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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

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!

  7. paul246 says:

    Without a doubt this will be my next “new bike” purchase. You may pay a bit more for a Honda but you are rewarded with long-term satisfaction. I loved my XR650L, had it for years of hard use, I now own a 2003 VFR800, love it!!

    The “new” Africa Twin will get my wedge.

  8. Ralph says:

    So, to get ABS I have to take the auto tranny too? Fail.

    Sorry Honda, but I guess my money stays with the Europeans.

  9. Auphliam says:

    Seems to be a lot of folks clamoring for cruise control in the few reviews I’ve read so far. Seems an odd requirement for such a bike, IMO. Personally never used cruise control on dirt, but to each their own LOL.

    • Grover says:

      This bike will be used 98% highway, 2% dirt. Thus, the desire of cruise control and other amenities. Look at how other adventure bikes are used for a real world statistic.

  10. ststrider says:

    looks like a winner. have to wait and see how competitively its priced.

  11. Malcolm says:

    I notice the skidplate is missing in the photos of the standard/non-DCT version on Honda’s website. Will it not be standard? Hopefully, it was just removed for pics of the oil filter and forgot before more glamour shots… ? After a lot of contemplating over the weekend, and studying the pics, the Africa Twin is at the top of my wishlist for my next bike. Seriously considering the DCT if it’s not too expensive, and think it will prove to be a pretty awesome feature. I have many other machines to shift manually if I want. Looking forward to the test reviews.

  12. azi says:

    It’s interesting following all the comments – they seem to reflect how people’s perceptions of “adventure bike” have changed so much in twenty years, with expectations of so many luxury features.

    This bike is a Land Rover Defender, not a Range Rover with leather seats and hill assist.

    Tubed tyres: this is most likely dictated by the rim choice. Traditional spoked rims offer the best balance of strength and weight. Tubes make sense for offroad riding, as they’re easier to repair in the field than tubeless. You can convert them to tubeless with rim strips if you want.

    Centrestand: Unnecessary weight for dirt work. Most dirt riders use a frame lift (or a tree).

    ABS: It’s a dirt bike. Being able to ride it on the road is just a bonus. I don’t see ABS on Husqvarna FE501s or RMX450s.

    90HP: The original 1990s Super Teneres and Africa Twins made 60-70HP. 90HP is a significant upgrade.

    • jonnyblaze says:

      It’s about torque. Linear torgue. Forget triple figure hp.

      Honda emphasized this;

      Honda Selectable Torque Control System (HSTC)

      NOT Honda Selectable POWER Control System.

      • MGNorge says:

        I’m more than certain that this will deliver 1000cc type torque, over a broad range and starting pretty low in the rev range. At its size and weight I wouldn’t think of it as a trail bike but one to explore off paved roads with. Ride to a destination, freeways included and explore to your hearts content.

    • Walter says:

      KTM has tubeless spoked rims on the 1190s, BMW onthe GS, Yamaha on the Tenere, Aprilia on the Capo Rally. Punctures are much, much easier to repair with a tubeless tire. And you can always put a tube in a tubeless setup if you dent the rim enough or get a slash in the tire. To asset that tubed tires are somehow better than tubeless these days is silly.

      Of course, it’s not as silly as equating this to a Husky FE or Suzuki RMX, but close.

      I take from your comment you have no experience with the various “dirt ABS” offerings that are available now.

      Many self-styled “hard core” dirt and street riders scorn the electronic assists, but the fact is they work pretty well. I don’t know anyone, repeat anyone, who’s tried bikes with the latest versions of electronics packages who wasn’t converted.

      Honda picked a great target bike– the 2007-2013 KTM990. So the AT may be a great bike (depends on the suspension quality more than anything else); but (imo of course) it could have been so much more so easily.

  13. Tom R says:

    For all those who are basically saying “This can’t ridden in the dirt”, are you not watching the video?

    Or are you all conspiracy theorists who believe that it was produced by Industrial Light & Magic?

    • Provologna says:

      You mean the two world class pro dirt riders, on a course they know like the back of their hand, in a video cut and produced by highly paid marketing experts? And yes, technology and professionals employed by the likes of ILM most certainly make commercials of all types. I’ve been to ILM on Lucas Valley Road, worked for one of their ex-employees at the Sausalito Record PLant, and know and lived near another ex-employee with six Oscars.

      • Tom R says:

        So many “traditional” dirt bike riders are like members of the Flat Earth Society who refuse to believe that the earth is round even when shown the curvature from orbiting space craft.

        Even after witnessing a liter-class Adventure bike obviously being ridden aggressively in a dirt environment, many still maintain that “you can’t do that on anything over 500cc and 250 pounds”.

