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Honda Unveils Lighter, Faster, Feature-Packed 2020 Africa Twin

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In the wee hours this morning, Honda announced sweeping changes to its 2020 Africa Twin platform. And yes! Honda was listening, there is cruise control. And even more exciting and useful, the standard and Adventure Sports models (each of which are still available with either an improved manual transmission or a more advanced version of Honda’s automatic DCT) are lighter, despite receiving larger, more powerful engines. 

As expected, the Africa Twin’s water-cooled, overhead-cam, parallel-twin engine has received an 86cc bump in displacement, along with improved intake and exhaust systems. Honda claims 7% more peak power and 6% more peak torque over the previous 998cc engine. Manual transmission ratios have been optimized and the new muffler now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) for improved low-rpm sound and high-rpm performance.

2020 Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L and Africa Twin Adventure Sports CRF1100L2Both Models receive increased power and weight reductions, along with Cruise Control as standard equipment.

The Africa Twin’s new frame is said to enhance the bikes’ handling characteristics, while the subframe is now conveniently detachable. A CRF450R-style swingarm that’s both lighter and more rigid now guides the rear wheel.


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Honda has implemented a 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) that allows a host of new rider aid functions including wheelie control, cornering ABS, rear-lift control, DCT cornering detection and cornering lights. (Wheelie control, ABS and rear-lift controls can be turned off completely.)

2020 Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L2020 Africa Twin CRF1100L in Grand Prix Red.2020 Africa Twin2020 Africa Twin CRF1100L in Black Matte Metallic.

All of these advanced functions will be accessed via a new, 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen display using wireless bluetooth technology. For iPhone fans the screen is compatible with Apple CarPlay, a seriously useful option that allows you to view Apple Maps on the TFT with the same clarity you have on your smartphone. You can also use voice text and access music apps while underway.  

While the nose of the Africa Twin is sleeker, the tail section is also slimmer and the seat is 1.57” narrower, allowing for easier reach to the ground. Honda says the contours of the seat have been carefully styled to make moving the bike easier while the rider is seated.

New TFT Touchscreen DisplayBluetooth connectivity 6.5" TFT touchscreenAn all-new 6.5” TFT Display incorporates Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, with touchscreen functionality.

The standard version of the Africa Twin has been tweaked in the direction off-road use with a shorter-fixed windscreen and keeps the smaller 5.0 gallon fuel tank. And like the Adventure Sports, it’s  also eleven pounds lighter this year. 

Both models now come with dual LED running lights, improving visibility, while the Adventure Sports version also features three-stage cornering lights, managed by the IMU, which automatically adjust the field of illumination depending on the lean angle.

Africa Twin Adventure Sport cornering lightsThe Adventure Sports model now features lean-angle sensitive LED cornering lights.

Key Changes for 2020

  • New Euro5-compliant 1100cc parallel twin engine produces 7% more horsepower and 6% more torque.
  • Cruise Control is standard.
  • 11 pounds (5kg) lighter, with 10% improvement in power to weight ratio, thanks to weight reduction in areas including engine, frame and swing arm.
  • All-new 6.5” TFT Multi-Information Display incorporates Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity, with touchscreen functionality.
  • Four pre-set riding modes – plus two user-selectable options – offer scenario-specific tailoring of Power, Engine Braking, Honda Selectable Torque Control, (HSTC), Wheelie Control and Cornering ABS settings.
  • HSTC, plus new Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control and Rear Lift Control functions are now managed by a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit
  • Standard model itself has even sharper off-road focus.
  • Adventure Sports model is more ready than ever for the long haul – and now available with cornering lights, a scooped seat and cutting-edge Show EERA suspension as an option.
  • Unique Dual Clutch Transmission still available on both models.

