Honda Africa Twin

The Honda Africa Twin is a dual-sport motorcycle made by Honda in four versions, 1988 to 1989 as the 650 cc (40 cu in) V-twin XRV650,[1] then from 1990 to 2000 as the 750 cc (46 cu in) V-twin XRV750T, then from 2016 to 2019 as the 1,000 cc (61 cu in) parallel-twin CRF1000L and from 2020 to present as the CRF1100L.

1988 XRV650 Africa Twin


Honda XRV750T
Also calledAfrica Twin
PredecessorHonda XRV650
SuccessorHonda CRF1000
Engine742 cc (45.3 cu in) 52° V-twin. SOHC, 3 Valve per cylinder
Bore / stroke81.0 mm × 72.0 mm (3.19 in × 2.83 in)
Compression ratio9.0:1
Power45.3 kW (60.7 hp)@ 7,500 rpm
Torque62.7 N⋅m (46.2 lbf⋅ft)@ 6,000 rpm
Ignition typeCDI with electronic advance
Transmission5-speed manual, chain final drive
Frame typeSingle downtube with double-loop cradle, rectangular section, steel
SuspensionFront: 43mm air-assisted telescopic fork, 220mm wheel travel
Rear: Pro-Link 214mm wheel travel with preload and compression damping adjustment
BrakesFront: two 276mm discs 2 piston calipers
Rear: Single 256mm disc 1 piston caliper
TiresFront: 90/90 D21
Rear: 140/80 R17
DimensionsL: 2,315 mm (91.1 in) to 2,380 mm (94 in)
W: 905 mm (35.6 in)
H: 1,243 mm (48.9 in)
Seat height860 mm (34 in)
Fuel capacity23 L (5.1 imp gal; 6.1 US gal)

The XRV750 Africa Twin was a 742 cc (45.3 cu in) dual-sport based on the Honda NXR-750, which won the Paris-Dakar rally four times in the late 1980s.

It was preceded by XRV650 Africa Twin, which was a lighter, higher specification version made in 1988 and 1989 by Honda Racing Corporation with a 650 cc engine producing 50 hp (37 kW).[1] The much earlier Honda XLV750R was a shaft driven motorcycle.

Built in homage to the giant desert racers of the Paris-Dakar Rally, the Africa Twin is a large, dual sport bike, powered by a softly tuned V-twin engine. It has twin headlights, a windscreen, and a long dual seat which stretches back from the tank to an aluminium grabrail and plastic coated luggage rack. An aluminium bashplate protects the bottom of the engine from flying rocks and impacts.

In December 1989 the original Honda XRV750 Africa Twin was launched, which became known as the 1990 model. In 1992 the Tripmaster computer was added. In 1993 the motorcycle had a major redesign including new frame, body work plastics, fuel tank, engine modifications and a lower seat. Nevertheless, it gained weight slightly. In 1996 the XRV gained an improved seat and clutch, larger silencer, modified upper fairing and luggage rack. However, the rear shock absorber lost some of its adjustability. In 2000 the Honda XRV750 Africa Twin ceased production. XRVs still in the showrooms were sold and registered until 2003 but there is no XRV with a VIN that is newer than 2000. Nowadays good second hand examples are very much sought after among aficionados. Several aftermarket products exist with which to equip the bike such as crash bars to protect the vehicle's plastics and tank from damage in a low speed fall.

The engine is a 742 cc, 6-valve, four spark plug, liquid-cooled V-twin. The long-travel suspension insulates the rider from uneven surfaces. The brakes are twin discs at the front and single disc at the rear.

The later XRV's instruments feature a large trip computer LCD display mounted above the conventional speedometer and tachometer, styled like Dakar racers' navigational displays, and incorporates a range of extra electronic timers and trip meters.