  14. James says:

    The 800 Triumph twin has cruise control. Does this one have cruise control?

  15. Hot Dog says:

    I don’t know-

    A thing about tubed tires. If guys here have used them and believe in them, then they must be a good thing. 50 years ago, it was all we had, so now we’ve come full circle.

    A thing about DCT tranny. I’ve never ridden a bike with one, so if I shot my lip from my hip, I’d be blowing hot air. Honda seems to think it’s pretty good, maybe it is.

    A thing about dirt bike riding, but I’ve spent a fair amount of time on crappy gravel roads. This bike looks like it’s well suited to back roads. Just watching it made me think it looked light and responsive.

    I do know-

    I think the silver and black bike is beautiful.

    Hmmm, 270 degree crank, where’d that idea come from?

    I’m glad they didn’t join the horsepower wars.

    It looks light enough that even an old dog like me could pick it up.

    • todd says:

      Have you ever watched a trials event? Those guys make it look so easy to scale a vertical rock.

    • Yoyodyne says:

      DCT enables the rider to shift gears while standing on the pegs, this is a very useful ability.

      • mickey says:

        apparently you have not ridden much motocross. You shift while standing on the pegs quite a bit.

        • TF says:

          The best motocross and off-road riders rarely sit down and they shift a lot.

          • Yoyodyne says:

            My bad, I thought “without moving their feet” was implied in the way I wrote the comment, I see that it was not.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        But will it let you immediately loft the front wheel to get it over an obstacle?

  16. Fred_M says:

    I’m glad to see Honda turning down the bloat factor in the Adventure bike market. Adventure bikes are the Charles Barkley class of motorcycle, going from the athletic, lean BMW R80G/S from the 1980s to the bloated bikes we have now, which are more likely to be seen parked at a Dunkin Donuts than being ridden off-road.

  17. Spike says:

    Meh. Not impressed. Same seat height as ST, it’s underpowered and does not have the creature comforts of similar bikes. It’ll probably be $12k.

    • Fred_M says:

      If you describe 90+hp as underpowered,” you must be an astoundingly talented off-road rider. I’ve ridden since I was 12, am in my mid 50s now, and I can’t imagine fully utilizing that kind of power in the dirt.

      Obviously, with your level of skill, I’m sure that you recognize that Honda traded “creature comforts” and the horsepower of a larger engine in order to create a lighter-weight bike that us normal riders could better use off-road.

      • TF says:

        It’s a 90 HP bike that weighs 550 pounds. I am betting that a 500 EXC would humiliate it in a short drag race.

        It’s too heavy to be a serious off-road bike unless cruising hard packed dirt roads is your idea of off-roading. For that type of use, it should have just adequate power. Keep in mind, 550 pounds with 90 HP is barely the same power to weight ratio as a 250 2 stroke dirt bike. The 250’s thrust is about perfect for tight single track use but would be quite boring on a dirt road for extended periods. And who is going to ride single track with this Honda? If you use the bike as intended by loading it up like a pack mule including a passenger, it becomes even more underpowered.

        It will not be a contender as a street bike either since many of the competition are sporting 150 HP or more with the ability shave 50 HP or so for “off-road” use via the push of a button. In addition, the Honda won’t accept big fat sticky street tires like some of the competition.

        As someone else said, it would have been a contender in 2007.

        • Fred_M says:

          You wrote: “I am betting that a 500 EXC would humiliate it in a short drag race.”

          The 500 EXC makes 52hp and has a wet weight of 426 pounds (with a 180 pound rider — forgot about the rider, didn’t you?). The CRF1000L makes 94HP and has a wet weight of 683 pounds with the same 180 pound rider, giving it about 13% better power to weigh ratio compared to the 500 EXC.

          The area under the torque curve, not the height of the horsepower peak, is the true measure of power for an adventure bike that’s ridden off-road. If you ride a KTM 500 EXC at 5,000RPM, you’ve got a mighty 26hp under you. That’s why Honda chose a long-stroke twin tuned for low-RPM torque.

          You wrote: “It’s too heavy to be a serious off-road bike unless cruising hard packed dirt roads is your idea of off-roading.”

          If that’s all that you could do with it, I could school you in off-road riding. Bikes much heavier than this, and with less horsepower, have been ridden on journeys of thousands of miles all over the world in some very undeveloped, rough terrain. There’s a reason why the “Long Way Down” and “Long Way Round” journeys were not undertaken on YZ250 2-strokes.

