2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports Review
Adventure sports bikes are a popular choice for people who have a passion to explore the inexplorable. With their exceptional performance on tough terrains, they are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. With tougher suspension, a robust chassis, off-road specific tyres and a larger tank, you can cover longer and arduous journeys on these machines.
The rising popularity and increased competition have forced manufacturers to further innovate and introduce clever features that make the job of the rider easier and the motorbike more capable. There are several adventure sports motorbikes available and each one has their benefits. But when it comes to Japanese manufacturers, Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports is without any doubt the most capable adventure motorbike. AKA the CRF1100, it has been around for almost three decades and proved its worth to off-road enthusiasts.
Here is the detailed review of Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports.
Though the looks are subjective, the new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports portrays macho looks that make it stand out. The new LED daytime running lights together with three-stage cornering lights further add to its beauty. I believe that this is one of the best-looking adventure sports bike in its class.
The CRF1100 comes equipped with a five-way electronically adjustable suspension. Although the suspension travel has been reduced a little bit compared to the previous version, thanks to a host of electronics, the rider can adjust the suspension when he or she needs to. The suspension is oriented towards sports touring, which makes long-distance tours a joy rather than to endure.
The Twin Adventure Sports nonetheless carries on its legacy of conquering off-road terrain with ease. The spoked wheels provide a flexible, robust off-roading experience. The main differences from the previous version? 2020 come with tubeless tyres. It has 21-inch wheels for the front and 18 inches on the rear.
The dual-channel anti-lock braking system comes as standard on both the front and rear and every variant has the option to turn it off via the new 6.5-inch multi-information display system. Moreover, front brakes boast a huge 310mm rotor with 4 piston Nissin callipers, whereas the rear ones are equipped with 256mm rotors and dual-piston Nissin callipers.
The new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports comes equipped with a wide array of technical equipment just like the Honda Goldwing. A dual speedometer setup has been provided, the first one is a giant 6.5-inch touchscreen through which various options can be selected. These include wheelie control, traction control, engine braking, and four riding modes (compared to only one mode in the previous model). The good thing is that the traction control works independently from wheelie control, if you’re that way inclined. Also, cruise control is available even in the base variants which takes the burden off on long tours.
The windshield is a five-way manually adjustable contraption which provides decent wind protection. Seat height can also be adjusted according to the rider’s needs and there is ample room available to play with. Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth audio is offered in all the variants. A 12V socket and USB port is provided for charging electronic gadgets, even self-cancelling indicators and an immobilizer is included as standard.
The adjustable seats provide an ideal riding position with a seat height range of 850 – 870mm (low seat option 825mm, high seat option 895mm). Both the seats are well cushioned and wide that instantly welcome both riders. Grab handles are conveniently located and a decent amount of luggage can be stored using the aluminium boxes that can be purchased separately from Honda. The suspension can be adjusted to maximise comfort or tightened up for sportier handling.
Honda has matched the engine stroke to the the increase in engine size. Its now 1084cc, producing 100.6hp and 105Nm of torque at its peak. Though it may not provide as much punch as its European competitors, the CRF1100 is refined and provides ample power even if you pushing up a gravel ridden hill. Plus, never forget that its a Honda product which makes it much more reliable. The roaring exhaust note mimics a sports bike sound and further adds to the personality of the bike.
The Africa comes with a humongous fuel tank of 24.8 litres that together with a fuel average of 57.6mpg, provides an excellent range of approximately 310 miles.
The model I rode is a manual but also comes with Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission. DCT is an automated clutch and shift operation system that retains the direct acceleration feel of a manual transmission with the ease of use of an automatic.
The frame has been made rigid in order to provide greater handling and cornering capabilities. Though the difference is not that noticeable compared to the previous version still the upgrade is worth mentioning. It does feel heavy and bulky through, if you’re not used to it. Its near 238kg Kerb Weight makes it difficult to manoeuvre or to rock forwards and backwards from a standstill.
The 2020 model is available in two colour schemes: Pearl glare white/blue and matte metallic black.
The new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports starts at £14,649 for the manual version, whereas the DCT version costs £15,849.
Motorcycle kindly supplied by Honda UK, for more information on Honda Motorcycles UK visit www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles.html
More info on the 2020 models can be found here Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports
For 2021 specs you can check our piece here 2021 Honda Africa Twin
My experience with Hondas has been pretty limited in recent years, but I’ve ridden Fireblades and CBR600s a couple of times, thanks to Doble Honda. I started my biking life as a teenager with a CB125, NSR 125 and then old CB250 Superdream. The Honda Africa Twin is also very new to me as I’ve always been a sportsbike rider and had to adjust my riding style a bit.
For the test, (as I live down South) I took a trip to the beach by Goring-by-sea and up Devils Dyke, near Brighton on the South Downs. I didn’t test its off-road capabilities but its great on winter roads. I can feel that its bigger engine has enough power to make it through a variety of terrains. The gearbox and suspension work brilliantly.
The Honda Twin Adventure Sports boasts class-leading technology that does provide convenience and confidence to a rider. However the new full-colour dash and menu can be confusing initially and would take time to navigate to utilise it to its full potential.
The main drawback for me is the weight. Its kilos will make it difficult to ride for some, one must have an above-average height to tame this tall beast (I’m 5’8” and struggled). To me this isn’t a day to day riding bike; you can’t just swing your leg over (literally!) and pop to the shops. You also need to purchase a centre stand as extra.
In my brief experience, it’s definitely best suited for motorcycle touring and with the right rider, it is also capable of proving its worth off-road. Honda is famous for manufacturing reliable motorbikes that pass the test of time very well – if you’re keen for an Adventure Tourer, it will sit patiently waiting for your next big trip!
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