Categories: Honda

First Look: 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports

Marking the 30th anniversary of the original XRV650 Africa Twin, Honda announced some updates to the CRF1000L Africa Twin for 2018, along with a new, more off-road capable version called the Honda CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Adventure Sports.

“Our CRF1000L Africa Twin has proven itself a worthy successor to the original and very much the ‘Go Anywhere’ machine that we set out to make,” says K. Morita, large project leader for the Adventure Sports. “Over the last two years it’s a motorcycle that’s covered millions of kilometers, and we have received plentiful feedback from owners. For 2018, with the Africa Twin Adventure Sports we have used the revised CRF1000L as a starting point and added everything the long-distance rider needs to get the very most out of any adventure.”

The 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports comes in a Tricolore paint scheme inspired by the original XRV650 Africa Twin’s colors.

The 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports adds a larger 6.3-gallon fuel tank (compared to the regular Africa Twin’s 5-gallon tank), which Honda claims is sufficient for a range of 310 miles. The larger tank requires a wider fairing which, combined with the taller windscreen, gives Adventure Sports riders more wind protection. Other upgrades over the base model include longer-travel suspension, crash bars, a thicker sump guard and heated grips as standard equipment.

For 2018, Honda modified the Africa Twin’s airbox and lightened the balancer shaft, aiming for improved mid-range performance. The exhaust system was also revised, with a 2-1 downpipe now flowing gas through two catalysts (instead of one), which allows for a smaller muffler that now houses two chambers instead of three. Honda also replaced the battery with a lithium-ion cell, resulting in a 5.1-pound weight reduction.

A new throttle-by-wire system offers four modes: Tour, Urban and Gravel presets, along with a user-defined mode. These preset modes offer various combinations between power delivery, engine braking and the Honda Selectable Torque Control. The previous Africa Twin offered a three-level HSTC; for 2018, the Africa Twin receives a 7-level HSTC (the system can also be turned off).

For better off-road use, both the base Africa Twin and the Adventure Sports receive new, wider footpegs, beefier steel mounting plates, and revised pillion footpeg mounts to create more room for the rider’s feet when standing. Honda also angled the instrument panels differently to improve visibility when standing on the footpegs.

The Adventure Sports’ 45mm Showa upside-down fork has 9.9 inches of stroke and 8.8 inches of axle travel (compared to 9.1 inches stroke and 8.0 inches of axle travel on the regular Africa Twin).  The Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ rear shock offers 9.4 inches of rear wheel travel (8.7 inches on the Africa Twin) from 4.0 inches of stroke (the Africa Twin’s shock has 3.7 inches of stroke).

The longer-travel suspension also means a taller seat height, with the Adventure Sports’ saddle at a lofty 36.2 inches (though it is adjustable to a slightly more manageable 35.4 inches). The Adventure Sports version is also about 29 pounds heavier than the regular Africa Twin, claiming a curb weight of 535.7 pounds with manual transmission or 557.8 pounds with DCT.

The 2018 Honda Africa Twin and 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports will arrive in U.S. dealerships next summer; pricing remains to be determined.

Follow the rest of our 2017 EICMA show coverage

2018 Honda CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Adventure Sports Specifications
Engine Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and uni-cam
Displacement 998cc
Bore & Stroke 92.0 x 75.1mm
Max. Power Output 93.9 hp at 7,500 rpm (claimed)
Max. Torque 73.0 lb-ft. at 6,000rpm (claimed)
Fuel Capacity 6.4 gallons
Fuel consumption
(WMTC mode)
Manual transmission: 51.0 mpg (claimed)
DCT: 51.3 mpg (claimed)
Clutch Manual Transmission: Wet, multiplate with coil springs, Aluminium Cam Assist and Slipper clutch
DCT: 2 Wet multiple clutches
Transmission Constant mesh 6-speed MT / 6-speed DCT with on and off-road riding modes
Final Drive O-ring sealed chain
Frame Steel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear subframe
Front Suspension Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with hydraulic dial-style preload and damping (compression & rebound) adjuster, 9.9 in. (252mm) stroke, 8.8 in. (224mm) axle travel
Rear Suspension Monoblock cast aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustment, 9.4 in. (240 mm) rear wheel travel, 4.0 in. (101 mm) stroke
Front Wheels Wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rear Wheels Wire spoke with aluminium rim
Front Rim Size 21M/C x MT2.15
Rear Rim Size 18M/C x MT4.00
Front Tires 90/90-21 tube type
Rear Tires 150/70-R18 tube type
ABS system type 2-Channel with rear ABS off switch
Front Brake 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear Brake 256mm wave hydraulic disc with 1-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. Also Lever-Lock Type Parking Brake System on DCT model with additional slide type 1-piston caliper
Instruments Rally style negative LCD instrument display including: Riding Modes, Speedometer, Tachometer, Fuel, Gear position, ABS, HSTC, Odometer, Trip and Clock
Headlight Dual LED (1 High/1 Low)
Taillight LED
Indicators LED
Dimensions (L x W x H) 92.1 in. x 36.6 in. x 61.8 in. (2,340 x 930 x 1,570mm)
Wheelbase 62.2 in. (1,580mm)
Seat Height Adjustable: 35.4 in. / 36.2 in. (900mm / 920mm)
Ground Clearance 10.6 in. (270mm)
Kerb Weight Manual Transmission: 535.7 lb.(claimed)
DCT: 557.8 lb. (claimed)
Turning Radius 8.5 ft.
The 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports comes in a Tricolore paint scheme inspired by the original XRV650 Africa Twin's colors.more
Dennis Chung

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Dennis Chung
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