MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Image and Video Take Wraps Off New Honda Africa Twin

Newtop

072315top-i2

Together with what is apparently the final video in the series of videos teasing the new Honda Africa Twin, Honda has published in Portugal a final image of the production machine, together with specifications. Here are the photos, specifications, and screen grabs from the video below. A round table discussion between engineers, designers and testers gives us a pretty good idea about the bike. Very capable off-road, light feeling for its displacement of 1,000 cc (a parallel twin), and available with a DCT transmission, the group deems it worthy of the Africa Twin name. Stay tuned for a formal announcement from Honda.

bottom
072315middle

 

58 Comments

  1. TURBOMAN says:

    This is one nice unit from Honda..Now this will put a hurt on Ducati and when it does they will start pricing their units within reason..

  2. Ian Saki says:

    What there is not beak! What’s wrong with Honda? Did they not get the memo from BMW, Suzuki,Kawasaki. Even my Multistrada has a beak. Come to think about it, all of them are beginning to sprout beaks. What’s the meaning of this? I thank you Honda for resisting the urge to follow…

  3. MGNorge says:

    I like it! I thought interesting were the comments to the improvements and maturing of the DCT and its prowess in the dirt.

    Almost makes me wish I was in the market for a new ride as this seems well done. The proof however is in the test ride!

  4. old matt says:

    What about if they made this bike with 500 cc and it weighed 250 lbs ? I would buy it.
    What the world doesn’t need now is another 500 lb 10K$ adventure bike. Do any of the people that design these things actually go camping? Drop that thing and you will have to pick it up. Back when riders designed bikes, a 600 cc BMW R/2 was the biggest off road bike you could buy.

    This “bigger is better” trend has gone nuts. What ever happened to light is right? If this trend keeps going, Boss Hog will be the best seller with a big block v8 scrambler.

    • Provologna says:

      World, especially Western demographic for this bike: older white guys, over age 50, guys who want to ride something that screams “Viagra” user pilot (unrelated to whether or not they use Viagra…just like most of the Western Machiavellian world, image trumps reality).

      Middle class wage income is about dead even with the 70s. Conversely, all wage growth, especially since the 08 depression, is in the top 10%, especially concentrated in the top 1%. This explains the shocking growth in markets for the ultra-rich, multiple million dollar condos, Ferrari consistent record breaking sales, etc, etc.

      I am HT/audio expert. Helped a friend in Petaluma CA build his brother in law’s HT, a PG&E executive, huge acre estate in town. In choosing the projector screen size, the BIL specified exactly this: “I don’t want to visit anyone’s house and see a screen bigger than mine.”

      Now review your request (similar to my request BTW), and notice how violently it clashes with the above story.

    • TF says:

      A 500 lb. Honda adventure bike priced at $10K would likely sell quite well. However, this bikes weighs 550 lbs. and I will wager that it will sell for somewhere in the neighborhood of $15K, probably more.

      You can buy an awesome 500cc, 250 lb. “adventure bike” right now in the form of a KTM 500EXC. The trouble is, those bikes cost an honest $10K as well. Expensive toys, all of them. You can never rationalize a motorcycle purchase as nobody NEEDS one. You only live once……follow your heart.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “What about if they made this bike with 500 cc and it weighed 250 lbs ? I would buy it.”

      A race-ready dirt bike with blinkers doesn’t offer the utility a lot of people look for in an adventure bike. And that is the only kind of bike that will approach anything remotely close to 250 lbs.

      The large-bore adventure bikes haven’t really gotten heavier since the market was first really defined by BMW 25 years ago with the R100GS. They’ve just become much more powerful and refined. That kind of more is better in my opinion.

    • Jeckyll says:

      A 500cc 250 lbs bike wouldn’t be an Afrika Twin. The whole point of the bike is different.

      I’m exited about this, just worried about the final sticker price.

    • Lenz says:

      Old Matt I totally agree on the “light is right” for the adventure bike that is REALLY going to be used and abused in off road situations.

      The “adventure bike” that actually fills the niche of spirited performance with comfortable ergonomics for extended B grade road usage with the occasional foray into “tiger country” seems to be the zone these larger, heavier “adventure bikes” really fill.

  5. Tommy D says:

    I grew up on 70’s and 80’s Honda’s Z50-CM400T-V65-tariff 700 Interceptor-NT650. It’s been a while since I owned one. This may be it! I may even be up for the DCT if it can wheelie with a slip inducing push of the button. There is enough stop and go traffic around here to make it shine on a commute.

  6. Stratkat says:

    Hey, what happened to the full knobbies the prototype had. hard core off road and all that???

