New Honda Africa Twin

POSTED: 04/10/2023



It’s been well over three decades since the Honda XRV650 Africa Twin first rolled into Europe and while the motorcycle that now bears its name – launched for 16YM as the CRF1000L Africa Twin – was a brand-new machine from the wheels up, it fully inherited the essence and spirit of what made the original so popular.

It was the balance between power and light weight that was at the heart of the original bike’s appeal, just as it was for the new model. With its unique, athletic appearance, an enjoyable, usable engine and capable, comfortable chassis, the CRF1000L Africa Twin proved itself a true modern-day all-rounder and has been hugely popular with round-the-world adventurers, around-town commuters and weekend tourers alike, with over 85,000 units bearing the ‘Africa Twin’ name sold since its return.

24YM denotes another major step forward in the model’s evolution with a new Electronic Suspension (ES) choice, more torque from the engine, further DCT improvements and enhanced equipment levels that build further appeal into an already supremely desirable and popular motorcycle.

Model Overview
The 24YM CRF1100L Africa Twin carries a strong focus on core off-road ability, with the look and feel of a slim rally machine. For 24YM the 1,084cc parallel twin cylinder engine has been tuned – via intake, combustion and exhaust development – to produce more low and mid-range torque, and a 7% increase of peak torque to 112Nm; peak power remains at 75kW.

Two options are now available. The CRF1100L Africa Twin, with standard Showa suspension, and the CRF1100L Africa Twin ES, which features Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERA™). Showa EERA™ offers optimised damping in all riding conditions, as well as the ability to change rear spring preload on the move. The CRF1100L Africa Twin ES also includes an ACC charging socket and heated grips as standard, just like its CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports sibling.

Both Africa Twin variants share a rugged steel frame, CRF450R-derived aluminium swingarm, chassis geometry, suspension travel and ground clearance, all of which are unchanged. A new, but important addition for 24YM is the adoption of tubeless – rather than tubed – tyres, which allow for easier repairs without the need to remove the wheel.

The 24YM CRF1100L Africa Twin will be available in three paint options that all feature bold ‘mountain’ graphics:

  • Grand Prix Red

  • Matt Ballistic Black Metallic

  • Pearl Glare White and Glint Wave Blue Metallic Tricolour (only available on the CRF1100L Africa Twin ES)

3.1 Chassis
New option of Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERATM) suspension; standard Showa suspension remains available
Lightweight frame, with bolt-on aluminium subframe and light, rigid CRF450R-style swingarm for outstanding rear wheel traction and feel
Six-axis Bosch IMU control; cornering ABS provides sure-footed braking and features an off-road setting
21/18-inch wheels now mount tubeless tyres

New for 24YM is a Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERA™) suspension option, with settings specifically developed for the CRF1100L Africa Twin ES. Proven on the Africa Twin Adventure Sports and featuring the same stroke as the standard bike (230mm front/220mm rear), the system automatically provides optimum damping force relative to the stroke speed.

The system’s flexibility means that damping adjustment can be programmed to change as the vehicle speed changes – allowing firmer damping at higher speeds, for example. In addition, it can adapt to specific circumstances such as ‘preparing’ the bike’s suspension for landing from a jump, or reducing ‘dive’ under hard braking.

Five suspension modes are available:

MID sits between hard and soft, for easy handling in a wide range of situations. It is automatically selected with Urban riding mode.

HARD is stable, responsive and the firmest damping for two-up and fully laden touring. It is automatically selected with Tour riding mode.

SOFT offers a comfortable, secure ride on poor roads with lowest damping force. It is automatically selected with Gravel riding mode.

OFF-ROAD gives optimum dirt performance, with gradually increasing fork damping relative to stroke speed and firmer all-round rear shock damping. It is automatically selected with Off-road riding mode.

Whereas the above suspension settings are automatically selected according to the riding mode, in USER Riding Mode, the rider can adjust spring preload finely, through 24 steps, front and rear.

3.2 Engine
1,084cc, twin-cylinder engine generates an extra 7% torque at 112Nm peak, with stronger power and torque in the low to mid-rpm range
Compression ratio raised to 10.5:1, alongside development of ECU settings, valve timing, intake and exhaust
Unicam 8-valve head, semi-dry sump and slipper clutch

There are four default riding mode settings: TOUR, URBAN, GRAVEL and OFF-ROAD to cover most riding conditions and situations plus two further customisable USER settings. Even within the default riding modes, it’s possible to change some parameters – HSTC between levels 1-7 (plus off), Wheelie Control between levels 1-3 (plus off) and DCT S mode shift pattern levels 1-3.

TOUR employs the highest level of Power (1), for touring with pillion and luggage plus mid-range Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS.

