IT'S ONE of the ironies of the booming adventure bike markets that many of these bikes have become so road-biased that their manufacturers also feel the need to offer an ‘Adventure’ version to satisfy the desires of more hardcore customers.
BMW did it first with the R1200GS Adventure, sitting alongside the normal GS in the range and offering more off-road and long-distance ability. Suzuki makes an “Adventure” version of the V-Strom 1000, Aprilia the ‘Rally’ version of the Caponord, Ducati has just launched the Multistrada Enduro and of course KTM makes a host of variations on its Adventure-branded models.
So will Honda do the same with its new entrant to the market, the Africa Twin? The firm’s latest ‘concept’ bike suggests so.
The Africa Twin is already leaning towards the more extreme end of the adventure bike market, with some serious off-road capability to suit its legendary Paris-Dakar-derived name. But the firm’s new Africa Twin Adventure Sports Concept, to give its full name, turns it up a notch. Sure, the basics are all Africa Twin – same engine, same chassis, most of the same bodywork – but there are some notable changes. The massive aluminium bellypan is reminiscent of the old NXR750 Paris-Dakar racers, and indeed the original Africa Twin, and the rear end is all new. There’s a flatter, motocross-style seat, new tail unit with the 'Adventure Sports' logo that adorned the first-gen Africa Twin proudly on display. A tubular luggage rack and grabrail replace the posh cast alloy versions on the stock bike and there’s an upswept Termignoni pipe to add the right soundtrack.
The colour scheme is pure first-gen Africa Twin, and for some reason Honda’s seen fit to strip the concept of its indicators and mirrors. They’ll be back if it gets the green light for production.
Bearing in mind that Honda showed the CRF250 Rally as a ‘concept’ a year ago, has just revealed an updated version as a ‘prototype’ and will have it in production before the end of this year, it’s likely to be 12 months or more before we see whether the Adventure Sports Concept is heading to showrooms or not.