          You wrote: “It will not be a contender as a street bike either since many of the competition are sporting 150 HP or more with the ability shave 50 HP or so for “off-road” use via the push of a button.”

          Whoa there, TF! How did we go from 94HP on the Honda being “underpowered” to the competition’s push-button 100HP being right for off-road use?

          You wrote: “In addition, the Honda won’t accept big fat sticky street tires like some of the competition.”

          Good! Mounting big, fat, sticky street tires on an adventure bike is as dumb as mounting Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires on a Jeep Wrangler.

          • TF says:

            “forgot about the rider, didn’t you?”

            Yep, forgot about the rider…..still not very impressive numbers. And why did you feel compelled to put a rev-limiter on the KTM?

            “If that’s all that you could do with it”

            I did not say that’s all I could do with it, I said that’s all that will be done with it and that’s all I personally WOULD do with it. If I am going to ride off road, I ride my off-road bike. BTW, just because they were able to get a couple riders to jump the bikes in a video does not mean that the bike should be jumped…..I recall a particular photo of Jim Holley jumping a Harley Bagger…..

            “I could school you in off-road riding.”

            Um, I am thinking not.

            “There’s a reason why the “Long Way Down” and “Long Way Round” journeys were not undertaken on YZ250 2-strokes.”

            Obviously you missed my “pack-mule” comment as well as the comment about being under powered for extended dirt road usage. Whatever.

            ” Whoa there, TF! How did we go from 94HP on the Honda being “underpowered” to the competition’s push-button 100HP being right for off-road use?”

            We did not go there, you did. You missed the quotes around “off-road”. The over-arching point you missed is that many of the others can trim their power outputs if you want less for “off-road” (read dirt road or rain) usage. Honda does not have a button to add 50 HP for street use. When they add one, they will possess the versatility of their competition. Until then, a big “competitive disadvantage”.

            “Good! Mounting big, fat, sticky street tires on an adventure bike is as dumb as mounting Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires on a Jeep Wrangler.

            Context is important. “It will not be a contender as a street bike either…….”

            Allow me to summarize my previous comments for you, this Honda will not be well received as an off-road bike and it will not be well received as a street bike. That was the point. I will predict that each adv bike comparo test will summarize that this Honda “is a great bike but it is heavy and under-powered compared to its competition”.

          • Fred_M says:

            You wrote: “And why did you feel compelled to put a rev-limiter on the KTM?”

            I put it on both bikes. Because no one rides adventure bikes at 10,000RPM. What matters is how well the bikes work at the RPM ranges at which they will be ridden.

            You wrote: “Um, I am thinking not.”

            That’s fine if it makes you feel better. 🙂

            You wrote: “Honda does not have a button to add 50 HP for street use.”

            And Yamaha’s Super Tenere does not have a button to subtract 50 pounds for dirt use.

            You wrote: “When they add one, they will possess the versatility of their competition.”

            On what road is the Honda CRF1000L less versatile than its competition? The Autobahn?

            You wrote: “Allow me to summarize my previous comments for you, this Honda will not be well received as an off-road bike and it will not be well received as a street bike. That was the point. I will predict that each adv bike comparo test will summarize that this Honda “is a great bike but it is heavy and under-powered compared to its competition”.”

            But will it be judged to be the best adventure bike? If you read the comparisons now, you find that the winning bike is seldom the lightest, most powerful, best on street, or best on dirt. It’s the one that works best overall. It’s which one the reviewers would choose for an actual adventure. That’s why the BMW R1200GS keeps winning, despite being down on power and up on weight relative to the competition.

        • Fred_M says:

          This doesn’t look like a bike that’s been “cruising hard packed dirt roads”:

          Apparently, there are people who can do a lot more than just ride on hard-packed dirt roads” with an Africa Twin:

          • TF says:

            A little levity, remember this one?


            I hope you’re right and Honda ends up selling a boat load of these bikes. My opinion however is that the majority of them (adv bikes) are used as sport tourers that occasionally see some hard packed dirt roads. The competition is stiff right now and Honda is late to the party with a bike that I think is too heavy to be a really good off-road bike and too underpowered to be a really good sport tourer.

          • Fred_M says:

            Somewhere I have the actual issue of Dirt Bike magazine where they ran that. It was an April issue, I’m almost sure.

            Thanks for the civility, good nature, and thoughtful responses. While there are lighter bikes than the Honda CRF1000L and more powerful ones, I like the direction Honda took with this one. They seemed to be aiming for something where you could fall over off-road and not have to take out a second mortgage to fix the bike. It looks a bit simpler, svelte, and more dirt-capable than some of the road-oriented Adventure bikes that have been hitting the market.

