Honda just announced further technical details on the new CRF1000L Africa Twin adventure bike, which will arrive in Honda showrooms across the United States in early 2016.
Following its design theme of “unlimited adventure,” Honda says the Africa Twin is styled with minimal bodywork in a tough, lightweight form that offers both weather protection for the rider and a slim, agile feel. Dual headlights maintain the original XRV750’s signature presence and the seat height adjusts 0.8 inches to either 34.3 or 33.5 inches. A 4.96-gallon fuel tank seems the minimum, though Honda indicates that the bike gets exceptional fuel economy.
For the CRF1000L Africa Twin’s chassis, three key attributes—highlights of the original XRV750—were targeted: off-road performance, touring comfort and the everyday agility that makes for a great all-rounder or day-to-day commuter.
A steel semi-double cradle frame provides a balance of highway touring capability—even while fully loaded—genuine off-road performance and agility. Mass centralization—with items like the battery packaged at the rear of the cylinder head—contributes to a low center of gravity.
The long-travel Showa inverted fork is fully adjustable and features dual radial-mount Nissin four-piston brake calipers and 310mm “wave” style floating discs. The Showa rear shock has hydraulic spring-preload adjustment. Like the CRF450R Rally, the CRF1000L Africa Twin uses 21- and 18-inch front and rear spoke wheels, wearing 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tires.
Honda says that the CRF1000L Africa Twin’s 998cc parallel-twin powerplant draws heavily on Honda’s off-road race experience with the CRF250R/450R competition machines, and uses the same four-valve Unicam head design for compact overall dimensions. A lightweight cast camshaft—using the same materials as that on the CBR1000RR—operates the valve train, and twin spark plugs fire the fuel/air mixture in each combustion chamber. A 270-degree phased crankshaft gives the power delivery a distinct character, and biaxial primary balance shafts cancel vibration.
The engine’s short height contributes to the CRF1000L Africa Twin’s generous ground clearance. The water pump is housed within the clutch casing, and a shared balancer shaft drives the water and oil pumps. Further reducing engine size is the lower crankcase design, which stores the oil and houses the pressure-fed pump.
To tailor the overall electronics package to tackle any conditions on- or off-road, the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system offers three levels of control, and it is possible for the rider to turn off the ABS system for the rear wheel. (HSTC and ABS are not available on base version, but are equipped as standard on the DCT/ABS version.)
The CRF1000L Africa Twin will be available in two color options: Red/Black/White Dakar Rally and Silver. Pricing has not been announced.
Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
The lightweight 6-speed manual gearbox uses the same shift-cam design as found on the CRF250R/450R to ensure positive changes and is equipped with an assist slipper clutch.
Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) will be available as an option on the CRF1000L Africa Twin, with the use of a common crankcase keeping the width the same as the manual transmission version.
It features the standard manual mode—allowing the rider to change gears through triggers on the left handlebar—and two automatic modes. D mode offers the best balance of fuel efficiency and comfort cruising. S mode gives extra levels of sport performance, with three different shift patterns to choose from: S1, S2 and S3.
In certain situations on the road, such as during low-speed maneuvers, the DCT partially disengages the clutch to reduce the effect that quick throttle movements have on the chassis. DCT for the CRF1000L Africa Twin is also fully equipped to operate in an adventure environment. With the G switch on in any riding mode, the connection between the throttle and the rear wheel is more direct, which can be desirable in certain off-road situations.
Further new functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection. During ascents, upshifts are delayed in order to allow a higher rpm to be held; on descents, downshifts happen earlier to enable better engine braking.
Technical Specifications: 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and Unicam
Engine Displacement: 998cc
Bore x Stroke: 92.0 x 75.1 mm
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate with coil springs, aluminum cam assist and slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring sealed chain
Gearbox/Transmission Type: Constant mesh 6-speed manual / 6-speed DCT with on- and off-road riding modes
Honda Selectable Torque Control System (HSTC): HSTC 3-levels + switch-off (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)
Frame Type: Steel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear sub-frame
Turning Radius: 8’2”
Curb Weight: 503 lb. (STD), 534 lb. (DCT/ABS)
Fuel Capacity: 4.96 gallons
Length x Width x Height: 91.9 x 34.4 x 58.1 inches (STD), 91.9 x 36.6 x 58.1 inches (DCT/ABS)
Wheelbase: 62.0 inches
Seat Height (STD position / Low position): 34.3/33.5 inches
Ground Clearance: 9.8 inches
ABS system type: ABS 2-channel with rear ABS off switch (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)
Front Brakes: 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminum hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear Brake: 256mm wave hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and 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
503/534 lbs!!!! Yikes that’s as much as the KTM 1190 Adventure. 29 lbs more if you get the DCT model.
Still, I’d like to ride one.