An Off-Road setting also joins the Urban, Tour, and Gravel riding modes. Picture: SUPPLIED
An Off-Road setting also joins the Urban, Tour, and Gravel riding modes. Picture: SUPPLIED

Honda’s dual-purpose Africa Twin has undergone an evolution with a renewed focus on its off-road ability.

Launched in 2016 as the CRF1000L Africa Twin, the full-sized adventure bike has proved itself as an all-rounder that’s popular with round-the-world adventurers, around-town commuters and weekend tourers alike, selling more than 87,000 units worldwide.

In 2018 the bike — in both manual and dual cluth transmission (DCT) guises — received Throttle By Wire (TBW) control plus three riding modes, expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) options, as well as improved engine response and sound.

The range was also expanded with an Africa Twin Adventure Sports variant featuring improved wind protection, greater tank range and longer-travel suspension for long-range off-road riding.

The new 2020 model CRF1100L Africa Twin has now arrived in SA as a smaller, slimmer and 5kg lighter machine, while the twin cylinder engine’s capacity has increased from 998cc to 1,084cc to raise power output by 7% to 75kW and torque by 6% to 105Nm, with stronger performance throughout the rev range.

Harder-edged off-road performance comes via lighter chassis, slim rally-style bodywork and revised riding position. Dirt-duelling ability is also improved by the fixed screen being much shorter than before, to allow for easy scanning of the trail ahead. While seat height remains 850-870mm (lower seats are optionally available), the handlebars now mount higher to give a more upright riding position and comfortable control, whether riding standing or seated.

The tail section is slimmer and the seat itself is narrower, for easier ground reach; its shape has also been carefully contoured to allow easier back and forth movement. Ground clearance remains a generous 250mm.

The frame has been completely revised and now features a bolt-on aluminium subframe. The swingarm, too, is aluminium and based on that of the CRF450R moto-crosser.

Riding safety has been improved by three additional rider safety systems: Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control, and Rear Lift Control, plus new cornering detection functionality on the DCT version.

An Off-Road setting also joins the Urban, Tour, and Gravel riding modes. The HSTC, which controls the amount of rear tyre grip to suit the riding surface, has evolved to offer four levels of power and three levels of engine braking. HSTC can also be turned off completely, for riders who like to be in complete control.

The touring comfort, technology and ability of the new CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports are further enhanced, and it adds the option of Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERAT) electronic suspension).

The rider interface has been improved with a new full colour 16.5cm TFT touchscreen that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity.

Dual LED headlights feature Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and cruise control is fitted as standard.

Pricing:

CRF1100 Man (Normal Tank) — R210,000

CRF1100 DCT (Normal Tank) — R222,499

CRF1100 Man (Adventure Sport) — R236,000

CRF1100 DCT (Adventure Sport/Elect Sus) — R269,000