            FYI: I’ve got a BMW R1150RTP (police bike), a Buell 1125CR, a Buell XB12Ss Lightning, and a Suzuki DR-Z400S (which I’ve set up for 90% dirt, 10% street). I’ve not owned an adventure bike before, but I’m getting old enough that I’d rather not break more ribs on the DR-Z by riding, and crashing, like a teenager.

          • TF says:

            I am pretty sure I have that issue too. I have every issue of Dirtbike since about 1986 and used to have the earlier ones as well but tossed them in a weak moment many years ago.

            I started riding off road in 1970 and still ride regularly around my home state (MI)… racing anymore though. I am partial to two stroke KTMs. I am on my fourth 250 EXC/XCW now.

            I am fairly new to street riding. My mid-life crisis resulted in a then-new 2010 1100 Hypermotard following me home.

            Subsequent to that, my wife took an interest in riding with me but she said my bike kinda sucked for two-up riding. We tried out several adv type bikes and a gently used 1200 Multistrada fit us best. We regularly put a lot of miles on that bike with the occasional dirt road ride thrown in. In reality though, it’s used as a sport touring bike and it’s a great one. I am sure there is a better bike somewhere but I don’t feel compelled to go looking for it. The motor is the best part…..just push a button and you have any amount or spread of power and any suspension pre-load or damping you want.

            Knowing that might give a little insight regarding my thoughts on the Honda?

            BTW, I still crash on occasion but have been hurt much worse on mountain bikes so don’t give up off road riding, just slow down a little and enjoy the scenery that you missed when you were younger.

    • Bart says:

      What Fred said!

      Try a new 1190 in dirt set to “off-road” mode and tell me the 100 HP available is not enough!

      After 70,000 miles on a 950A, I see this Honda as a modern version of my KTM with most of the performance and way less maintenance hassles. Powerwash and go…on tubes! (I’ve seen too many of those Tubliss things busted in baja.)

  18. mickey says:

    I like the red white and black scheme. Think it’s a nice looking bike. At 5’6” with a short inseam I’m too short to ride it. A 65 I’m pretty much too old to ride it in the dirt. Always liked liter bikes, but prefer I-4’s. It’s a little bit lighter and about the same power as my CB1100 and I can’t imagine jumping it in the dirt like those fellas did in the video lol. However if I was 30 years old, 6’2” 180#, and lived out west someplace, this just might be the cat’s meow.

  19. Gham says:

    Nope…..back to the MG Stelvio,seat height just don’t work….crap,crap,crap..

  20. Walter says:

    Looks like they channeled the 2007=2013 KTM990- which would be great if it was 2007-2013. What they should have copied was the 2014 KTM1190 for what features a modern adv bike should have. The bike looks great, will offer all the Honda virtues (and vices), and I’m sure it will sell well (which is all that matters to Honda).

    Just very disappointed at what the bike doesn’t seem to have- most importantly lean-sensitive ABS/TC (imo the biggest game changer of the millennium so far). But also electronic suspension, tubeless capable rims and a 19/17 wheel option.

    Hopefully there are enough fan boys who think this is the ultimate adv bike and buy enough of them so Honda has the confidence to add these features in the future.

  21. Tom R says:

    The complaint: “It’s too heavy (wahh).”

    The solution: Adapt, quit whining, and ride.

  22. fred says:

    I would like to run of with the engine and see if it will fit in a Norton Featherbed frame.

  23. mugwump says:

    Actually the important question is, how long before this engine makes its way to GNC1?

  24. Ken says:

    I like the styling and design of the bike. Really, really glad it has no beak. Chain drive has suspension and weight benefits in the dirt over shafties and modern chains are very durable anyways. I’m glad they’re offering it without all the electronic gewgaws as that’s how I’d buy it. But, 503 lbs.???? This bike would have been a towering home run if they kept the weight down to 400 lbs. with 6 gal. of fuel plus protection and I could have seen the switch to the 21/18 wheels. But at 503 it’s not much lighter than a gs so it’s really not going to be that much of an off-roader in spite of what the video shows. Pro riders do the same stuff with a GS Adventure on a 19/17 set up and the 19″ front wheel is better for sporty street riding. I guess it all comes down to what you think the term “Adventure” means.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “This bike would have been a towering home run if they kept the weight down to 400 lbs. with 6 gal. of fuel plus protection”

      Since a 90hp bike that can sport 6 gallons of fuel and crash guards yet still weigh in at 400 lbs. is essentially the motorcycle equivalent to a unicorn, I have no doubt that it would be a towering home run. I mean, who wouldn’t want a unicorn?

