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.
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.IOL