URBAN suits wide-ranging riding requirements and uses mid-level Power (2) and Engine Braking (2) with active on-road Cornering ABS.

GRAVEL delivers the lowest level of Power (4) and Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; in this setting, the rear brake ABS cannot be switched off.

OFF-ROAD uses lower-mid level Power (3) and the lowest amount of Engine Braking (3). Cornering ABS is active with an off-road setting; the rear brake ABS can be switched off.

USER 1 & 2 modes offer the rider a choice of two distinct personalized setups - choosing between Power levels 1-4 and Engine Braking 1-3, plus HSTC, Wheelie Control and ABS (on-road/off-road) parameters. USER 1 starts out with level 2 Power and Engine Braking, USER 2 uses level 4 Power and 3 Engine Braking.

3.5 Styling & Equipment
New 5-way height adjustable screen and upper fairing extend on-road comfort
Africa Twin ES gains heated grips and ACC charging socket
Compact body style designed for off-road, with slim seat and high handlebars
Multi Information Display (MID) 6.5-inch TFT touch screen, Apple CarPlay®and Android Auto® compatible
Bluetooth connectivity, Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and Cruise Control

Aggressive and compact. Two words that sum up the CRF1100L Africa Twin’s taut rally-style bodywork. And it’s for a reason – to work better off-road. It’s been redrawn a little sharper for 24YM, with a new front fairing and rear seat unit. Plus, the addition of a new, 5-stage height adjustable screen makes longer road rides, or commuting in and out of town, more comfortable.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin ES also gets heated grips and an ACC charging socket as standard for increased practicality. 

The front and rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) function. When braking suddenly over 50kph the hazard lights flash to warn other road users a hard stop is in process. They also auto-cancel; rather than using a simple timer, the system compares front and rear wheel speed difference and calculates when to cancel the indication relative to the situation. The auto-cancel feature can be switched off and standard-fit cruise control eases long-distance highway travel.

A new high-performance, lightweight and compact lithium-ion battery is standard fit, contributing to mass centralisation.

Huge range of Genuine Honda Accessories ready to go, from tank pads to full Pannier/Top Box luggage solutions and each a perfect fit for the Africa Twin
Accessories are available individually or in dedicated accessory packs
Rally, Adventure, Urban and Travel Packs make perfect customisation easy

For a bike like the Africa Twin – which is going to cover a lot of ground, on or off-road – accessories really matter to an owner. And the range from Honda grows year on year with each part, no matter how small or large, driven by customer use, designed by R&D engineers in Japan and manufactured in Honda centres around the world to exacting standards.

Rally Pack
Designed to enhance the off-road durability and performance. The pack features wide Rally Footpegs for extra leverage and control and Engine Guards/Radiator Grill to minimise damage. For the Africa Twin with manual transmission a Quickshifter is included, while the DCT option gains a Foot Shift Lever. Colour-matched Knuckle Guard Extenders add weather protection, Wheel Stripes add an exclusive splash of colour that complement the overall look.

Adventure Pack
Ready for the long haul. New Front Side Pipes protect bodywork and are constructed from 25mm stainless steel with a polished, electrolytic coating that resists corrosion and is also easy to clean. They also mount the dual Fog Lights in a higher, more aggressive position that on previous models. A 4.5L tank bag provides flexible, easy-to-access storage, while new Side Tank Pads protect paint from knee scuffs and provide additional grip for off-road riding.

Urban Pack

Available in two options – plastic or aluminium. In plastic, a newly redesigned stripe design compliments the 58L Top Box (enough for 2 full-face helmets, comes with a Carrier Bracket, pillion Backrest and Inner Bag. The 42L aluminium Top Box features its own Carrier Bracket and Inner Bag. The Urban Packs also include new, easy-to-fit heated grips and ACC charging socket, which the Africa Twin ES has as standard. Finally a Main Stand makes for straightforward rear wheel/chain maintenance.

Travel Pack

Like the Urban Pack the Travel Pack comes in plastic or aluminium. 40L left/30L right plastic Pannier Cases – also featuring the new designed stripes – also feature one-size Inner Bags. The Aluminium Cases 37L left / 33L right come complete with mounting stays, and individual right/left inner bags. Redesigned Upper Deflectors channel airflow around arms and shoulders and Lower Deflectors for the legs improve comfort at highway speeds. Comfort Pillion Footpegs are the finishing touch.

Seat Options

Compared to the standard design the Comfort Seat has an 8% larger surface area compared to previous models and uses a +15mm thicker urethane foam cushion with optimised density to reduce long-distance riding fatigue. The Comfort Seat gives a seat height range of 865/885mm and is available in 3 colour choices: Black/Black, Red/Black and Blue/Black. The Low Seat option drops down to 825/845mm.


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