‘Leaked’ Honda Africa Twin video

When ‘leaked’ means ‘carefully-orchestrated marketing ploy’

HONDA’S 2016 Africa Twin CRF1000L has appeared on video for the first time in what some websites have presented as leaked footage from a factory test ride.

Of course, it hasn’t leaked at all. The fact is that it’s turned up on official Honda YouTube channels (like that of Honda Motorcycles Australia) and, by and large, R&D departments don’t usually bolt GoPro cameras all over their prototypes and carefully edit together videos that show just enough of the bike to pique a casual viewer’s interest, before, er, leaving them in a bar or accidentally uploading them to a website.

But it’s more interesting to make out that it’s a leak, with black and white footage (hey, fictional Honda R&D video editor guys, you know there are plenty of full-colour, HD action cams on sale at prices that probably wouldn’t break the bank?) instead of simply releasing it as a promo video.

There is a bit to learn from it, though. One moment shows what looks like ABS kicking in on a dirt track, and others hint at off-road traction control, given the way the rider is banging the throttle open. And if nothing else, it means we get to hear what the bike sounds like.

The machines in the video are wearing the same sort of disguise as last year’s ‘True Adventure’ show bike, but seem to feature the production model’s exhaust - squared-off, twin exit end can is prominent in some shots.

  • Sign up for Visordown's weekly newsletter, Bugsplat, to get the best motorcycle news, road tests and features plus exclusive competitions and offers direct to your inbox. Register as a Visordown member here and tick the box for Bugsplat in your newsletter settings here.