Trail – Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities – Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

TEST

Granada (Spain),

Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

Honda successfully revived the Africa Twin line in 2016 with a finely crafted CRF1000L. In 2018, the world number one updates its maxitrail and offers a more adventurous version (re) named "Adventure Sports".

MNC tested both … Tests !

Africa Twin trial page 2: new for 2018

The "2.0.18" electronic management system of the Africa Twin 2018 gives the pilot the choice between three power levels (1 maxi, 3 mini), three engine brake levels (1 maxi, 3 mini) and seven levels of power. traction control (1 mini, 7 maxi?! Let’s say 1 "sporty" and 7 "quiet" to respect Honda logic)…

By setting his machine to "Power 1", the pilot takes advantage of the full potential of his engine, very little changed compared to 2016: 95 hp and 99 Nm (Vs 98). Always considerate under 4000 rpm – some would say "still shy"! -, the Twin is then just as convincing, with a less linear power arrival than on the majority of Honda units.

By selecting "P2", MNC did not notice any big differences: "the power and curve curves are a little below those" full ", but they are clearly lower in mode 3 which is recommended. for all-terrain ", describes the" Test Project Leader ", Masatsugu Tanaka.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

On the road, therefore, Site remained in "P1" throughout. The interest of the intermediate mode does not seem obvious, unlike the third which clearly tempers the ardor of the mill and thus allows to approach a portion of dirt road in a more serene and calm way..

The engine brake also has three settings: high intervention in level 1, less in level 2 and low in level 3. To simplify the pilot’s life, Honda has however combined the two programs "Power" and "Engine Brake" under one same driving mode.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

"Just like a technology initially used on the RC213V-S (the homologated version of the official motorcycle entered by Honda in MotoGP)", boasts the world champion (with that devil of Marquez!), "The three Proposed driving modes offer a combination of each of the parameters in order to best match different environments and different riding conditions ".

The "Tour" mode (P1 and EB2) clearly had the preference of Site on the road, compared to an "Urban" mode (P2 and EB2) which does not greatly modify the behavior of the engine. The "Gravel" mode (P3 and EB3) has been carefully selected during off-road trips: in addition to more manageable acceleration, MNC appreciated the more present engine braking which limits interventions on the brakes..

A big ladle of electronics

Finally, for pilots who would not find their happiness in these Honda selections, a fourth "User" mode allows you to select and save your own parameters in terms of power, engine brake but also traction control, the latter being regulated by default on 6 in other modes, including "gravel" mode: safety above all !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

While the 2016 and 2017 vintages had three traction control settings (HSTC or Honda Selectable Torque Control), the 2018 model offers seven: "No. 1 which meets the requirements of aggressive off-road driving with No. 7 studded tires that offer maximum safety on slippery ground ", describes Honda.

"The new setting 1 (out of 7) is more permissive than the old 1 (out of 3)", specifies in passing the European press manager, "and conversely, the 7 is more castrating than the 3 ". By acting on the degree of throttle opening and no longer just on the cut-off, the HSTC gains both in amplitude and in precision.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

With a simple pull of the left trigger and while driving, the pilot can modify this level of intervention. Set by default to 6, the traction control prevents any escape from the rear, whether on a very greasy or wet – or snowy road! -, as on paths strewn with gravel.

During its "off-road" driving, Le Journal moto du Net appreciated this possibility of very gradually erasing the traction-control interventions. On 4, the electronics allow brief glides during acceleration, while on 2, it allows longer drifts, always under control..

By keeping the HSTC trigger pressed, the pilot can always deactivate the assistance and make his drifts spectacular when exiting a curve … on the condition of course of managing the throttle, which is perfectly feasible thanks to the totally transparent electronic injection and direct.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

In all humility – and humidity (!) -, the less comfortable MNC tester on unpaved track mostly drove in mode 2, in order to have fun skidding the rear wheel without ever risking being ejected . The good thing about this new electronics is that each user will find exactly their comfort zone and can gradually extend it..

The world number one (19.5 million motorized two-wheelers produced last year according to Honda France) had to redesign the instrumentation of its maxitrail in order to incorporate the new "applications", and "slightly repositioned it for promote visibility, always when the pilot is standing ".

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

Very complete, the new dashboard unfortunately does not offer – and contrary to what Honda claims – excellent readability: the white on black display sometimes lacks contrast, while the new cap supposed to avoid reflections especially prevents the pilot to monitor his info while standing.

Another development has clearly more convinced Site: compared to the Africa Twin 2017 of our opener, "our" Africa Twin 2018 benefited from a more sporty, high-sounding and loud soundtrack, but which did not tend to be aggressive. and will therefore tire neither the pilot nor the possible passenger.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

How did the Japanese do it? On admission, the intake ducts were lengthened by 20 mm. On the exhaust side, "the 2-in-1 type manifold now evacuates the gases via two catalytic cartridges (against one in the past) to a simplified silencer, less bulky (4 l instead of 4.6 l) and which has 2 expansion chambers instead of 3 ".

Third and last modification of a mechanical nature: "300 grams were gained on the weight of the balancing masses of the pendulums, reducing the inertia of 306 g / cm2 and further adding to the character of the engine", inform the Reds of Tokyo.

A little mechanical touch

If it does increase the reactivity of the twin cylinder a little, this operation does not, however, increase its force tenfold on the medium revs. Controls in hand – and foot -, Site was more sensitive to the appearance of slight crackling in the levers and on the footrest plates. Nothing unbearable, fortunately.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

Likewise, the weight saving via the Lithium-ion battery goes unnoticed (in all, the new Africa Twin weighs only 2 kg less than the old model). Its lifespan will perhaps be more remarkable: "the new battery is four times more enduring than the previous one", assure the Japanese engineers.

Other – very – good news about the Africa Twin 2018: following criticism from customers and the press, including MNC, Dunlop has reworked its tires "so that they are better in the rain," says Honda. Aware that the Trailmax 610W (with a W for Wet) will not instantly regain the confidence of bikers, the Africa Twin will also fit the Bridgestone A41 as original equipment….

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

The fifty kilometers traveled by MNC on the handlebars of the 2018 Africa Twin on wet roads validated the progress of the Dunlops, even if a passage over a portion as shiny as it was slippery showed that the tires could not perform miracles, not more than the ABS which did not avoid the fall of a colleague yet wisely posted behind the careful opener…

Finally, a third tire model has been duly approved by Honda: the Continental TKC80, a studded tire (dimensions 90 / 90-21M / C 54S and 150/70 B18M / C 70Q) essential for motorcyclists wishing to set off on the road. adventure, the real one !

Adventure precisely, Honda promises it to those who will buy the Africa Twin 2018 in its very new version with the rather old name: the mention "Adventure Sports" already appeared on the XRV650, first Africa Twin released in 1988 !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 2: new for 2018

This anniversary is also celebrated by a unique color specific to the Adventure Sports (top) model: "it is a future collector", warned the general manager of Honda France at the microphone of Site during the last Eicma show in Milan.

  • Video interview :

In 2019, the superb “anniversary” paint with golden rims will disappear from the catalog. It will take nine years to take advantage of a new special "40 years" version … Unless before 2028, a Honda rider wins the Dakar ?! In the meantime, Site invites you to take control of the Africa Twin Adventure Sports 2018. On the road – and on the track – !

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *