CRF Honda Africa Twin 1000 L. Left hand the information scrolling commands, and the index of the level selector traction control. After 10 years of absence, the Africa Twin returns with the same vocation: versatility and real off-road ability. Back to basics: wheels front/rear 21 and 18 inch chain drive, reasonable power, compact size and relatively low weight. At 232 kg mechanical box, the Africa Twin is not a lightweight, but its very balanced cycle parts gives it an amazing ease of driving. The lighting "full LED" a Honda specialty, is very efficient and highly visible in traffic. Turn signals also function as parking lights.
The original bubble is already fairly efficient, but a higher (90 mm) and broad element (30 mm) is available as an option. The hand guards are standard. The instrument provides all the information: trips, consumption, ambient temperature, gear position indicator. To the right of the block, the log out button ABS rear. Handlebar controls are less responsible than the DCT box: warning and cut-out right. Left hand the information scrolling commands, and the index of the level selector traction control. The tank of 18.8 L and the engine allow sobriety 350-400 km range. Very original high (870 mm), the saddle is fortunately tapered and adjustable (850 mm). Without but impractical tool, adjustment request the hand.
The passenger seat is arranged and cozy seating. At the back too, Led lights. Discrete fasteners for optional side cases of 30 and 40 l. Gone are the days of V-twin, place an online twin stalled at 270 °, which is initially characterized by its compactness. This unit develops 95 horsepower "only". But, very well filled, it offers good performance and excellent drive ability. Its sound and vivid mounted system gives it a nice character, though without violence. The ABS can be deactivated at the back to move off-road. The double front disc and radial calipers are perfectly suited to the vocation of the motorcycle. Even in precarious conditions, the ABS is intrusive. Unlike the gimbal mode on the segment, the 1000 FIU takes a chain, lighter, easy to repair and to vary the final ratio.
The rear shock features a spring pre-load adjuster knob. Hydraulic compression and rebound damping are also adjustable. Inverted fork is adjustable in all directions too. Very progressive and well maintained, the suspensions are remarkably effective. Remarkably balanced, the Africa Twin is surprisingly easy and agile for his weight. Helping compactness, it sometimes feels to drive a smaller displacement. Natural ergonomics adapted to all-terrain suspension, seat, protection, comfort balance is flattering. Easy and intuitive, it relies on consistency and relative simplicity, when fashion is more to the arms race. The original spirit of the trail ahead.
Engine: Twin 4T water cooled, SOHC, 8-valve Displacement: 92 x 75.1 = 999 cm3 Maximum power: 95 hp at 7500 r/min Torque: 98 nm to 6000 rev/min Operation: starter power supply: injection Clutch: in oil bath Transmission: 6-speed Frame: steel perimeter Front suspension. : Inverted fork ø45, deb. 230 mm Rear suspension. : Adjustable mono shock, deb. 220 mm brake BC. : 2 discs ø 310 mm, 4-piston brake ar. : Disk ø 256 mm, 1 piston Tire BC. : 90/90 x 21; ar. : 150/70 x 18 Gas tank: 18.8 liters Length: 2335 mm Seat height: 870/850 mm Dry weight: 232 kg PF
Announced by the True Adventure concept, the Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin symbolizes the return to the original values of the trail: compactness, ease and versatility. Worthy of his illustrious ancestor, the Africa Twin opposes a real alternative to road resolutely current maxi-trails. The Africa Twin was the gold standard in the market during its 15 years of production (1988-2003). Excellent long-term as in everyday life, at home almost anywhere, it announced the explosion of road trails segment. This is the BMW R 1200 GS which printed the second pulse. Before his remarkable commercial success, all manufacturers have adopted its definition of road mounted on stilts. Very effective on the road, but in the operation, in most of these trails 1000 cm 3 and over, off-road capabilities are faded into the background.
Back to the origins of the trail
The new Africa Twin intends to resume his duties, leaving the job of "super-tourist" in the voluminous Honda VFR 1200 X Crosstourer. For this return to fundamentals: wheels front / rear 21 and 18 inch chain drive (easier to repair, modifiable ratio), reasonable power, compact size and relatively low weight. The color is announced by the look of great locust, disappeared from circulation since the first KTM 990 Adventure. After generations of V-twins, Honda is passed parallel twin that purpose. The absence of a rear barrel to center a maximum of components behind the block, which aims to be as compact and lightweight as possible. Hence the choice between other such technical distribution with single overhead cam head, inspired rally machines of the brand, or the water pump driven by one of two balancer shafts.
Of course, to be announced 232 kg fully fueled, the Africa Twin is not a featherweight. Still less with the DCT dual-clutch transmission (+ € 1,000) who weighs 10 kg. This automatic, untried here, has been widely reviewed and now offers three shift laws of Mode S reports, as on other Honda and equipped. On the Africa Twin, DCT has a specific mapping to practice off-road.
