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ADV BikesCamel ADV’s ‘Trail-Ready’ Africa Twin Bike Build

Camel ADV’s ‘Trail-Ready’ Africa Twin Bike Build

 A custom-prepped Africa Twin built to race or explore the ends of the earth.

Published on 02.22.2019

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Adventure Motorcycle

When the Africa Twin was first introduced, it was touted as the ideal big-bore adventure bike – a perfect balance between small dual sports and touring behemoths. Since then, the adventure bike class has expanded rapidly with options and even more promise (KTM 790 Adventure & Yamaha Tenere 700 I’m looking at you!). And yet, even with challengers, the AT still has a place and definite purpose.
As hype for the new Honda cascaded through the adventure community before its release in 2016, Cory Hanson, owner of Camel ADV, knew that it was the logical next bike to focus his company’s product development efforts on. Not only would it be vital for research & development in producing aftermarket parts but also for progressing his personal racing and travel aspirations.

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

As the joke goes: How do you know that someone rode around the world? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you… This could not be further from the truth with Cory Hanson, who has been designing parts for adventure motorcycles since completing a RTW trip in 2009. Cory is a seasoned adventure rider who has traversed routes around the globe that most of us will only ever dream of. Each year, he also competes in large-displacement off-road racing events, attends many of the top adventure rallies, and still finds time to run his rapidly expanding business.


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When the Camel ADV team took delivery of their 2016 Africa Twin (Manual), they immediately started taking steps to make it live up to its full potential off-road. This was done to bring effective products to market and also out of necessity for the thrashing they had in store for this particular bike. The following are products Camel ADV has developed for the Africa Twin to turn it into a more durable and capable adventure machine:

Camel Brace

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

Identified early on in testing of the CRF1000L was the real danger of shearing off the right foot peg on a rock. This might sound trivial enough, but it is, in fact, a severe liability. For one, losing a foot peg in a remote area and not being able to stand can present a real challenge if not a safety issue. Secondly, replacing a broken peg on this side of the bike is not a simple procedure, it requires removing the exhaust header and is quite labor intensive. The solution that the team came up with is what they named the Camel Brace. This small skid plate made of ¼” thick aluminum protects the vulnerable aluminum peg perch from impacts while also providing much-needed reinforcement. This was not a simple equation since the part does quadruple duty as a peg mount, an exhaust hanger, center stand stop, and rear brake pedal pivot. Camel ADV are confident enough in this product that a money back guarantee is offered if you manage to break a peg with the Camel Brace installed.

Windscreen Brace

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

Through customer interaction and online feedback, it was discovered that the factory windscreen brackets were regularly cracking. The other common complaint about the windscreen bracket is that it’s the perfect place to mount a GPS unit or phone, but a lack of support means vibration is a problem. Like the right side foot peg on this bike, it seems like replacement of the windscreen bracket would be a snap, but it too is a significant undertaking that requires nearly the whole front end be disassembled. With no solution on the market, the collective mind of Camel ADV set about creating what would become the Africa Twin Windscreen Brace. This innovative product supports the stock bracket to prevent failure and provides an even better place for mounting GPS units or other electronics.

High Fender Kit

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

While competing in the 24-hour endurance race at Starvation Ridge, the Camel ADV Africa Twin was immobilized by mud that accumulated in the front fender and wholly prohibited the wheel from turning. After an extraction that involved a flatbed trailer, a side-by-side, and ridiculous frustration, development began on a high fender kit almost immediately. This too turned out to be a complex product to generate and was not a simple matter of slapping on a motocross style fender. It required designing a new brake manifold, custom stainless braided brake lines, brackets, and mounting hardware. The end product is a very tidy solution that is easy to install and gives you the ability to mount a wide variety of fenders. Most importantly it removes the risk of rendering your Africa Twin motionless due to packed mud between the tire & fender.

Camel Tank

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

This was the first and most natural addition to the Camel ADV Africa Twin, since it was the product that launched the brand. It also made a whole lot of sense since the usable fuel range on an Africa Twin is less than ideal for true adventure travel. This auxiliary fuel tank occupies otherwise unused space between the body of the bike and inside of the luggage rack. It provides 1.7 gallons of extra capacity that translates to 62-93 additional miles of adventuring! The Camel Tank is vacuum fed, requiring no auxiliary pump and no permanent changes to your motorcycle. It is vacuum supplied through the main tank vent and empties itself as the level of the stock tank lowers. With a seamless roto-molded body made of extra tough XLPE plastic, it’s adventure ready and built to last the life of your motorcycle. Worry less about where the next fueling station is and focus more on the road (or trail) ahead!

Camel Toe Side Stand

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

The OEM side stand is another known weak point established by several cases of snapped or bent units. The stock aluminum kickstand has brittle tendencies that render it mostly useless for pivoting the bike in close quarters or breaking the bead on a tire. The Camel Toe replaces the cast aluminum OEM stand with a robust steel assembly that won’t fail under normal riding conditions. It also negates the need for an aftermarket side stand foot by coming equipped with a sizable pad welded in place. Like all of his products, it has been tested under extreme conditions to ensure that it would never let any customer down.

