Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin will have some very big tyre-tracks to fill.
Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin will have some very big tyre-tracks to fill.
Old-school robustness extends to a semi-double cradle tubular-steel frame.
Old-school robustness extends to a semi-double cradle tubular-steel frame.
Electronics have been made as near idiot-proof as possible
Electronics have been made as near idiot-proof as possible
Selectable torque control offers three levels of control.
Selectable torque control offers three levels of control.
Fully adjustable long-travel Showa forks modulate a 21 inch front wheel.
Fully adjustable long-travel Showa forks modulate a 21 inch front wheel.
Full touring kit will be available for the new Africa Twin.
Full touring kit will be available for the new Africa Twin.
Compact 998cc parallel twin uses the same Unicam four-valve single-overhead camshaft design as Honda's CRF250 and 450 off-roaders.
Compact 998cc parallel twin uses the same Unicam four-valve single-overhead camshaft design as Honda's CRF250 and 450 off-roaders.

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.

OLD-SCHOOL ROBUSTNESS

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.

FACTS

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.

Wheelbase: 1575mm.

Seat height: 850/870mm.

Kerb weight: 232kg.

Fuel tank: 18.8 litres.

Price: When they get here.

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