The Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin is an adventure motorcycle, which is a relaunch of NRX750 that won the Dakar rally 4 times. With a displacement of 998cc and weighing less than 550 lb, the Africa Twin hits the sweet spot, at least on paper. Honda might have joined the adventure party late, but they have a few tricks up their sleeve which is innovative and impressive.
The 3 main goals Honda wanted to achieve with their adventure bike included:
- Cover huge distances off-road
- Exceptional on-road stability at high speed for solo riding
- Exceptional on-road stability at high speed when completely loaded
The result was a steel, semi-double-cradle frame, skilfully tuned with 6-engine hangers placed carefully to offer firm balance. The Africa Twin has a 21-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear wheel, allowing the rider to choose from a variety of off-road tires. The bike is agile and has a low centre of gravity as its parts are centralised.
The seat height is around 850 – 870 mm, offering an ideal riding position. The handlebars are high-set, allowing the rider to comfortably choose between sitting on the bike or standing, another exclusive offering from Honda.
The Honda CRF 1000 also offers 4-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), which can be toggled while riding. The ABS system is minimalistic, making it easy to disable. It has an optional Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with the usual manual mode and 2 automatic modes. It also detects inclination which changes the timing of up-shifts and downshifts.
It has an 18.8-litre tank, which isn’t a lot but coupled with its superb ergonomics, cruise control, user-friendly carrier, and heated handlebars, make it brilliant for long distance riding. It’s 43° steering angle allows it to have a turning radius of 8.5 feet, helpful for riding through traffic and tricky off-road routes.
The parallel twin-cylinder engine fitted in the Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin has a displacement of 998cc, producing 94 bhp at 7500 rpm. The parallel twin-cylinder engine also provides an ideal balance between power, torque, and weight, making it a great all-rounder. The compact and short engine offers a ground clearance of 9.8 inches. Semi-dry sump and a low in-tank crankcase oil storage which the engine uses reduces height, space, and weight.
Primary vibrations are neutralised by biaxial balance shafts and secondary vibrations are cancelled by the common reciprocating motion of the pistons. The throttle, using a 270° phased crank system, gives an uneven interval firing order which gives phenomenal traction and feedback.
The DCT has 3 modes of sports performance, allowing the rider to modify gearbox response according to their riding style. It also has Adaptive Clutch Capability Control for smooth gear changes at lower speeds.
Honda sure has taken its time to release a proper adventure bike, however, one could say looking at the features offered along with the sublime touches Honda has given to the Africa Twin that the wait was well worth it. The Honda CRF 1000L Africa Twin is light-weight and frugal, making it an impressive adventure bike one can buy.