Honda's most-anticipated adventure touring motorcycle, the Africa Twin, will finally be on sale in India in July this year. What makes the Honda Africa Twin a cult motorcycle is its proven credentials at the Dakar rally. Also known as the CRF1000L, the Africa Twin debuted in the international markets in 2015. It was also shown at the 2016 Auto Expo in India.
The Honda Africa Twin is powered by an all-new 998cc parallel-twin engine that puts out 95PS and generates 98Nm torque. Honda states that it has managed to develop the litre-class engine by using a four-valve Unicam head design. It also has a lightweight cam machined using the same materials as seen in the CBR1000RR Fireblade.
Internationally, the Africa Twin can be availed with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed DCT. While we did mention about the Africa Twin coming only with manual transmission, we have now learnt that DCT will be offered too. This might be due to the fact that the Honda VFR that was offered only with DCT didn't do well for the brand in the country. The DCT version gets three modes - D for normal riding, S with three stages S1, S2 and S3 for sportier riding, and G for off-road riding. In addition, it comes with an incline detection function that alters the gear-shift pattern based on the gradient.
It has a ground clearance of 250mm which has been achieved by the motor's short height. This has been done by housing the water pump in the clutch case. Also, the water and oil pumps are driven by a single, shared balancer shaft that helps reduce the overall height of the engine. In terms of equipment, the Africa Twin features fully adjustable Showa front forks at the front and a Showa rear shock with adjustable preload. It rides on 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tube-type tyres which offer better off-road capability than the one with alloy wheels.
During the 2016 Auto Expo, Honda had already stated that like the CBR 650F, the Africa Twin too will have a localisation of up to five per cent. This will help Honda price the Africa Twin competitively against the BMW R1200 GS which also arrives this year. This adventure tourer will be imported to India through the CKD route and will be sold through select dealerships.