- Pretty much best friends
- Course south-southeast. Not a meter of the highway.
- Without electronic chassis hocus-pocus
- Slim tank, cozy seat, delicate disguise
Picture gallery: Impressions of the new Honda Africa Twin and Werner "Mini" Koch’s very own twin story.
Sit on it and feel good, that has a lot from the first serve in 1988. Slim, retracted tank, cuddly comfortable bench and a stately overview of the game behind the delicate disguise.
28 years lie between the Honda XRV 650 and the brand new CRF 1000.
It’s good that I got an abandoned RD 03, the original XRV 650, at the time. Fresh oil, new tires and an ignition box without loose contact, it was worth it to me.
Sat nav? There wasn’t and is not there today either. But a map compartment in the tank bag. …
… Just like 28 years ago when, as a newcomer to the MOTORRAD editorial team, I was given the Honda Africa Twin key: double test with the BMW R 80 GS – without a line.
The walk through to the last XRV 750, abbreviation RD 07A, was child’s play. Test winner in series, sales successes and further, fan clubs worldwide, until Honda pulled the plug in 2000.
Fast, stylish, robust and expensive at 10,750 marks.
A year later, as the XRV 650, abbreviation RD 03, the Africa Twin knocked globetrotters, adventurers and me out of our cross boots.
It was then that Honda, or rather the HRC racing department, decided to win the big desert rallies. This was the starting signal for the famous Africa Twin.
In 1987 I was allowed to try my hand at the 300,000 mark NXR 750 factory Honda.
The Africa Twin did well in the 750 concept comparison back in 1993.
There is no need to attend a PC training course for the new Africa Twin. There is a yellow wheel for the ABS and three white bars on the display
for traction control – done.
Impression says in the headline. Collect impressions, no test, no readings, no scoring, just sit on it, accelerate, towards the sun.
Finally: after a long wait, Honda is launching the new Africa Twin in 2016.
After a very amusing ride, the panorama opens up in front of us like a Luis Trenker postcard.
Impression Honda Africa Twin
Pretty much best friends
28 years ago, the Honda Africa Twin 650 had to take the first test in MOTORRAD – and it became a favorite from the tester’s stand. Now Werner swung "Mini" Cook in the saddle of the newcomer.
S.Keys, papers, everything there, only the weather makes faxes. In the morning still lukewarm spring scent, from noon the wind turns to the northeast. Temperature drop, what felt like five degrees and more clouds than sun. But with God there are worse things than roaming the countryside for two days. Impression says in the headline. Collect impressions, no test, no readings, no scoring, just sit on it, accelerate, towards the sun. And if she doesn’t want to, we shimmy from one cloud hole to the next. Everything is going to be fine.
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Impression Honda Africa Twin
Pretty much best friends
Africa Twin does not have to attend a PC training. The display shows a yellow wheel for ABS and three white bars for traction control – done. Very sympathic. With the electronically upgraded competition, I never really know which station is currently in it. Trip? Comfort? Rain mode or full tank? A thousand and two setting options for scrolling up and down, menu, set, reset buttons. It’s all banana, actually I just want to ride enduro and not get a rolling laptop going. Keyless Go? Pipe lid, the Africa Twin can do that much, much better: insert the key, turn it around, drive off. As simple as that.
Course south-southeast. Not a meter of the highway.
The duty is over, the photos in the box. Photographer Dave Schal dusts the cameras and packs up. Buenos dias and bye. The warm foehn wind, reports Claudia Kleinert, really cleans the Bavarian Alps out again, while it is already dripping in the north. I get the Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin into position: heading south-south-east. Not a meter of the motorway, but gravel over the Swabian Alb and the smallest Winkelwerk through the Bavarian Allgau. Sat nav? There isn’t, but a map compartment in the tank bag. Just like 28 years ago when, as a newcomer to the MOTORRAD editorial team, I was given the Honda Africa Twin key: double test with the BMW R 80 GS – without a line.
