Touring-spec Africa Twin spotted

Africa Twin with taller screen and luggage seen in high-speed autobahn tests

WE'VE hardly seen the basic edition of Honda’s new Africa Twin yet and already here’s a spy shot of what looks like a more touring-focussed version.

This heavily camouflaged CRF1000L Africa Twin has a taller screen than the one we saw in dimly lit teaser images released by Honda two weeks ago. It’s also gained panniers and a top box.

Where the top edge of the screen was about level with the mirrors in the teaser shot, this one extends well above them. At the bottom it seems to follow the line of the upper fairing just as closely, suggesting it’s a physically larger screen rather than the same one adjusted to a higher setting.  

The screen is also higher than the one seen last week in patent images.The greyscale patent files showed pannier mounting points but no actual boxes.

The new Africa Twin will come with Honda's automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) as an option. The absence of a clutch lever on the bike pictured here suggests it's equipped with the option.  

The camouflaged machine was spotted undergoing tests in Germany including high-speed autobahn runs, exactly what we'd expect in the late development stages of a touring edition.

Our source said: 'The picture was taken at the end of last week at Honda's R&D centre in Germany, where my photographer originally was standing waiting for the “normal” Africa Twin. He lost the bike during a hunt but said it seemed they were mainly high-speed-testing on the autobahn, which explains the fully loaded bags and so on.

'The driver and the security were not were pleased, to say the least.'

The new CRF1000L Africa Twin is effectively a production version of the ‘True Adventure Prototype’ unveiled at last year’s Eicma Milan motorcycle show. Honda confirmed the production version on May 12, with a press release saying it will share the ‘go-anywhere’ attributes of the original 1988 XRV650 Africa Twin and ‘redefine’ what a large-capacity adventure bike is capable of.

It’s expected to go on sale this autumn.

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