  25. carl says:

    Apart from weight savings I can’t understand the purpose of these bikes compared to a regular touring motorcycle. Most of America is paved.

    • grumpy farmer says:

      The world consists of more than just America. I recommend an Atlas.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Ride Dakota. Most roads are gravel, if you want to see what’s over the horizon.

      • Snake says:

        Doesn’t matter one bit. With surveys showing that 80% of ADV bikes never, ever see offroad action, the original point still stands – uselessly stupid-tall street bikes with faux-roughneck styling.

        It’s nothing more than an ego stroke exercise. “Look, I can go anywhere!”, even if they go ‘nowhere’ at all; the crossover SUV of the motorcycle world.

        • carl says:

          Agree with you!!

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          That means 20% of ADV bikes do go off-road. Maybe the other 80% just aspire to. Or perhaps they just prefer taller bikes. Or lighter bikes. Or maybe they just like the way they look. Or prefer the ride offered by the long-travel suspension or pothole deflecting 21″ front wheels. All perfectly valid reasons that set ADV bikes apart from touring bikes and make them more appealing to buyers.

          • mickey says:

            Jeremy I think it’s the sit up and ride riding position plus the ability to pack luggage that makes the ADV bikes so appealing to pure street riders.

          • Bill says:

            Absolutely right. I’ll never single-track my Tenere. I’m too old and the bike’s too heavy. Together, we — my Tenere and I — manage gravel and hard-pack. It’s uselessly stupid tall, I suppose, but in 50 years of motorcycles, it’s the most comfortable long-distance ride I’ve owned.
            Predictably, any thread devoted to “adventure” bikes is populated by the arrogant among us who are absolutely convinced they know how to build motorcycles to suit me.
            I’m guessing the Honda will do exactly what it’s intended to do. And those who want that style at a Honda price will be delighted to have it.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            No doubt people like the ergos Mickey. The original post was making a comparison against a touring bike though which have pretty similar riding positions in my experience, though probably with less leg-room for the tall guys out there.

          • mickey says:

            well there is also a bit of “peer pressure” right now in that ADV bikes are “in”, but in my view pure touring bikes are just so dang heavy compared to an adv bike and weight usually equals rider fatigue and increased tire wear and gas consumption etc. I have an ST 1300 right now that weighs 717 pounds. If they made “short” ADV bikes that a little feller could ride, I think that would be awesome…same great ergos, a lot less weight. I’m actually waiting to see what Yamaha is going to do with their spy shot FJ07 if no good I will probably be looking at a Wee Strom ADV that will never see dirt unless I miss a corner.

    • duclvr says:

      Here in the Western U.S. the vast majority are unpaved.

  26. VLJ says:

    Hmmmm. It’s not grossly overweight. No one beat it with an ugly stick. It doesn’t even have a beak!

    How is it ever supposed to sell?

  27. Norm G. says:

    re: “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.”


    now tell me static C/R.

  28. paul246 says:

    In all the years of dual-sporting my XR650L never did I need a center stand. That is what boulders and logs and friends are for when doing trail side repairs. At home I used a cheap motorcycle lift to do maintenance.

    Punctures were rare anyway since I always installed a fresh heavy duty tube with each tire change.

    • todd says:

      Same here. Once I bought one of those heavy duty tubes, flats were a thing of the past. I think it’s funny that people are saying tubes will keep them from buying this bike as if they were actually thinking of buying it in the first place. I won’t be buying one because I don’t have the kind of money they’ll be asking for it and because my XR650 works just fine, thank you.

  29. Mark R says:

    I’m liking it in red/white.

    Please price base model at $12K. You will sell a ton more and increase profits.

    Make ABS available on all models.
    If not, quit advertising you care about customers being safe using your vehicles.
    Modern ABS is a life saver in a true panic situation.


  30. Skybullet says:

    I’ll wait for the street version with Cruise Control, Tubeless, Center Stand, Paniers… Unless I buy the new KTM SMT with all that. Oh yeah, I was hoping it would be lighter too.

  31. Johne says:

    Nice looking bike. From first blush it appears very nice. Seems to have much in common with the Super Tenere: Spokes, engine color, fork color, front end styling, parallel twin, etc.

    Being an old Honda fan, I’ll buy one.

    • Malcolm says:

      Except Super Tenere is quite a bit heavier, and looks it too.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        And has MUCH less ground clearance. This thing has 1190R level ground clearance. Much less nerve racking over rocks, or even just up curbs. Looks like quite a bit tighter seat-pegs than the S10, though. Compromises……….

