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Honda 2016 CRF1000L Africa Twin: Full English Language Press Release and Specifications


Following our story yesterday, this morning MD received a press release from American Honda providing details on the 2016 CRF1000L Africa Twin, which will be in U.S. dealer showrooms in early 2016 (no pricing available at present).

As reported yesterday, the new Africa Twin features a 998 cc parallel twin engine, which should be quite smooth given the 270° crank, and “biaxial primary balance shafts”.

Honda went to great lengths to make the engine compact and light, using tricks learned from its design of motocross engines. The frame is steel, not aluminum, and the tire sizes are 21″ front and 18″ rear. The spoked wheels do not allow the use of tubeless tires, unlike Yamaha’s Super Tenere, for example.

With roughly 5 gallons of fuel, Honda claims a 503 pound wet weight for the manual transmission version and 534 pounds for the DCT/ABS version, with advanced automatic transmission.

The Africa Twin features very serious braking capabilities, together with fully adjustable fork and preload adjustable shock, as detailed below.  Here is the full press release, followed by English language specifications for the new Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin:

TORRANCE, Calif., July 24, 2015 – Honda is pleased to announce further technical details on the new CRF1000L Africa Twin, which will be in Honda showrooms across the United States in early 2016. Like its celebrated forerunners, the CRF1000L Africa Twin is thoroughly equipped for true adventure, with a potent engine and dynamic chassis ready to explore continents, on- or off-road.

From the start of the CRF1000L Africa Twin project there was one motorcycle that consistently impressed with its balance of usability, poise and handling, on the road and in the dirt—the seminal XRV750 Africa Twin. It proved a worthwhile benchmark, even when set against today’s myriad choice of adventure motorcycles. The machine that now bears its name shares no common parts with the old model but it inherits the full the essence and spirit of what made the XRV750 Africa Twin so good.

The “true adventure” approach starts with the engine, which has to perform in off-road situations as well as on-road long-range touring and all points in between. The CRF1000L Africa Twin’s 998cc parallel-twin power plant draws heavily on Honda’s off-road race experience with the CRF250R/450R competition machines, and uses the same four-valve Unicam head design for compact overall dimensions. A lightweight cast camshaft—using the same materials as that on the CBR1000RR—operates the valve train, and twin spark plugs fire the fuel/air mixture in each combustion chamber.


Strong and linear power and torque deliver instant response anywhere in the rev-range—accompanied by a satisfying, characterful deep growl as rpm rises. A 270° phased crankshaft gives the power delivery a distinct character as well, delivering excellent feel for rear-wheel traction. Biaxial primary balance shafts cancel vibration.

The engine’s short height contributes to the CRF1000L Africa Twin’s excellent ground clearance—another prerequisite for a true adventure machine. It also uses clever packaging of componentry to both dynamic and aesthetic effect. The water pump is housed within the clutch casing, and the water and oil pumps are driven by a shared balancer shaft. Further reducing engine size is the lower crankcase design, which stores the oil and houses the pressure-fed pump.

The lightweight six-speed manual gearbox uses the same shift-cam design as found on the CRF250R/450R to ensure positive changes and is equipped with an assist slipper clutch.

For the CRF1000L Africa Twin’s chassis, three key attributes—highlights of the original XRV750—were targeted: off-road performance, touring comfort and the everyday agility that makes for a great all-rounder or day-to-day commuter.

A steel semi-double cradle frame provides a balance of highway touring capability—even while fully loaded—genuine off-road performance, agility and sheer strength. Mass centralization—with items like the battery packaged at the rear of the cylinder head—contributes to a low center of gravity.


The long-travel Showa inverted fork is fully adjustable and features dual radial-mount Nissin four-piston brake calipers and 310mm “wave” style floating discs. The Showa rear shock has hydraulic spring-preload adjustment. Like the CRF450R Rally, the CRF1000L Africa Twin uses 21- and 18-inch front and rear spoke wheels, wearing 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tires.

Following its design theme of “unlimited adventure,” the Africa Twin is styled with minimum bodywork in a tough, lightweight form that offers both weather protection for the rider and a slim, agile feel. Dual headlights maintain the original’s signature presence and the seat height adjusts .8 inches to either 34.3 or 33.5 inches. A large 4.96 gallon fuel tank—coupled with the engine’s fuel efficiency—stretches the distances between refueling stops.