    • MGNorge says:

      You make it what you want. Full knobbies would be out of place for most owner’s usage. Spoon on a set if that’s what you want.

  7. PN says:

    I hope it’s fun to ride but all the big adventure bikes seem a bit much for the supposedly intended use. A Versys seems the right size to me.

  8. PatrickD says:

    It’s strange that the Africa Twin is trading on any past glory. I’m sure the dakar racer was great, but the 750 road bike was heavy (200+kg), complicated and slow (<60 bhp).
    I'm sure that the comparisons between the new machine and original are going to be positive, but the world has moved on. A KTM950, 990 or the recent 1050 are likely to be far more engaging and capable machines.

  9. todd says:

    I’m still hoping they’d do the same with their XR650R. I’d prefer that over a KLR and especially this. Comparing this bike to the other big bikes like the KTM or GS as an “Adventure” bike would leave this wanting. People typically expect at least 1200cc and much north of 100hp…

  10. Bill says:

    Its a Honda, it will be expensive and work
    It probably won’t come to the US
    Everything will be extra
    The seat will be made out of the finest mahogany
    People will gripe about the suspension, wind buffeting, vibration at 9k, and that it doesn’t pull like an 450 mx bike, yada yada yada
    The ensuing comments to have a beak or not to have a beak will come

    To me, it looks cool
    Done

  11. RubberChicken says:

    The seat height is listed right in the specs as 870/850 mm. Lower one is for the “Lowered Seating” so they seem to have an option like does BMW for the GS.870/850 works out to about 33.5″-34.5″. To me at 5’11” that is darn tall.BMW show the 2015 R1200GS (LC) to be “Seat height, unladen weight 33.5/34.3 inches (adjustable seat height)” and I find that bike to be too tall for my comfort. I prefer about 31″ max.

  12. carl says:

    Seat height is 870/850 mm says right on the specs if you can read Portuguese lol. So on the lowest setting you are looking at 33.46 inches for seat height

  13. RRocket says:

    Is it just me, or does the seat height look manageable for any sized rider? On most ADV bikes, you need to be 6+ feet to ride them. This doesn’t look to be the case. The seat looks low(ish).

    Any figures?

    • PatrickD says:

      I’m 5’9″ and managed an R1200GS Adventure for a few years. Gave my hamstrings a good workout but I managed comfortably.
      Just one incident, though. My wife and I toured to France, fully laden with camping gear, so the rear shock had the preload bumped well up. We took all the luggage off and went town to get some provisions. She leapt off the bike at the bakery, the rear shock extended and bike & I went a-tumbling after my legs waved pointlessly in mid-air. We had got on the bike with a curb to the left, so I hadn’t noticed the problem. The bakery staff were quite horrified.

    • Tim says:

      Seeing those jumps on the video, with a 1000 cc bike…I’m in lust. They weren’t just awkward jumps, either, the bike reacted like a dirt bike. I need more garage space.

  14. Provologna says:

    So a soaking wet Yamaha FZ-07 is about 409 lbs? How much weight does a larger rear subframe and other adventure bits add, 40-some odd lbs, maybe? Now we’re up to 450 or so.

    Yamaha releases a proper bike based on their 680-some cc parallel twin and I could see guys trading their Africa Twin for it.

    A normal non-pro taking the same route as that shown in the video shall look a lot clunkier and dopier than the two pro riders in the video, who know the route like the proverbial back of their hand.

    Keep repeating, “it feels light for its weight.” I hope so! I guess it feels like a mere 475 lbs in the dirt instead of its actual 528 lbs.

    It sure looks awesome, though. I favor the white. And love the sound. Everywhere except for real dirt duty you know this sucker sings and dances.

    For persons who tried a Honda with DCT and did not like it, why? Fifteen years ago I remember seeing the Ferrari DCT shifted quicker than Michael Schumacher shifted a regular manual.

    Ultimately, to me, it’s still a glorified Escalade with improved brakes, steering, and suspension.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      >Keep repeating, “it feels light for its weight.” I hope so! I guess it feels like a mere 475 lbs in the dirt instead of its >actual 528 lbs.

      >It sure looks awesome, though.

      Thanks for saving me some typing. 🙂

    • KenHoward says:

      I think it’s safe to say that it weighs what it weighs because of Honda’s formula for balancing weight to durability to cost. It’s not an accident. Hondas are usually not the lightest, or most powerful, nor the cheapest in any given category. I think we can agree (well, if that’s ever possible) that Honda makes bikes that last. I’d guess that will be especially true with this model.

      • TF says:

        I don’t believe that Honda has the market cornered with regard to reliability any longer and in 2015 heavy no longer equals durable/reliable. Today, a heavy bike is indication that the designers chose to save money on materials to enhance profit margin while remaining price-competitive.