      • Johne says:

        Good point, but the S10 is not all that much heavier at 575# w/ABS, traction control, cruise control, heated grips, 6 gal tank, and 200 more cc’s. Having S10’s (one for dirt/one for touring) I’m comfortable with these on any terrain as I’m sure will be the case with the Honda. Hard to find a bad bike these days… Unless you’re looking at beemers. 😉

  32. todd says:

    Chain Drive UGH…

  33. Tommy D says:

    Dang… The white one with the gold rims is Euro only?

  34. Kris Wuenstel says:

    I like it…and very glad to see Honda will sell it with or without a/b/s. We all win when we get to make that decision ourselves! Should prove to be a very fun, capable machine that can be used in many different environs.

  35. Jim says:

    Going to my Honda dealer this weekend to talk money.

  36. Pete Rasmussen says:

    Another Honda designed by accountants.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      What’s wrong with it? I think it looks great.

      Or did I miss something important, like how Tamburini originally trained as an accountant or something……

  37. Bill says:

    European website says it will cost ~ $17,000 USD with optional custom flux capacitor for smooth 88 mph cruising

    • Stuki Moi says:

      That should mean $13-$14K over here, going by usual Euro-USD Honda pricing translation. Appreciably less that the 1190R, and around the price of the the 800GS and triumph 21 front bike. Much more than a KLR, though; surprise, surprise 🙂

  38. Lonerider says:

    This is a really, really good looking bike. I had dualsport and adventure bike. I would return in the adventure bike if someone bring something more like a slim middleweight. Hey, Honda wanna dod a genetic’s test. Take this Africa Twin, look at your bland CB500X and spice it up. A sort of nastier Transalp.

  39. Ron H. says:

    There are advantages of tube and tubeless tires as mentioned here. I wonder if there’ll be a centerstand available from Honda though… it wouldn’t surprise me. Should make for some interesting comparison testing against KTM and others.

  40. Venator says:

    It can’t be an adventure bike. It has no beak.

  41. Tom R says:

    No ABS with the standard transmission?
    Tube tires?
    No centerstand?

    The bike look great except for the significant issues above. I could even live with the archaic chain drive if it weren’t for these serious drawbacks. Decision-makers at Honda are really living in the dark ages.

    • PABLO says:

      There are three models, Standard (no ABS) ABS, and DCT with ABS so yes YOU CAN have ABS with the standard Transmision.

      Centrestand may be an option like it is with a few of Honda’s bikes that i can think of (VFR1200, F6B, CB500X)

      Tubless tyres are a plus in some ways but a negative in others, there are after market options if you want tubless.

      Adventure style bikes are masive in Europe so if Honda get the pricing rite they will sell a truck load IMO.

      • Tom R says:

        Not so fast. The published spec sheet from Honda says this:

        ABS 2-channel with rear ABS off switch (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)

        Scroll up and see for yourself.

        • Pablo says:

          That’s why I included the hyperlink with the complete spec sheet which clearly states that there are three models. Also just confirmed with my local dealer that there are three models as stated in the Ausie press release.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            You guys often get better options than we do here. There is no guarantee that we will get that in the US.

  42. Joga says:

    Wow selling my BMW GS and thinking about Africa twin but no centerstand and tube tires makes KTM adventure a much easier choice hard to believe Honda would shoot themselves in the foot so badly but lately that’s Honda.

  43. ApriliaRST says:

    I think this is an absolutely awesome product for the right person. If my current motorcycle needs were a bit different, that person would be me. Situations change; I’m not ruling one out.

  44. DbqFan says:

    Wow – I was really seriously interested in this bike but tube tires and no center stand will kill this for me. I was set to buy an 1190 KTM but I wanted to wait until the true specs came out on the Africa Twin. I just cannot believe that Honda would be so stupid as to put tube tires on this bike and then not put a center stand on it. This bike is really no different than a KLR 650 except it has a fuel gauge. I am not going to wrestle a bike in the backwoods just to change a tube tire. Sorry Honda but you screwed the pooch on this one big time.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      You can buy airless tubes.

        • al says:

          Not recommended for street use or sustained high speed. back to the drawing board TF..

          • TF says:

            Says who and why? Plenty of people use it for dual sporting.

          • Fred_M says:

            TF asked: “Says who and why?”

            The manufacturer: “TUbliss is for OFF-ROAD USE ONLY and is NOT recommended for street use.”

            This recommendation may be one reason why: “Replace the inner bladder every 100 hrs or 12 months — whichever comes first.”

          • TF says:

            There is no DOT approval which is why the company advises for dirt only use. The lack of a DOT approval in some cases is only because they do not want to pay for the testing and the ransom for the fed’s approval.

