It is hard to imagine going on an adventure at this time. Partly because it is freezing cold, partly because of the pesky lockdown rules. However, that did not stop Honda from delivering their ultimate adventure bike to me: the Africa Twin Adventure Sports. With limited possibilities available, I still decided to work out a short route to kick up some dust.
The all-new Honda Africa Twin is hardly distinguishable from its predecessor and only a keen eye will be able to tell them apart if I parked the two bikes next to each other. It seems that Honda did not want to meddle too much with a winning recipe. The capable Africa Twin has sold around 87 000 units worldwide already so they must be doing something right.
I rode both the standard and Adventure Sports derivatives of the bike at the launch in December 2019 and I must say I came away very impressed. The off-road section was extremely technical and the road section was very fast. My task now was to determine how the Africa Twin would perform as an everyday bike.
The engine is now a 1100cc unit and produces 7% more power and 6% more torque. The entire sub-frame is made of aluminium and to aide shorter riders, the seat is narrower where it meets the tank. The electronics have also been updated and there are more sensors to measure every angle of the bike and assist the rider. The biggest single improvement though is in the new TFT dash. It is a large 6.5” TFT touchscreen that controls most of the settings on the bike. To operate in on the go, your opposing thumbs need the dexterity of a teenager. There are 16 buttons, just on the left handlebar! Even the heated grips are hidden somewhere in the menus, so for once, I advise you to actually read the instruction manual.
What is does do exceptionally well is the riding experience. Honda knows just how to package a motorcycle, especially one made to traverse the roughest of terrain. Whether you are carving through a mountain pass or roughing it in the dirt, the Africa Twin delivers! The Adventure Sports gets cruise control as standard and in DCT guise it makes an effortless tour bike. When I left the tarmac, the Africa Twin just felt at home. I took the long way home, but longed for a long open stretch of road somewhere in the Karoo. The Africa Twin passed my everyday test with flying colours and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is looking for an adventure!
Article & photos: Brian Cheyne (Ultimate Drive)