Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L review: Big bike, bigger adventure

Dual sport or adventure motorcycles are essential part of the evolving Indian superbike market. Now more people are leaning towards these machines which are capable of taking multiple terrains instead of just going mainstream. That’s the reason more bikemakers are taking interest in bringing their multitaskers to the subcontinent.

One of the latest entrants in the market is the Honda Africa Twin (CRF1000L) which was launched a couple of months ago. And we recently got to ride the bikeon good roads, on bad roads and even where there was no road. So, let’s see what the package offers.

A rally bike like design:

Taking roots from the four-time Paris-Dakar rally champion NXR 750 (called the Africa Twin), the new Africa Twin from the CRF family looks close to a modern day rally racing motorcycle.

Bolted on a semi-double cradle frame, the bike seems built for the purpose. The front appears to be aggressive with the dominating twin LED headlamp design which also gets interesting daytime running lights. There is a large windscreen at the top of the fairing to aid with the wind protection, while a taller one is also available as optional extra.

A robust feel comes from its partial bare-boned bottom styling that perfectly gels with the sculpted fuel tank and the half-body fairing. The big 18.8-litre fuel tank looks masculine but has been narrowed from the rear to fit perfectly between the rider’s thighs.

The Honda Africa Twin is a big motorcycle with a kerb weight of 245kg, however, it is easily manageable with a mass-centered design. Thanks to the new parallel-twin engine configuration, most of the heavy components have been placed near the centre of the bike.

The rear gets set-up to mount luggage panniers and a top box (with recommended weight of just 10kg). The tail lamp and the turn indicators are also LED and look decent with the overall styling while completing the adventure feel is the high-mounted dual-port exhaust muffler.

The quality of the materials used is fine, however, the perfect fit and finish is still a step ahead. The hand guards, radiator grills and the engine sump guard have much scope for improvement, while there are more bike protection accessories on offer as optional extras.

Instrument cluster and switchgear:

The instrument cluster has been placed a bit more vertical as compared to the conventional set-ups. It helps to reduce the riders to check the data easily while on-the-go. The full-digital cluster has been segmented in two screens with the upper one featuring the speedo, tacho and the fuel gauge.