The Adventure Sports edition additionally receives a raft of cool and useful upgrades including Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension (EERA) for optimized damping front and rear. The system includes four default modes – soft, mid, hard and off-road . There is also a “user” mode for further fine-tuning (see below for details on settings). Rear spring preload can be adjusted while the bike is stationary. Both suspension travel and ground clearance have also been lowered on the Adventure Sports model to match the standard Africa Twin for 2020.

Africa Twin Adventure Sport tubeless wire-spoke wheelsTubeless wire-spoke wheels are now standard on the Africa Twin Adventure Sports.

In other good news the Africa Twin Adventure Sports now has the same two-way adjustable seat h of the standard Africa Twin: 33.5”-34.3” (down considerably from the 35.4”-36.6” of the previous model at the expense of less suspension travel). Accessory seats are available in lower (32.5”- 33.3”) and higher (34.4”- 35.3”) two-way adjustable hs. 

As expected the Adventure Sports will come with cross-spoked tubeless wheels, a larger, more substantial skid plate, new aluminum rear rack and 6.5-gallon tank. Creature comforts include heated grips and a new 12v charger socket. It’s tall touring-style windscreen is adjustable to five levels as well. 

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports CRF1100L22020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports CRF1100L2The suspension travel of the Adventure Sports model has been reduced to the same h as the standard model (9.1″ front / 8.7″ rear).

Pricing for the standard Africa Twin is up $800, with the manual version at $14,399 and its DCT counterpart going for $15,199, which seems quite reasonable for the electronic upgrades alone. However the Africa Twin Adventure Sports version, with its trick electronic suspension, is up $2,100 over 2019 pricing, with the manual shifting unit listing for $15,199 and the DCT, $17,999. Gulp. 

2020-Africa-Twin-Adventure-Sports-skid-p

US colors for 2020 will be Matte Black Metallic only for the standard Africa Twin, while the Adventure Sports will come in Pearl Glare White/Blue. Europe will receive an additional 2 colors: Grand Pix Red for the standard, and Darkness Black Metallic for the Adventure Sports.

2020-Africa-Twin-Grand-Prix-Red-headligh

The new Africa Twins will be on display at the AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio, September 26th-29th, and we expect them on dealer showrooms no later than March of 2020 in the US. Europe is expected to receive the new Africa Twin Models before the end of 2019.

2020-Africa-Twin-Adventure-6-1024x683.jp2020-Africa-Twin-Adventure-Sports-CRF110

Standard Africa Twin Specs

Engine Type SOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam
Displacement 1084cc
Bore & Stroke 92mm x 81.5mm
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Max. Power Output 100.6 hp (75kW) @ 7500rpm
Max. Torque 77.4 ft.-lbs. (105 Nm) @ 6250rpm
Noise Level 73dB
Oil Capacity 4.8/4.3 (5.2/4.7 DCT)
Fuel System PGM-FI
Fuel Tank Capacity 5 gallon (18.8L)
CO2 Emissions 112g/km MT110g/km DCT
Fuel Consumption 48 MPG (20.4km/L) MT; 49 MPG (20.8km/L) DCT
Starter Electric
Battery Capacity 12V-6Ah Li-ion battery (20hr)
ACG Output  0.49kW/5000rpm
Clutch Type Wet, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch; DCT – 2 wet multiplate clutches with coil springs
Transmission Type 6 speed manual (6 speed DCT)
Type Semi double cradle
Dimensions (L´W´H) 91.7 in. x 37.8 in. x 54.9 in. (2330mm x 960mm x 1395mm)
Wheelbase 62 in. (1575mm)
Caster Angle 27.5°
Trail 4.4 in. (113mm)
Seat Height 33.5/34.3 in. (850/870mm); low seat option 32.5 in. (825mm); high seat option 35.2 in. (895mm)
Ground Clearance 9.8 in. (250mm)
Wet Weight MT 498.2 lbs (226kg); DCT 520.3 (236kg)
Front Suspension Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and DF adjustments, 9.1 in (230mm) stroke
Rear Suspension Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustments, 8.7 in. (220mm) rear wheel travel
Type Front 21M/C x MT2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Type Rear 18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rim Size Front 21″
Rim Size Rear 18″
tires Front 90/90-21M/C 54H (tube type)
(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /
Metzler Karoo Street)
tires Rear 150/70R18M/C 70H (tube type)
(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /
AX41T Metzler Karoo Street)
ABS System Type 2 channel with IMU
Selectable ABS MODE with on-road and off-road setting
front brakes 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
rear brakes 256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-Channel with rear ABS off mode.
Instruments LCD Meter, TFT 6.5inch touch panel multi information display
Security System Immobilizer, security alarm (optional)
Headlight LED
Taillight LED
Electrics Daytime running lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple Carplay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop signal, IMU, HSTC and wheelie control)
Colors Matte Black Metallic, Grand Prix Red (EU only)
MSRP ($USD) MT $14,399; DCT $15,199

