adventure motorcycles

Honda Africa Twin: Detailed Technical Specs and Review

Honda Africa Twin: Detailed Technical Specs and Review

1. Honda Africa Twin Overview

2022 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT Model

2022 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT Model
Photo Credit: Honda Powersports

Apart from carrying Honda’s emblem, the Honda Africa Twin has become a separate identity due to its massive popularity among riders who love adventures. It is a perfect crossover machine that strikes a great balance between dual sports and an adventure bike, thanks to its dual-purpose characteristics. This motorcycle, at the time of its launch in 1988, was marketed as a dual-sports bike. However, the motorcycling world has seen tremendous growth and evolution over time as this bike transformed beautifully to become one of the leading names in the adventure bike category. There are only a few motorcycles that are designed perfectly for the purpose they are built for, and the Honda Africa Twin is one of them. As you hear the name, you will start thinking of a bike that you can take to diverse terrains, including deserts, forests, and hills for extreme off-roading. Continue reading this article if you want to know more about this impressive adventure bike, called the Honda Africa Twin.

2. Honda Africa Twin Detailed Specifications

Honda Africa Twin
General Info
Manufacturer Honda – Japanese Automobile Manufacturer
Motorcycle Type Adventure Bike
Model Year 2023
Introduced in 1988
Production Status Still Produced
Color Options Grand Prix Red with Black
Pearl White with Red and Blue
Model ID CRF1100L
Starting Price $14,499
Displacement 1,084 cc
Layout 22.5° Parallel-Twin
Type Four-Stroke Unicam® Engine
No. of Cylinders Two
Cooling System Liquid-Cooled Engine
Stroke 81.5 mm
Bore 92 mm
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Starter Electric-Starter
Fuel Delivery System Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
Engine Management System Throttle-by-Wire
Torque 105 Nm at 6,250 rpm
Horsepower 101 hp at 7,500 rpm
Top Speed 133 mph
Final Drive Chain Drive
Gearbox Six-Speed
Clutch Manual: Wet Multi-Plate, Assist & Slipper Clutch
DCT: Two Wet Multi-Plate with Coil Spring
Frame High-Tensile Strength Steel; Semi-Double Cradle Type
Front 45 mm Upside-Down Telescopic Front Fork
Wheel Travel 9.1 in
Rear Pro-Link® Single Rear Shock
Wheel Travel 8.7 in
Front 310 mm Dual-Disc Brake with Four-Piston Hydraulic Calipers; ABS-Equipped
Rear 256 mm Single-Disc Brake with One-Piston Hydraulic Caliper; ABS-Equipped
ABS Dual-Channel ABS with Selectable Mode; Integrated with IMU
Front Wire-Spoked 21M/C x MT2.15
Rear Wire-Spoked 18M/C x MT4.00
Rim Aluminum Rims
Front 90/90-21
Rear 150/70R-18
Measurements & Dimensions
Seat Height 34.3 in
Low Position: 33.5 in
Wet Weight 505 lbs
Ground Clearance 9.8 in
Wheelbase 62 in
Length 91.7 in
Height 54.9 in
Width 37.8 in
Fuel Tank Capacity 5 gal
Trail 4.4 in
Rake 27°

3. Honda Africa Twin Trims

Features Honda Africa Twin Honda Africa Twin DCT Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT
Honda Africa Twin Honda Africa Twin DCT Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT
Transmission Manual Transmission Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) Manual Transmission Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Cruise Control ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Ride-by-Wire Throttle ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
6.5-inch TFT Display Screen ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Long-Travel Suspension ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Rally Windscreen ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Adjustable Seat ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
SHOWA EERA® Electronic Suspension ✔️ ✔️
Adjustable Windscreen ✔️ ✔️
Bigger Fuel Tank ✔️ ✔️
Aluminum Rear Carrier ✔️ ✔️
Tubeless Tires ✔️ ✔️
Heated Grips ✔️ ✔️
Cornering Lights ✔️ ✔️
ACC Socket ✔️ ✔️
Curb Weight 505 lbs 529 lbs 529 lbs 551 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity 5 gals 5 gals 6.5 gals 6.5 gals
Color Option Grand Prix Red with Black Grand Prix Red with Black Pearl White with Red and Blue Pearl White with Red and Blue
Cost $14,499 $15,299 $17,299 $18,099