XRV750 Africa Twin
  L to N models
(1990 to 1992)
P to S models
(1993 to 1995)
T models onwards
(1996 on)
Overall length 2315 to 2380 mm
Overall width 895 mm 905 mm
Overall height 1,420 mm 1430 mm
Wheelbase 1,565 mm
Seat height 880 mm 860 mm 870 mm
Weight (dry) 209 kg 205 kg
Fuel tank capacity (including reserve) 24 litres 23 litres
Wheels Front 21-inch spoke, aluminium rim 1.85x21"
Rear 17-inch spoke, aluminium rim 2.75x17" and 3.00x17"
Tyres Front 90/90-21 54S
Rear 130/90-17 65S
Front 90/90-21 54S
Rear 140/80-R17 69H


Honda CRF1000L/CRF1100L
Africa Twin at the 2016 Auto China.
Also calledAfrica Twin
PredecessorHonda XRV750
Engine998 cc (60.9 cu in) parallel-twin,SOHC, 4-stroke, 4 valves per cylinder
1,084 cc (66.1 cu in) (CRF1100L)
Bore / stroke92.0 mm × 75.1 mm (3.62 in × 2.96 in)
92.0 mm × 81.5 mm (3.62 in × 3.21 in) (CRF1100L)
Power70 kW (94 hp)@ 7,500 rpm(claimed) [2]
75 kW (101 hp)@ 7,500 rpm (CRF1100L)
Torque98 N⋅m (72 lbf⋅ft)@ 6,000 rpm(claimed)[3]
105 N⋅m (77 lbf⋅ft)@ 6,250 rpm (CRF1100L)
TransmissionChain final drive. 6 speed manual or 6 speed dual-clutch transmission[4]
Frame typeSteel semi-double cradle
SuspensionFront: 45mm inverted Showa fork 9.0 in travel
Rear: single prolink shock 8.7 in travel
BrakesFront: dual 310 mm disc
Rear: single 256 mm disc
TiresFront: 90/90-R21 tube type
Rear: 150/70-R18 tube type
Wheelbase1,600 mm (62 in)
Seat height880–850 mm (34.5–33.5 in)
Weight228–242 kg (503–534 lb)(claimed)[2] ABS,DCT/ABS (wet)
Fuel capacity18.9 L (4.2 imp gal; 5.0 US gal)

The CRF1000L is a 998 cc (60.9 cu in) 270° crank, parallel-twin dual-sport that revived the Africa Twin name for the 2016 model year. It became available in the UK in late 2015 and early 2016 in the US. It was developed as a modern interpretation of its predecessors, the XRV 750 and XRV 650, based on the NXR-750 which won the Paris-Dakar rally four times in the late 1980s. The original V-twin Africa Twin was first sold in Europe from 1988 to the final production year of 2003 but was never brought to the United States.[3] The CRF1000L has also been seen as a response by Honda to the heavier on road focused adventure touring motorcycles such as the BMW R1200GS, Ducati Multistrada, and Triumph Tiger Explorer with a lighter more off-road focused machine.[5]

Automatic dual-clutch transmissionEdit

At the Osaka Motor Show in 2015

In a first for the category, the Africa Twin has the option of an evolution of Honda's automatic dual-clutch transmission (DCT) technology, which remains unique to Honda in motorcycling. This latest evolution of DCT has been specifically developed and programmed to provide off-road ability.[6]


Also at Osaka

The first confirmations of a new off-road focused touring motorcycle came in June 2014 when Honda filed a patent for an externally mounted airbox configuration which would allow for a more slender and lower mounted fuel tank in future dual sport motorcycles.[7] This increases off-road handling by allowing riders to slide further forward into turns without being inhibited by a wide fuel tank with a higher center of gravity.[8]

The first full prototype of the CRF1000 was revealed at the 2014 EICMA international motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. The prototype was heavily disguised with camouflage and covered in mud so that it did not reveal any specific details about the new motorcycle other than visual details such as a parallel twin engine, dual front disk brakes with ABS, 21 inch front and 18 inch rear tires on wire spoked rims, and the absence of a shift lever, indicating the dual-clutch transmission from other Honda motorcycles such as the VFR1200X and NC700X/NC750X could be an available option.[4][9]

After the EICMA reveal, Honda began releasing a series of videos titled "True Adventure" documenting the history of the Paris-Dakar rally-winning Africa Twins in the 1980s in anticipation of the release of the new true adventure.[10]


Some performance tests listed here were conducted by Otomotif tabloid from Indonesia in February 2017.[11]

