What to Expect from the New Honda Africa Twin

If the Africa Twin was one of your favorite Honda motorcycles, then you’ll be ecstatic to learn the Twin is back! Honda is releasing the Africa Twin once more, and it’s better than ever. Before jumping into what’s new, let’s take a look at what made the previous models so great and why it may have needed some improvements.

1988 Africa Twin

According to Silodrome, on May 20, 1988, Honda released the first Africa Twin. It looked very patriotic with its red, white, and blue paint job, but it was based on the Paris-Dakar Rally winning bikes. The 1988 Africa Twin had an engine which was a 647cc water-cooled 4-stroke 52° V-Twin SOHC with six valves. 

1990-1992 Africa Twin

Silodrome reports that in 1990-1992, a newer model was released, which didn’t include a huge array of updates. The biggest changes to the Africa Twin included an increased engine capacity of 742cc. In 1992, a computer system known as the Tripmaster was added, which resembled a series of digital clocks.

1993-1995 Africa Twin

According to Silodrome, the 1993 model focused on becoming more stylish. Some changes made included a lower seat, which is great for shorter riders. This also allowed for greater handling.

1996-2003 African Twin

The biggest changes for the 1996 model was mostly a facelift to the appearance. Silodrome reports that the seat was improved so that riders had more comfort while riding, but this also increased the seat height once more.

2015-2019 Africa Twin

The 2015 model focused on a total redesign, according to Silodrome. The biggest change was that Honda decided to focus on the Africa Twin becoming a long-range cruiser that could compete with the Triumph Tiger Explorer, the BMW R1200GS, and the Ducati Multistrada.

The 2015 Africa Twin included an engine with 94 hp at 7500 rpm, with 72 lb-ft torque at 6000 rpm.

What’s different for the 2020 model

Ride Apart recently released an article that goes over the new changes with a fine-toothed comb, and there are some truly great updates. For starters, the 2020 model is faster and smaller. For riders who love going fast, this is probably one of the best changes about the Africa Twin. 

Another change is an improved engine. The 2020 Africa Twin now has 101 horsepower and 77 lb-ft of torque. This isn’t a huge improvement from the 2015 model, but progress is progress. 

A changeup that many riders might welcome is a reduced seat height. The standard height is now 34.3 inches. For riders who need to adjust their seat, the low setting can be set at 33.5 inches.

As for riders who travel over various road conditions, Honda has taken this into consideration by adding in six different driving modes. According to Ride Apart, “The options are tour, urban, gravel, and off-road as well as two customizable settings. The models also feature a wheelie control function to keep both wheels safely on the ground.”

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin
2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin | Honda

If you’re trying to decide between the Africa Twin and the African Twin Adventure Sport, the Sport models have more options to choose from. Cruise control is offered on all models, but there are some options that are only available on the Adventure Sport. 

The Adventure Sport includes a larger gas tank, meaning you don’t have to stop for gas as frequently. For riders who are on a long ride down paths that don’t include many gas stations, this can be a lifesaver. The Africa Twin offers a five-gallon tank while the Adventure Sport offers a 6.5-gallon tank.

Other features on the Adventure Sports model include a taller windscreen, wider sump guard, and auxiliary lighting. For riders who travel long distances, there is a luggage rack, heated handgrips for those cold mornings, and an accessory socket.

How much does the Africa Twin cost

If you’re interested in buying the new African Twin, it will hit dealerships sometime in 2020. The prices for the bikes are as follows: Africa Twin: $14,399, Africa Twin DCT: $15,199, and the Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES and ES DCT: $17,199.