Auction sites can be a treasure trove of really special motorcycles. While most of the bikes look pretty standard, every so often you find something that’s just you. As some of you may or may not know already, I’m a sucker for adventure motorcycles. When I found this bike up for grabs, after seriously debating buying it myself and not telling anyone about it, I decided to share the finding with you. Behold, there’s an original Honda Africa Twin up for sale.
This bike became one of the very first adventure motorcycles on the market, introduced during the Golden Era of the Paris-Dakar-inspired trails. At the time, the segment was all about versatility and durability, injected with real off-road DNA. For the purists out there, this is a treat as the Africa Twin is one of the earliest models that helped create the adventure bike mystique.
The “Africa Twin” namesake was first introduced in 1988 and adorned the side panels of the Honda XRV650. At the time, the engine was a liquid-cooled, 647cc V-twin which eventually increased in displacement to 750 after 1990. This makes this 650 version the OG Africa Twin.
Gallery: 1988 Honda XRV650 Africa Twin RD03
According to one of the commenters on the auction site, while the bike is advertised as a 1990, the model is actually a 1988 model-year. He explains that the RD03 was only produced that year and that the VIN suggests it was produced in '88 and not in '90. A quick internet research confirms that the RD03 was the model’s very first series, produced from 1988 to 1989. The 1990 model-year would have to be an RD04. If you ask me, this makes this finding even more interesting.
According to the description, the adventure bike was previously owned by an aircraft mechanic. The current owner purchased the bike two months ago and has since done a thorough service that includes an oil change, new spark plugs, a DID chain, and new drive sprockets. The bike is also equipped with an aftermarket top case. According to the dealer that’s selling the bike, the saddle was also reupholstered at some point.
The only problem is that the bike is in Germany. On the bright side, considering the latest bid is at $1,200, coming up with the extra grand to have it shipped to the U.S. is still cheaper than trying to buy the same bike here. Please, somebody, buy so that I don’t have to.
Source: Bring a Trailer