Honda CRF 1100 L Africa Twin


- same technique, new colors

Model Update: With the 2020 model year, Honda's ultimate full-size adventurer received a comprehensive model update. A lighter chassis, a sleek rally-style body and a revised driving position allow for an even more striking off-road performance. The new engine complies with EURO5 compliance and offers more power and torque thanks to increased displacement. A new inertial measuring unit (IMU) manages driving modes, HSTC and three additional systems (Curve ABS, Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control). The DCT version also offers a curve recognition function, which is controlled via the IMU. As standard, a 6.5-inch TFT color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity, the new LED double headlights with daytime running lights (DRL) and cruise control are included.

2021, the popular Pearl Glare White Tricolour color scheme is also available for standard
Africa Twin. Previously, it was reserved exclusively for the CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports version.

Photos: Honda
  1. Introduction

The first Afrca Twin came to Europe more than thirty years ago as XRV650.
In 2016, the CRF1000L was released as a completely new machine. She inherited both the name and the typical "Africa Twin DNA".

The Africa Twin has always been synonymous with the balance between performance and weight. So is the CRF1000L: thanks to its unique, athletic appearance, comfortable engine and powerful, comfortable chassis, it is a true all-rounder. And so not for nothing
Globetrotters, commuters and weekend tourists alike.

In 2018, the Africa Twin received a throttle-by-wire control (TBW), three driving modes and advanced options for the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) for both transmission variants – manual transmission and dual-clutch transmission (DCT). An advanced air intake and exhaust system improved the response of the engine as well as the sound. The platform has also been expanded: the Africa Twin Adventure Sports received improved wind protection, larger tank volume and longer travel for the same updates. All this made the machine even more suitable for long-distance use.

Since its launch in 2016, more than 87,000 models have been sold worldwide. In line with strong global demand, the 2020 model year has further increased the attractiveness of the Africa Twin: travel comfort, technology and capabilities of the CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports* are improving, among other things, through the option of electronic suspension adjustment using Showa suspension (SHOWA EERA™). The basic version of the Africa Twin has also been extensively revised. Aggressive, compact rally style, sharper off-road focus, increased performance, as well as torque and weight reduction make them better than ever.

* See separate press kit CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports.


  1. Model overview

The 2021 model comes with a new Pearl Glare White Tricolour livery in classic, Africa Twin colour scheme in red, white and blue. The technical package remains unchanged.

The development of the 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin focused entirely on off-road driving.
With the look&feel of a rally machine, it is smaller, slimmer, sportier and 4 kg lighter than its predecessor. 7% more peak power, 6% more peak torque and more pull-through over the entire speed band are available thanks to the new engine. By the way, Honda is fulfilling the EURO-5-NORM for the first time with the engine of the Africa Twin.

The frame has been completely redesigned and equipped with a new, screw-on aluminium auxiliary frame. The new swingarm is also made of aluminium and is based on the CRF450R. In the middle of the Africa Twin, a six-axis IMU controls both the 7-stage HSTC,
the 3-stage Wheelie Control and the Curve ABS (with off-road setting) as well as the Rear Lift Control and the DCT curve detection. For the standard driving modes URBAN, TOUR and GRAVEL, it now has an OFF-ROAD mode.

The new, slimmer bench and high-end handlebar allow for an improved seating position. A 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen with full-color multi-information display (MID) allows immersive operation of the machine's systems and the use of Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth. The new dual LED daytime running light (DRL) improves visibility and thus safety. The cruise control is now part of the standard equipment.


  1. Features

 3.1 Styling & Equipment

  • Compact, all-terrain body design with slim fit and high handlebars
  • Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay® allows mid to use apple iPhone®
  • Bluetooth connectivity, daytime running lights (DRL) and cruise control

 The body of the Africa Twin in rally style is aggressive and compact, making it perfect for off-road use. The fixed flyscreen is short-handed and provides an overview of the preceding section of the route. The seat height of 850-870 mm and the 22.5 mm higher handlebars compared to the predecessor offer a more upright driving position. This allows for more control with increased comfort, whether standing or sitting.

Compared to the CRF1000L, the rear area is slimmer and the bench itself is 40 mm narrower to make it easier to reach the floor. The shape of the seat is also carefully contoured to make it easier to move back and forth on the motorcycle. Both lower (825-845 mm) and higher (875-895 mm) benches are available in the accessories.

