2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Details Officially Announced

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

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.

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.

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.

Official 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin US Specifications

Engine TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and Unicam
Displacement Engine998cc
Maximum power70 kW (93.9hp) @ 7500 rpm (Claimed European Spec)
Maximum torque98 N.m (72.3 lb-ft.) @ 6000 rpm (Claimed European Spec)
Bore x Stroke92.0 x 75.1 mm
ClutchWet, multi-plate with coil springs, aluminum cam assist and slipper clutch
Final transmissionO-ring sealed chain
Type Gearbox / TransmissionConstant 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 TypeSteel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear sub-frame
Turning diameter8’2″
Curb weight503 lb (STD), 534 lb (DCT/ABS)
Fuel tank capacity4.96 gallons
Length x Width x Height91.9 x 34.4 x 58.1 inches (STD), 91.9 x 36.6 x 58.1 inches (DCT/ABS)
Wheelbase62.0 inches
Seat height34.3 inches or 33.5 inches (adjustable)
Ground clearance9.8 inches
ABS systemABS 2-channel with rear ABS off switch (DCT/ABS model only, not on STD model)
Front brakes310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminum hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear brakes256mm wave hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. Also Lever-Lock Type Parking Brake System on DCT/ABS model
Front wheelWire-spoke with aluminum rim
Rear wheelWire-spoke with aluminum rim
Front wheel21M/C x MT2.15
Rear wheel18M/C x MT4.00
Front tire90/90-R21 tube type
Rear Tire Size150/70-R18 tube type
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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11 of 18 comments
  • Frankfan42 Frankfan42 on Jul 25, 2015

    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?

    • See 8 previous
    • KLRJUNE . KLRJUNE . on Sep 16, 2015

      No more BMWs for me. One was enough.

  • Stephaniecroc Stephaniecroc on Jul 28, 2015

    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