Back in 2016 Honda launched a reboot of the Africa Twin, a legendary, ’80s-era, Dakar-inspired dual-sport that never made it to the U.S. Sharing the “CRF” model designation with Honda’s line of off-road bikes made it clear that the all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin was designed to be just as capable off the pavement as on it.
Powered by a snappy 998cc parallel twin, the Africa Twin shared DNA with Honda’s Dakar competition bike, the CRF450R Rally, with a semi-double cradle frame, 21-inch front/18-inch rear spoked wheels with tube-type tires, extra-long suspension travel (9.1 inches front, 8.7 inches rear) and nearly 10 inches of ground clearance. It was offered as a standard model with a 6-speed manual transmission with an assist-and-slipper clutch, or as a DCT model with Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission with automatic and manual modes.
For 2018, Honda introduced a more touring oriented version called the Africa Twin Adventure Sports, which benefited from engine updates, a lightweight lithium-ion battery, throttle-by-wire with riding modes, an extra inch of suspension travel, a 1.4-gallon larger fuel tank (6.4 gallons), a taller windscreen, a taller handlebar and other cosmetic, ergonomic and functional changes.
There’s been buzz for a while now something new coming down the pike, and today Honda announced the new 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES. Both get a larger, more powerful engine, a more advanced suite of electronic rider aids and other updates. The standard Africa Twin is geared more toward off-road performance, while the Adventure Sports ES is designed to deliver more comfort and confidence for long-distance touring.
The liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel twin powering both Africa Twin models gets an 86cc bump in displacement, to 1,084cc, which, along with along with improved intake and exhaust systems, results in a claimed 6% increase in horsepower. The frame has been updated for optimized handling, the rear subframe is now made of aluminum construction and is detachable, and the CRF450R-style aluminum swingarm is lighter and more rigid.
A six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) enables new rider aids including wheelie control, cornering ABS, rear-lift control and, for models so equipped, DCT cornering detection. A new 6.5-inch TFT color touchscreen display is compatible with Apple CarPlay, and cruise control is standard on both models.
2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin
Honda says the 2020 Honda Africa Twin is 6 pounds lighter than the 2019 model and it features a shorter, fixed windscreen and a 5-gallon fuel tank. It will be available in March 2020 in Matte Black Metallic for $14,399 with a 6-speed transmission or $15,199 with DCT.
2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
The 2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES, which is said to be 3 pounds lighter than the 2019 Adventure Sports, features new Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension (EERA), cornering lights, tubeless wheels, heated grips, an accessory socket, a larger adjustable windscreen, a larger skid plate, a lower seat than last year’s model, an aluminum rear rack and a 6.5-gallon tank. It will be available in March 2020 in Pearl Glare White/Blue for $17,199 with a 6-speed transmission or $17,999 with DCT.