4. Honda Africa Twin’s Detailed Review

4.1 Options for Both On- and Off-Roading World

The Honda Africa Twin is mainly categorized into two variants: the first one is the Honda Africa Twin, and the second one is the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES. The base Honda Africa Twin is more off-road-biased, with features that promote an excellent dirt riding experience and performance. Meanwhile, the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES is a true on-road-biased bike, with features that promote comfortable long-distance experiences. The Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES has been designed and built to provide riders with maximum comfort and smooth ride quality.

4.2 Both Automatic and Manual Control

If you prefer the conventional-style gearbox on your motorbike to have more authority and control, the Honda Africa Twin is available in the manual transmission variant. However, if you haven’t used Honda’s trademark DCT feature, we suggest you give it a try, especially if you are planning to buy a new Honda Africa Twin. If you love technology and trendy equipment installed on a motorbike, the DCT is for you.

The most amazing part about this iconic Honda technology is its flexibility and the control it offers to riders. With the DCT installed on your Honda Africa Twin, you can easily switch between both automatic and manual transmission modes, whichever suits you and the riding conditions. The modes can be switched with a simple push of a button. While riding the Africa Twin in the Automatic mode, riders only need to focus on the ride and the road ahead. They can enjoy more and worry less about engaging the clutch and shifting gears. However, if you want to take control of the bike with your hands, you can switch to manual DCT mode, in which you can shift gears using small up-and-down pedal shifters. Even in the manual DCT mode, the gear shifting is done without the clutch action, as there is no clutch system on the DCT variant, providing several benefits to riders who are learning to ride a motorcycle.

The Honda DCT technology is a proven mechanical system, and the company has been improving it since its introduction in 2010. The best thing about this technology is the smoothness and lack of jerk it offers when the gears shift during the ride. This also enhances the comfort of longer rides, particularly when you are riding with a passenger.

4.3 Engine Power and Performance

Considering its displacement capacity, the Honda Africa Twin lies between middleweight and high-end adventure bikes. However, the 1,084 cc parallel-twin engine produces power output in the middle range. In the middleweight category, it is slightly on the higher side due to its impeccable performance. Despite the 101 hp of power output and 105 Nm of torque, the Honda Africa Twin performs reasonably well on the road compared to what is mentioned in the specs sheet. If you want to compare this bike with its competitors, make sure you take a test ride before jumping to a conclusion based solely on reading the specs sheet. The Honda Africa Twin will stun you with its performance.

The only difference you may feel between the Honda Africa Twin and a high-end adventure bike while riding is the top-end power delivery at full throttle. Otherwise, this bike is on par with other high-performance adventure bikes. It accelerates well; it is not a slow motorcycle; it makes turning even tight corners easy, and you will love how this motorcycle responds when you twist the throttle.

4.4 Handling, Maneuverability, and Control

Numerous elements of the Honda Africa Twin influence its handling, maneuverability, stability, and control. Firstly, the posture of this motorcycle is quite tall, thanks to its 21-inch large front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel, providing this bike adequate uplift and ground clearance. Though an overall taller posture is good for operating off-roads, it does make riding difficult on paved terrains to a certain extent. However, the Honda Africa Twin is an exception. It is perfect on the road for leaning it at greater angles while riding on curvy roads. It feels stable at both slow and high speeds, thanks to the wide handlebars, which offer more control and better maneuverability in all conditions.

However, the Honda Africa Twin has certain performance limitations, especially if you are riding the Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES model. The bike’s wet weight of 551 lbs makes navigating busy traffic challenging. This model is only good if you want an adventure tourer, particularly for riding on highways and open roads. A 6.5 gal gas tank capacity is also a lot of weight to carry, especially when it is fully fueled. So, you must be clear about what you want from your motorcycle before you buy it to ensure you are satisfied with your motorcycle.

