Trail – Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities – Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

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 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

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 test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

To ride on the beds of over-equipped maxitrails (R1200GS Adventure in the lead), Honda has agreed to review its Africa Twin, even if it means moving away from the original concept … or the "True Adventure" prototype. more exactly, machine exhibited in 2015 at the Eicma fair.

  • News 2015 EICMA :

As a reminder, the prototype of the CRF1000F had been "designed to offer real off-road capabilities", then described to us the general manager of Honda France. But it had also been developed "to form a solid base for adventurers and always roll them"…

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda is going back to Adventure Sports

This solid base is now available in a high-end and top-saddle version (we will come back to this): the Adventure Sports! But by seeking to increase its field of action, doesn’t Honda risk disturbing the subtle balance of the trail? ?

The Japanese manufacturer rightly points out in its press kit: "The delicate balance between power and weight is one of the secrets of the Africa Twin, yesterday and today". But the additional 13 kg of Adventure Sports are not compensated by a few more horses (95 hp always)…

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda is going back to Adventure Sports

"It was useless to raise the maximum power", replies skillfully to Site the "Test Project leader", Masatsugu Tanaka, "because we must not forget that the Adventure Sports, like the original Africa Twin, must before everything to be considered as a CRF, an off road machine ".

By the way, Honda curiously does not take advantage of the 95 hp (70 kW) of "its" Africa Twin to offer them to the new A2 licenses – but not necessarily young and broke – in versions restricted to 47.5 hp (35 kW ). This clientele will have to turn to the or, why not, to the new 2018 !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

"To design this new Africa Twin" Adventure Sports ", we left the base of the CRF1000L (" stock "engine therefore, Editor’s note) and added everything that travelers need to go to the end of their adventure, summarizes Kenji Morita, Africa Twin "Adventure Sports" project manager.

Quite logically, Morita San began by increasing the travel of the Showa suspensions: more 22 mm compared to the standard Africa Twin on the fork (252 mm therefore!) And 20 mm more at the level of the rear monoshock (240 mm), whose "upper anchorage has been lowered with a view to centralizing the masses".

To go higher…

The ground clearance logically increases by 20 mm, thus reaching 270 mm: enough to start a (d) venture without fear of planting your engine too early in the gravel. The large aluminum shoe mounted as standard on the Adventure Sports (as an accessory on the standard) will also reassure bikers who do not dare to set off off marked trails.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

Small flat, however, about the upper tubular protections: the beautiful brushed aluminum plate and the winged crest took a heavy toll after the sudden loss of the front of one of our colleagues, surprised by a particularly slippery portion of the road. !

Another advantage of its higher suspensions: on the road and in the city, Site has found that the new (top) model of the Honda range in the TT radius – for "All Terrain" or "All Sidewalk", as you see it! – offers remarkable comfort that even the most opulent road bikes will find it hard to match.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda is going back to Adventure Sports

Whether you inadvertently walk through a deep pothole, take a cobblestone lane, or be surprised by the brutality of a speed bump, the Africa Twin Adventure Sports absorbs without flinching and doesn’t restores only slight twitching to the pilot’s hands, feet and buttocks. Ditto when crossing ruts in "off-road" !

"We opened the hydraulic compression front and rear to better absorb this type of shock," explains Africa Twin test manager Tanaka San, "but we barely increased the rebound. in order to maintain rigorous behavior on the road ".

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda is going back to Adventure Sports

Manoeuvrable at low speed thanks to its agile but never falling front axle, the Adventure Sports also shines with its stability at high speed: the 21-inch front wheel then seems riveted to the ground but does not seem stuck either. Changing a trajectory only takes a little – big – handlebars !

Deliberately biting, the front brake – perfectly identical to that of the Africa Twin "quite short" – generously plunges the fork when trying to raise the tone on the road. Fortunately, the bike does not freeze on its supports and readily accepts to tighten its trajectory in a vicious turn, or to widen it to get around a stone..

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda is going back to Adventure Sports

The work of the rear brake – also identical – is perhaps even more satisfying, whether on country roads where it is as sharp as it is precise, or on the road where its power brings a real plus in terms of braking distance. It is also useful for balancing the attitude of the motorcycle on hard braking. !

Site also applied to check the – very – good functioning of the ABS system, first on small successions of retarders, then on an ultra slippery portion of the road: the pressure in the circuit is only very briefly released. , then very effectively restored. A pilot would not manage better on his own in an emergency !

A toy for – very – adults

But managing the Africa Twin Adventure Sports as a whole is not for everyone … The saddle is flatter but also – and above all – much higher (+ 5 cm!) Sits 920 mm above the ground in position high. Already the basic Africa Twin was not easy to climb…

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda is going back to Adventure Sports

Raised accordingly by 32.5 mm, the handlebars also grip very high! This further complicates maneuvers with the engine off, which only pilots over 1.80 m – with long legs and good boots reinforced and raised at the heel – can perform astride the motorcycle..

Adjusting the saddle to the low position (900mm anyway) will help some bikers, but those who are less than 1.70m will have to get off their bike to push or pull its full 243 kg. They will also have to compensate by a solid experience in order to never lose their balance on uneven, sloping or unstable terrain – watch out for gravel !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

Once launched, however, the rider has a very relaxing driving position on the road and very natural on the track … except perhaps when going uphill and when accelerating: we would have liked to be more forward on the bike. so as not to overheat the triceps…

Capable of swallowing 24.2 liters of gasoline, the Adventure Sports tank is also impressive, but its well-designed lines do not deviate too much from the pilot’s knees. Not much more in any case than the tank of the standard Africa Twin which contains 18.8 liters.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

The width of the tank in its front part is even good: it protects the driver more effectively! The height of the bike also has its good sides: at the controls of the Adventure Sports, you dominate the traffic even more. In town, you can see what is happening three or four cars ahead. On the road and on the track, you can see big obstacles and small traps sooner. And on the highway ?

