2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES

Honda unveiled the new 2020 Africa Twin, revealing a larger engine, lighter weight and a number of electronic rider aides including the much requested cruise control. The 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin will be offered in regular and Adventure Sports ES models, both available with a choice of manual or DCT versions.

The Adventure Sports ES comes with a thicker skid plate. Those crash bars are sold separately, however, whereas they were stock on the previous Adventure Sports.

Confirming our earlier report, the CRF1100L is powered by a 1084cc Unicam parallel-Twin engine, an 86cc bump from the CRF1000L, achieved by increasing the stroke to 81.5mm from 75.1mm and keeping the cylinder bore at 92.0 mm. Honda added a larger throttle body (46mm vs 44mm) and modified the air intake for a smoother profile. The ECU was updated and the fuel injectors were re-angled to more directly spray into the twin-spark combustion chambers. Honda also revised the cylinder head, optimized the valve timing and increased the intake valve lift to 10.1 mm (from 9.2mm) and the exhaust valve lift to 9.3mm (from 8.6mm).

For a more compact packaging and reduced weight, Honda placed the pressure-fed oil pump inside the oil tank, and revised the front and rear balance gears so they no longer need scissor gears.

The engine is paired with a new exhaust system, which will help it meet Euro 5 requirements. The muffler uses a single inlet and dual outlet, and uses an exhaust control valve similar to the one found on the CBR1000RR that closes the valve for the larger pipe at low rpms for a pulsating feel, and opens it at higher engine speeds for improved output. To meet emissions standards, the exhaust system uses dual catalytic converters and lean-air/fuel sensors.

American Honda did not provide any performance numbers, but Honda Europe claims an output of 101 hp at 7500 rpm (plus 7% over the previous model) and 77 lb-ft. at 6250 rpm (plus 6% from the 998cc model).

For 2020, Honda used a new Bosch MM7.10 six-axis IMU to process the Africa Twin’s movement and orientation. This allows for more improved DCT shifting, traction control, cornering ABS, wheelie control, rear lift control, and for the Adventure Sports ES, electronic suspension and cornering lights. Cruise control is standard on all four versions of the 2020 Africa Twin.

The Adventure Sports SE comes with cornering lights integrated into the bodywork below the LED headlight.

For 2020, Honda tweaked the steel semi-double-cradle frame to match the new engine’s output while claiming a four-pound weight savings. The aluminum rear subframe is now detachable and narrower, making it easier for a rider to stretch their legs to the ground.

Other new features include a 6.5-inch TFT touch screen, Apple CarPlay compatibility, and an aluminum swingarm based on the one used on the CRF450R.

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE

The Adventure Sports version was designed to focus on comfort and long distance travel. As such, it comes with a larger 6.5 gallon fuel tank, taller windscreen, heated grips, tubeless tires, a larger skid plate, aluminum tail rack, accessory socket, three-stage cornering lights, and Showa’s Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (EERA) suspension.

EERA offers five modes (the first four are linked to the Africa Twin’s various ride modes):

  • HARD, for high damping for both high and low suspension stroke speeds;
  • MID, for intermediate damping;
  • SOFT, for softer damping characteristics;
  • OFF-ROAD for more progressive front suspension, with rear suspension falling between SOFT and MID, plus
  • USER, a rider customizable mode.

The Adventure Sports ES’ windscreen is adjustable between five positions. The adjustable seat is lower than the previous Adventure Sports, now matching the regular Africa Twin at 33.7  to 34.3 inches. Honda claims a 530 pound wet weight (3 pounds less than the 2019 model), with DCT adding an additional 23 pounds.

The 2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES retails for $17,199, with the DCT version priced at $17,999.

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Matte Black Metallic

The regular Africa Twin is honed more for off-road performance. The fixed windscreen is much shorter than the one previously used, for easier front-to-rear weight transfer during aggressive off-road riding. A higher accessory screen is also available.

Honda claims a 501 pound curb weight (5 pounds lighter than the 2019 Africa Twin), with DCT adding 23 pounds.

The 2020 Honda Africa Twin is priced at $14,399, while Honda’s asking $15,199 for the DCT.


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