Honda reveals CRF1000L Africa Twin

By Dave Abrahams Time of article published Jul 27, 2015

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Johannesburg - Honda's new adventurer tourer, due here in the first quarter of 2016, certainly has some big tyre tracks to fill.

The original XRV750 Africa Twin became a cult bike among long-haul beetlecrushers, revered for its robust cycle parts and straightforward, ultra-reliable engineering.

The new CRF1000L was seemingly built to the same brief, with a compact 998cc parallel twin that uses the same Unicam four-valve single-overhead camshaft design as Honda's CRF250 and 450 off-roaders to deliver 70kW at a conservative 7500rpm and 98Nm at 6000.

A 270-degree crankshaft, made famous in the 1990s by the Yamaha TRX850, replicates the power impulses of a 90 degree V-twin for strong midrange torque. Crankcase volume is minimised by using the balancer as a jackshaft for both water and oil pumps, and moving the waterpump to inside the clutch casing.

The six-speed gearbox uses the same shift-cam as on the CRF singles, and a slipper clutch prevents unwanted rear-wheel lock-ups.


The old-school robustness extends to a semi-double cradle tubular-steel frame, and the heavy components are centralised by moving the battery to behind the cylinder head.

Long-travel fully adjustable Showa forks modulate a 21 inch front wheel shod with 90/90 rubber and dual radial-mount four-piston Nissin callipers on 310mm petal discs. Rear suspension in entrusted to a Showa monoshock with hydraulic spring preload adjustment, an 18 inch rim and a 150/70 mudplugger, restrained when necessary by a dual-piston Nissin floating calliper gripping a 265mm petal disc.

The bodywork has been kept as slim as possible, with an 18.8 litre fuel tank and a seat height adjustable to either 870mm or 850mm.

Even the electronics have been made as near idiot-proof as possible; a selectable torque control offers three levels of control, and the standard ABS can be switched off on the back wheel (but not the front) for serious off-roading.


Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin

Engine:998cc liquid-cooled four-stroke parallel twin.

Bore x stroke:92 x 675.1mm

Valvegear: Unicam SOHC with four overhead valves per cylinder.

Power:70kW at 7500rpm.

Torque:98Nm at 6000rpm.

Induction: PGM-FI digital electronic fuel-injection throttle body.

Ignition: Digital electronic with dual spark plugs.

Starting: Electric.

Clutch: Cable-operated multiplate wet clutch.

Transmission: Six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with final drive by chain.

Front Suspension: Showa inverted cartridge forks adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.

Rear Suspension: Showa monoshock adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.

Front brakes: Dual 310mm petal discs with Nissin four-piston radial-mount monobloc callipers and two-channel Bosch ABS.

Rear brake:265mm petal disc with Nissin twin-pot opposed-piston calliper and two-channel Bosch ABS.

Front tyre:90/90 - 21 tube type.

Rear tyre:150/70 - 18 tube type.


Seat height:850/870mm.

Kerb weight:232kg.

Fuel tank:18.8 litres.

Price:  When they get here.


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