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Common Tread

Honda officially releases full specs for the Africa Twin

Jul 24, 2015

After leaking twice this week, Honda has decided to come clean about just what's under the hood of their highly anticipated new adventure bike. 

After letting the conversation around the RC213V-S get away from them, it seems Honda wasn't keen on letting the discussion of the Africa Twin focus on "but it's too heavy."

For those of you who don't follow Honda history, don't know why everyone is so excited about this bike and wonder why it's named after Africa (it's OK, I had to research most of this as well), the Africa Twin name carries a lot of weight. The original Honda XRV750 Africa Twin, built throughout the 1990s, was regarded as a true dual-purpose motorcycle. It was modeled after the Honda Paris-Dakar rally bike that won four championships in the late 1980s, and is one of the few bikes that the general motorcycle public found equally at home on the pavement and in the dirt. Plus, a lot of adventurous Europeans actually did ride it through Africa, further cementing its reputation.

Honda Africa Twin
The 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin. Honda Photo.

Cut to this morning and Honda's "official" unveiling of the 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin. Honda says this bike has that same 50-50 asphalt-to-dirt split as the goal. The 998 cc parallel-twin motor uses a four-valve Unicam head design, just like the CRF250R and CRF450R. The camshaft, however, uses the same fancy(ish) lightweight material as that of the Honda CBR1000R.

The motor has a 270-degree phased crankshaft with biaxial primary balance shafts to cancel vibrations. If you've ridden the modern Triumph Classics (yes, I know how weird that is to read), you'll understand when I say this means the bike will make power more like the Scrambler than the Bonneville, but won't come with the same engine vibrations.

Honda Africa Twin
The 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin. Honda Photo.

In yesterday's spec leak story, I mentioned that the Honda Africa Twin was basically the same as the Suzuki V-Strom on paper. Same engine size, same power, same weight. While I love the V-Strom on the road, I think it's pretty terrible when it comes to off road. To address this, Honda gave the Africa Twin a long-travel, fully adjustable, Showa inverted fork. The Showa rear shock comes with a hydraulic adjustment for spring preload.

Included in the Africa Twin is Honda's new Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system, which was first used in the UK-only Honda VFR800X Crossrunner. HSTC gives the rider three levels of control, and makes it possible to turn off ABS at the rear wheel. HSTC and ABS are standard on the DCT and ABS versions of the bike, but unavailable on the base version.

European pricing is set at €12,400 for the base model. No word yet on U.S. pricing. On the NC700X, the DCT and ABS cost $500 more than the regular model, but I doubt we'll get that lucky with the DCT version of the Africa Twin. Expect to pay a higher premium.

2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
Engine type Liquid-cooled four-stroke eight-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Unicam
Engine displacement 998 cc
Bore x stroke 92.0 x 75.1 mm
Power 93 horsepower
Torque 72 foot-pounds
Clutch Wet, multi-plate with coil springs, aluminum cam assist and slipper clutch
Final drive O-ring sealed chain
Gearbox/transmission type Constant-mesh six-speed manual / six-speed DCT with on- and off-road riding modes
Honda Selectable Torque Control System (HSTC) HSTC three levels and switch-off (DCT/ABS model only, not on standard model)
Frame type Steel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear sub-frame
Turning radius Eight feet, two inches
Curb weight 503 pounds (standard), 534 pounds (DCT/ABS)
Fuel capacity 4.96 gallons
Length x width x height 91.9 x 34.4 x 58.1 inches (standard), 91.9 x 36.6 x 58.1 inches (DCT/ABS)
Wheelbase 62.0 inches
Seat height (standard position / low position) 34.3/33.5 inches
Ground clearance 9.8 inches
ABS system type ABS two-channel with rear ABS off switch (DCT/ABS model only, not on standard model)
Front brakes 310 mm dual floating hydraulic discs with aluminum hub and radial-fit four-piston calipers with sintered metal pads
Rear brake 256 mm wave hydraulic disc with two-piston caliper with sintered metal pads. Also Lever-Lock Type Parking Brake System on DCT/ABS model
Front wheel Wire spoke with aluminum rim
Rear wheel Wire spoke with aluminum rim
Front rim size 21M/C x MT2.15
Rear rim size 18M/C x MT4.00
Front tire 90/90-R21 tube type
Rear tire 150/70-R18 tube type