin and Jensen talk about their separate and different experiences riding two of the hottest ADV bikes out in 2016 – the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and the Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L.
Riding the Africa Twin at Honda’s press launch in Moab, Jensen tells how Big Red’s adventure bike handles both on the road, and on the trail. Meanwhile, Quentin was in Eastern Oregon, putting some miles on Ducati’s latest iteration of the Multistrada, getting some serious off-road time in the process.
The guys tell their stories, and trade some notes on these two machines, which makes for an interesting discussion. Whether or not you are a hardcore ADV rider, we think you’ll find this show highly engaging.
As always, you can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!