Launched in 2016 to mark the 30-year anniversary of Honda’s run-of-four Paris-Dakar race wins with the original Africa Twin, the modern-day CRF1000L is an on-road and off-road-ready motorcycle that’s been much anticipated since news of its launch broke.
Retailing from £10,499 for the ABS model and £11,299 with Honda’s all-new motorcycle dual clutch transmission, UK orders opened in late November with first deliveries in early 2016 – and it’s already helped Honda double its share of the adventure-sport sector.
1 in 3 new adventure bike buyers is now choosing a Honda and the 2016 Africa Twin is the UK’s best-selling motorcycle to date in the sector. Honda’s already sold more than 500.
Although it has retro looks including period Africa Twin logos, the new machine isn’t a retro recreation. It has switchable rear ABS, Honda Selectable Torque Control and an all-new 998cc parallel-twin engine that puts out 94hp and 72lb-ft of torque at a handy (for a motorcycle) 6,000rpm. The advanced motor even has twin double-duty balancer shafts.
So keen is Honda to stress its heritage with the CRF1000L Africa Twin, the first 350 customers to order one got an 80-page book on the original 1970s Paris-Dakar wins – and a limited edition, individually-numbered Africa Twin TripMaster.
Achingly cool, Honda said the TripMaster “was trusted by HRC riders, Joan Barreda and Paolo Goncalves to navigate them safely through desert race stages.
Finished in silver anodised, machined aluminium casing, engraved with the Africa Twin logo and series number, the TripMaster offers a dual trip function, as well as displaying ride data such as current and top trip speed.”
A future collectable if ever we saw one.
Neatly adding some verve to the top of Honda’s generally trusty but not ultra-thrilling motorcycle range, the Africa Twin’s arrival is well-timed to coincide with a thriving UK adventure-sport sector. Sales of such machines are booming, in contrast to sectors such as sports bikes: Honda is enjoying the resultant uplift from offering new metal in this style-conscious sector.
Want to know more about the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin? So do we at Motoring Research: that’s why we’re riding one tomorrow, at the Guild of Motoring Writers’ 2016 Big Day Out.
Come back later in the week to read more…