Parameter Time
0–60 km/h (37 mph) 2.5 s
0–80 km/h (50 mph) 3.3 s
0–100 km/h (62 mph) 4.3 s
0–100 m (330 ft) 5.6 s @ 123.5 km/h (76.7 mph)
0–201 m (18 mi) 8.3 s @ 147.4 km/h (91.6 mph)
0–402 m (14 mi) 12.8 s @ 168.6 km/h (104.8 mph)
Fuel consumption 13.3 km/L (7.5 L/100 km; 38 mpg‑imp; 31 mpg‑US)

Model Year ChangesEdit

In 2018, the CRF1000L was updated with additional riding modes, more options for the Honda Selectable Torque Control, improved intake and exhaust tuning, throttle by wire and other refinements. That was also the year Honda introduced the Africa Twin Adventure Sports variant, which got a bigger gas tank, longer suspension travel (9.9” front / 9.4” rear) and more wind protection in addition to all the other upgrades. [12]

In 2020, Honda released the CRF1100L. The bike is significantly revised, with a new engine, suspension, frame and swingarm, a brand new instrument display/rider interface, and many other changes. The new six-axis IMU offers more data and many more ride modes, wheelie control, torque control, and more. The new rider interface offers more screens of data, bluetooth and Apple CarPlay. There is also cruise control added (and controlled within the rider interface).

The Adventure Sports model was reduced in height to match the standard model, received electronically adjustable suspension, and tubeless rims.

The new 1084cc engine (previously 998cc) has a host of changes including increased displacement by a 6.5mm increase in stroke, new pistons, crank and cams with longer intake and exhaust-valve lifts (the intake is up from 9.2mm to 10.1mm while the exhaust is increased from 8.6mm to 9.3mm). The throttle body is 2mm larger at 46mm, the intake tract is straightened, and the ECU has new fueling mapping.[13]

In late 2021, Honda released a software update that adds Android Auto to the 2020 and 2021 models. Originally they only supported Apple CarPlay.[14]

In 2022, Honda made a few subtle changes. Both models receive new colors and graphics. Both models support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The regular (non AS) model received as standard equipment the rear aluminum luggage rack that was previously only included on the AS models. The AS models have a new 110mm shorter windscreen that improves visibility and has 5 adjustable positions.

The DCT transmission received optimized first and second gears for smoother movement from a stop and at low speeds. Honda continues to invest in the DCT option and stated in 2020 it accounted for 47% of sales.


  1. ^ a b Koch, Werner (February 21, 2013). "Auf Achse: Honda XRV 650 Africa Twin". Motorrad Classic. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Suesse, Ned (December 18, 2015). "2016 Honda Africa Twin – FIRST RIDE REVIEW". Cycle World. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Henning, Ari (December 15, 2015). "First Ride: 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin". Motorcyclist. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Beeler, Jensen (November 2014), "Up-Close with the Honda "True Adventure" Prototype", Asphalt and Rubber, retrieved 2014-11-12
  5. ^ Connor, William (November 2014), "The new Africa Twin? Honda True Adventure", Ride Apart, retrieved 2014-11-12
  6. ^ MacDonald, Sean (December 2015), "Ride Review: The 2016 Honda Africa Twin Is Exactly What We've Been Waiting For", Lanesplitter, retrieved 2016-02-13
  7. ^ Chung, Dennis (June 2014), "Retro-Styled Dual Sport Revealed In Honda Patent Application",, retrieved 2014-11-12
  8. ^ Siler, Wes (June 2014), "How Honda's New Airbox Will Give The Africa Twin Dirt Bike Ergonomics", Gizmodo InfinitelyWild, retrieved 2014-11-12
  9. ^ Dabney, Rob (November 2014), "New Honda Africa Twin Finally Revealed at EICMA", ADV Pulse, retrieved 2014-11-12
  10. ^ "Honda True Adventure Episode 1 The Dream", I'd Rather be Riding, November 2014, retrieved 2014-11-12
  11. ^ "Test Ride Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin DCT, Main Tanah Tanpa Gigi Asyik Juga! - Semua Halaman -".
  12. ^ "A Ride Through Three Decades of Africa Twin History". 28 October 2020.
  13. ^ "2020 Honda Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Review".
  14. ^ "Honda Africa Twin Update".

External linksEdit