Yeah, it totally is.
Saying that a rumor about Honda working on a new Africa Twin has been circulating is close to an understatement. For the past few months, everything the name “Africa Twin” popped up, the Internet lit up, ourselves included. More recently, our colleagues at Cycle World have uncovered that Honda is using a new nomenclature to identify the 2020 model year (SD09 over the current SD06), suggesting there’s, in fact, a new generation in the works. Well, it looks like Honda itself is finally starting to pave the way towards an unveiling.
While no motorcycle is shown in the promotional video, there are three very obvious clues that indicate that Honda is getting the teaser ball rolling for the new Africa Twin. First off, the video shows a path being drawn in the dirt, dragged across the gravel in a cloud of dust—the company is pointing to an off-road capable model, right? That’s a pretty obvious imagery. Then there’s a recurring focus on the word “adventure” (“True Adventure”, “The adventure is calling). Honda could have left it at that and we would already have enough to speculate on and to feed the rumor mill with.
But the company cemented our conviction with one last clue, the most obvious and irrefutable of them all: the font used to spell out “true adventure”. Now, if you’re familiar with the Africa Twin at all, you already know what you’re looking at. For those who aren’t as well versed in all things Twins as we ADV nerds are, what you are looking at is the very same font used in the Africa Twin logo displayed on the motorcycle’s fairing.
We now know for sure that a new generation of the model is coming. What we have yet to learn is what form it will take. In fact, most of the information sources around the world have been able to garner point to Honda upsizing. The 2020 Africa Twin is expected to go from 1000 to a 1100cc (998 to 1080 to be specific) which would potentially clear a space for a mid-range, Ténéré-fighter version of the model.
The rumor of a new engine is also consistent with the arrival of the Euro5 emission standards. But how is Honda going to make a bigger engine more fuel-efficient? Patents published a few months ago suggest the company is working on a variable valve technology of its own, something other manufacturers have used to meet the new standards, including BMW. So it’s not farfetched to suppose the new Twin will be underlined by an entirely new VVT powertrain.
Honda is now inviting the enthusiasts to register on its Website to receive the updates on the new 2020 model, so we know it’s coming. No date for the official unveiling has been announced yet, but we have a feeling this is the first of a series of teaser videos that will feed the hype until the curtain lifts.