A day after we brought you information about Honda’s new adventure bike based on a leaked promotional video and spec sheet, Honda has come forward with full official details and images of the much-anticipated CRF1000L Africa Twin. The official release confirms the information we published yesterday but offers more detail, including specifications for the U.S. market.

Discuss this at our Honda Africa Twin Forum.

The Africa Twin is powered by a new 998cc parallel-Twin that Honda says draws heavily from the CRF250R and CRF450R. Like the dirtbikes, the CRF1000L uses a four-valve Unicam head design to keep the engine dimensions compact. Meanwhile, the 270° crankshaft is made from the same materials as the CBR1000RR’s crank; biaxial primary balance shafts counteract the vibrations. To keep the engine compact, Honda engineers housed the water pump in the clutch casing, while both the water and oil pumps are driven by the same balancer shaft. American Honda did not provide official numbers for the U.S. model, but the European Africa Twin claims 93.9 hp at 7500 rpm and 72.3 lb-ft. at 6000 rpm.

16YM CRF1000L Africa Twin

The Africa Twin’s engine was developed from Honda’s experience with its motocross bikes, hence the CRF1000L designation.

The Africa Twin is available with a six-speed manual transmission which uses the same shift-cam design found on the CRF250R and CRF450R. The slipper clutch also uses an assist function. Honda also offers a Dual Clutch Transmission version, but American customers can only get ABS with DCT; Europe offers ABS separately. The DCT version also comes with a three-level Honda Selectable Torque Control system which reduces rear wheel torque when it senses loss of traction. Surprisingly, Honda won’t give the Africa Twin traction control on the base version; it’s only on the DCT/ABS version.

The CRF1000L’s DCT system offers a standard manual mode using triggers on the left handlebar and two automatic modes. D mode prioritizes fuel efficiency and comfort cruising, while S mode offers sportier performance with three different shift patterns to choose from. For off-road riding, the Africa Twin also comes with a “G” switch which works in any mode to deliver a more direct connection between the throttle and the rear wheel. The DCT also receives a new incline detection system in the automatic modes which delays upshifts during ascents to keep a higher rpm while downshifts happen earlier going downhill for improved engine braking.

The DCT is compact, allowing the engine cases to be the same width as the manual transmission version, but along with ABS, it adds 31 pounds to the base model’s claimed 503 lb. curb weight.

Rear wheel ABS can be disabled for off-road riding.

Rear wheel ABS can be disabled for off-road riding.

The two-channel ABS is designed for off-road use, with the option to turn off ABS to the rear wheel. The DCT/ABS version also comes with a parking brake system to lock the rear wheel. The 21-inch front wheel is equipped with dual 310mm floating front brake discs with an aluminum hub and radial-mount four-piston calipers with sintered metal pads. The 18-inch rear wheel uses a 256mm wave-style disc with a two-piston caliper and sintered pads.

Up front, the Africa Twin comes with a long-travel fully-adjustable inverted Showa fork. Showa also supplies the rear shock which offers hydraulic spring preload adjustment. Oddly, for an adventure bike, Honda did not mention how much suspension travel is available.

Other features include a 4.96-gallon fuel tank, a tall windscreen and an adjustable seat offering a height of either 34.3 or 33.5 inches.

U.S. models will be available in silver or a red, black and white Dakar Rally color scheme. European customers will also have black and Honda tricolor options. Expect to see the Africa Twin in American showrooms in early 2016; U.S. pricing remains to be announced.

American consumers have a choice between silver and the red, black and white option. European consumers also get the option of the Tricolor and black color schemes.

American consumers have a choice between silver and the red, black and white option. European consumers also get the option of the Tricolor and black color schemes.

