Honda has given us a look at what is to come from the tip of their ADV pyramid and there is quite a bit to talk about.
It is lighter (-10 pounds), more powerful (+7% peak horsepower), more grunty (+6% peak torque), and it steps up the electronics game as well. The more power comes from a bigger motor (+86cc) that has 6 power modes for adjustable hoonability.
There is also a Bosch 6-axis IMU giving the machine 7 levels of traction control, wheelie control, cornering ABS, and rear wheel lift mitigation. One would presume that the Bosch unit also serves up the data needed for the cornering headlights.
I can hear the rusty gears of the grizzled ADV pureist crowd clanking now about how back in their day all that ‘lectronic stuff didn’t exist and “this is my traction control” as they make an aggressive throttle gesture with their closed right fist. Those people are going to really hate this next part. You can get one with a DCT as well. Yup. No clutch, freeing up your left hand to angrily shake your fist at texting drivers.
So it has cornering headlights, heated grips, cruise control, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and a modern touch screen display. Wait, when did this turn into a teaser for the 2020 BMW GS? On paper the Africa Twin is finally in the same category as offerings from the European acronyms of KTM and BMW. That category? Whatever the two wheel equivalent of a luxury sports utility vehicle
The outgoing Africa Twin was no slouch, (I mean I rode it through a snow storm in Arizona) but it lacked the modern comforts that have become standard issue on most other adventure bikes.
Oh, did I mention that there are two versions?
For the standard version Honda focused on off-road use by giving it a shorter, fixed windscreen and 5.0 gallons of fuel space. For the rider looking to do all the things in style and comfort Honda offers up the Adventure Sports ES. That version will get you the magical Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension (EERA™), tubeless wheels, heated grips, an accessory socket, a larger skid plate, an aluminum rear rack, and an extra 1.5 gallons of range in the tank.
Africa Twin: $14,399
Africa Twin DCT: $15,199
Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES: $17,199
Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT: $17,999
Availability: March 2020
Africa: Twin Adventure Sports ES: Pearl Glare White/Blue
Africa Twin: Matte Black Metallic
All photos below courtesy of Honda