4.5 The Best Off-Roader in the Adventure Bike Category

The Honda Africa Twin is the best off-road bike in the adventure bike category for most riders due to its ability to soak bumps and maneuver on almost every terrain. The bike performs exceptionally on even challenging terrains despite its weight. You can choose between the base Africa Twin model and the DCT variant, whichever suits you the most. This bike has the potential to surpass almost every obstacle with comfort, thanks to the high-quality suspensions, which offer maximum damping and wheel travel. You can comfortably land on both your wheels after a jump without damaging the bike and its parts. With 9.1 inches of front wheel travel, 8.7 inches of rear wheel travel, 9.8 inches of ground clearance, and a skid plate to protect the engine parts, the Honda Africa Twin is a star off-roader.

4.6 Comfort

As far as the seating position and the back posture are concerned, the Honda Africa Twin feels like one of the most comfortable adventures touring bikes on the market. There is enough room to move around on the seat without worrying about losing control and grip of the handlebars, offering several benefits while off-roading. You can comfortably stand on the foot pegs and adjust your body weight forward and backward to improve your adventure riding experience on dirt trails. Your arm position also stays very nice, thanks to the wide handlebars. Though the seat height is quite tall, it does not feel unsatisfactory or unnatural when you are riding it. The wind protection is also adequate, thanks to the adjustable windscreen option. With the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES models, you also get the standard hand guards, heated grips, and cruise control features for more relaxed and enjoyable rides.

4.7 Engineering & Technology

Apart from regular ABS and cruise control features in all trims, there are tons of rider aids pre-installed on the Honda Africa Twin to make your rides feel perfect both on- and off-road. The throttle-by-wire technology allows riders to switch between four riding modes depending on the riding conditions and rider’s preferences. There are Off-Road, Gravel, Urban, Tour, and two-rider customizable modes for a fun and engaging experience.

Apart from the long-stroke suspension with long-wheel travel, the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES also features an electronically controlled system to adjust the suspension setting with ease, even during the ride. The electronic suspension, also known as SHOWA EERA®, allows for five different suspension damping settings.

Another prominent feature that takes the Africa Twin’s off-road capability to another level is the 43° steering angle on either side. This increases the maneuverability and handling capabilities of this bike. The Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) allows you to adjust the power delivery at any level depending on the riding condition and the type of terrain.

The standard ABS and torque control are integrated with the IMU system to keep track of any irregular motorcycle movement during the ride that can cause it to slip or fall. The cornering ABS, along with the IMU, provides extreme protection in emergencies to prevent falling, skidding of the rear wheel, and accidents.

The list does not end here, as the Honda Africa Twin also has a wheelie control. To control all these features and to check the motorcycle and riding conditions, there is a large 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen display with Bluetooth connectivity.

4.8 Style

Considering the adventure-style looks, the Honda Africa Twin undoubtedly has the finest and unmistakable design. Whether it is the front end, gas tank, machinery, rear end, or wheels, everything is integrated perfectly and blends to provide an unmatched look. Overall, it has a sporty style with smooth bodywork. Unlike most adventure bikes, the Honda Africa Twin ditches the beak-style front end and comes with the perfectly integrated smooth and aerodynamic nose fairing. If you buy the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES, you also get gold anodized front forks and rims to ensure a striking look.

5. Concluding Remarks

The Honda Africa Twin stands out in the Honda lineup due to its separate fan base and market. It offers great value for the money, as the modern gadgets it comes with are on par with high-end heavyweight adventure bikes. The power figures may seem low on paper, but this bike has the potential to compete with the top best-selling adventure bikes in the market. The Honda Africa Twin has an incredible look, large fuel tank capacity, electronically adjustable suspensions, load-carrying capability, safety equipment, and more. However, if you plan to buy this bike, make sure to choose the variant as per your riding preferences. First, you must choose whether you want a more off-road capable bike or an ideal adventure touring machine, like the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES.

If your budget does not allow you to buy this beautiful adventure bike, you can always make amendments to your old bike to make it touring capable. Viking Bags offers you the best-quality touring parts for your adventure touring Honda Africa Twin, such as hard side cases, luggage system, tank bags, tail/duffel bags, backpacks, and accessories & organizers. You can also find the luggage system and tank bags especially designed for the Honda Africa Twin Sports Adventure ES variant.

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