The double LED headlights are highly mounted and provide an impressive light output. They also have daytime running lights (DRL) that automatically adapt to the intensity of the ambient light. This increases safety under all conditions. The Knuckle Guards are standard.

The 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen of the full-color multi-information display (MID) keeps the driver in control of all Africa Twin systems. Each driving mode can be selected at the top left of the screen. The MID can be customized to display different information of the selected driving mode. The display is easy to operate even with gloves.

The MID features Apple CarPlay®. This makes an Apple iPhone® operable via touchscreen. For example, white navigation applications can be controlled via the display. A Bluetooth headset in the helmet makes it easy to make phone calls. The iPhone® can be connected to a USB port on the right side of the MID. A Bluetooth hands-free connection is possible for the iPhone® and Android devices. The MID can be controlled completely via the left switch unit.

The front and rear indicators have an emergency signal function. When braking suddenly at more than 50 km/h, the warning flashing lights flash to warn other road users against full braking. The system compares the speed difference between the front and rear wheels, as opposed to a simple timer, and calculates the time when the warning flasher is deactivated depending on the situation. The automatic blinker reset can be switched off via the MID.

With the 2020 update, cruise control was also introduced as standard to make long-distance travel on the motorway more enjoyable.

For 2021, the CRF1100L Africa Twin will be available in the following colours:

Pearl Glare White Tricolour **NEW for 2021**

Grand Prix Red

Matte Ballistic Black


3.2 Motor

  • Increase in displacement to 1084 cc; new peak power of 102 hp (75 kW) and peak torque of 105 Nm
  • The 2020 update included a new cylinder head, changed valve control times and stroke, a modified throttle housing, and an improved exhaust system
  • Optimization of the gear ratio and material for manual transmission and weight saving
  • Rear silencer with variable outlet control valve (ECV) for better sound at low speeds and more power in the upper speed range

 The architecture of the SOHC 8-valve parallel twin engine remained unchanged for the 2020 model. The displacement, on the other hand, has been increased from 998 cc to 1,084 cc. Thus, the peak power increased from 95 hp (70 kW) to 102 hp (75 kW) at 7,500 rpm and the peak torque from 99 Nm to 105 Nm at 6,250 rpm. The noticeable increase in power and torque from 2,500 rpm to the red turning range is particularly noteworthy.

In order to achieve the larger displacement, the stroke was extended from 75.1 mm to 81.5 mm, with the bore remaining unchanged at 92 mm. This resulted in a compression ratio of 10.1:1. The cylinder liners are now also made of aluminium. The weight savings on the drive unit are 2.5 kg (total 66.4 kg) for the model with manual transmission.
and in the version with dual-clutch transmission (DCT) at 2.2 kg (total 74.9 kg).

The 270° crankshaft of the crankshaft and the special ignition interval ensure the characteristic throbbing of the engine and the well-known good feeling for the rear wheel. For 2020, the cylinder head has been completely redesigned, as has the throttle housing, which now has a larger diameter of 46 mm. The inlet bore and cylinder openings were also realigned to smooth the air inlet. The ECU setting received an update and the injection angle was changed so that a direct beam can be directed into the newly formed double spark combustion chambers.

Honda's SOHC Unicam valve drive is a feature of the competitive MX CRF450R, and the low position of the cast camshaft contributes to the compactness of the cylinder head. For 2020, valve control has been optimized and the valve stroke for inlet and outlet increased from 9.2 mm and 8.6 mm to 10.1 mm and 9.3 mm.

The higher efficiency of the inlet with the optimized air flow and the higher performance adjusted Honda on the exhaust side with a variable exhaust control valve (ECV), which is similar to the CBR1000RR Fireblade. It improves both engine performance and efficiency, as it opens at higher speeds and provides a pleasantly "pulsating" exhaust sound at lower speeds.

The crankcase is split vertically. The water pump is efficiently installed in the coupling housing with a thermostat integrated in the cylinder head. The manual transmission version and the DCT version have similar crankcases, which have only small external differences. The water and oil pump are driven by the balancing shafts of the motor.

The semi-dry sump lubrication works with an oil tank placed in the lower part of the housing. This allows for a flatter oil pan, which keeps the entire engine height low. Since the pressure pump is located in the oil tank, neither supply nor discharge of the lubricant is required. Second-degree vibrations are compensated by the opposite movement of the pistons in the cylinder tracks, while the two balancing shafts in the engine housing absorb the primary inertia and clutch vibrations.

