2020 HONDA 1100 AFRICA TWIN: FIRST LOOK
Honda announced several 2020 models today including the Africa Twin and the venerable XR650L dual-sport bike. The XR650L is unchanged, as it has been for almost 30 years, but its very existence is amazing considering it is a carbureted single that would struggle with modern emission tests had it not been grandfathered in. The Africa Twin, on the other hand, has a number of updates including an increase to 1084cc (from 998cc) and a claimed 6% increase in power. The Africa Twin is available in standard configuration or in the Adventure Sports trim, with or without the DCT automatic transmission. Honda’s official press release is below.
Ever since its inception, Honda’s versatile Africa Twin has presented motorcyclists with unprecedented capability for pavement excitement and off-road adventure. Today Honda introduces the 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin platform, whose two model versions return with even more ability to take riders anywhere while broadening options for how they can do so.
Both Africa Twin iterations—the standard version and the Adventure Sports ES—are lighter despite receiving a larger, more powerful engine, and they also benefit from a much more advanced suite of electronic rider aids. The two types diverge in terms of specialization for 2020, with the standard Africa Twin honed to improve sporting and off-road performance, while the Adventure Sports ES benefits from technology to bolster comfort and confidence when tackling long distances.
“Since the Africa Twin’s 2016 rebirth, it’s been gratifying to see riders gravitate to a practical-but-fun adventure bike,” said Chris Cox, American Honda’s Manager of Experiential Marketing/Public Relations. “For 2020, Honda has amplified what customers appreciate most about the Africa Twin platform—its ability to go anywhere, whether that means safety and comfort on the road, or performance and maneuverability in the dirt. With a long list of important updates to both model types, riders will find even more ways to pursue ‘True Adventure.’”
With an aggressive appearance, enjoyable engine and capable chassis, Honda’s true all-rounder continues to win fans among a broad range of consumers. For 2020, both Africa Twin versions (each of which is still available with either an improved manual transmission or a more advanced version of Honda’s automatic DCT), cram more power and torque into a lighter overall package, maintaining principles that have been intrinsic to the model since day one. The water-cooled, overhead-cam, parallel-twin engine receives an 86cc displacement increase, along with improved intake and exhaust systems, resulting in a horsepower boost of approximately 6 percent. The frame is updated for optimized handling characteristics, the rear subframe now has aluminum construction and is detachable, and the CRF450R-style aluminum swingarm is lighter and more rigid.
A six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) makes possible the addition of new rider aids including wheelie control, cornering ABS, rear-lift control, DCT cornering detection and cornering lights, while a new, 6.5-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) color touchscreen display is compatible with Apple CarPlay®. Cruise control is now standard on both Africa Twin versions.
Despite sharing improvements, each Africa Twin type maintains an individual role. The standard version has a sharply renewed focus on off-road use, with a shorter, fixed windscreen and a 5.0 gallon fuel tank. Meanwhile, the Adventure Sports ES offers real long-haul ability and practicality, boasting intelligent Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension (EERA™), tubeless wheels, heated grips, accessory socket, larger skid plate, aluminum rear rack and a 6.5 gallon tank.
- Africa Twin: $14,399
- Africa Twin DCT: $15,199
- Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE: $17,199
- Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE DCT: $17,999
- Availability: March 2020
- Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES: Pearl Glare White/Blue
- Africa Twin: Matte Black Metallic
In addition, Honda welcomes two returning on-road models for 2020:
The legendary XR650L boasts truly broadband dual-sport performance, Baja heritage and a long record of reliability, all of which have garnered it a diehard following of riders. Equally at home on dirt roads, single-track trails, highways and byways, the versatile dual-sport model opens the door to riding adventure like few motorcycles ever have.
- Price: $6,999
- Availability: March 2020
- Color: Red
Last year’s U.S. return of the celebrated Super Cub—the model behind American Honda’s transformative “You Meet the Nicest People” ad campaign of the 1960s—proved to be a big hit, with customers drawn to its nostalgic look and friendly performance. For 2020, the highest-selling motor vehicle of all time is back for more, now in a new Pearl Nebula Red color.
- Price: $3,649
- Availability: December 2019
- Color: Pearl Nebula Red