Africa Twin Adventure Sports Specs

Engine Type SOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam
Displacement 1084cc
Bore & Stroke 92mm x 81.5mm
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Max. Power Output 100.6 hp (75kW) @ 7500rpm
Max. Torque 77.4 ft.-lbs. (105 Nm) @ 6250rpm
Noise Level 73dB
Oil Capacity 4.8/4.3 (5.2/4.7 DCT)
Fuel System PGM-FI
Fuel Tank Capacity 6.5 gallon (24.8L)
CO2 Emissions 112g/km MT110g/km DCT
Fuel Consumption 48 MPG (20.4km/L) MT; 49 MPG (20.8km/L) DCT
Starter Electric
Battery Capacity 12V-6Ah Li-ion battery (20hr)
ACG Output  0.49kW/5000rpm
Clutch Type Wet, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch; DCT – 2 wet multiplate clutches with coil springs
Transmission Type 6 speed manual (6 speed DCT)
Type Semi double cradle
Dimensions (L´W´H) 91.7 in. x 37.8 in. x 61.4 in. (2330mm x 960mm x 1560mm); 63.8 in. (1620mm) h with screen in uppermost position
Wheelbase 62 in. (1575mm)
Caster Angle 27.5°
Trail 4.4 in. (113mm)
Seat Height 33.5/34.3 in. (850/870mm); low seat option 32.5 in. (825mm); high seat option 35.2 in. (895mm)
Ground Clearance 9.8 in. (250mm)
Wet Weight MT 524.7 lbs (238kg); DCT 546.7 (248kg); MT W/ Showa EERA 529.1 lbs (240kg); DCT W/ Showa EERA 551.2 (250kg)
Front Suspension  Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and damping adjustment, 9.1 in. (230mm) stroke EERATM – Showa Telescopic inverted fork with an inner tube diameter of 45mm, and Showa EERATM with compression and rebound dumping adjustments, 9.1 in. (230mm) stroke 
Rear Suspension Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustments, 8.7 in. (220mm) rear wheel travel. EERATM – Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic remote control preload adjuster and electric control unit with compression and rebound damping adjustments, 8.7 in. (220mm) rear wheel travel
Type Front 21M/C x MT2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Type Rear 18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rim Size Front 21″
Rim Size Rear 18″
tires Front 90/90-21M/C 54H (tubeless type) Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T
Metzler Karoo Street
tires Rear 150/70R18M/C 70H (tubeless type) Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T
Metzler Karoo Street
ABS System Type 2 channel with IMU
Selectable ABS MODE with on-road and off-road setting
Front Brakes 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear Brakes 256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-Channel with rear ABS off mode.
Instruments LCD Meter, TFT 6.5inch touch panel multi information display
Security System Immobilizer, security alarm (optional)
Headlight LED
Taillight LED
Electrics Daytime running lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple® CarPlay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop signal, IMU, HSTC, cornering lights, wheelie control
colors Pearl Glare White/Blue; Darkness Black Metallic (EU only)
MSRP ($USD) MT $17,199; DCT $17,999
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Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

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