After more than a year of speculation Honda has finally and officially announced its new Africa Twin. First of all, the name is confirmed, Africa Twin it is! And it is also called the CRF1000L, following Honda’s name convention for dirt and dual sport motorcycles.
Sparse information is available at this time, but if anyone had doubts about its return, rest assured, this bike exists. And it is rather handsome.
Here is the first paragraph of its announcement, from Honda’s worldwide site:
May 12, 2015 – Honda is delighted to announce the return of one of motorcycling’s most celebrated and evocative names – the Africa Twin. Having clearly shown the direction of its development and intent with the reveal of the True Adventure prototype at EICMA in November 2014, Honda can now confirm that the all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin will be in dealers across Europe in late 2015.
If this bike will hit Europe at the end of this year, it will probably be in the United States in the Spring of 2016 or thereabouts. Yes, it has been confirmed – unlike earlier Africa Twin models, this bike will be marketed in the United States.
These images seem more like a photoshop exercise than an actual photograph, but the motorcycle pictured on Honda’s announcement looks remarkably similar to the pre-production bike presented at EICMA last fall.
Honda’s announcement described what this motorcycle is all about. This description is very close to what we expected and projected, along with most anyone who has written about this motorcycle in anticipation of its unveiling:
Some motorcycles encapsulate perfectly what an adventure motorcycle is all about. The original XRV650 Africa Twin – which debuted in 1988, after the first 3 out of 4 consecutive wins at the Paris-Dakar – was one such machine. Its go-anywhere ability, rugged durability, easy-handling agility and all-day comfort made it the perfect partner with which to explore. And it helped to define a motorcycling segment that has now grown into one of the most popular worldwide. The new Africa Twin remains true to all the attributes and abilities of the XRV650 and its successor the XRV750, while adding the benefits of everything Honda has learnt on and off-road over the last decade, including Team HRC’s return to the Dakar in 2013.
The announcement also confirms our expectation about the use of DCT on this motorcycle. DCT as a motorcycle application remains an exclusive domain of Honda, and by including this technology on an adventure motorcycle, Honda takes it to yet another level of uniqueness for such an application.
Furthermore, in a first for the category, the Africa Twin will feature the option of a new evolution of Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) technology, which remains unique to Honda in motorcycling. This latest evolution of DCT has been specifically developed and programmed to provide the off-road ability with which the Africa Twin is synonymous.
We appreciate technological innovations, as well as Honda’s courage and pioneering attitude to include DCT on an Adventure motorcycle. It (DCT) may not be among our preferred options on an adventure motorcycle (or any motorcycle for that matter), but we know of many adventure riders who are looking for a bike with an automatically operated transmission, better yet if it is a dual clutch transmission. We can’t wait to test ride one and see how this transmission works on off road applications.
The all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin is set to redefine expectations of just what a large-capacity adventure motorcycle can and should be capable of, both on and off-road, and opens an entirely new chapter in Honda’s illustrious history of dual-purpose motorcycles made for true adventure.
We should soon learn more about what expectations the CRF100L Africa Twin will redefine. We assume, beyond it being a typical marketing phrase, that this bike will be more than just another alternative on the mid-size segment, where the BMW F800GS and Triumph Tiger 800XC reside and where the KTM 950 and then 990 Adventure used to live as well. This bike may as well nip on the heels of the usual suspects at the 1200 segment. That is, assuming the several technological innovations this bike should incorporate if based on the many patent applications filed by Honda for this bike, the new Africa Twin should raise the bar on the types of motorcycles available at the adventure segment. Lighter weight and more compact dimensions for a given motor displacement and suspension travel, for example, could be one of them. A lower center of gravity could be another one, and of course, there is the DCT. We just hope this bike incorporates all those patent applications as innovations and other technological innovations we may not know about, and that it will really set new expectations for this segment.
Here is a recent short video circulating about the bike, likely taken during the filming of Episodes 4 and 5 (see our previous posts).
A lot more information should become available about this motorcycle in the next days, weeks and months. We will continue to monitor information and post and comment about this motorcycle as more information becomes available.
While we wait, let’s hope for this bike to be different enough from the existing options so it can bring a new era to the large-capacity adventure motorcycles – and that DCT is not it – or that DCT is not the only attribute that distinguishes it from the other bikes. Well, we know it isn’t. Talking about DCT, we heard it would be available on a few trim levels: basic model, full electronics model, and one model with electronics + DCT. There might be variations on the theme. As a matter of fact, this bike is the CRF1000L… should we also be looking for the CRF1000R, if we follow Honda’s naming convention? Well, one thing at a time my friends. For now, fellow adventure riders, let’s welcome and celebrate a new alternative for the adventure segment.