For 2020, the precision of the front and rear balancing gears has been improved, so that their scissor gears can be removed. The addition of a pulse generator ring also enables the detection of misfires, which is important for compliance with OBD2/EURO5 emission standards. In order to meet the EURO5 requirements, the oxygen lambda probes were also replaced by linear air-to-fuel sensors (LAF) in the downpipes. This allows a much more accurate measurement of the air-fuel mixing ratio.

The aluminium clutch basket and the pressure plate work with auxiliary cams for switching up and grinding cams for delaying or shutting down. The smaller coupling diameter and the reduced spring tension reduce the effort required for shift lever actuation. The six-speed manual transmission uses the same design for the shift cams as the CRF450R. Shorter translations have also been introduced for 2020. The gears are reshaped and made of more resistant material. A Quickshifter is still available as optional equipment.


3.3 Electronic engine and chassis management

  • Optimization of IMU-controlled HSTC intervention levels for off-road use
  • Wheelie Control with three levels and IMU management
  • OFFROAD mode in addition to the standard riding modes TOUR, URBAN and GRAVEL
  • Two individual USER modes enable the personalization of the riding modes

The engine of the Africa Twin was supplemented in 2018 with the advantages of the Throttle-by-Wire Control (TBW). This enables a much finer dosage of engine power and performance. Honda also introduced an advanced Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) traction control to improve the adhesion of the rear wheel. For 2020, the system has been further developed to work in conjunction with a six-axis IMU*.

The HSTC system offers 4 power and 3 braking levels. With the seven HSTC adjustment levels, the intensity at which the system intervenes has been optimized for each setting level so that the IMU can work accurately with the real-time information (yaw/roll angle and rate).
The distances between the individual stages have been optimized to allow the driver a more precise selection for the desired rear wheel slip on off-road driving. The HSTC can also be switched off completely.

Wheelie Control is another feature introduced in 2020. Here, the ANGLE of inclination and rate of inclination are measured via the IMU and the motor torque is controlled via TBW. The driver can choose between 3 levels. Level 1 allows the intended lifting of the front wheel, but prevents abrupt upward movements. Level 3 stops any lift-off
of the front wheel. Level 2, on the other hand, provides a compromise between the two settings.
The wheelie control can also be switched off completely.

The tour, URBAN, GRAVEL and OFF-ROAD driving modes are standard. They cover most driving conditions and situations. In addition, there are two customizable USER modes for an individual setting. Even within the standard driving modes it is possible to adjust some parameters. For example, e.B. HSTC can be set in levels 1-7 (as well as "off"), the wheelie control in levels 1-3 (as well as "off") and the S mode of the DCT in levels 1-3.

 TOUR combines the greatest possible performance for tours with passenger and luggage as well as a medium-strength engine brake (2) with active on-road curves ABS.

URBAN is suitable for a wide range of driving requirements and combines the middle stage of the motor power (2) with the middle setting for the engine brake (2)
and active on-road curve ABS.

GRAVEL delivers the lowest power development (4) and engine braking (3). The curve ABS is active in off-road setting. In this setting, the ABS of the rear brake cannot be switched off.

OFF-ROAD operates with low to medium power efficiency (3) and lowest engine brake (3). The curve ABS is active in an Offorad setting. The ABS of the rear brake can be switched off.

In user 1 & 2 driving modes, the driver can choose between two different, customizable setups. It can choose between stages 1-4 for the power development of the engine, as well as the setting of the engine brake in stages 1-3. In addition, parameters such as HSTC, Wheelie Control and ABS (onroad/off-road) can be adjusted. USER 1 starts with the power development and engine brake in stage 2, USER 2 uses the lowest power development (4) and engine brake (3).

* See section 3.5 "Chassis" in this press kit.


3.4 Dual-clutch transmission (DCT)

  • Super-fast gear change in all driving modes
  • The S mode (with three levels) for sportier driving rotates higher and shuts down earlier than d mode
  • The G-Switch improves rear-wheel traction in off-road operations
  • The inclination detection adjusts the switching pattern depending on the angle of inclination
  • IMU provides curve detection function for improved switching times

 Since the system first appeared as an option for the VFR1200F a decade ago, Honda has sold more than 140,000 DCT-equipped motorcycles across Europe. The popularity of the transmission is demonstrated by the sales figures in 2019: 45% of all Africa Twins sold (including the Adventure Sports models) were equipped with DCT transmissions.

