Adventure-bike fans who also like Japanese motorcycles have had it a little tough over the past decade. While there have been some very fine offerings in the form of the well-balanced but more street-oriented Yamaha Super Ténéré, street-focused Suzuki V-Stroms, and bullet-proof-but-basic Kawasaki KLR650, Japan has lacked a hard-core, liter-class, go-anywhere adventure bike.
During that time, the adventure-touring class exploded, matured, and joined the electronic revolution, and the Europeans were the ones kicking butt and taking names…and market share.
Point the Africa Twin toward the horizon and go. Any horizon
The CRF1000L Africa Twin is Honda’s long-awaited entry into the class. It enters an ADV market that has largely evolved into big-bore touring machines that are surprisingly good off the asphalt but which are also undeniably large and heavy. The flagship bikes from BMW, Ducati, KTM, Triumph, and Yamaha all displace right around 1,200cc, and most have claimed weights closer to 600 pounds (except for the 500-pound-dry KTM), while Honda has opted for a 999cc twin and hit a CW-measured dry weight of 485 pounds. On paper, that implies that the Africa Twin might be a pretty good dance partner.
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