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Honda Readies Larger Displacement Africa Twin

Confirming rumors, Cycle World reports it has seen hard evidence of a larger displacement Africa Twin production model that will be formally introduced this year.

The Cycle World report says the new bike will be called the Honda CRF1100L, and that the displacement of the parallel twin (currently 998cc) will be increased to 1,084cc. Honda, apparently, will not join the horsepower wars (with BMW, Ducati and KTM adventure models available with well over 130 horsepower), with the new model only seeing a mild increase from 94 to 101 horsepower.

Honda currently sells two versions of the Africa Twin, including a base model and the Adventure Sports model (foreground) with larger fuel tank and windscreen

As our trip through the desert near Moab, Utah at the press launch indicated, Honda is very focused on genuine off-road ability, and the Africa Twin will likely continue with an extremely smooth, torquey power delivery, rather than focus on peak horsepower numbers.

CW also says the new Africa Twin will be available only with the larger 6.4 gallon fuel tank currently available on the Adventure Sports version of the bike, as well as a taller windscreen and revised headlights.


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49 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    How about spoke wheels with tubeless tires, Honda? Who wants to ride out into the wilderness on their favorite Africa Twin and get a flat that cannot be repaired easily out in the middle of nowhere? Tubeless tires on specially designed spoke wheels have been out for years. Do you know about them Honda?

    • todd says:

      You’re better off bringing some spare heavy duty tubes and tire spoons with you. Most flats in the wilderness are due to pinching the sidewall on a rock, not roofing nails. Tubed tires allow you to safely air the tires down for additional traction without fear of instant deflation.

  2. John says:

    How about a TransAlp with the 471cc engine before you start rebuilding popular existing motorcycles?

  3. Gary says:

    Honda is totally blowing it. It’s quite shocking to see what used to be the industry leader falling further behind. Sad!

    • MGNorge says:

      Please provide data to back up your view.

      • Jeremy says:

        Agreed. Not so sure Honda is blowing anything. Adventure bikes are very popular where I live, and I’d guess a large majority of them are used off-road. Real off-road, not gravel or dirt roads. For the past few years, I’ve casually observed the Africa Twin working it’s way into the fold to the point that it is just a common on big bike ride as BMW’s GS.

    • advrider says:

      They are not blowing anything. Honda is making some needed changes for the better unlike some of the other manufacturers that make a bike and let it run for 10 years before doing any updates. They are obviously listening to their customers and want to put out a better product.

    • Gary says:

      The clear trend in adventure bikes is toward mid-sized bikes that are light enough to actually navigate off road (F850GT, 790 KTM, etc.), or big heavy touring bikes gussied up to LOOK like off road bikes but that are essentially road only (Tenere, R1200GS, etc.). So Honda creates this monstrosity, with feet in both worlds and therefore mediocre in both.

  4. North of Missoula says:

    Regardless of one’s personal opinion the Africa twin has been a huge success for Honda.They have sold a lot of units globally. When I ride around the Pacific NW and Western Canada I see a lot of them. Up in this neck of the woods I would say that as far as newer models go they are one of the most common bikes on the road at the moment. They are a great all arounder with decent off road chops and great highway manners.

    Sure they are criticized by KTM owners for not having a lot of power, under-sprung suspension, fairly heavy, high center of gravity etc. However I am sure that more than one Africa Twin owner has pulled their buddy out the bush on a broken down KTM or BMW.

  5. Mick says:

    To me the ADV market is basically just a dirty looking touring market. I equate it with the half ton truck. The half to truck is now a sort of truck looking car. Only Ford still makes a “long”, what used to be standard, box with a larger than standard cab. All have sacrificed utility for fashion interiors.

    The ADV bikes have all traded weight for power. This one here weighs about 100 pounds more than my 2004 Multistrada and had, up until now, only slightly more power.

    It’s sad for me to see so much fashion over substance now days. KTM is considered radical for making the slightest effort to produce substance.

  6. RabidWhelk says:

    I’d much rather have a bit less power and a LOT less weight. Something like a 750 say, with 200Kg ish …. Oh wait, we’ve had that before – it’s the XRV750

  7. Hot Dog says:

    These are really nice bikes but they’re a big bike off road. It seems a lot of folks want smaller and lighter, not stupid crazy power. Not that big power is bad but my ham fist has got my lily white arse in trouble quite a bit over the years. These are really nice machines, especially with DCT.

    (Psssst…. hey Yamaha, I heard there was a small Tenere’ under development 3-4 years ago. Will it be released in 2030 before ICE are outlawed?)

  8. azicat says:

    Perhaps worth pointing out the unresolved controversies regarding fork anodising wear, frame corrosion, and inconsistent warranty claims in the ADV community with Honda Africa Twins. Prospective buyers should add this to their research.

  9. whisperquiet says:

    I would be more interested with the addition of factory cruise control and tubeless rims/tires than a displacement bump. The larger fuel capacity is a plus.

    • Anonymous says:

      This. More fuel capacity, tubeless wheels and cruise control. It is after all, an adventure TOURING motorcycle

      Stupid Honda should increase the fuel and storage capacity on their Moldwing too.

      For those that whine about the weight of fuel, put less in the tank if you’re that worried. Better still, try exercising. It works. For “highly skilled riders” like Ralph W, their skill will allow them to ride like the wind whilst the rest of us break like it.

  10. motorhead says:

    Decreasing the weight by 7.4% may improve this bike more than increasing the horsepower by 7.4%. However, hats off to Honda for focusing majorly on off-road performance. If I were riding again I’d ride this. It’s a bike that lets one “stand up and look around” while riding.

