It's not easy: you have a model of success, which has a lot of fans around the globe. The Honda Africa Twin also provides for mostly completely satisfied drivers – how can you make something good even better? Any radical change could alienate customers, but Honda didn't want to stop. Our test clarifies whether the current revision of the Africa Twin made sense.
For such a successful model, the Honda has a lot to offer: it is neither the lightest, the cheapest nor even the strongest among the travel enduros. Where can the Honda score? Quite simply, it is top in the sum of its properties. This, coupled with the typical reliability and off-road capability, gave this bike the reverence of all world travelers – and those who like this image.
Honda introduced the current model like the previous model in two versions, there is the Africa Twin and the Africa Twin Sports Adventure. They are more diverging compared to the previous model, and the differences are more apparent. We chose the 1,800 cheaper, but still 14,165 Euro, simple Africa Twin. For this we do not use the larger tank (24.8 instead of 18.8 litres), there are also missing tubeless tyres, the larger windshield, the luggage rack, and we must not spend another EUR 1,800 on the electronic chassis, this is reserved for sports. By the way: If you make a cross everywhere and treat yourself to a suitcase set, you will break the 20,000-euro mark.
The seat height is 850 to 870 mm, the handlebars are now positioned 22.5 mm higher for a more upright seat position. Lower (825 mm to 845 mm) and higher (875 mm to 895 mm) benches are optionally available via the accessory range.
There's a bit more of it. Power (102 hp at 7,500 rpm), torque (105 Nm at 6,250 rpm) and a new display. Not everyone will like this, because exuberant electronics – and the touchscreen could be perceived as such – was never the focus of AT fans. There is little to be accused of the screen objectively, because it is a simple and intuitive instrument to read. However, if you equip the Honda with everything that is possible, the left control unit alone carries 16 buttons. Oha.
But now go, find the expedition travelers in us.
Despite the possible electronics, the Honda drives off simply and unspectacularly. You can take care of all the settings later. Or never. Many testers get the feeling that the more exhaust-cleaned the engines become, the more teeth are pulled from them. No chance with the Africa Twin: it meets Euro 5, but it nevertheless pulls forward smoothly and strongly in every speed range. This greatly calms the environmental awareness when driving from Morocco to Cape Town.
Important for off-road terrain: If you are connected or otherwise in the lower speed regions: Up to about 1,500 tours, the Honda cannot be choked or starts to hit. The transmission is also Honda-typically smooth and precise, and a DCT transmission can also be purchased at an additional cost (1,100 euros). The special thing about it: It has a special terrain program at hand.
New on board are various electronic lifeline anchors, from the new curve ABS to the three-stage wheelie control and the seven-stage dynamic traction control. The positive: Everything works. The negative: For traditionalists, this is rather nothing. Honda actually committed a real faux pas: If you want to use the full program of the monitor, you can't miss the iPhone: There is only Apple Car Play, Android users have to live with limitations. With the integrated Apple CarPlay, the driver's iPhone can be used via the Africa Twin touchscreen. This allows access to the iPhone's navigation app, which is denied to Android users.
The straight line has also improved, and all the riders from our team also had the windshield fit. Long stages across the motorway? No problem. The Honda measures curves of all kinds in an unobtrusive and good way, and even sporty despite the 21-inch front wheel.
Which question you should seriously ask yourself: Yes, the normal chassis has been good for Honda. It's fully adjustable - but do you really do that? The electronic chassis of the Africa Twin Sports Adventure is an advantage: it can be fine-tuned while driving. This extra makes sense even for desert kings.
One last lap around the bike. It has remained good, and has also improved. Surgery succeeded. The Honda AT has remained true to itself: it still manages to convince the great feat with the overall concept without outstanding individual achievements. However, if you don't need the big cutlery with all the drums and drums, you don't have to change trains, but can continue the pre-model.
There is still so much to experience.
The test bike was provided to us by Motofun (Kaltenkirchen near Hamburg).