Honda has finally confirmed what everyone expected with the announcement that the Africa Twin will return for the 2016 model year, which means a release late this year.
It will be called the CRF1000L Africa Twin and there will be the option of Honda’s Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission as featured on the mud-spattered and camo-painted Africa Twin prototype unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan in November 2014.
Honda Australia spokesman Glyn Griffiths confirms the Africa Twin for Australia in both manual and DCT.
“We hope to have it here in the first quarter of 2016, no pricing as yet,” he says. “To the best of my memory we have never imported the Africa Twin.”
The CRF moniker reflects the CRF450 Rally which Honda runs in the Dakar Rally.
However, Honda isn’t revealing too much other technical information, just these discrete photos and the fact that it will have a 1000cc, liquid-cooled parallel-twin.
From the small images, it appears they may have kept the big 21-inch front wheel from the prototype, but you can’t see whether they’ve also retained the spoked wheels and knobby tyres.
Nevertheless, it would be a welcome competitor to the growing field of popular big-bore adventure bikes such as the Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Yamaha Super Tenere, BMW R 1200 GS, BMW S 1000 XR, Ducati 1200 Multistrada, KTM 1190 Adventure and others.
This market is booming around the world as sports bike riders opt for more practical, yet still powerful all-road bikes.
However, it would be nice if Honda went a little more off-road with its Africa Twin in homage to the older models.
A robust Africa Twin would be an ideal bike to take on Australia’s harsh conditions and fill the void left by the axing of the very popular KTM 640 Adventure.
We remain hopeful as the official Honda press release says the “new Africa Twin remains true to all the attributes and abilities of the XRV650 and its successor, the XRV750, while adding the benefits of everything Honda has learned on and off-road over the last decade, including Team HRC’s return to the Dakar in 2013.”
At least it’s a lot prettier than the Honda Bulldog concept.