After what has felt like an unbearable wait the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin has finally made it to the United States. Since it was first unveiled at the EICMA show in 2014, adventure motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere hoped that the resurrection of the legendary Africa Twin would be nothing short of a second coming for ADV motorcycles.
The wish-list of capabilities and features for the new machine were tantamount to the search for unobtainium: Ultra lightweight, highly capable off road performance, long-haul highway comfort, canyon carving, load carrying, powerful, round the world capable super-machine, affordable dream bike. While the new Africa Twin doesn't check every box on the unobtainium wish-list (no motorcycle could without being a prohibitively expensive) it comes pretty damn close.
I had the opportunity to test the Africa Twin on highways, roads and trails in Europe and here in the US and here's what we think of the it:
Pro-Tips for understanding forum comments about the Africa Twin and the characters who make them.
No one who has actually ridden the CRF1000L calls it a "Fat Pig." Be highly skeptical of such comments as they are very likely the work of the ignorant posing as the informed. It's probably a good idea not to even talk to them, and I suggest not even looking at them, but if you must, you'll be safe so long as you assume the everything they say is full of crap.
Look out for comments that beat the drum for a motorcycle brand to the exclusion of all others. You could be dealing with a loyalist. Their blood runs in the colors of their favorite brand. Their dedication is unflappable and neither reason, fact or the plain-truth will ever put them off their beloved sigil. Generally harmless, though you'd have better luck speaking with mushrooms.
ENGINE TYPE 998cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin w/ 270º crank & Unicam head
POWER: 93.9 hp @ 7,500 rpm
TORQUE: 61 lb-ft @ 5,750 rpm
BORE x STROKE 92.0mm x 75.1mm
INDUCTION PGM-FI, 44mm throttle bodies
IGNITION Full transistorized ignition
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1
VALVE TRAIN Chain-driven, OHC with valve lifter & rocker arm
TRANSMISSION Constant-mesh 6-speed manual / 6-speed DCT w/ on- & off-road riding modes
FINAL DRIVE O-ring sealed chain
FRONT SUSPENSION Inverted Showa® 45mm fork w/ 8.0 in. travel; adjustable compression, rebound damping & hydraulic adjustable preload
REAR SUSPENSION Showa shock w/ 8.7 in. travel; adjustable compression, rebound damping & hydraulic adjustable spring preload
FRONT BRAKE Two 310mm wave floating hydraulic discs w/ aluminum hub & radial-fit 4-piston calipers & sintered metal pads
REAR BRAKE Single 256mm wave hydraulic disc w/ 2-piston caliper & sintered metal pads; lever-lock type parking brake system on DCT model
FRONT TIRE 90/90-R21 tube type
REAR TIRE 150/70-R18 tube type
GEOMETRY / MEASUREMENTS
RAKE 27° 30’
TRAIL 4.4 in
WHEELBASE 62.0 in.
SEAT HEIGHT Standard position 34.3 in. / Low position 33.5 in.
CURB WEIGHT 511 lbs. (ABS), 534 lbs. (DCT/ABS)
FUEL CAPACITY 4.97 gal.
COLORS Red/Black/White, Silver
$12,999 / $13,699 (DCT).