2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Unveiled
The 2020 iteration is lighter, more powerful and has more tech on board than before
- The 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin gets a bigger engine with more power.
- It gets a revised semi-double cradle chassis which is lighter than before.
- Expect Honda to launch the 2020 iteration in India by the end of this year.
So far, we’ve seen leaked images and select details about the 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin’s specifications. The Japanese bike maker has now officially taken the wraps off the motorcycle, giving us a clear look at what Honda engineers were working on behind closed doors. It’s not just a nip and tuck job because Honda has brought a properly new Africa Twin.
Available in two variants - standard and Adventure Sports -- the 2020 Africa Twin features some subtle updates over its predecessor. For instance, the front end has been redesigned and is now equipped with a new set of LED DRLs. Whereas the Adventure Sports (AS) gets cornering lights, that are operated via some sensors and light up when you enter into a corner. Additionally, it gets a larger skid plate on the exhaust compared to the older-gen model. Speaking of the exhaust, Honda has a fitted it with a new exhaust valve similar to that of the Fireblade to give it that throaty sound.
The engine in the 2020 Africa Twin has been heavily revised. Honda has increased the capacity of the powerplant from 998cc to 1084cc by increasing the stroke from 75.1mm to 81.5mm. The bore, however, remains unchanged at 92mm. The additional 86cc has brought in 7PS and 7Nm more and the power output now stands at 102PS and 105Nm.
Apart from increasing the cubic capacity, Honda’s engineers have made several other changes to the mill as well. It gets a new cylinder head, a revised ECU, new valve timing and more. In addition to all this, there’s a big catalytic converter attached to the bike to make it Euro 5-compliant. The motorcycle comes with two transmission options: a six-speed manual, which the company claims has been updated, and a DCT.
It’s not just a new set of clothes and a bigger heart for the 2020 Africa Twin. Honda has updated the chassis as well. The rear subframe is now bolted on rather than welded to the main frame, making it 40mm slimmer than before, which should make it easier for riders to plant their feet on the ground. All these changes here and there has made the new Africa Twin 6kg lighter than before and it now tips the scale at 236kg wet (DCT variant).
Moreover, the seat is now 140mm narrower than before. However, if you are a shorter rider, you might be a little uncomfortable swinging a leg over the new Africa Twin. The seat height has been increased to 850mm and the optional adjustable seat will further increase the seat height to 870mm. Just to put things into perspective, the older-gen model has a seat height of 820mm- 840mm.
While the suspension setup on the 2020 iteration of the bike is the same as before, Honda has updated the spring rate on the 45mm USD fully adjustable fork and on the preload- and rebound-adjustable monoshock. Honda is offering more premium and high-tech Showa electronic suspension setup as an optional extra on the AS variant. The wheel size also remains the same as its predecessor (21-inch front and 18-inch rear); however, if you tick the right box, Honda will offer a set of tubeless tyres.
Along with all these mechanical changes, Honda has thrown in a ton of electronic goodies. For instance, it comes equipped with HSTC (Honda Selectable Torque Control), cornering ABS, wheelie control and rear lift control, all of which are managed by a new six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). cruise control is now standard. However, the party piece of the new motorcycle is its 6.5” TFT display with Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, making it the second Honda and the first ADV to get this!
Now, for the main question. When will Honda bring the tech-loaded, all-new Africa Twin to India? You see, the Japanese bike maker will start selling the 2020 iteration in Europe this year itself, so there are chances that we might get the DCT variant by the end of this year. And if Honda does manage to bring it this year, then the Africa Twin might just be the first big BS6-compliant bike to go on sale. Another important question here is how much it will cost? We will get the standard variant which could be priced at Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom). That’s just an increment of Rs 1.5 lakh over the current model -- and for the amount of tech you’re getting along with an all-new bike, that amount is quite justifiable.