New 2016MY Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin: Official release and all you need to know

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Honda has announced further technical details of the new CRF1000L Africa Twin, which will be available in Honda showrooms across Europe in late 2015. The 2016 CRF1000L Africa Twin is claimed to have been thoroughly equipped for true adventure, with a potent engine and dynamic chassis ready to cover continents on or off-road.

The Africa Twin is styled with minimum bodywork in a tough, lightweight form that offers both weather protection for the rider and a slim, agile feel. Dual headlights maintain the original’s signature presence and the seat height adjusts 20mm to either 870mm or 850mm. A large18.8-litre fuel tank – coupled with the engine’s fuel efficiency – is said to provide a range of up to 400km. The CRF1000L Africa Twin will be available in three colour options: CRF Rally, Tricolour and Black.

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The most potent candidate to start the CRF1000L Africa Twin project was one motorcycle that consistently impressed with its balance of usability, poise and handling, on road and in the dirt – the seminal XRV750 Africa Twin. The “go anywhere” approach starts with the engine, which has to perform in off-road situations as well as on-road long-range touring, and all points in between.

The CRF1000L Africa Twin’s 1000cc parallel twin power plant draws heavily on Honda’s off-road race experience in the form of 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 the CBR1000RR Fireblade – operates the valve train, and twin spark plugs fire the fuel/air mixture in each combustion chamber. The lightweight six-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.

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The engine’s short height contributes to the CRF1000L Africa Twin’s ground clearance. The motorcycle is also said to use clever packaging of componentry to both dynamic and aesthetic effect. The water pump is housed within the clutch casing, and the water and oil pumps are driven by a shared balancer shaft. Further reducing engine size is the lower crankcase design, which stores the oil and houses the pressure-fed pump.

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 is aimed to provide a balance of high-speed stability – also while fully loaded – matched to genuine off-road ability, agility and strength. Mass centralisation – with items like the battery packaged at the rear of the cylinder head – contributes to a low centre of gravity.

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The long-travel Showa inverted forks are fully adjustable and feature 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 21/18-inch front rear spoked wheels, wearing 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tyres.

To tailor the overall electronics package to capably 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.

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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 operate gear shifts through triggers on the left handlebar – and two automatic modes. D mode is claimed to offer the best balance of fuel economy and comfort cruising. S mode has now been revised to give extra levels of sports performance, with three different shift patterns to choose from: S1, S2 and S3.

DCT for the CRF1000L Africa Twin is also equipped to operate in an adventure environment, with off-road functionality enhanced by the G switch positioned on the right side of the instrument panel. Pushing the G switch in any riding mode improves traction and machine by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes. Further new functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection, by means of which the gear shift pattern is adapted depending on the grade of any incline to provide optimum control.

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* HSTC and ABS not available on base version; equipped as standard on ABS and DCT versions.

Check out the motorcycles in action in this video that is part of a promotional series:


Here are the technical specifications:

Engine TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and uni-cam
Engine Displacement998cm3
Max. Power Output70kW/7,500rpm (95/1/EC)
Max. Torque98Nm/6,000rpm (95/1/EC)
Bore & Stroke92.0 & 75.1mm
ClutchWet, multiplate with coil springs, Aluminium Cam Assist and Slipper clutch
Final DriveO-ring sealed chain
Gearbox / Transmission TypeConstant mesh 6-speed MT / 6-speed DCT with on and off-road riding modes
Honda Selectable Torque Control System (HSTC)* HSTC 3-levels +  Switch Off (*ABS & DCT models only, not on STD model)
Frame TypeSteel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear subframe
Turning Radius2.5m
Dry Weight208kg (STD), 212 kg (ABS), 222kg (DCT)
Kerb Weight228kg (STD), 232 kg (ABS), 242kg (DCT)
Fuel Capacity18.8 litres
Length x Width x Height2,335 x 875 x 1,475mm (STD), 2,335 x 930 x 1,475mm (ABS/DCT)
Wheelbase1,575mm
Seat Height (STD position / Low position)870/850mm
Ground Clearance250mm
ABS system typeABS* 2-Channel with rear ABS off switch (* ABS & DCT models only, not on STD model)
Brakes Front310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers (*ABS) and sintered metal pads
Brakes Rear256mm wave hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper (*ABS) and sintered metal pads. Also Lever-Lock Type Parking Brake System on DCT model.
Wheels FrontWire spoke with aluminium rim
Wheels RearWire spoke with aluminium rim
Rim Size Front21M/C x MT2.15
Rim Size Rear18M/C x MT4.00
Tyres Front90/90-R21 tube type
Tyres Rear150/70-R18 tube type

The Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin will lock horns with the likes of BMW GS Series, Triumph Tiger series and the Suzuki V-Storm to name a few. Which one would you select over the others? Share your choice and the reason behind it through the comments section below.

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