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ADV VideosWatch: 2020 Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L Tested

Watch: 2020 Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L Tested

We share our thoughts after getting extended seat time on the new CRF1100L.

Published on 09.04.2020

While the 2020 Africa Twin may not look all that much different from last year’s model, under its skin there are a significant amount of changes. In fact, four years after its re-introduction to the world stage, Honda seems to have left few bolts untouched in their effort to maintain a top spot in a segment that has become highly-competitive.

The new 1100cc Africa Twin gets more advanced electronics, more power, improved comfort, and a lighter, more-refined chassis, along with a host of other changes. But are these just incremental improvements? Is it enough to make it worth trading in your old Africa Twin for? From the mountain tops of California to the coasts of Baja, Mexico, we clocked over 2,000 hard test miles on the new AT to find out if it really is a major leap forward for the legendary machine. 

In this video, we give a full rundown of the major differences between the old and new Africa Twin, as well as describe notable improvements from a seat-of-the-pants perspective after putting it through its paces in a range of rugged terrain. The analysis also covers how it matches up with other dirt-capable ADVs. In addition, we share our thoughts on where Honda might have missed the mark or could use further improvements. 


Thanks for checking out the video and leave us your thoughts and questions in the comments below. For those of you who prefer to read, you can check out our full review article of the 2020 Honda Africa Twin here.

Photos by Stephen Gregory

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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18 thoughts on “Watch: 2020 Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L Tested

  1. Thank you for the very thorough video review man. Probably the best review of any bike I have ever seen. AND thank you for REALLY riding it. Actually testing it well on something other than two track.

  2. One of the best bike reviews I’ve ever watched. Not because of the bike but the reviewer obviously put the time into understanding the bike, tried out all the aspects of the bike, in this case, both on and off road and then gave a plain language commentary with the necessary perspective comments (his height, his weight, his riding preference) that allows a viewer to connect to what’s being said.

    If I was a bike manufacturer I’d want this guy to do reviews on any bike I made that he wanted to put the effort into.

    Very nice job!

  3. OK John your just went straight to No .1 for your CRF1100 review because of the depth covered and delivered chop-chop not time wasted. The other journalists need to stand behind you now at Honda press events and bow in your direction. Wheelie control did you try long holding the down < button for the forth setting '0' ?

    One comment I would like to add for those riders with multiple helmets/Sena's (I have 3) and the issue/impasse of quickly binding more than one as Pilot (not passenger) – fyi you can still activate CarPlay easily on these helmets (to use Waze,GMaps etc) by holding 'return' button for 4 secs when presented with the 'no headset found screen'.

    • Wow thanks for your feedback! Regarding wheelie control, yes I did shut that off entirely as well, and mentioned in the written review that was an available feature for those who like to hang out around 12 o’clock. Your comment regarding Sena’s (and/or other comm units) is an important point as well. Bit more deep-dive than I wanted to go in the review but I actually did test out separate comm units with the A.T.. In the case of the Sena 10c and Sena 10C Evo, after syncing both, the connection was usually seamless in that both would simply appear in the list of available devices, and whichever one was powered up at the time would either connect automatically, or after selecting it on the touchscreen. Hiccups would sometimes occur, the source of, and solution to, remains somewhat elusive, but in the end it was simply a matter of “try it again if it didn’t work the first time”.

  4. Nice review!!!… One of the better in depth reviews with practical applications and actual offroad feedback on how it handles.

    One question can you turn traction control off? Know of a few people who have had issues doing hill climbs and wondering if either the traction control or wheelie control (given angle of the bike on steep ascents) could have kicked in and been what stopped them.

    • Thanks! Yes traction control (as well as wheelie control) can be turned off entirely, and you’re absolutely correct that it can cause issues in steep/loose conditions, regardless of level selected. Mentioned a bit about that symptom around 17:00 in the video.

      • Awesome!… Ridden the old 2019 model and this new model but that was my only unknown as I like being able to switch it all off at times…

        Just sold me on this bikes, appreciate it!…..

  5. I don’t know whether I will be pushed over the cliff for this or be applauded for my Common Sense Thinking —- OK I am a mid 70’s year old bloke —did my trade as a motorcycle mechanic —- I still ride often and it is mainly off road in the tall steep mountains on a Kawasaki 250cc Sherpa [Wonderful little machine ] ——– This is what I believe a world touring bike SHOULD HAVE! ——Fuel injection is DEFINITELY OUT ——- DIRTY FUEL & WATER HARD to get out of the injection system —– The old carby simple loosen the drain plug on the carby float bowl —-[carry an outboard motor primer bulb fitted between carby and fuel tank —- Quickly flush out all that crap] —– IGNITION:—– Should be a modern inductor type magneto —- small light and absolutely reliable —— The moduals are as big as your thumb nail——- Cheap as chips and so no problem to carry a spare [SAME AS ON YOUR LAWN MOWER] —– YOU CAN SET THE AMOUNT OF ADVANCE AND RETARD OF THE TIMING ]——-but in to-days time you won’t need A SPARE.——- If you disconnect the stop wire —-you have the magneto separate from the total electrical system.——Look the Japanese people make the best wiring harness in the world’s motor trade ———one piece harness all soldered joints with sealed snap connectors.—– I have a good mate who has ridden in approx 60 countries and I know that there will never be a fuel injected bike in his stable ——- There is a modern saying ” In the middle of NO WHERE ——SIMPLE SHIT IS GREAT SHIT!” —— Years ago I read an article on sport ——-Question:—– What do you think was listed as the most energetic SPORT? ——– Believe it or not “motorcycle SPORT” PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY —— My COMPLAINT SECTION IS LIMITED TO ONE COMPLAINT! —– The world is a crazy place at the moment —- Enjoy riding your bike to YOUR ABILITY SAFELY! ——- If you don’t agree with me we can be still friends — Cheers Wes


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