It is the only equipment truly "High-Tech" of this bike, its ABS (standard) disconnectable at the back and adjustable traction control on 3 levels with nothing exceptional about this level range. No ABS adaptive cornering, to "ride-by-wire" of engine maps, driving modes and semi-active suspensions: Honda focused simplicity. You may say that here there is no 160 horsepower to domesticate 95 horsepower and well distributed widely enough off-road and on road to ordinary people. So, the instrumentation is relatively simple to use like navigation through the menus from the left handlebar switch. That said, the Showa suspension are adjustable in all directions, and the shock absorber has a wheel for easy spring preload. Chapter practical, regret the optional center stand, very expensive. The option price is also quickly forget the first impression of the base price, quite competitive. Also note that the tricolor colors are charged € 300. Although we do not expect a GT staffing on a machine claiming to go to the essential, we also note the absence of a 12 V to a bubble or an adjustable clutch.
The sense of balance
However, no complaints about the finish. Assembly, surface quality and concealment of the beam are impeccable. When the grip is high! At 870 mm, our 1.76 m is just enough. It is adjustable without tools, passing through a 850 mm mounting system with double notches. Simple in theory, it takes quite a helping hand. Painful for those who rank their daily theft under saddle. For the Africa Twin bends surprisingly well with the tasks of daily life with its amazing ease taken in hand. A motorcycle in true Honda tradition, which gives the impression of having already (or still) conduct. From the first meters, balance is outstanding and the low-speed maneuvers are a formality, given the weight of the craft. It shines and short front does not carry on tight U-turns, only the wide handlebar demands attention in town. Being narrow tires certainly, but also a center of gravity and weight distribution with onions. Particularly natural for almost all sizes, ergonomics ends reassure, and is well suited to all-terrain. With a saddle tip and a thin tank, the FIU has the effect of a cylinder, although kilos remember our memory by parking the bike.
Good surprise to startup, the block stalled at 270° emits a playful tone, a hoarse strand, which announces a smoothness less than usual at Honda. Yet it is a perfect docility, helped by orders of sweetness and exemplary precision. The mechanical box requires no criticism to consider before opting for the more expensive and cumbersome DCT. Flexibility at low revs is also appreciable, accepting gas net in 3 e to 2500 rev / min. Okay, with 95 horses when others announce 160, it is not to lengthen the arms or pointing the muzzle skyward at every rotation of the throttle. However, this twin well filled shown a good efficacy and a certain joie de vivre. The throttle response is lively, and it is to 4000 rev/min the torque is substantial, with a peak reached at 6000 rev/min. Follows an almost furious surge up to the red zone, it is not as linear as we would expect. We nevertheless feel that designers have banned all brutality, the bike always gives a sense of controllable power. The vibrations are filtered, general accreditation is high level, and to 130 km/h stabilized on the 6 th report, at 4 200 r/min. The Africa Twin is no shortage of longer capable of blithely exceed 200 km / h. In these gaits reserved for German motorways, footrests pilot swarm well a bit, but the bike remains as stable and considerate on small road.
The finger and the eye
Healthy, clear, predictable, it's enough to hesitate about choosing qualifiers. Here we find all the qualities of the trail, the real. At the cost of less precision than on sporting trails, the Africa Twin forgive almost everything, and lets bring back smoothly in the right way. The front wheel 21 inches does not impair agility and balks not the placing on the angle. If it "expands" more than a trail necessarily mounted in 17 'or 18', the bike tolerate braking on the corner without rebound. Is that the suspensions are devilishly effective, despite a first impression of flexibility. Depression is pronounced early in the race, but very well controlled thereafter. Never the bike "follows" the road imperfections, remarkably absorbed even on the angle. Some movements likely to come in the hands of athletes, who should find their account in the proposed settings (compression, expansion and preload f/r). Rigorous and effective, the Africa Twin will obviously not intended maximum stiffness, but its road feel and intuitive behavior command respect. Seeming lack premium bite first, braking is actually perfect for the "mixed" definition of the machine. The ABS is particularly discreet front, the triggers are much later than expected.
Even in the event of low grip, especially on the roads we briefly borrowed. Traction control, intrusive road, panics naturally on the damp earth, where the original tires Dunlop Trailmax very road, do not make a miracle. The first of three levels of intervention tolerate deviations from the rear, is the most experienced in pass simply. The passage of a labeled hollow, the motorcycle receives smooth on its suspension without abutting. Really good at all, they participate in the great comfort of the Africa Twin. The saddle seems firm to grip, but ultimately is not troublesome in the long run. Despite its small size, the windshield protects the chest and deflects the area above the helmet, without generating turbulence. The Africa Twin will therefore spare his driver on long distance. In mixed city/highway use, we consumed 5.4 l/100 km, allowing 350 km of autonomy.
Successful return to the Africa Twin, which surprises by its ability to adapt to any terrain, specialty its predecessor. Controlling a machine from 230 kg in off-road course requires a good experience, and some people were hoping for a more even weight content. But we must recognize that "Africa" gives pride of place to escape from the bitumen, which is not just a marketing argument. Easy and intuitive, it relies on consistency and relative simplicity, when fashion is more to the arms race. The original spirit of the trail ahead. Image by; moto-infos.com