Honda officially confirmed it is bringing back the Africa Twin, with the adventure bike expected to arrive in U.S. dealerships in early 2016. To the surprise of very few, the 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin is the final production version of the True Adventure prototype revealed at EICMA last fall. UPDATED: added second video from Honda.
Details remain scarce, just as they were when the prototype was introduced. The True Adventure was caked in mud and camouflage paint but we can see from Honda’s teaser images the production model stays fairly close to the look of the prototype. Honda also released the teaser video below as part of its “True Adventure” video series that gives us an idea of what the new Africa Twin will sound like.
And here’s another video from Honda Motor Spain (UPDATE:Honda Spain has now set the video to private but its Australian counterpart still has the video on its YouTube page) showing footage of Honda’s “Genteki” test riders. The video offers a brief view of the whole bike and a glimpse of the left and right switchgear, wire spoke wheels, knobby tires and exhaust tip.
The full model name “CRF1000L Africa Twin” combines two key influences in development of the new bike. The new Africa Twin carries spiritual ties to the XRV650 Africa Twin which debuted in 1988 and was soon followed by the XRV750. The original Africa Twin was a tribute to Honda’s Paris-Dakar Rally success with the NXR-750. The CRF1000L name connects the Africa Twin with Honda’s current Dakar racer, the CRF450 Rally.
Eagle-eyed observers of the prototype would have noted its lack of a clutch lever, leading to the assumption the Africa Twin would come with Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission. Honda confirmed the Africa Twin will have a newly-developed evolution of its DCT system specifically programmed for off-road riding. DCT will be optional so those who prefer a traditional clutch won’t be left out.
We don’t know much else about the engine, except that it is a parallel-Twin displacing around 1000cc. That puts the new Africa Twin at a larger engine displacement than the XRV750 and XRV650 but smaller than those powering ADV bikes from the European manufacturers like the BMW R1200GS, Ducati Multistrada 1200 and KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, but that should also translate to a lighter motorcycle.
Patent applications filed by Honda suggest the Africa Twin will use a unique airbox design that places the air cleaner outside the frame to allow more room for a larger fuel tank. Other patent filings believed to be related to the Africa Twin include a design for seat height adjustment.
We’re eagerly awaiting more details, especially regarding the Africa Twin’s weight, power and pricing. Expect more info to come out shortly.