  11. ABQ says:

    I can not complain about Honda. They make fine bikes.
    My complaint is that my inseam is just too short for adventure bikes. And too short for most standards. With my prosthetic leg even a heavy cruiser can be an issue.
    Has anybody thought about an adventure trike? You could go at a good speed down any dirt road in New Mexico and not drop it.
    Keep that nice large gas tank. I could really go places with that.

    • Neal says:

      Sounds like you want a side by side or a Roxor. Three wheeled ATV’s have been federally banned in the US since the late 80’s.

    • TunaPete says:

      ABQ, it sounds like a Ural Gear Up (2WD sidecar outfit) might be just what you need.

      • Neal says:

        There you go, great suggestion

      • gpokluda says:

        I used to sell Urals in my shop. They have a loyal following and are the most field serviceable machine I have ever seen. They are crude as a stone axe. If ridden as designed, they will be dependable machines. Unfortunately, Americans see the opposed twin and think it is a BMW and will flog them down the road and blow their engines up then give them bad reviews.

        • Jeremy says:

          If the engine blows up from “flogging” (i.e. flirting with 60mph for too long) down the road, I think the bad reviews are earned. 🙂

          • gpokluda says:

            So what makes 60mph the magical threshold? If some one rides a 125 day in day out over 60mph and it blows up, does it get a bad review? When I sold Urals, they were designed for 50-65mph. That was the spec and they were stone reliable. When Mr. Beemerhead comes along and rides the machine 75mph on the Interstate across Texas and it blows up. Not the bikes fault.

          • mickey says:

            Just curious, does it warn against that in the owners manual?

    • Grover says:

      ABQ – checkbout the Ural. It’s a sidecar bike that has run in the La-Barstow-Vegas event and completed it. An acquaintance of mine has one and even rides through the winter long after we’ve parked our bikes. It has 2 drive wheels and blocked tread so it can handle the dirt. It’s not so good on the highway, tho. I guess everything is a compromise. 🙁

    • CrazyJoe says:

      I think you have to get out there and try them out. I’m not tall and most Adventure bikes and Dual Sports to tall for me too. Bikes with a high center of gravity are no help either. BMW’s 650 adv is a good fit for me and the spec’s say otherwise. Some scramblers might be a good fit too but they aren’t cheap.

      A bike like the much maligned Svartpilen might work out for you. They also make a 400. To bad the Japanese don’t put out a scrambler with their Dual Sport engines. Not like their enduro’s with race engines. Or maybe a kawaski scrambler with a 400 twin.

    • G Hill says:

      Can-am Ryker. Rally Edition. 900cc, Off road capable. Would not hit too rough a trail. I am considering one. My leg keeps getting worse. Sell my cruiser and dual sport.

  12. Fred N says:

    100cc just to offset losses meeting the coming 2020 Euro 5 regulations.
    Happens all the time.

  13. bmbktmracer says:

    Same size, same weight, and 7 extra HP and people are complaining. Obviously their marketing research shows folks are going places on these things, thus the bigger tank and taller windscreen. A bit of extra power makes sense because the only demerit I’ve read about the bike is modest power at highway speeds.

  14. My2cents says:

    As a ADV rider myself I’d say less is more, that being said most ADV motorcycles are off road about 2% of the time, roughing it for most means a fire road which can be accomplished on full street tires. The large tank on even the base model is a good selling point for those going between Broome and Perth, for the USA it’s good when paired with gas buddy. com. Sure would like a 1000cc single with a dual range transmission.

    • Kent says:

      I ride out west, and gas stations can easily be 200 miles apart.
      Gas Buddy doesn’t work where I ride, because most of the spots don’t have cell service.

      A few years ago on a trip, one of the guys on a KLR (big tank, decent MPG) brought spare fuel and needed it.

      • My2cents says:

        My DL 650 easily reaches 275 miles before the flashing fuel light at which 4 lites of fuel remains. So 325 miles to dry a KLR 650 must go a bit further.

    • dt-175 says:

      a 1000cc single! what a twin it would make!!

  15. gpokluda says:

    Having a number of friends who actually ride their adv bikes off road, I don’t think I have ever heard any of them say they wished they had a bigger engine. They usually say, they wish they had lighter bikes or better suspension or lower CG. Not sure where Honda is going with this especially wanting to focus on off-road capability.

  16. Don says:

    Nick – You may be right. I don’t see what 86cc’s is going to get them when the power increase is so small. Just keep the Adventure Sports version and bring us a 700 – 750cc model with 75 – 80hp and light weight. That would be offering more of a real choice.

    • todd says:

      There’s no hurry. They can wait a couple years before bringing out a 700 adventure bike and still beat Yamaha to market.

      • Neal says:

        I’d guess Yamaha is waiting for the 2nd gen FZ07 motor to be developed/approved before releasing the Tenere 700 to the US. If the 2nd generation of motor is going to be their long term bet, that’s the one they’re going to invest in certifying. Its not a good look when the US gets stuck with old tech, like Honda did with the NC700 vs the Euro NC750.

        • Mick says:

          There a 2021 Ténéré 700 on Yamahas website.

          • todd says:

            Too bad you can’t buy it.

          • Neal says:

            There are pics out there of the 2nd gen FZ07 mule running around now. It appears to have the same cases, any changes are to the exhaust, internals, fueling. 2021 is right on schedule for that being the motor that will be in the Tenere.

  17. Nick says:

    They’re going the wrong direction displacement wise.

    • Dave says:

      I believe this engine is shared with the Honda Talon side by side ATV. Could be an update to benefit that platform.

      The bump in displacement doesn’t change the bike’s position in the market. To compete in the mid-size segment, I believe it’d need to be a whole new bike. Simply shrinking the cylinders will just make this bigger bike under powered.

  18. endonman38 says:

    Recently I saw rumors of a smaller displacement version – maybe 700cc-ish.