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ADV Bikes2016 Honda Africa Twin May Not Be What We Hoped

2016 Honda Africa Twin May Not Be What We Hoped

Leaked specs reveal how the new Africa Twin matches up to the competition.

Published on 07.23.2015

Honda of Portugal has released full specs of the 2016 Africa Twin today along with the first high-resolution photo of the bike, in yet another Honda leak. The information was quickly removed, but not before a screen capture was taken by a member of the Africa Twin Forum.

honda africa twin specs leaked

Leaked specs from Honda of Portugal.

Just yesterday, we uncovered a leaked official Honda video showing a new Africa Twin being ridden off-road. The bike looked light and maneuverable in the video and appeared to be a capable off-road performer. Now we can finally answer the big question everyone has been wondering, “How much does it weigh?”

Below are the specs copied and translated from Honda of Portugal’s post:


2016 Honda Africa Twin Specifications

Wheelbase: 62.0 in (1,575 mm)
Ground clearance: 9.8 in (250 mm)
Seat height (hi/low): 34.2/33.4 in (870/850 mm)
Dry Weight: STD – 458 lbs (208kg), ABS – 467 lbs (212kg), DCT – 458 lbs (222kg)
Wet weight: STD – 502 lbs (228kg), ABS – 511 lbs (232kg), DCT – 533 lbs (242kg)
Engine type: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 8-valve, Parallel Twin, 270° crankshaft, Unicam System
Bore x stroke: 92.0 mm x 75.1 mm
Displacement: 998cc
Max Power: 93.9 hp (70 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 72.3 lb-ft (98 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Frame Type: Semi-double cradle steel; rear sub-frame in high-strength steel
Transmission: 6-speed/6-speed DCT with on and off-road driving modes
Traction Control: HSTC 3 levels + off switch (only ABS and DCT versions)
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc with coil springs
Final Drive: O-ring Chain
Brakes Front: 310 mm twin floating discs, radial calipers with 4 pistons (ABS) sintered pads
Brakes Rear: 256 mm single disc, 2-piston calipers (ABS) sintered pads, (DCT) parking brake
ABS System: ABS 2 channels switch off the rear ABS (ABS and DCT versions only)
Wheels/Tires Front: 21-inch wire-spoke aluminum rim with 90/90-R21 tube type tire
Wheels/Tires Rear: 18-inch wire-spoke aluminum rim with 150/70-R18 tube type tire
Fuel tank capacity: 5.0 gal (18.8 liter)

Here’s how 2016 Honda Africa Twin compares to other big-bore off-road oriented Adventure Bikes in its class:

Off-Road-Oriented Big-Bore ADV Bike Specs Comparison

Adventure Bike Models  HP  Torque
Wet Weight
Ground Clearance
Seat Height
Fuel Capacity
 2015 KTM 1190 Adventure R 148 92.2 518 9.8 35.0 6.1
 2016 Honda Africa Twin (STD) 93.9 72.3 502 9.8 33.4 5.0
 2013 KTM 990 Adventure R 113 74 502 11.9 35.6 5.3  

The one missing bit of information yet to be revealed for the 2016 Honda Africa Twin is the suspension travel. The information was not available on the Portuguese Honda post. If we use seat height and ground clearance as a guide, we can see the suspension travel is most likely going to be less than the KTM 990 Adventure R’s 9.6 inches (245mm) and may even be less than the KTM 1190 Adventure R’s 8.6 inches (220mm).

Many have hoped that the new Africa Twin will fill a void in the liter-class Adventure Bike category left by the discontinued KTM 990 Adventure R. Looking at these leaked specs, the Honda seems to be down on power, has less suspension travel and isn’t any lighter than the 990 R.

Assuming these are the final specs, the 2016 Honda Africa Twin will not be the revolutionary off-road-capable adventure bike we were hoping for — a lighter KTM 990 Adventure R with Honda reliability. The bike still looks like a good off-road performer though, with a mildly tuned engine for greater reliability and a 270° crankshaft that will give it a pleasing exhaust note. The bike looks stunning and it is a welcome change from the bigger and heavier Adventure Bikes that have been introduced to compete with the BMW R1200GS in recent years.

