Since it’s reintroduction to the market in 2016, the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin has been enjoying a desirable place within the adventure segment thanks to a hard-earned reputation gained over the course of the past 30 years. The time has come for Honda to update its ADV flagship not only to keep up with its enthusiastic competition but also to meet new and aggressive emission regulations. There’s apparently a new Africa in the works and it should receive a bigger, better engine in the process.
The information was leaked from an apparently “reliable Japanese source” and suggests that a new Africa Twin is expected for 2020 and that the new generation of the adventure model should be getting a bigger engine. From the current 998cc, rumor has it that the new “CRF1100L” will receive an extra 82ml to now reach 1080cc and produce an additional 5hp.
This rumored change of engine is consistent with the changes a number of manufacturers have already set in motion in order to meet increasingly stringent European emission standards. While everyone has been facing the music with the Euro4 requirements, Euro5 isn’t far behind and will go into effect in January 2020. New models have to meet the requirements to be allowed to sell in Europe, a considerable market for motorcycles.
How will a bigger engine provide fewer fuel emissions, though? Look at what BMW did with the R; it has managed to increase the model’s displacement while respecting the standards thanks, among other things, to its new ShiftCam technology—the brand’s house-name for variable valve technology. We already know that Honda is working on a VVT of its own and while the patent points at the CBR1000RR as the prime candidate to receive the upgrade, it’s not farfetched to believe that the Africa Twin could be next.
With its 94 horsepower, the Africa Twin didn’t really need more power—it was already good at its job. But if Honda is able to take a good, sturdy mill, and (hopefully) improve it, then I think we can be excited about what’s to come.