The 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin is a proper litre-class adventure-touring bike, with genuine off-road capability. Dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional. It's light, slim and fast. We like it!
Honda have released technical details and a full set of official high-res pics of their new adventure-touring motorcycle, the CRF1000L Africa Twin, which is powered by an all-new parallel-twin that produces 94bhp and 98Nm of torque. For a litre-class dual-purpose bike, the new Africa Twin looks impressively slim and compact, so those power and torque figures should be quite adequate on the street and for off-road use. There is, of course, a full set of electronics, including ABS, traction-control and optional DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission. In their press release, Honda claim that the new CRF1000L is, "like its celebrated forerunners, ready to cover continents on or off-road."
The 2016 Africa Twin's twin-cylinder engine draws on Honda’s experience with off-road bikes like the CRF250R and CRF450R, using the same four-valve Unicam head design for compact overall dimensions. "A 270° phased crankshaft gives the power delivery a distinct character as well delivering excellent feel for rear wheel traction," claim Honda. "Strong and linear power and torque deliver instant response anywhere in the rev-range – accompanied by a satisfying, characterful deep growl as rpm rises," adds the press release. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox that is equipped with an assist slipper clutch. (A DCT automatic is optional.)
The CRF1000L's chassis is a semi-double-cradle steel tube unit that's been optimised for high-speed stability with the bike fully loaded. It also offers genuine off-road ability and sheer strength, while Honda's trademark 'mass centralisation' contributes to a low centre of gravity. The CRF1000's Showa fork and shock are fully adjustable, the bike rides on 21-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels, shod with 90/90 (front) and 150/70 (rear) tyres. The twin 310mm brake discs at the front are gripped by radial-mount 4-piston Nissin calipers. With its 18.8-litre fuel tank, the Honda CRF1000L can travel up to 400km on one full tank of fuel. The bike weighs 208kg dry, with the DCT version weighing in at 222 kilos.
Honda's Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) traction control system offers three levels of control, and it is possible for the rider to turn off the ABS system for the rear wheel for off-road use. The optional 6-speed DCT dual-clutch transmission has two automatic mdes - D and S, with 3 shift patterns (S1, S2 and S3) being available with the latter. D mode provides the best balance between fuel economy and comfortable cruising, while S mode is for those times when you're really nailing the throttle and going for it. The DCT 'box can also be operated in manual mode, with the rider being able to change gears via a trigger mounted on the left handlebar, without having to use a clutch. According to Honda, the DCT is fully equipped to operate in off-road use.
The new Africa Twin will be available in three colours - CRF Rally, Tricolour and Black - with prices starting at 12,100 euros.