Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L

It's a real adventure bike. A 232kg machine that really can go anywhere, be it on tarmac with luggage and a pillion or on dusty South African trails. A big bike that's actually useful off road, and not just in the hands of an advanced off-road rider.
Manufacturer
Category
Price
£10499
Available from
2016

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Africa Twin CRF1000L review
Submitted by Steve Farrell on Fri, 04 Dec 2015

THERE'S no doubting the new CRF1000L Africa Twin is a very big deal to Honda. Already a revered name thanks to the original XRV650 and 750 of the '80s and '90s, the firm helped mythologise the Africa Twin brand further with a long, drawn-out introduction of this new incarnation.

It was first unveiled as the True Adventure Prototype at the back-end of 2014, leading to inevitable speculation that it was in fact the new Africa Twin. Honda confirmed that several months later, sparking fresh headlines all over the bike press.

It was unveiled again at this Autumn's American Expo show and yet again at Eicma in Milan.

Now, finally, it's here, and I've just finished day one of a two-day launch test ride in South Africa.

Click here to read the rest of the Africa Twin review.

THERE'S no doubting the new CRF1000L Africa Twin is a very big deal to Honda. Already a revered name thanks to the original XRV650 and 750 of the '80s and '90s, the firm helped mythologise the Africa Twin brand further with a long, drawn-out introduction of this new incarnation.

It was first unveiled as the True Adventure Prototype at the back-end of 2014, leading to inevitable speculation that it was in fact the new Africa Twin. Honda confirmed that several months later, sparking fresh headlines all over the bike press.

It was unveiled again at this Autumn's American Expo show and yet again at Eicma in Milan.

Now, finally, it's here, and I've just finished day one of a two-day launch test ride in South Africa.

Click here to read the rest of the Africa Twin review.

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Chris Cope's picture
Submitted by Chris Cope on Sun, 14/02/2016 - 13:53

Overall Review

If you really are the sort of person who is actually looking for a heavyweight motorcycle that's capable of travelling off road, this is probably one of the best choices. In truth, though, most owners will buy this because of its ergonomics and usefulness, happy to ride around offering the illusion of ruggedness while never straying anywhere more wild than a cow-poo-covered Welsh lane. If you're honest with yourself about how you will (and won't) use the Africa Twin, you will find that cheaper alternatives (e.g., Triumph Tiger 800 XR, Kawasaki Versys 1000, Suzuki V-Strom 1000) are just as good. Perhaps not markedly better, but just as good. So, it really comes down to how much you love the Honda brand. And whether you can tolerate the idea of narrow tubed tires. That, and the fact that Honda have strangely placed the button for the horn where the indicator switch should be, are the only complaints I have about the Africa Twin. It also starts to run out of puff above 85 mph. Avoid purchasing any of Honda's accessories (panniers, screen, crash bars, etc.). You can find aftermarket items that are better quality at a lower price.

Strengths

- Low centre of gravity and an ultra-slick transmission are the highlights of this machine. Despite weighing 232 kg it feels light and nimble... until you have to pick it up. - Accelerates smoothly from down low. - Feeling of premium quality

Weaknesses

- Baffling placement of horn button in place of indicator switch - Tubed tires - Costs more than most of the competition - Honda panniers are plastic and not entirely waterproof. - Honda heated grips are not warm enough - Touring screen is not wide enough

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Submitted by Gamston Wadbanage on Wed, 17/02/2016 - 10:29

Overall Review

I ordered my Africa Twin in early November 2015 and it arrived with me on 21 January, mine is the first my dealer (CJ Ball in Norwich) delivered to a customer and it was the first time I had seen a black one, I know I am biased but I think black is the best colour. My bike is a DCT model, it took me all of about 5 minutes to feel completely at home with the DCT, its fast and smooth. I started using mainly D mode then moved to the middle S mode and now I am also using the paddles a fair bit while using S mode, I am pretty sure that for local trips and offload I will soon start to use manual mode but on fast roads D will be fine. Although I have had the bike for a few weeks I have only ridden about 120 miles but it is clear this is a great bike. The engine is smooth and feels a lot more powerful than the published numbers would suggest, I often find that I am going a lot faster than it feels so I am having to learn to check my speed, 50 feels like 30. The suspension is very good possibly slightly soft for some but I like it although I have added some rear preload.I have so far only ridden on road where the bike feels comfortable and relaxing, its clear long trips on it will de fine. The overall build quality seems very good I want to get some engine protection fitted but I am not keen on the look of the Honda options so I will be looking for 3rd party options. Its early days but so far I love the Africa Twin and I am looking forwards to many years of fun with it.

Strengths

Smooth Engine, Nice riding position, seat can go very low, quality and very good value

Weaknesses

Tubed tyres (very small con)

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