To tailor the overall electronics package to capably tackle any conditions on- or off-road, the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system offers three levels of control, and it is possible for the rider to turn off the ABS system for the rear wheel. (HSTC and ABS not available on base version; equipped as standard on DCT/ABS version.)

The CRF1000L Africa Twin will be available in two color options: Red/Black/White Dakar Rally and Silver.


Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)

Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) will be available as an option on the CRF1000L Africa Twin, with the use of a common crankcase keeping the width the same as the manual transmission version.

It features the standard manual mode—allowing the rider to operate gear shifts through triggers on the left handlebar—and two automatic modes. D mode offers the best balance of fuel efficiency and comfort cruising. S mode gives extra levels of sport performance, with three different shift patterns to choose from: S1, S2 and S3.

In certain situations on the road, such as during low-speed maneuvers, the DCT partially disengages the clutch to reduce the effect that quick throttle movements have on the chassis. Of course, DCT for the CRF1000L Africa Twin is also fully equipped to operate in an adventure environment. With the G switch on in any riding mode, the connection between the throttle and the rear wheel is more direct, which can be desirable in certain off-road situations.

Further new functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection. During ascents, upshifts are delayed in order to allow a higher rpm to be held; on descents, downshifts happen earlier to enable better engine braking.


Technical Specifications: 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin

Engine Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and Unicam
Engine Displacement 998cc
Bore x Stroke 92.0 x 75.1 mm
Clutch Wet, multi-plate with coil springs, aluminum cam assist and slipper clutch
Final Drive O-ring sealed chain
Gearbox/Transmission Type Constant mesh 6-speed manual / 6-speed DCT with on- and off-road riding modes
Honda Selectable Torque Control System (HSTC) HSTC 3-levels + switch-off (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)
Frame Type Steel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear sub-frame
Turning Radius 8’2”
Curb Weight 503 lb. (STD), 534 lb. (DCT/ABS)
Fuel Capacity 4.96 gallons
Length x Width x Height 91.9 x 34.4 x 58.1 inches (STD), 91.9 x 36.6 x 58.1 inches (DCT/ABS)
Wheelbase 62.0 inches
Seat Height (STD position / Low position) 34.3/33.5 inches
Ground Clearance 9.8 inches
ABS system type ABS 2-channel with rear ABS off switch (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)
Front Brakes 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminum hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear Brake 256mm wave hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. Also Lever-Lock Type Parking Brake System on DCT/ABS model
Front Wheel Wire spoke with aluminum rim
Rear Wheel Wire spoke with aluminum rim
Front Rim Size 21M/C x MT2.15
Rear Rim Size 18M/C x MT4.00
Front Tire 90/90-R21 tube type
Rear Tire 150/70-R18 tube type





  1. rapier says:

    The thing about making a decently capable off road large displacement bike is that such a bike makes no real sense. Not to plonk around on close to home. If you want that get a 500 class or smaller. The large displacement and size thing is about that prototypical Adventure where you carry enough stuff to be self contained for shelter other stuff and can get there, far off, on the road. Honda seems to be aiming at the best possible off road liter bike and damn the pack it up and go yonder thing. Fine I suppose but who needs that? Off road long distance racers I suppose. There must be several hundred in the world.

    • todd says:

      Right. I’d much rather ride a 400 or 250 even on the highway to get to a trail than anything much larger than that. I have a 350 and a 650 dirt bike. The 650 I converted to a quasi-super motard because it’s just too big to ride on the trails. I have no problem riding the 350 on the freeway to get to the trails. As for every day riding, I have a (few) road bikes that are better suited for that purpose. I couldn’t imagine sacrificing the ease and fun of off road riding just for the ability to ride over 85mph (on knobbies?!?) to get to the trails.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Why would you think you can’t “pack up and go yonder” on the Honda? I used to have a KTM 950 Adventure, and I’d say this Honda seems to be in the same spirit as the 950. I could definitely pack it up and go yonder. I could also breeze through terrain that other large displacement bikes struggled in. There are riders out there that are looking for more balance between off-road and on-road capabilities because we use them both regularly.

    • Dan says:

      That sounds logical but then what explains the popularity of the existing adventure bikes like the GS and VStroms? They’ve sold a lot more than a few hundred.

  2. jonnyblaze says:

    I would like to see Honda use this engine to make a cafe racer.

