Oooh! What does this button do?
In September of 2019, Honda unveiled its latest Africa Twin at AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio. The popular adventure bike gained a host of rider aids, a Euro 5-compliant 1,084cc engine, and lost some weight in the process. However, updated pricing came along with the updated model and the new Africa Twin is considerably more coin than it’s predecessor. For those still on the fence or intimidated by the model’s robust electronics package, the Honda website now offers a controls simulator to help acclimate potential buyers before they ever throw a leg over the Africa Twin.
One thing quickly becomes evident when using Honda’s Multi-Information Display Simulator: the Africa Twin has options galore. Of course, the left-hand control’s up arrow attracts our first mouse click and the display fluidly flips through 4 pre-set riding modes and 2 custom user modes. Meters on the bottom right half of the screen also represent the power, engine braking, and traction control levels as each mode changes.
Not only does the simulator communicate the mode on the simulated TFT dash, but technical information is available with the click of a button in the lower right-hand corner. The pop-up pane expounds on the details of each riding mode along with its associated power and suspension characteristics.
Gallery: 2020 Honda Africa Twin
To scroll through the 4 sub-menus in the bottom left-hand corner of the TFT display, one can toggle the middle button on the left control or simply click the display, illustrating the touchscreen capabilities of the Africa Twin. Of course, the fourth sub-menu is most important as it enables users to customize the ABS, torque control, preload, G-switch (DCT only), and wheelie control of the bike.
One can navigate through the various sub-menus and modify settings by using the touchscreen or the ENT (enter) and back buttons on the left-hand control. Much more limited in functionality, right-hand control’s trigger simply flips through volume, high beam, and heated grips levels.
Hopefully, this primer helps you bravely venture into the labyrinth that is the Africa Twin’s user interface. We discovered that the learning curve is considerable due to proprietary terms and acronyms, but the wealth of information is worth it in the end.
While Honda’s simulator will help bring some potential buyers to the table, it could also scare others away. We’re hoping the former rings true and this generation of the Africa Twin is as successful—or more successful—than the last.