Honda Africa Twin Review
Bike Tested: Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L DCT; Road Test No. 848; Test Location: Udaipur
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 15,07,800/-
The Honda Africa Twin’s biggest USP is the seamless shifting DCT automatic gearbox
Honda is one such 2-wheeler company which likes to be the first in every segment. If you recollect, they were the first to bring a quarter-litre bike in India, which was manufactured with high local content. Then they were the first with a middle-weight 4-cylinder motorcycle, the CBR650F and now they have brought in the Africa Twin which is locally assembled via the CKD route but what stands out here is, it is the only motorcycle in India that is equipped with an automatic transmission. Yes, you read that right, a 1000cc adventure motorcycle with an automatic gearbox, what’s cooking here?
Styling – The Honda Africa Twin stays true to the adventure design philosophy by looking absolutely unconventional to a normal person. It takes inspiration from the Honda bikes which ruled the Dakar rally in the late 1980s. Up front, you get twin headlights while all the lights are LEDs. The nose is high, body is lean and stretched along with the hand guards, spoke wheels and long travel suspension that give it a whole lot of character. The rear design is a combination of both the CRF and CBR models. The only ugly bit is the saree guard.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The console on this motorcycle is vertically stacked and shows a plethora of information. It is divided into four sections, the top one in the centre gets a speedometer, tachometer and fuel meter while the ones on either side are for the tell-tale lights. The one in the centre below displays all the modes, traction control, gear position indicator and other information like odoemter, trip meters, temperature, fuel consumption and clock.
Unlike the single-cylinder Honda motorcycles, the Africa Twin gets proper switchgear including an engine kill switch which also includes a starter button within. The right side of the handle features the riding mode buttons, hazard switch and the button to switch between automatic and manual transmission modes and also put the bike in neutral. On the left, there are plenty of buttons including the low-high beam switch with a pass light, horn, indicators, toggle select menu button, traction control button and gearshift buttons.
Ergonomics – The Honda Africa Twin rides high but you can adjust your seat height between 820 mm (lowest) and 840 mm (highest). However, in some markets, the seat height runs between 850 to 870 mm. The seat is slim but still offers good comfort and little under-thigh support too while the pillion gets a more comfortable and wide seat and sits higher than the rider. The pegs are placed centre-set and the fixed windscreen cuts windblast to a certain extent although you have an accessory option for a higher windscreen. The handlebar is in easy reach but if you are short, you sit a bit leaned in.