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ADV BikesNew Honda Africa Twin Finally Revealed at EICMA?

New Honda Africa Twin Finally Revealed at EICMA?

The unveiling of one of the most anticipated new Adventure Bikes in years.

Published on 11.04.2014

It was an exciting day for Adventure Riders. The most anticipated new Adventure Bike in years was about to be revealed to a crowd of press in Milan, Italy at the EICMA show. Strangely, as the curtain dropped, what appeared to be the new Honda Africa Twin was displayed wearing camouflage and covered in mud, as if it had just been rushed to the stage after a trail ride.

It seems all the mud was Honda’s way of emphasizing how serious they are about their new Africa Twin being a dirt-oriented Adventure Bike. Honda states the new bike is inspired by their adventure heritage and recent Dakar rally racing program. Sharing the stage was the 1989 Paris-Dakar winning NXR 820V Africa Twin and the Honda CRF450 Rally used in the current Dakar Rally.

New Honda Africa Twin unveiling at EICMA
A new Honda Adventure Bike was unveiled at the Milan EICMA show covered in mud.

It would seem with the unveiling of a new Africa Twin, Honda has been listening to a growing throng of Adventure Riders unhappy with the trend toward over-sized Adventure Bikes unsuitable for serious off-road use. According to Honda, their new light weight, off-road capable Adventure Bike was developed to withstand the harshest conditions of a round-the-world tour.


While there was great excitement about a new Honda Africa Twin model, there was also disappointment. Although the bike appeared ready for production, Honda introduced the motorcycle as a prototype called the “True Adventure.” The True Adventure name reflects on Honda’s past glory and also encapsulates their future vision. Unfortunately, this means it could take some time before the Honda Africa Twin becomes a production model. Other than the visual unveiling, no other technical details or information was provided by Honda about their True Adventure prototype.

It may not carry the Africa Twin name yet, but the appearance of the True Adventure prototype reflects previous leaked information about a new Honda Africa Twin model. The dual headlights stay true to the Africa Twin heritage, while the vertical windscreen and upward-turned exhaust echo the modern styling of the CRF450 Rally. The bike is powered by a large displacement inline-twin cylinder engine and bodywork is minimalist without much plastic to break in a fall. A flat motocross seat, wrap around handguards, 21″ front/18″ rear wheel combo, aggressive Pirelli Scorpion Rally knobby tires and twin-spar aluminum frame, all send a message that this bike is ready-to-race.

Those with a keen eye may have noticed the bike is missing its clutch and gear shift levers. The prototype is equipped with Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) also available on the NC700X/NC750X and VFR1200X Crosstourer. DCT eliminates the need to operate the clutch, and in ‘AT’ mode automatically selects the best gear for riding conditions. In ‘MT’ mode, the rider can shift without a clutch using a pair of thumb and index finger operated paddles on the left side of the handlebar.

The gray downshift paddle can be seen in the pictures located under the indicator switch on the left side of the handlebar, while the drive mode selector switch is located on the right-side handlebar with N (Neutral), D (Drive) and S (Sport) shift modes. We can see how DCT could be a helpful feature off-road to prevent stalling on rough terrain, but this does add extra complexity to the bike. Most likely, Honda will make DCT optional like they do with other models.

It may not be all the good news many had hoped for, but at least fans of the Africa Twin can rest assured knowing that Honda is making progress toward building a reliable, fairly light-weight, low-maintenance, Adventure Bike with serious off-road intentions (and hopefully good highway manners). We hope that the new prototype is given a strong reception by the masses, so that Honda can be convinced to rush this new Africa Twin into production as soon as possible.

UPDATE 5/12/2015: Honda officially announces the release of the CRF1000L Africa Twin for 2015 launch. For photos and details click here.

More Photos

2015 Africa Twin

honda africa twin 2015

New Honda Africa Twin 2015 CRF1000

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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35 thoughts on “New Honda Africa Twin Finally Revealed at EICMA?

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  5. »It may not be all the good news many had hoped for« — Really? What more do you want? It looks awesome, should be light, powerful, and capable to do basically everything between dirt and highway. Also rumors say that that basic models are going to be as electronics-free as possible. So, apparently, this is one of the dreambikes so many ADV guys have been writing (and whining )about.

    • They refer to the bad news of it being a prototype that was unveiled. Everyone wants this bike right now so it was disappointing to not see a much awaited production bike. As it looks, we might have to wait another year to see a final product from Honda. And who knows if it will even come to the U.S. But it is awesome to know they are building something a lot of us have been asking for. Unfortunately, the wait will have to continue until who knows when…

      • According to a german forum it’s supposed to be on sale in summer ’15. Same release date for all countries. Don’t know if that involves the US. They would be stupid not to bring it to the states though. I think it’s going to be a success sales-wise.

  6. Hope the seat isn’t too tall like the BMW (Tired of so much German adventure Press) Dont want to mount it like a Bicycle. And, what’s gonna break when you drop it? It takes days to ride to Colorado from OKLA. and I still cant make it to Tincup CO by then I am too tired to drop and lift 500 Lbs Plus What I really want is Boxer 4cyl under 500 Lbs that is good on Smooth Gravel roads or the road from Silverton to Lake City CO

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  8. That “basic/entry model is good enough for me please!!
    Currently on a Yamaha XT660Z Tenere, love it.

    Riaan / Cape Town / South Africa

  9. Ye, fully agree with you Gene –

    This Honda means business:

    Would like to know more re.: Tank size
    Engine size (1000..?)
    Interesting to note “USD” front suspension

    • Paint that model in your post camo and put mud all over it and it would look rather piggish.. 🙂 To much plastic for me. I like the high front fender for looks but the new Adventure Proto looks like a serious push in the right direction. Minimal body plastic and godd suspension with low center of gravity. I ride the XR650L now and would like to try this new bike. The NX and current 700 beamer are pretty highway bikes with some gravel road suspension IMO.

  10. Nice looking, very good if they fit 21″/18″ wheels, but there are two things i hate already: not keeping the V engine and the chain tensioners on the rear wheel (the ones in the old model were a dream)….

  11. Pingback: New Honda Africa Twin Finally Revealed at EICMA? » ADV Pulse | Meat And Grease

  12. Not happy with this appearance at all the adventure bike must use the iconic belly pan and the sleek full fearing that ends at the pan the side panels must be there. why go backwards with such a still eye catching bike like the late xrv 750. If I was the designer I would just upgrade the old look with a sleeker look but no too far off from the previous Twin. looks these days are just as important than the performance. rather make a semi off road version with less plastic and a more sleek fearing unit for the guys that loved the 2004 models. I had an 88, 94,98,2002 and a 2004 model Africa Twin and every time I sold one had a super bike in between but always went back to this awesome bike. At the moment I’m driving a 1800 vzr Boulevard and can not wait for the new Africa Twin. Hope Honda is not going to disappoint all the Honda Africa Twin Fans. My last Africa Twin came out of a garage and was rusted badly. Bought the bike, stripped it in my Garage and refurbished the hole bike from parts to showroom condition. One of the greatest experiences of my life to have all the back up on line. Enjoyed every moment looking for parts online. There is no better adventure bike for me out there. Keep it simple but with good looks.

    • it Albert. The more it gets to replicate the Original the better it is. The Africa Twin was and still is the Model Bike – perfect as mothernature has made it – so please do not mess around it. We are al waiting for it eagerly. Please Honda, don’t let us wait more.

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