  3. zuki says:

    It seems most people are still accustomed to seeing ‘dry weight’ figures and in seeing 503 lbs. (wet) for the Africa Twin standard, for example, they automatically add 20, 30, or typically 50 lbs. for their perceived ‘wet’ figure, and then proclaim it to be too heavy and therefore, “no sale”. However, it appears the that the ‘dry weight’ of the AT standard is 458 lbs., and the DCT version is 488: (typo on page – 222kg should be 488 lbs. for DCT)

    The internet seems to have the numbers wrong on the 750 Africa Twin. It states 456 lbs. dry, and 481 wet, yet states it has a 6.1 gallon fuel tank. The fuel alone would put it at ~ 493 lbs, so maybe ~ 508 with all other fluids added. Or is it that the 750 AT is a bit lighter than the stated 456 lbs. dry?

    Hmmm… I don’t know either way but what’s apparent is the new AT 1000 standard is actually about the same weight as the old AT 750, but with quite a bit more power and refinement, or on the other hand the AT 1000 might be only slightly heavier than the AT 750, and still with quite a bit more power and refinement – either way it’s a good thing, a good thing indeed.

  4. Vrooom says:

    I just got back from a week long adventure ride in ID and Montana, and you know what I like, using a plug to fix a flat. Riding off pavement seems to result in flats eventually, might be every 10,000 miles, but levering a tire off to change a tube is a pain in the rear, compared to leaving the wheel on the bike and inserting a plug. Why on earth wouldn’t they seal the wheels?

    • red says:

      yup.. The most problematic thing about it for me is the tube tires. Not only 10x more trouble to fix, but the volume of crap to carry is 10x.. If you want to be self sufficient when traveling need to carry tubes, tire irons, lube, some sort of wheel prop (or be prepared to lay your $$ bike on the ground) – all in place a tiny pack of gummy worms and reamer.

      I still like it.

  5. relic relick says:

    At 4 k more that the pretend adv (versus DL )thanks to talk suspension, the posts will pass and the dedicated will stick with acrf450

  6. takehikes says:

    …….and another one I won’t be buying. It is beakless though. And you candy asses that want cruise control on a ride like this are….well, candy asses.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Throw me in with the candy asses. I have a mechanical cruise control on my Husqvarna. The only thing I can think of that would make the bike even better at this point would be electronic cruise control.

      • Hot Dog says:

        I guess I’m a candy ass too. 500 to 600 mile days, to get to some mountain riding, is my usual escape in the summer and on those long pulls, it’d be nice to relax the right wrist.

        • jonnyblaze says:

          I did an iron butt ride, 1000 miles in 22 hours, on my Versys 650, with just the Scottoiler’s cramp buster supporting my right wrist.

          Do Dakar’s bikes have cruise control?

          May be Honda will fit it, if there’s market demand, in future iterations.

          • jonnyblaze says:

            Once you are used to it, it should be fine. Don’t pamper the body too much. All electronics incur added cost. And they do fail. And you don’t want that when you are alone in inner Mongolia.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I used to have a CrampBuster. Then I got a Kaoko and immediately threw the CrampBuster in the garbage. Electronic cruise control would be even better.

            Do Dakar bikes have cruise control? I don’t know, but why would I care? What does that have to do with plodding across West Texas on my way to Colorado? If I ever race Dakar, I assure you I’m knocking on Kaoko’s door to try to get my first sponsorship dollars.

            I’ll pay for the added cost if it is for something I want. Hopefully, my right hand retains some of the sophisticated muscle memory involved in opening and closing the throttle should my electronic cruise control fail while I’m in inner Mongolia.

          • jonnyblaze says:

            You don’t care and neither could Honda.

            So what’s next? Electronic sun roof?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “So what’s next? Electronic sun roof?”

            I have an auto-tinting visor. Does that count?

    • Provologna says:

      Persons suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome: does this define them as “candy ass?”

      • Doug Miller says:

        Of course not…they are candy wrists!

      • MGNorge says:

        I was just going to say, I have arthritis in my thumbs which usually makes itself known on more than short rides.For that reason I use a Cramp Buster and a throttle lock just so that I have ways to relieve the pain. Believe me, if anyone doesn’t know what it’s like to have pain in their wrists and thumbs while riding they will search for relief if they ever do!