The unique DCT system offers consistent, super-fast and seamless gear changes and quickly becomes a matter of course when driving. The gearbox operates with two couplings: one clutch controls gears 1, 3 and 5 and is responsible for starting up, the other controls gears 2, 4 and 6, with the main shafts of the two couplings interlocking in a space-saving manner to enable a compact design.

The couplings are independently controlled by their own electro-hydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system selects the next gear via the unused coupling. The first coupling is then electronically uncoupled, while the second coupling is coupled in at the same time.

The result is a smooth, fast and seamless gear change. Since the dual couplings transfer the drive from one gear to the next with minimal drive interruption to the rear wheel, the shock and nick movements of the machine are minimized, so that the change feels direct and even.

Additional advantages include.B longevity (since the gears cannot be damaged by incorrect shifting), preventing choking, stress-free driving in the city and reduced driver fatigue. The ability to focus more on cornering and braking points contributes to the attractiveness of the DCT.

There are three operating modes available. THE MT mode allows for completely manual control, in which the gear selection is made via pushbuttons on the handlebars. The automatic D mode is ideal for driving in the city and on the highway and achieves optimal fuel efficiency. The automatic S mode offers three levels for sportier driving, as the control unit lets the engine turn slightly higher before braking and shuts down earlier when braking to use more engine brakes.

In D or S mode, the DCT provides immediate manual intervention if necessary. The driver simply selects the desired gear with the up and down pushbuttons on the left handlebars. In due course, the DCT will seamlessly return to automatic mode, depending on the throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position.

The DCT for the Africa Twin is also fully equipped for use in an off-road environment. The off-road functionality is enhanced by the G-Switch, which is operated via the TFT touchscreen display. Activating the G-Switch in each driving mode improves the feeling of available traction and machine control by reducing clutch slip when switching.

Another functionality of the DCT system is inclination detection, which adjusts the switching pattern according to the degree of inclination to ensure optimum control at all times.

A new feature of the DCT of the Africa Twin for 2020 is curve recognition. When the IMU detects that the motorcycle is moving into a curve, the system adjusts the switching program imperceptibly to an expected gear change.


3.5 Chassis

  • A six-fold IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) is installed in the middle of the machine
  • Revised, lighter frame, with screwed-on aluminium auxiliary frame
  • Swingfor improved traction and more feeling on the rear wheel
  • Curve ABS for a safe driving experience including special off-road adjustment
  • New damping and spring rates for the front and rear showa suspension

At the heart of the Africa Twin's increased on- and off-road performance is a six-fold Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) MM7.10 from Bosch, which is installed in the center of the machine and measures roll angle/rate, tilt angle/rate and yaw angle/rate in real time. It controls the rear wheel traction via TBW and HSTC, the front brake handle via curve ABS and the front wheel stroke via the Wheelie Control and complements them with a Rear Lift Control.

In addition to the new IMU control system, Honda engineers have completely reworked the strength and stiffness of the steel semi-double loop frame for the new 2020 model to increase off-road capability while optimizing the motorcycle's all-rounder capabilities in everyday traffic. The stiffness around the steering head has been optimized to further improve the grip of the front wheel; the main spars were made slimmer and straighter and the front transverse tube was abolished. The frame weight of the CRF1100L Africa Twin is therefore 1.8 kg lower than that of the previous model.

A screwed aluminium auxiliary frame (painted red) replaces the integral steel construction of the previous model and is 40 mm slimmer with a width of 195 mm, which is crucial for better floor accessibility. The aluminium swingarm is 500 g lighter than the previous model and is based on the same design of the CRF450R. Its higher stiffness improves the traction of the rear wheel and the driving feel.

The ground clearance is still 250 mm with a wheelbase of 1574 mm and an inclination of 27° 30'/113 mm. The wet weight is 226 kg.

With a stroke length of 230 mm, the 45 mm Showa Upside Down Fork with Cartridge Damping offers large damping reserves. To do this, their setup has been revised to improve performance, both on and off-road. The tension and pressure damping are completely adjustable. The upper fork bridge is made of cast aluminium, the lower one is made of forged steel. The fork bridges are connected by a steering shaft made of aluminium tube. Both fork bridge clamps are made via stable double fittings.

