The ”adventure” motorcycle category has historically been an underserved grouping in the states. Until recently, the group had a limited number of fans (read sales) here, so it only made sense to see lackluster bikes in the category. Sales have always been strong in Europe and Asia, but recent trends have shown a steady increase in interest here at home.
To answer that reversal of fortune, many of the big players in the motorcycle industry have been introducing adventure bikes. Yamaha, Ducati, KTM, BMW, etc have all introduced great new bikes to meet the growing demand, but Honda has been hesitant to jump on the bandwagon…until now? Rumors have been circulating for over a year that the BIG H is looking to reintroduce the bike, and now they’ve confirmed that the Africa Twin will return in 2016. Let’s have a look at the original bike, then some of the rumors about the bike being developed.
The First Africa Twin
The bike that was released for public sale features a soft-tuned 742cc liquid cooled V-twin engine. The bike had a long dual seat, a luggage rack, twin headlights, a Tripmaser computer, an adjustable rear shock absorber, long travel suspension for a more comfortable ride, and twin disc brakes. This bike was never made available for the North American market.
Rumors About The New Africa Twin
For more than a year rumors have been gleefully spread about Honda resurrecting the Africa Twin as sales in the adventure class continue to rise. The group has long been dominated by BMW and KTM, but Yamaha recently introduced the FJ-09 to go along with its Tenere, Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000, etc. Honda is looking to fill what the company sees as a hole in the market by producing a 1000 cc offering.
No one at Honda will confirm hard details about the new Africa Twin, but German bike magazine Motorrad reports possible specs as:
”1000cc Parallel-Twin instead of a V-Twin. The engine output would be around 100 hp with a dry weight of 397 lbs and will have a price tag of roughly $13,800. The bike would ride on a 21″ front wheel and 17″ rear, with 9.8 in of suspension travel. The design is described as more off-road focused than the KTM 1190 R, BMW F800GS or XTZ660 Tenere, but not quite as dirt oriented as the KTM 690 Enduro R. It’s expected to use a special off-road ABS like the one found on the Dakar Rally production racer as well.”
All though every scrap of information available is pure conjecture at this point, the Africa Twin is bound to be exciting when it is released. Honda rarely jumps into any production model without creating a bike that outperforms its rivals, this model should be no exception.