BigFoot Pegs

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

Any Africa Twin owner that ventures off pavement will tell you the stock pegs aren’t suitable for real off-road use. Camel ADV’s goal with this product was to make pegs that were beneficial for all riders improving traction and providing more square footage for long stretches on your feet. They accomplished both goals doubling the surface area over stock Honda pegs and drastically enhancing grip with 17 stainless steel cleats. Another useful feature is the large cut-outs surrounding the cleats to make sure they stay free of mud. The BigFoot Pegs are one of Camel ADV’s coolest looking products which is a bonus considering their functionality. Their size makes it very easy to transfer weight at your feet and control the bike off-road. Also, your boots have a better chance of staying where you want them during water crossings or when things get rough.

Beyond the parts offered by Camel ADV, this Africa Twin also features several products by other top manufactures to round out its adventure prowess:

Custom YZ450F Forks and TFX Rear Shock

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

Stock suspension just wasn’t up to snuff for what the Camel ADV crew had planned for this AT. The front forks were swapped with custom tuned (by Al Dyck at Too Trick Racing) 48mm KYB SSS forks from a Yamaha YZ450F, increasing the travel to 10.2 inches (260mm). Camel ADV tailor made a billet axial to radial mounting bracket for the stock front brake caliper, along with a billet speed sensor mounting bracket for the front wheel. The rear shock was custom built by TFX Suspension utilizing an oversized reservoir to reduce heat fade during aggressive riding, and an extended piston for improved damping. An extended shaft also increased travel to 10.0 inches (255mm). The result of all this witchcraft is one of the most off-road capable Africa Twin’s in circulation; with the kind of plush ride usually reserved for rally bikes.

Seat Concepts Rally Seat

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

Constructed of superior materials with the off-road rider in mind, the Seat Concepts Rally Seat was an obvious upgrade from the OEM saddle. Its tall height; ergonomic shape and improved comfort make it ideal for long hauls. Another benefit of the tall seat is that it is equal in height to the rear seat allowing for more surface area and unimpeded movement in rough conditions. Red stitching is a nice touch with a subtle nod to the AT’s original color scheme.

Cyclops Adventure Sports Pegasus Lights

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

The OEM headlights on the CRF1000L only go so far in the dead of night, so Cyclops Pegasus LED’s were mounted neatly on the upper crash bars. These compact and rugged auxiliary lights put out 4,800 lumens with a 300-foot range. Perfect for garnering attention from distracted drivers during the day and being able to see the terrain ahead at night.

SW Motech Skid Plate

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

No product used on this bike has seen more abuse than the SW Motech skid plate. Time and time again, it has taken a beating then come back for more, demonstrating its importance each time. This particular belly pan was chosen due to its simple design, ability to remove & install quickly for maintenance, and comprehensive coverage.

AltRider Upper and Lower Crash Bars

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

Dirt naps are inevitable when you are riding on the edge, in those instances, Cory didn’t want to destroy expensive plastics or worse. With protection in mind, AltRider upper and lower crash bars were selected. Built from 1 ¼’’ thick stainless steel lowers and 1’’ uppers secured to optimal mounting points, makes this one of the most comprehensive protection options available for the Africa Twin. With multiple crash tests at speed and no broken body panels or engine cases yet, it’s safe to say they were the right choice.

Camel ADV Honda Africa Twin Bike Build

Camel ADV Africa Twin Build List

Aftermarket Product Price USD
 Camel ADV Camel Brace $119.00
 Camel ADV Windscreen Brace $99.00
 Camel ADV High Fender Kit $249.00
 Camel ADV Camel Toe Side Stand $119.00
 Camel ADV BigFoot Pegs $139.00
 Camel ADV Camel Tank $429.00
 Seat Concepts Rally Seat $194.99
 Cyclops Pegasus Lights $199.95
 Custom-Built YZF450F Front Forks $1,400 (est.)
 Custom-Built TFX Rear Shock $1,500 (est.)
 SW Motech Skid Plate $375.95
 AltRider Upper/Lower Crash Bars $683.97

Photos by Spencer Hill and Camel ADV

Author: Spencer Hill

“The Gear Dude” has been fueling his motorcycle addiction with adventure since first swinging his leg over a bike in 2010. Whether he’s exploring his own backyard in the Pacific Northwest or crisscrossing the United States, Spencer is always in search of scenic off-road routes, epic camping locations and the best gear possible. He began writing shortly after taking up two-wheel travel to share his experiences and offer insight with his extensive backpacking, camping and overland background.

Author: Spencer Hill
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14 thoughts on “Camel ADV’s ‘Trail-Ready’ Africa Twin Bike Build

  1. That is a nice build, and does not break the bank. Some of those Camel ADV bits are pricey. Are they really selling a 1.7 gal tank for $429?!!

    • I installed a camel tank on my bike. I think its a great bit of kit and very convenient.

      For me, the main benefits are:

      1) The tank is connected 24/7 and gives me just over 500km+ in total range (both tanks combined)

      2) Fill both tanks and forget. The fuel from the camel tank is automatically used first, with the main tank showing full on the gauge until the camel tank is empty and main tanks contents start to be consumed.

      3) It’s fitted fairly low down (below rear seat level) so helps COG.

      4) It doesn’t occupy space where I might want to stow other kit when loading the bike up for a trip.

      As an end user, the above points outweigh the price in my mind.