Matching the front suspension, the Showa strut offers 220 mm rear stroke and features a 46 mm cylinder and a remote control lone reservoir for stable damping control under extreme terrain conditions. The spring preload can be adjusted via a rotary knob on the damper body. Tension and pressure level damping are also fully adjustable.

The inner plates of the swinging pivot points are now made of high-strength steel with 600 MPa.
Your cross-connection acts as an upper shock absorber holder (through a dome bearing) and
improves the feeling for rear-wheel traction.

The IMU takes into account the angle angle and the deceleration via the front and rear wheel speed sensors and includes the slip rate of the wheels in order to be able to control the braking pressure by means of ABS. Even when it detects a sudden lifting of the rear wheel, the IMU controls the braking force ideally to maintain stability. The rear ABS can be switched off (when the machine is standing) for off-road driving.

The front brake works with compact, two-part 4-piston radial pliers with two floating wave brake discs (310 mm) and sintered metal brake pads. The perforated rear Wave brake disc has a diameter of 256 mm. The 21- and 18-inch spoke wheels (front and rear stainless steel) have tyres in the dimensions 90/90-21 and 150/70-18. Tyres with block profile (Continental 90/90-21M/C 54S and 150/70B 18M/C 70Q with a speed of 180 km/h and 160 km/h respectively) are also approved for assembly.


4 Accessories

The range of original Honda accessories for the Africa Twin includes a high-quality (42 l) aluminium topcase plus case as well as a large (58 l) plastic topcase plus case. In addition, two seat heights (a lower 825-845 mm and a higher 870-895 mm), a touring disc, radiator and motor protection as well as sidepipes, ankle protection extensions, heated handles and an ACC charging socket are optionally available.


5 Technical data



SOHC liquid-cooled, parallel two-cylinder four-stroke engine, Unicam, 8 valves, 270° crankshaft


1084 cc

Bore x Stroke

92 mm x 81.5 mm

Compression ratio


Max Performance

102 hp (75 kW) at 7500 rpm

Max Torque

105 Nm at 6250 rpm

Noise level

73 dB

Engine oil quantity

4.8/4.3 (5.2/4.7 DCT)


Mixture preparation


Tank contents

18.8 l

CO2 emissions

112 g/km manual transmission

110 g/km DCT


4.9 l / 100 km (20.4 km/l) manual transmission

4.8 l / 100 km (20.8 km/l) DCT





12V-6Ah lithium-ion battery (20 h)

ACG output

0.49 kW / 5000 rpm


Coupling type

MT: Multi-disc coupling in the oil bath with
Anti-hopping clutch
DCT: 2 multi-disc coupling packages

Gearbox type

6-speed manual transmission (6-speed dCT)

Final Drive




Semi-double loop frame


Dimensions (L x W x H)

2330 mm x 960 mm x 1395 mm


1575 mm

Steering head angle



113 mm


850 / 870 mm (low seat option 825 mm,
high seat option 895 mm)

Ground clearance

250 mm

Weight (fully fuelled)

226 kg (DCT 236 kg)



Showa 45 mm cartridge USD telefork with adjustable spring preload and adjustable shock pressure levels,
230 mm travel



Monoblock aluminium swingarm with Pro-Link and SHOWA gas pressure damper, hydraulic preload adjustment device and adjustable traction stage, 220 mm travel



21M/C x MT2.15 Aluminum spoke wheels


18M/C x MT4.00 Aluminum spoke wheels

Rim size front


Rim size rear


Tyres at the front

90/90-21M/C 54H (with hose)


Rear tyres

150/70R18M/C 70H (with SChlauch)



ABS system type

2-channel with IMU
Selectable ABS mode with on-road and off-road setting


310 mm hydraulic Wave double discs, floating bearing, with aluminium hub, radially mounted 4-piston radial pliers and sintered metal brake pads


256 mm hydraulic Wave brake disc with single piston brake and sintered metal brake pads 2-channel, can be switched off on the rear wheel



LCD meter, TFT 6.5-inch touch panel multi-information display


Immobilizer, safety alarm (optional)






Daytime running lights (DRL), Bluetooth audio and Apple Carplay, USB port, automatic turn off, cruise control, emergency braking signal, IMU, HSTC, Wheelie Control


** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardized test conditions prescribed by the WMTC. The tests are carried out on a free country road with a standard version of the vehicle, with only one driver and without additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on driving style, vehicle maintenance, weather, road conditions, tyre pressure, accessories, luggage, driver and passenger weight, and other factors.