But there’s really only one company that is likely to create a replacement for the KTM 990 Adventure R, and that’s KTM. Hopefully, KTM will have a surprise for us in 2016 and we’ll get the light, powerful, middle-weight, off-road capable Adventure Bike that they’ve been rumored to be working on.

News Update 7/24/2015: Honda has now official released the specs, pricing, options, color schemes and more stunning imagery of the CRF1000L Africa Twin.

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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34 thoughts on “2016 Honda Africa Twin May Not Be What We Hoped

  1. Pingback: Here's What It's Like to Ride the New Africa Twin

  2. And you’re missing comparisons to the *two* BMWs (the GS and the XR), it’s waaaay down on power on either the R1200’s boxer engine or the S1000XR’s 1000cc inline engine. Honda seem to be coming late to the party with a second-rate date.

    • Hi Antony. We are only listing off-road-oriented big-bore ADV Bikes here. While the R1200GS is a great off-road bike for its size, it’s not as off-road oriented as the KTM 1190 Adventure R. It’s got less suspension travel, a smaller 19″/17″ wheel combo and it’s also even heavier. The S1000XR has even less off-road intent. It’s a great street bike that you can take on the occasional gravel road. 93hp would be more than adequate for off-road use, but it would be nice to have more power for the street.

  3. hmm.. over 500lbs wet? that’s like 30lbs heavier then my Tiger 800.. not really surprised, but I remember when the rumors first started circulating about a year ago, they were saying HP near 100 (so they got close), and weight near 400lbs, (way off).. not bashing, but the lust for this bike is quickly fading.. for me at least.. I was hoping revolutionary specs, much like the KTM 950 when it appeared in 2003/2004, (which I bought one of the first in the Northwest) but it seems to be more in the pack with the rest.. which is not bad at all, Honda is a great company, just a tad disappointed as to me, weight is the number one issue when it comes to creating a mid size off road capable machine. Good suspension is a close second, but you can add aftermarket suspension, pretty hard to remove 30-40lbs of weight though.

  4. Hey Rob, why is it that Suzuki doesn’t get into the game. They have the V Strom, that with a little re-work, would make a very capable dual-sport mount. They could even up the engine size by a 100cc and blow everyone, including KTM, of the playing field. Why doesn’t someone tell them to do it?

    • Hey Dan. Both the V-Strom 650 and 1000 have great motors but their designs and layouts are much more street oriented. It would probably take a completely new platform for them to compete with the Adventure R’s or this new Africa Twin off road. But if they were to offer a version of the V-Stroms with increased suspension travel and 21″/18″ combo wheels, it would make them much more capable off-road bikes.

      • yes, Rob, true enough. I have modified my 2014 Vstrom 1000 by raising the rear around 30mm, uprating the tyres and adding a skid plate. Works very well but there is a limit to what one can do. This Africa Twin had me interested until I read the actual weight will come in no better than the Suzuki, in some cases worse. Power is lower, fuel economy will likely be no better although switchable ABS and those big wire wheels are a definite advantage off road.
        I really had my appetite whetted by some original rumours of 200 kgs (440lbs) wet weight but it seems that modern technology cannot yet achieve that

  5. If this is priced much above $10,000, it may be in trouble. Not only will it have a lot of competition among new bikes, but you can pick up a very nice used R1200GS for $10-12K.

  6. I believe one has to consider the fact that Honda created a bike intended for true long distance RTW travel, which by definition relies on the bike’s ability to get you there above all other atributes. In todays market if you take a long hard look at the number of DS bikes that can haul your butt plus 60lbs of gear around the globe with 80+ hp ABS and tried and true reliability in all major components, and decent off road ride quality, you will find there are very few options indeed, and the new AT seems to be capable of filling that gap just fine.
    If you were expecting a sub 400lb scoot with 100+ Hp you are asking for a high strung, lightly framed overgrown enduro bike, the likes of what KTM is rumored to be working on… now if they could only make it as reliable as a Honda, and as strong, well it just might stsrt to look like the new Africa Twin don’t you think…. Im getting one of these and riding it’s wheels off!!

    • Hi Gerardo.