            Fred – I probably go through a half-dozen sets of tires and tubes in 100 hours on my KTM.

          • Dave says:

            DOT approval would broaden the product’s scope massively. In some cases the lack of DOT approval comes from a product’s inability to acquire it. DOT tires have speed & load ratings to ensure they’re safe for sustained speeds and load. If you were to use that airless tube on the road and it failed on you, the lack of DOT certification would expose you to liability as well as give your insurance company an “out” for covering you.

          • Fred_M says:

            I did not know that things inside of the tire required DOT approval. Are there DOT-approved tire tubes, rim locks, and rim strips? I just thought that the tires needed DOT approval.

          • TF says:

            If you ever get the chance, compare a Pirelli Scorpion front tire to a Michelin S-12 front. Only the Pirelli has a DOT approval but the two tires are pretty much identical. I have been told it’s just because Michelin preferred to not pursue (pay for) the certification.

            I have seen DOT markings on tubes and rims as well.

        • TF says:

          True, and we may never know why. If I had to speculate though I would guess that the company chose not to invest in the testing/certification due to the lack of a market…..most street tires are already tubeless.

    • Tuskerdu says:


    • Malcolm says:

      KLR650? Are you serious? o_O All these negative comments are incredible! The CRF1000L is one fantastic machine, and I have no doubt test reviews will back that statement up!

  45. red says:

    google says old africa twin was 480# and 60hp.. fair enough trade off, +20 lbs gets you +50% more power. How offroady were you honestly going to get on this that 20# is a deal breaker. All in all a strong entry if they can keep it priced right.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      I’m still a bit disappointed they couldn’t match the weight of the predecessor. If for no other reason, then just for marketing. This new one looks good, though. Just hoping they don’t pull a Honda in the US, and restrict the abs model to the DCT. I appreciate that DCT may well ultimately prove to be a better mousetrap, but it’s for the next generation of riders. Us geezers are simply too set in our ways to ever warm to it.

      • mickey says:

        I think you are right and that s the problem with DCT street bikes too. No matter how superior the DCT trans is, us geezers still want to pull in a clutch and shift. hard to sit at a light and rev the engine with a dct lol

      • Jim says:

        Actually the non-ABS model does match the 750 AT’s weight.

  46. Stromfan says:

    Great looking bike, and all the right build for true around-the-globe travel. Finding someone to weld steel is easier than aluminum, tube tires are easier to repair, and chains cheaper to replace. Above all else, we are seeing an awesome array of new bikes coming out from all of the manufacturers – bring ’em on! The only problem I see is not “if only this bike had-some-particular-to-me requirement”, but rather, “too many cool new bikes, not enough personal wealth”!!

  47. Malcolm says:

    Wow, lots of whining on here! This bike checks pretty much all the boxes on my list for a “True Adventure” bike. I like the wheel sizes, and the fact they’re tube rims. 503 lbs. wet isn’t bad – if a little heavier than people were hoping for well at least it’s likely more affordable for the average Mick like me. Glad they went with Unicam design. My only whine is I wish knobby tires were optional as delivered.

    Centerstands don’t always do the trick in all situations. You can prop the bike up using the kickstand and slide a log or stone underneath. Maybe there’s a spot to attach a right leg to prop the bike up using the kickstand as left leg…? No centerstand isn’t a big deal to me.

  48. North of Missoula says:

    The Africa Twin fills the void left by the KTM 990 Adventure.

    • Duncan says:

      The gap that’s currently filled by the KTM 1050 Adventure, which has very similar specs to the Honda?

  49. GKS says:

    Why an 18″ rear wheel? Unique in the big adventure bike class. Virtually all of the large adventure bike tires are available in 17″ only for the rear. Does Honda expect that all buyers will be mounting full knobbies, or that the tire industry will tool up in 18″ for one bike?

    • Tobz says:

      KTM 950/990 ADV uses the same size tires and there are plenty of options

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “Why an 18″ rear wheel?”

      I think that is just part of the statement that they mean business with this thing. If you don’t intend to go in the dirt, there are already quite a few street-biased tires in that size. The bike in the picture is shod with some already.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      The 1190R uses the same sized 18 rear, 150/70. And the way that thing chews through semiknobbies, there are bound to be a healthy market for them.

  50. mg3 says:

    So what is this beautiful bike going to cost??

  51. TF says:

    A 550 lb. 90 horsepower adventure bike with tube-type tires/rims and no center stand that I can see. So when you get a flat in the middle of Utah are you supposed to just throw your $15,000.00 motorcycle on its side while you remove the wheel to swap out the tube? Seriously? Oh, and have you every tried to lube the chain on a 550 lb. motorcycle without using a stand?

