The first impressions of the Honda Africa Twin when it was presented were promising. But now it applies. The first test motorcycle is ready for the top test. And the expectations are great.
Dry sump lubrication certainly has advantages in terms of overall height, but not checking the oil level using a dipstick.
Photos: Honda (2), fact
The valve control, which Honda uses in the Africa Twin under the sonorous name Unicam, is basically a sohc design, i.e. a single overhead camshaft. The beginning of Unicam was made in 2004 with the wild, high-revving Crossers CRF 250 and 450. They were followed by the VFR 1200 F and X and the NC models.
The camshaft, which is located directly above the intake valves, is clearly visible, and roller rocker arms operate the exhaust side.
Due to the long suspension travel, the Africa Twin tends to become a bit unstable when fully decelerating, whereby the rear wheel can lose contact with the ground for a short time. It stirs a little over the longitudinal axis, but this is harmless.
The braking effect is good, but the pressure point could be a bit more direct. Because of the long suspension travel and the narrow tire, the deceleration is good.
As you can see, you don’t see anything spectacular. Rather, it is a performance curve that tends towards its gently rounded peak and a good 80 Nm starting torque at just over 2000 rpm. Even if performance fetishists may complain that the kick is missing, …
… this engine characteristic fits perfectly with the relaxed appearance of the Honda. Due to the long gear ratio, it reaches top speed a good 1000 rpm before the speed limit.
The Honda Africa Twin faces major competition in the form of three competitors. On the one hand there is the BMW F 800 GS with 85 hp, 222 kg weight, 0-100 km / h 4.0 seconds, Vmax 204 km / h, consumption 4.6 liters, ABS, and a price of 11,200 euros.
As a second:
KTM Adventure 1050. 95 hp, weight 233 kg, 0–100 km / h 3.7 sec,
Vmax 205 km / h, consumption 5.0 liters, ABS, 12,795 euros.
On the other hand, we find the handwheel for headlight range adjustment, which is generally praiseworthy, negative – in itself it is a fine thing, but in the case of the Africa Twin it is unfortunately a bit hidden in the fairing holder and only a bit difficult to reach.
It was positively noticed: in the event of an accident, the hinged gear knob protects against loss. By removing the rubbers, the jagged notches – albeit short – offer more grip in the field.
Travel dynamically, but without hectic, comfortable but not sedate. Their balance is the great strength of the Honda and a balm for the nerves.
But what does the Honda do? She meets the expectations with serenity. And it can do that too.
Tight disc with surprisingly good wind protection and low turbulence thanks to clever openings.
Clear and high-contrast cockpit, unfortunately the cover reflects something.
Plastic protectors on frame and clutch bell, welded frame rear.
Stable-looking aluminum engine guard as standard, but no main stand. The manifolds have separate fenders.
The bench can be fixed in two different positions, …
… which makes a 15 mm difference in seat height.
Slim waist, not too bulky tank, silencer nestled close to the side – the Honda celebrates the departure from the trend towards ever larger travel enduros.
Yamaha XT 1200 Z Super Ténéré.
112 hp, weight 269 kg, 0-100 km / h 3.7 seconds, Vmax 210 km / h, consumption 5.8 liters, ABS, 12,955 euros.
INTERMOT countdown 2016: 6
Honda Africa Twin
What’s that nice? Tradition is not keeping the ashes, but passing on the flame. The Africa Twin inherits the legacy of its ancestors – and immediately has lots of ardent admirers.
M.an could now quite crudely ask the question: Are you looking for an uncomplicated mid-range travel enduro, equipped with as few electronic frills as possible, not overpowered and with technology that is built to last? The answer should be: here you go, there is such a bike – the 1000cc V-Strom from Suzuki. However, the down-to-earth woman has not sold well since her revival two years ago.
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INTERMOT countdown 2016: 6
Honda Africa Twin
Interview about the Honda Africa Twin
It has been almost three decades since the first Honda Africa Twin caused a sensation in 1988. In terms of marketing, the field was well prepared for them at the time: Frenchman Cyril Neveu had won the Paris-Dakar rally twice in advance. His extremely expensive factory machine NXR 750 – at that time people spoke of a value of 300,000 D-Marks – went down in rally history as the “Queen of Africa”. Even if the first Africa Twin was ultimately just a Transalp that had been drilled out to 647 cm³ and upgraded with higher-quality suspension elements, the new one hit like a bomb. A cladding painted in the colors of the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) and held in rally style, the model name suggesting adventure and the solid Transalp technology – with this combination the model planners met the spirit of the time.