      This new Africa Twin will most likely be a reliable, lighter weight globetrotting machine that can dance circles around many of the liter-class adventure bikes off-road. The large Honda dealer network and lower cost of maintenance will give it significant advantages over purchasing a KTM or BMW. But I think many were expecting this bike to be revolutionary. Something similar to when Honda introduced the CBR900rr sportbike – literbike power with the size and weight of a 600cc. If this new Africa Twin were to tip the scales a bit closer to the 472 lb BMW F800GS and have class-leading suspension travel, I would say they hit the mark spot on.

      • Indeed Rob, although I do believe the new AT is quite revolutionary, considering the fact that many true hard core RTW travelers, today would choose a 1997 Honda AT over any GS or KTM for that matter in a heart beat… ask them why and now throw the new AT into this equation… the answer I believe, is simple; long distance adv travel is not about sheer Hp and supercross suspension, or mind bending (fail prone) overwhelming technology, it is about passion and trust, and honest long distance travelers trust and revere the AT.

  7. I find it fascinating how this article is titled “…….not what we hoped for”. It’s exactly what I hoped for and actually much better. The problem is that your perception of “better” has to be more!

    To be honest that’s what most ADV Starbucks, engineer and lawyer types think and that’s ok. It’s ok because the people who are really do the riding, really in it for the adventures and really in it with their normal, non overpaid, hard earned money, actually get this bike! They will actually use it for what it’s intended for instead of the “mines bigger then yours” parking lot Internet spec sheet reciting. I say thank you for furthering the gap of frustration and disappointment, keep it up because it’s just what I want…….to not be riding or at a campsite with these clowns!

  8. I currently have the XL1000V that looks very much like this bike from a lot of angles. I was hoping for the larger wheels, a lot more suspension travel, keep the 25L tank thats on the XL and a lot less weight (a 100kg less would be good). We missed out on some of those items although the same power as the XL. Will be interested what this is like on the road but might be waiting for the Mini AT. If they could take the CB500X engine, big wheels, give us 300mm suspension, 25L tank and bring it in at 150kg that would be a perfect pair to have in the garage.

  9. This proves again what we all already know: there is no way (at least for reasonable money) to build an adventure bike below 200kg with a multicylinder engine. The only way to get the weight down is a small displacement single. Best example: CCM 450 Adventure, fully fuelled around 150…155kg!

  10. Color me seriously disappointed. I knew it wasn’t going to live up to the hopes of a lighter 990 Adventure when the press releases started appearing with the standout feature being an automatic transmission. The overriding question that keeps coming up is how did they make it so heavy? They are giving up 50hp to the 1190 Adv R. With this being an all new bike (drivetrain, chassis, suspension, etc), they should have been able to make it significantly lighter.

  11. What really amazes me it that Honda had done nothing with their 650 water cooled to making it an Adventrue bike.

  12. Funny how no one has ridden the bike and it is already mediocre. Specs don’t mean shit. I will wait for a real review. DCT may very well be revolutionary off road and I am happy it is lighter than most of the pack.

    • It is about the bike not being revolutionary or industry changing like it had been hyped up to be. Nothing to do with whether it is great or competitive. It probably will be.

  13. Pingback: The General Motorbikers Discussion Thread - Page 541

  14. So, who has been hoping for this wonder bike? Most of us serious long distance folk aren’t that interested in maximum power but are interested in how the power gets to the ground. We aren’t all that interested in the bare weight of the bike but are interested in how easy it is to ride when two-up with luggage and near maximum all up weight. We are also interested in how well it is built, how well it is screwed together, how reliable it is and how easy it is to maintain on the road. What we don’t want is another behemoth with too much power that has to be taken apart to replace the clutch!!! I, for one, am tired of reviews of “adventure” bikes that are done one-up with no luggage. Lets hope at least one mag does an adventure bike test of an adventure bike. Regards, Mike H

  15. And a seriously much lower seat height. Like 710 mm 28 inches. Being able to “foot” to avoid a drowned bike in a lone crossing of a northern crocodile infested Australia river. Is way more important than the suspension travel needed for some like Toby Price to fly over the woop de doos during the Alice Springs Fink River race! Edward James

  16. Honda does little to no tuning on their motorcycles they leave it all to the customers if past experience stays true with a few dollars and a few hours you should be able to squeeze out enough oomph to make it competitive .I got an extra 30 at the top end just tuning the curve on my CB1100 (actually my neighbor did,hes a mc mechanic and I brought beer to his garage)


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