    Did Honda do any kind of market research whatsoever? Oh well, the Accord is still a great car.

  52. Randy in Nebraska says:

    No ABS with the standard transmission? Are you kidding me? Honda, you’ve made up my mind for me. My next ride will be a KTM 1150 adventure.

  53. VForce says:

    What happened to the HRC graphics with gold wheels? That was gorgeous and reminded me of the old late ’80s Transalp that I always wanted.

  54. Brinskee says:

    Surprised about the weight. What reason for steel tube frame vs aluminum? Seems like they could shave pounds there…?

    • TF says:

      They shaved cost.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Cost could be a reason, but I don’t think that was the motivation in this case. We tend to frown on steel these days as passé, but it is very underrated stuff. I think Honda decided the weight penalty was worth the trade-off for other benefits in this case. There are a few reasons in particular that steel plays well into adventure bike use.

      While aluminum can provide the same strength as steel for less weight, aluminum has to take up more room to do it. You need much bigger tubes (or whatever type of structural member being used). Not a good thing if the design goal is to keep the bike as narrow as possible, and it certainly looks like that was a design goal of the bike when I study the pics.

      Steel absorbs vibration better than aluminum, a plus when it comes to mitigating engine vibes and the vibrations created by riding on rough surfaces.

      Steel is more durable. You can abuse it more without fatiguing it. That is a good quality for a 540 lb dirt bike to have, especially if you ride it often like the guys in the video. A dent in the wrong place of an aluminum frame can completely compromise it, while it would be primarily cosmetic with steel. And if you do manage to fubar a steel frame or subframe, steel is easy to work with and has much higher chance of being fixed by some guy in a yurt with a welder. Of particular importance if you find yourself in the middle of Mongolia or something like that.

      • TF says:

        Good points. It’s interesting because Honda pioneered the use of aluminum on off-road bike frames with the mid-90’s CR’s. It took them a few years to get it right too as the first attempts were far too rigid. Being a KTM fan, I prefer steel frames for many of the reasons you list but you could debate the benefits pro and con all day. I think strength and weight is a wash between the two materials (when used as such) but I think steel is cheaper to buy, you need less of it, and it is cheaper (read easier) to fabricate with.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Yeh, even if the physical attributes of steel for this application were the driving factor for Honda choosing it over aluminum, they get a cost benefit regardless.

          • Dave says:

            Aluminm does result in a more bulky structure that must be designed around so perhaps that was a factor too. Steel frames don’t seem to be holding back KTM’s MX team.

    • Yoyodyne says:

      Steel is stronger than aluminum.

    • KenHoward says:

      Steel is more resilient than aluminum.

  55. Bill says:

    I was interested but I want tubeless tires, shaft drive and a bigger gas tank. I’ll stay with the Super Tenere.

    • AdvMike says:

      Yep, same here, glad they released the info early so now is an easy decision to make.. No ABS on std model, no shaft, tubeless tires, no centerstand, looks like poor seating for two up.. Yamaha ST here I come!

    • Buckwheat says:

      Me too. Honda comes to the big adventure category too late with too little.

  56. Cagefree says:

    Tubes, really? What possible reason other than money could they have for not making them tubeless? A pinch flat in the middle of nowhere can really ruin your day.

    • paul says:

      Tubeless tires are more difficult (stiffer) to mount properly to assure no leaks, you might also consider adding a bead sealant. Also, if you nick or otherwise damage the rim while mounting that more difficult to mount tubeless tire, you will always have a slow leak.

    • Montana Backroads says:

      You can get better off road tires with tubes. For example, Pirelli MT-21 ‘s. Essential where I ride.
      You can air down a tubed tire for trail conditions. Essential where I ride.
      You can still run a flat tube tire with bead locks and limp back down the mountain to civilization. Essential where I ride.
      Honda wants it known that this bike is dirt oriented, not Starbucks oriented, so tubes.
      I bet a more street oriented version (Multistrada’ish) will come later.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Yup, what Montana said.

      • Cagefree says:

        Agreed if you talking about a real dirtbike but at 550 lbs its not going anywhere a GS, Tenere or any number of other ADV bikes will go. Dirt oriented isn’t the same as dirtbike so give me the option of plugging a tire instead of laying it on its side and tearing it apart. You can always run a tube in a tubeless wheel if that makes you feel more secure offroad.

      • Jim says:

        “Honda wants it known that this bike is dirt oriented, not Starbucks oriented, so tubes.”
        So true.

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