I scanned the test in MOTORRAD issue 13/1988 with a grin again. “The Honda runs like the devil is after it, but it was just the good R 80 GS.” End of quote. So 168 km / h was hell for the enduro scene back then. Today the over-enduros are racing over the track at 250 km / h. Not the new Honda Africa Twin, which is stuck in the wind at 199 km / h. Is that what you want on an enduro? Drive straight ahead at 199 km / h? Not me.
Without electronic chassis hocus-pocus
Behind the Munsinger Alb, the path to the sunny south disappears into rocky gorges and gravel roads. The tamed twin plows along the ravine, the Honda Africa Twin keeps the track cleanly and the velvety chassis irons smoothly whatever gets in the way under the thick layer of leaves. Quote: “The Pro Link system works perfectly: sensitive to small waves, tight and well cushioned when it crashes into deep holes and bumps when loaded with two people.” Copy and paste – that was in MOTORRAD in 1988 and can be one to one to be carried over to 2016. Long nose, baaahhh – because the Honda manages that without electronic suspension hocus-pocus. And so elegantly that you don’t even begin to think about unpacking the screwdriver. And when the fork oil drips out of the Simmerrings in the Gobi desert, I put new ones in at the next best locksmith’s workshop. Have fun working with Sky-Hook, ESA and the like. No, you don’t have to work your way through the menu for this Honda, you just have to sit on it and drive off. Like in 1988 too.
The starting shot for the famous Honda Africa Twin was given a year earlier when Honda, or rather the HRC racing department, decided to win the big desert rallies. And when HRC takes a decision, there is a rattle in the framework. NXR 750 was the name of the 300,000 mark rally horse that I was allowed to chase through the deep sand of Baden in Stollhofen in 1987. What a hammer machine. Strong, fast, perfect and shaped by the Honda philosophy, practically unstoppable. The madness as a one-off, which one year later as XRV 650, abbreviation RD 03, globetrotter, adventurer and me knocked out of my cross boots. Fast, stylish, robust and expensive at 10,750 marks. The walk through to the last XRV 750, abbreviation RD 07A, was child’s play. Test winner in series, sales successes and more, fan clubs worldwide, until Honda pulled the plug in 2000. Off, done.
It’s good that I got an abandoned RD 03, the original XRV 650, at the time. Fresh oil, new tires and an ignition box without loose contact, it was worth it to me. Two years ago I took care of the Africa Twin 650 at the Spezl. I have now refurbished an old BMW R 80 G / S for enduro riding. Keep it simple, was the motto: 190 kilograms and 72 hp are sooo much fun. This is exactly what the major motorcycle manufacturers should write in their specifications – and at the top. Honda did it with the CRF 1000 Africa Twin.
Slim tank, cozy seat, delicate disguise
Well done. Because Honda had the courage not to be driven by the key data of the top dog from Munich. The BMW R 1200 GS was not the reference in terms of displacement or equipment, and certainly not in terms of engine power. I’m sure that caused a lot of trouble at the marketing meetings. How can you knock BMW off the throne if not with the faster-higher-further strategy? Even if the mathematician vetoed the phrase – less can actually be more in the case of the big travel enduro. You just have to have the courage to do it. Away from the cliche that everything has to get stronger, bigger and more expensive. Does a lot help a lot? Well, thank you, we like to have motorbikes, not only with the Honda Africa Twin, that aim in the other direction. Sit on it and feel good, that has a lot from the first serve in 1988. Slim, retracted tank, cuddly comfortable bench and a stately overview of the game behind the delicate disguise. Well, the Japanese skimp on the almost 19 liters of fuel, after 320 kilometers the fuel gauge flickers and the remaining three liters are flared after about 70 kilometers, making a range of 390 kilometers. On my RD 03, the barrel was dust dry only after 500 kilometers. And the first XRV 650 was also lighter, even 13 kilograms.
Put an end to the earlier-everything-was-better-whining. Ms. Kleinert was right, after a very amusing ride the alpine panorama stretches out in front of us like a Luis Trenker postcard.
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