      • Provologna says:

        My ’85 Honda Sabre VF700S V4 liquid cooled shaftie had just under 100k miles when we parted. I took moderate care of it, nothing special, changed oil, etc. After fine toothbrush detail finish quality was shockingly good, better than most bikes with 1/4 the miles, and the motor still smooth as silk, made awesome power, and burned no oil. Suspension was the weak spot when it sold, but the rear linkage was fine…just not much in the way of damping remained, as you’d expect.

        The VF700S made BMW K75s look like they dropped anchor, and even passed K100s (I owned a K75 and it surely handled better).

  15. Joga says:

    Hopefully it will be priced at Japanese bike prices lately Honda has gone crazy with their prices .

    • Provologna says:

      What? You don’t believe the published CPI spec? My wife buys Dove soap. I know my hands are huge (XXL), but the new bars are so small I almost can’t feel them in my hands. I want to smash two new bars together.

  16. endoman38 says:

    I want.

  17. turnergande says:

    The muffler on some of these new bikes are way out of proportion / way too huge. Is it because of noise restrictions or is the catalyst built into the muffler?

  18. Phlip says:

    It just looks like a bike I could take out to nowhere, often I see other bikes in this category that I instantly have a “no way would I take that there” feeling, so it gives me confidence just looking at it, I like that.

  19. Dave says:

    I hope Honda does like Yamaha (and Honda themselves in the past) and apply this engine to multiple models/styles. Something similar to that FZ-07 but a little higher end would be pretty cool. Never been a fan of the “Adventure” thing but that’s just my taste..

    • Montana Backroads says:

      This engine with the DCT is in the 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000 side by side UTV. I’d like to see it in A NC1000X model!

  20. Stuki Moi says:

    It’s heavier than what I was led to believe, by about 10-12kg. Which may ultimately be more about bragging rights than anything all that consequential.

    Ground clearance, and presumably suspension travel is outstanding for an Adv bike. 1190R/GS/A clearance with standard GS, S10, <standard 1190 seat height! That alone, ought to net Honda dealers a fair amount of S10s with banged up sumps in conquest trade-inns. And possibly even some GS/As with tipover damage.

    I once heard hints it would feature a 140/80 rear, for compatibility with offroad/rally, as opposed to adventure, rear tires. At 500+lbs, it makes sense that was nixed, if it was ever on the table.

    With a <19L tank and a design specifically playing up narrowness between the legs when standing, they'd better not have backed too far off their mpg-at-realistic-overland-speeds target, lest the bike be relegated to Parisian cobblestone and local YouTube stunting duty.

  21. ed says:

    Welded subframe…?

  22. North of Missoula says:

    Interesting that they went with leading axle forks. I expect it is to quicken up the steering with that 21in front wheel. It would also allow for more suspension travel.

    Looks like the real deal. Mind you that exhaust can looks like it came out of the boiler on on a ship.

  23. Jeremy in TX says:

    I like it a lot. I thought they might shoot to make it the featherweight of the big-bore ADV class, but it is a nice bike nonetheless.

  24. mechanicus says:

    Candidate for ugliest motorcycle muffler ever? I second my own motion. Otherwise, looks like fun – like it would be fun to just take it out and thrash it like you stole it.

  25. Jo says:

    Beautiful lines
    Perfect size/displacement…good weight

    Not a fan of the dual clutch tranny unless it’s way different than the one I test rode on the Honda VTR 1200….

    Wheels don’t look tubeless…if not tubeless that is deal killer.

    I’d have a hard time giving up my 2012 Super Tenere with its low maintenance, bullet proof shaft drive and spoked tubeless wheels for this bike though.

    • TF says:

      I agree. I could live with a chain (I do now) but tube tires would kill the deal. I see no reason to choose this bike over a Super T or KTM or BMW or any other adventure bike unless you are a blindly partisan Honda fan or they can offer a price advantage over their competition (not likely).

      It’s a great looking bike……just late to the party.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Having owned a KTM and a BMW, all it would have to offer for me is Honda reliability to seal the deal over those two Eurobikes.

        • TF says:

          I have owned six KTMs and five Hondas (all off road bikes). I saw no real difference as far as reliability. I have never owned a beemer and don’t really want to. That said, if I had to buy a dirt-worthy adventure bike sight unseen, I would buy the Super T mainly because of its reputation for reliability. It will be very interesting to see how the Honda compares.

  26. Random says:

    18l tank, ~240 kg, ~90hp, defeatable Torque control (traction control?), defeatable rear ABS, nice pillion seat, no strange beak – What it’s not to like? Yeah, the centerstand, but a easily solved issue.