On the fast track, the pilot enjoys good protection: seated 3 cm higher on the Adventure Sports than on the "short" Africa, he also benefits from an 8 cm longer bubble. Only a third of the helmet and the tips of the shoulders are exposed to the elements..

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

Non-adjustable, the screen requires older children to lean forward slightly in order to completely isolate themselves from the wind. To do this, they take advantage of the deep saddle that allows them to step back, unfolding their legs as much. We get closer to the comfort of a road !

In sixth gear, the Africa Twin (standard and Adventure Sports have the same gear ratios) hits 100 km / h when the needle reaches the 3,500 rpm zone. It therefore reaches 130 km / h on the motorway 1000 revs higher … and leaves only on a trickle of gas under 3000 rev / min at 80 km / h, the .

Standard equipment – almost – at the top

In terms of equipment too, the Africa Twin Adventure Sports does not have to be ashamed against VFR, for example! A nod to the original model from 1988: the "big" Africa Twin has a small compartment closed by two screws on the right of the rear buckle cover, to store tools or equipment. .

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

Similarly, the elegant passenger handles of the standard model give way to a more rudimentary version but more practical for strapping your belongings. Also practical, the 12V socket (standard) which adjoins the dashboard will supply a GPS.

The Adventure Sports is also adorned with heated grips … which resemble those of the recent one. They work in the same way: several successive presses on the small button on the left are used to adjust the heat or to turn off the system. Site appreciated them at the top of the Granada passes, with temperatures of 6 ° C.

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

Honda’s only unforgivable oversight on the Adventure Sports: the center stand! In the absence of cardan transmission, the control unit nevertheless seems obligatory! To maintain the chain or change a tire – always with a tube, so provide patches and not wicks – you will have to use a workshop stand at home … And the D system when you are far, very far away from his home or any garage !

Honda promises that the range of its Adventure Sports exceeds 500 km: 526 km if we rely on the consumption announced by the Japanese for the Africa Twin Adventure Sports in a manual gearbox … and 258 km for the version equipped with DCT !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

Like the standard Africa Twin, the Adventure Sports will of course be offered with the double clutch which seems to appeal to French bikers: "of the Africa Twins sold in 2016 and 2017, 47.6% were with the DCT ", indicates to us the French press manager of Honda.

MNC must recognize that this Honda exclusive is more and more bluffing. First of all, the system is very easy to use: press the D / S button and first gear is engaged. The motorbike is then stationary and starts gently when the rider turns the right handle. Successful takeoff every time, even on a slope !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

In mode D "which offers the best balance between comfort and consumption", the bike connects the six reports very quickly but without the slightest jerk. It is difficult to perceive the gearshifts: you have to check the gear indicator light to believe it.

The management of the latest generation DCT is also proving to be very "intelligent" because it adapts to the demands of the pilot: in a series of turns negotiated quickly, with strong braking and high acceleration, the gearbox retains the fourth report and does not re-engage the two after several seconds of respite.

DCT version … or mech and quickshifter ?

The pilot who wishes to calm the game earlier (after a simple overtaking for example) keeps control and can up the gears with his "+" trigger … not to be confused with the command of the traction-control which is above !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

When Sport mode is selected – and all the more so on level 3 – the engine remains significantly higher in revs. The acceleration is therefore always muscular and the engine braking is greatly enhanced: to engage on small roads to stay in third gear and keep pace with sporty roadsters !

These same fellow travelers will be easily let go when the owner of the Africa Twin Adventure Sports chooses to take a shortcut … across fields! Honda recommends in this case to press the button "G" which "modifies the control of the clutch and conditions a more direct transmission, whatever the chosen driving mode".

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

MNC in turn advises future owners to turn off rear wheel ABS – for fun! – and to lower the degree of intervention of the HSTC traction control, because the original level 6 is too frustrating: in the event of heavy acceleration in first, the engine is very quickly restricted and does not resume revs until the second gear carefully passed.

Bikers who put their wheels on the roads for the first time will however be reassured by the extreme precaution of the HSTC and the effectiveness of the DCT. They will better perceive the reactions of the cycle part, will be able to concentrate on the trajectories of the motorcycle and work on the placement of the man on his machine !

Trail - Africa Twin 2018 test: looking for a new model, Adventure Sports if affinities - Africa Twin test page 3: Honda goes back to Adventure Sports

For its part and to conclude, Site was won over by the quickshifter mounted on "our" Africa Twin test (standard and Adventure Sports): the upshifts are smooth and fast, even in low revs under conditions of not open the throttle wide, and the descents are simple and transparent.

Admittedly, the quickshifter doesn’t offer the same driveability as the DCT in D-mode – passengers will love it! -, but it still works very well … or rather slowly well! And it especially avoids adding to the bill of 1000 euros and the weight of 10 kg…

Le Journal moto du Net would therefore gladly leave this press launch on the handlebars of an Africa Twin Adventure Sports equipped with a shifter. In view of its equipment, the extension of 1,240 euros required compared to the standard 2018 Africa Twin (in Rallye colors or, even more fun, HRC!) Does not seem exaggerated. It’s up to you to try it now, and the choice is yours: let us know !

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