Are you ready for some new bikes? It sure looks like Honda is, as the House that Soichiro Built is rolling out a pack of new iron at EICMA 2017. Among these new bikes is the killer new Africa Twin.
As expected, the Honda display at the EICMA show in Milan featured the CRF1000L2 Africa Twin, which bumps up the ground clearance, suspension travel, and price over the standard model. When it hits U.S. showrooms next summer, the L2 will carry a $2,000 price premium.
Enhancing Honda’s “True Adventure” mantra, the L2 – also known as the Adventure Sports model – gets upgraded creature comforts and a larger fuel tank for extended range. Both the Adventure Sports and the standard Africa Twin feature a long list of updates to the engine, electronics, and rider interface while continuing to offer an ideal balance of power and light weight.
"The Africa Twin's success on showroom floors and in comparison tests is evidence of the platform's profound capabilities," said Lee Edmunds, American Honda's Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications. "But the Adventure Sports model expands the possibilities by making it possible to ride further and more comfortably. We've enjoyed seeing our customers put their own interpretations on the Africa Twin's 'True Adventure' ethos, and with the increased capabilities of the new Adventure Sports, as well as those of the updated standard Africa Twin, we expect that spirit will be applied in new and exciting ways."
2018 Africa Twin Key Features:
• Africa Twin Adventure Sports has a larger fairing matched with an 80mm taller screen to offer greater wind protection, and comes standard with heated grips and a 12-volt accessory socket.
• The L2 has a larger sump guard and front light bars, as well as brushed-aluminum cowling panels, rear mudguard, and easily removable steel rack. Plus the 6.37-gallon fuel tank (compared to 4.97 gallons on the standard model).
• Adventure Sports model's seat features a flatter profile and a 1.2-inch-taller height than standard model. The seat adjusts .8 inches, for a seat height of either 35.4 inches or 36.2 inches (compared to 33.5 inches and 34.3 inches). Handlebar position is 1.3 inches higher and .2 inches rearward.
• The L2 gets updated, longer-travel Showa suspension, resulting in 10.6 inches of ground clearance (compared to 9.8 inches).
• Both models have compact two-piece, radial-mount, four-piston front-brake calipers and "wave" floating rotors front and rear. The lightweight two-channel ABS can be turned off at the rear.
• Both models also have a new airbox, with a 20mm longer funnel length, matched to redesigned exhaust internals that significantly improve midrange response and sound quality.
• Both engine's balancer-shaft weights have been lightened by 10.6 ounces for added character and feel in power delivery
• Water pump is housed within the clutch casing, with a thermostat integrated into the cylinder head, while water and oil pumps are driven by the engine's balancer shafts, contributing to a compact engine and optimum ground clearance.
• New for 2018, a lithium-ion battery is 5.1 lbs. lighter than the previous lead-acid unit
• Both models have Honda's advanced automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), delivering consistent, quick, seamless gear changes on-road or off. Rider can select from three different shifting modes, and a G switch enhances off-road functionality by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes
• New for 2018, both Africa Twin models have Throttle-By-Wire system (TBW), opening the door to four individual riding modes and an expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system
• HSTC now features seven levels (up from three), to adapt to a wide variety of conditions. HSTC can also be completely switched off, and three levels of power and engine braking are available
• On both models, the rider's foot pegs are now wider and affixed via stouter steel mounting plates, whereas the passenger foot-peg hangers have been redesigned to allow more room for the rider's feet when standing. The instruments are positioned at a shallower angle to allow the rider to see them more easily from a standing position, and both now have auto-canceling turn indicators.
Stay tuned for more info on upcoming Hondas and other EICMA 2017 business, we'll have a lot of it.