Reports and Video on HONDA CRF1000L Africa Twin Test Ride

  • 28/03/2016

Intention of the New Africa Twin

As we informed you before, a CRF1000L Africa Twin test ride was held for the media. So this week we’d like to take the wraps off and show you intentions and characteristics that the newly reborn traditional adventure model can offer you.

[Webike Moto Report] Test Ride Video

HONDA’s Confidence and Characteristics of the New Model

The test ride of the CRF1000L Africa Twin was held in the middle of February at Moto Sport Land Shiodoki, a full scale facility provided with professional motocross racing courses. That shows how much HONDA is confident about their new model.

The concept of the vehicle is to be ”A Full Scale Adventure Model that can Off-road the Land of Vast Dreams and also Play Roll of an Everyday Commuter> Just like the former model, this new CRF1000L Africa Twin is a transcontinental touring model that offers high-speed cruise performance and full scale off road performance.

Engine Layout of the New Generation Adventure Model

The new CRF1000L Africa Twin is loaded with newly developed 998cc water-cooled parallel two-cylinder engine. It is mounted with the same compact OHC equipped with Unicam valve that is installed to CRF450R (Motocross Model) and has lightweight, concentrated mass and lowered gravity. Great admirers of the former model might have doubts on why it isn’t a V Twin, but according to the developing team members, the layout of the engine has been derived with performance that is required for an adventure model of the new era. The output value of 92ps may seem to be moderate, although it is enough to meet necessary and sufficient specifications. But that doesn’t mean it’s tedious. It features 270 degrees crank for irregular firing and excellent traction.

You’ll be able to Enjoy both its Appearance and Performance.

It’s huge. From the front it looks slim but as a whole, its as large as the former model. The model equipped with DCT weighs over 240kg. Engine Capacity is 1 liter, so it won’t actually compete with models like R1200GS, Multistrada 1200S, Tiger Explorer, XT1200Z Super Tenere, but will be listed together under the ”Large Adventure Tourer” category.

You’ll be able to feel the difference when you’re actually on it. While other competitive models offer comfortable touring rides, this Africa Twin will offer you off road performance. In a way it’s similar to KTM 1190 Adventure R but has a sense of affinity compared to the KTM which is popular among professional riders.

From my experience, among all the models I’ve noted so far, I think Africa Twin has been developed with an entirely new vision. That is, it doesn’t just look adventurous but will offer you adventurous rides. You’ll hear it saying ”I’ll take you out anywhere in the wilderness”.

If you have enough strength and technique to challenge the Dakar Rally, you’ll be able to ride adventure models in any size. I’m not an expert in riding off road motorcycles but was able to ride the Africa Twin on the motocross course up to the time limit of 30 minutes, without falling or getting exhausted. And that’s the most fantastic thing about this new model. The test ride machine was equipped with block tires, but I doubt that changed anything.

Newly Developed DCT that Offers Excellent Off Road Performance

As I quoted before, performance of the New Africa Twin is supported by the newly developed DCT. If there is anything more to quote about it, it would be that the DCT fits awesomely with the vehicle’s off road performance. It’s already well known in the 4 wheel drive racing field that vehicles equipped with DCT are faster than those equipped with manual missions. I test rided a model with manual mission as well and to be honest with you, I couldn’t find anything to benefit from it else than it’s slightly lighter in weight.

For a short distance I tried it on the public road. When you’re on the highway you’ll be able to notice how good the wind protector is. The cowl and screen are quite compact, but when you increase speed the wind will flow through the top of your helmet and shoulders leaving no stress at all. The developing team members say that they were particular about aerodynamic.

It has enough power performance and you’ll be able to feel more speed than it’s capable to perform due to the smooth acceleration performance of the DCT. For your information, tests held on the autobahn gave satisfying results with overtaking acceleration from 160km/h. That’s what the former 750cc model lacked. The new model is mounted with 1000cc capacity engine and 1.5 times increased power in accordance with the modern traffic environment.

Excellent Control Performance

On winding roads it’s so light you’ll forget that it’s mounted with 21 inch front wheels. It’ll be like riding a normal road bike. The machine can be leaned down at a deep angle and provide comfortable driving performance due to excellent engine traction and easy handling. We didn’t have tandem test rides or vehicles mounted with luggage but the machine is no doubt suitable for touring.

The double disc brake equipped with radial mount caliper is intense and easy to handle. The front of the body will tilt if you brake hard but the vehicle will stably reduce speed. Also, the ABS will prevent front wheels to lock so you’ll be able to use your front brakes at off roads with no hesitation at all. By the way, the ABS is selectable so the rear wheels can be released seperately. But unless you want to make a brake turn, you’ll be better off to have it turned on for your safety.

Africa Twin is highly praised by the media and their complements are true. It means that a lot of people feel the same way about it. Many riders dream to go out on an adventure. And this model might just be able to fulfill that dream.

Editor of Webike News/Kenny Sagawa

Reports on Test Ride by Mr. A, Owner of Former Model

We asked Mr. A, owner of former Africa Twin, XRV750, XL1000V Varadero and other adventure models to test ride the vehicle and make remarks.

Reports from Mr. A

I used to use my former Africa Twin for trail and flat off road courses at high speed. The new Africa Twin surprised me with its improved off road performance. I think it’ll perform best among all adventure models.

The first thing that felt different from the former model was the weight of the body. It’s more compact and easier to keep hold. I’m 174cm high and it fits greatly. The tank doesn’t come in the way and it’s formed with plastic parts which I think is great! Because with the former model, the tank easily made a dent.

The tank is placed in an orthodox position, not under the seat which is a trend for recent models. Other parts are also placed in the center, which makes handling easier when the machine loses its balance on off road.

The Development Team say that due to the parallel two-cylinder engine, they found space behind the engine to mount the battery and other parts. The engine was developed using a variety of techniques to form a compact structure with low center gravity, and I assume this is what enables the vehicle to offer these results.

It does’t have a V-Twin typical to former Africa Twins. I was interested in what seasoning they’d added instead and found that the 270-degree crank timing is similar to the V-Twin. The vibration is controlled, as all motorcycles are today which is appropriate for the new Africa Twin despite the fact that the former model had dreadful micro vibration out on the highway. I envied this engine the moment I was on it.

The suspension is great! The underparts of the former model had light response, but the new one is equipped with 45mm inverted fork. Some members of the developing team had different opinions on adopting the 45mm inverted fork but it was added onto the machine by means of road performance.

The most surprising factor was the DCT. In all situations throughout the test drive, I never felt uncomfortable. When you’re on an adventure model you always have to be anxious of engine stops but that didn’t occur either. Further without shift shock, DCT will surely offer good performance on off roads as well. And due to the manual mode you can additionally install foot shift which is an aspect that makes me really want to own it.

The members of the development team are all great fans of the Africa Twin and made an exhaustive study of the former model to develop the new model. They say they want the new Africa Twin to be an ”enduring model”.

The new model is recommended to rider’s who were owners of the former Africa Twin as well!!

See HONDA Moto Index Page

See Accessories for HODNA CRF1000L Africa Twin

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