Official 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin US Specifications
Engine Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and Unicam
Displacement Engine 998cc
Maximum power 70 kW (93.9hp) @ 7500 rpm (Claimed European Spec)
Maximum torque 98 N.m (72.3 lb-ft.) @ 6000 rpm (Claimed European Spec)
Bore x Stroke 92.0 x 75.1 mm
Clutch Wet, multi-plate with coil springs, aluminum cam assist and slipper clutch
Final transmission O-ring sealed chain
Type Gearbox / Transmission Constant mesh 6-speed manual / 6-speed DCT with on- and off-road riding modes
HSTC system (Honda Selectable Torque Control) HSTC 3-levels + switch-off (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)
Frame Type Steel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear sub-frame
Turning diameter 8’2″
Curb weight 503 lb (STD), 534 lb (DCT/ABS)
Fuel tank capacity 4.96 gallons
Length x Width x Height 91.9 x 34.4 x 58.1 inches (STD), 91.9 x 36.6 x 58.1 inches (DCT/ABS)
Wheelbase 62.0 inches
Seat height 34.3 inches or 33.5 inches (adjustable)
Ground clearance 9.8 inches
ABS system ABS 2-channel with rear ABS off switch (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)
Front brakes 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminum hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear brakes 256mm wave hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. Also Lever-Lock Type Parking Brake System on DCT/ABS model
Front wheel Wire-spoke with aluminum rim
Rear wheel Wire-spoke with aluminum rim
Front wheel 21M/C x MT2.15
Rear wheel 18M/C x MT4.00
Front tire 90/90-R21 tube type
Rear Tire Size 150/70-R18 tube type

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  • WTF

    Looks drool worthy so far. Cruise would have helped make it a Swiss army knife…Now, lets see what the all important price is gonna be!

  • BorrowedSuits

    Tri-color only in Europe? That makes sense.

  • Scott

    Too bad it’s still 500+ pounds. Wouldn’t you take the KTM 1190 v-twin instead?

    • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

      Scott, The 1190 Adventure actually weighed 502 lbs as well, so it’s the same weight. The biggest difference is that the KTM had an extra 20hp!

      • stephanie croc

        KTM many more HP than that Sean – its soft mode is a little up on what the Honda produces – then you have 150 in full song.

        • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

          Yeah, I blew that one, I was thinking of the old 990 Adventure which is the one that weighs the 502 lbs and has 20 more hp than the new Honda.

    • KLRJUNE .

      No KTM dealers near where I live but there are 2 Honda dealers. I don’t want to deal with a dealer 300 miles away.

  • JMDonald

    An in depth review is called for. Pricing will make or break this machine. Riding a 500 lb. bike on a rugged trail is beyond my skill set. Maybe I could learn.

  • frankfan42

    Wow, Honda offers ABS and traction control ONLY with the automatic version? What gives with that? Don’t folks who shift their own gears deserve the option of ABS as well?

    • http://www.proteusmusic.com/ MrBlenderson

      Agree, this has me scratching my head. Traction control too!

      • frankfan42

        You know, it occurs to me that Honda is really trying to push their DCT to gain traction (Pun intended) here in the USA as it sees that as the future- since hardly ANYONE (except a rare few of us) drive a manual automobile anymore- it is becoming a lost art. There is always a cost of course- added complexity, decreased power and increased fuel consumption due to higher parasitic losses, etc., not to mention the higher cost. But then, most motorcycle purchases are made in a less rational manner than most automobile purchases aren’t they?

    • panthalassa

      honda … please stop trying to shove the dct down our throats.
      abs should be available independently of the transmission choice.
      i’m on a ’14 wee-strom instead of an nc700x largely because of this unfathomable lack of respect for the customers’ wishes.

      • frankfan42

        I really really like the NC700x, but WHY can’t we have ABS without being forced into the DCT? Other countries get this option, why can’t we.

    • Ducati Kid


      My thoughts exactly!

      Perhaps a 62 lbs. LIGHTER while more powerful (105 H.P. with 73 Ft.Lbs. of Torque) BMW ‘F900GSAM’ Concept including ‘Automatic-Manual’ Clutch-Gearbox operation with ‘Traction Enhancing’ 315 Degree Crankshaft ROTAX ‘Testastretta’ motivation might interest you?

      • Fat Owens Fat

        BMW and “reliability” in the same line? LMFAO

      • KLRJUNE .

        No more BMWs for me. One was enough.

    • Rob

      no, it does not – there are 3 versions, manual with no ABS, manual with ABS and third one – DCT with ABS.

      • frankfan42

        Right, Honda has since announced, in the month since I posted that they will offer the manual trannie with and without ABS.

  • stephanie croc

    I like it and will certainly give it a test – unfortunately it seems to me little more than a better fuelled KTM 990 adventure of years ago. Which is great, but is it really a generational step up? The initial teases of 200 kgs wet were unattainable