And now? 13 years after the last Honda Africa Twin rolled off the assembly line in 2003, the men in red are obviously following this tradition again. The new Africa Twin does not want to mess with the fully electrified and powerful high-end travel enduros from BMW, Ducati, KTM and Co. The new one can also be used with various engine mappings, ride-by-wire or semi-active suspension elements not at all, remains very down-to-earth. Admittedly, the no-frills technology could also be seen as a victim on the altar of cost pressures. Mainly because the V2 propellant had to give way to a cheaper series twin – even if the crank pin offset of 270 degrees imitates a 90-degree V2 in character and acoustically.
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Simplicity of being carries over to the driver
So be it. In any case, the restriction to what is necessary and sensible has not harmed the new Honda Africa Twin. Yes, it even underlines its endurance claim. Because not only with the off-road, 21-inch front wheel, the Honda is also picking up on the trail of its ancestor in this respect. If the worst comes to the worst, your conventional throttle can also be repaired with on-board tools, the rear frame made of steel can be welded by the village blacksmith south of the Sahara – even if the destinations today are probably less adventurous than they were in the eighties in the troubled world.
But one thing is certain: the simplicity of being is carried over from the first minute of the Honda Africa Twin to its driver. Slender knees and a relaxed sitting position create a feel-good atmosphere, which the smoothly running twin underlines with its sonorous V2 sound. On the road, the Honda can swing from bend to bend as predictably as a trained dog, arrows straight ahead on the autobahn with a pin-high stability and even pours out well-known studded luminaries like the KTM 1190 Adventure R or the BMW F 800 GS off-road. Ultimately, with this universality, it offers a wide range of applications that is currently only achieved by a few machines.
With the new Honda Africa Twin with the nickname CRF 1000 L, which is reminiscent of the Crosser, Honda has hit the zeitgeist. From a standing start, the big travel enduro shot up to third place in the German motorcycle new registration statistics (as of May 2016). But the new edition of the Africa Twin would hardly have achieved its successful rebirth solely with the reduction to the essentials. The stylish and successful design certainly made a significant contribution to the success of the revival. Incidentally, there is one aspect in which it differs from the V-Strom – perhaps even the decisive one.
Honda dream bikes
Pictures: INTERMOT countdown 2016: 6
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Honda Africa Twin: 26.5%
Honda Fireblade SP: 16.7%
Honda CB 1100: 15.3%
Honda CBR 900 RR Fireblade: 12.8%
Honda VFR 750 F: 6.7%
Honda CBR 600 RR: 5.3%
Honda VFR 1200 F: 4.9%
Honda CBF 600: 4.8%
Honda Gold Wing 1800: 3.6%
Honda ST 1100 Pan European: 2.3%
INTERMOT competition – nothing for losers
Motorcycle fans are already looking forward to October 2016, because then it will be time again: Open the doors for INTERMOT, the international trade fair event for motorized two-wheelers. And so that the waiting time is not too long, there is an attractive competition. Prizes totaling over 17,000 euros that will make your heart beat faster. Take your chance and fill out the participation form directly on the INTERMOT website or visit the INTERMOT promo team at the Olsberg Festival, Glemseck101 or the European Bike Week at Lake Faak in Austria.
The main prize is a Harley-Davidson Roadster XL 1200 CX. There are also two helmets from Nolan, shopping vouchers from Louis and Custom Chrome Europe and day tickets for INTERMOT from October 5 to 9, 2016. Be part of the performance and take part! The closing date for entries is October 3, 2016. More information on INTERMOT 2016 at www.intermot.de
Technical data Honda Africa Twin
markus-jahn.com 21st photos markus-jahn.com 1/21 The first impressions of the Honda Africa Twin when it was presented were promising. But now it applies….
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factstudio.de 19th photos fact 1/19 With the “Rallye” GS, BMW underscores the “enduro” behind the “journey”. Honda did this from the start with the…
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