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ADV NewsHonda Unveils Lighter, Faster, Feature-Packed 2020 Africa Twin

Honda Unveils Lighter, Faster, Feature-Packed 2020 Africa Twin

 Everything you need to know about Honda's all-new CRF1100L Africa Twin.

Published on 09.23.2019

In the wee hours this morning, Honda announced sweeping changes to its 2020 Africa Twin platform. And yes! Honda was listening, there is cruise control. And even more exciting and useful, the standard and Adventure Sports models (each of which are still available with either an improved manual transmission or a more advanced version of Honda’s automatic DCT) are lighter, despite receiving larger, more powerful engines. 

As expected, the Africa Twin’s water-cooled, overhead-cam, parallel-twin engine has received an 86cc bump in displacement, along with improved intake and exhaust systems. Honda claims 7% more peak power and 6% more peak torque over the previous 998cc engine. Manual transmission ratios have been optimized and the new muffler now features a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV) for improved low-rpm sound and high-rpm performance.

2020 Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L and Africa Twin Adventure Sports CRF1100L2
Both Models receive increased power and weight reductions, along with Cruise Control as standard equipment.

The Africa Twin’s new frame is said to enhance the bikes’ handling characteristics, while the subframe is now conveniently detachable. A CRF450R-style swingarm that’s both lighter and more rigid now guides the rear wheel.


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Honda has implemented a 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) that allows a host of new rider aid functions including wheelie control, cornering ABS, rear-lift control, DCT cornering detection and cornering lights (Adventure Sports model only). Wheelie control, ABS and rear-lift controls can be turned off completely.

2020 Africa Twin CRF1000L in Grand Prix Red.
2020 Africa Twin
2020 Africa Twin CRF1100L in Black Matte Metallic.

Settings are viewable on the Africa Twin’s new, 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen and control inputs are accessed via a switchgear on the left handlebar. For iPhone fans the screen incorporates Apple CarPlay, allowing use of an iPhone through the touchscreen – a seriously useful option that allows you to view Apple Maps on the TFT with the same clarity you have on your smartphone. If your helmet is Bluetooth equipped, calls can be made and received hands-free. Also, hands-free wireless Bluetooth connectivity is an option for an iPhone or Android device.

While the nose of the Africa Twin is sleeker, the tail section is also slimmer and the seat is 1.57” narrower, allowing for easier reach to the ground. Honda says the contours of the seat have been carefully styled to make moving the bike easier while the rider is seated.

New TFT Touchscreen Display
Bluetooth connectivity 6.5" TFT touchscreen
An all-new 6.5” TFT Display incorporates Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, with touchscreen functionality.

The standard version of the Africa Twin has been tweaked in the direction off-road use with a shorter-fixed windscreen and keeps the smaller 5.0 gallon fuel tank. And like the Adventure Sports, it’s  also eleven pounds lighter this year. 

Both models now come with dual LED running lights, improving visibility, while the Adventure Sports version also features three-stage cornering lights, managed by the IMU, which automatically adjust the field of illumination depending on the lean angle.

Africa Twin Adventure Sport cornering lights
The Adventure Sports model now features lean-angle sensitive LED cornering lights.

Key Changes for 2020 Africa Twin

  • New Euro5-compliant 1100cc parallel twin engine produces 7% more horsepower and 6% more torque.
  • Cruise Control is standard.
  • 11 pounds (5kg) lighter, with 10% improvement in power to weight ratio, thanks to weight reduction in areas including engine, frame and swing arm.
  • All-new 6.5” TFT Multi-Information Display incorporates Apple CarPlay® and Bluetooth connectivity, with touchscreen functionality.
  • Four pre-set riding modes – plus two user-selectable options – offer scenario-specific tailoring of Power, Engine Braking, Honda Selectable Torque Control, (HSTC), Wheelie Control and Cornering ABS settings.
  • HSTC, plus new Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control and Rear Lift Control functions are now managed by a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit
  • Standard model itself has even sharper off-road focus.
  • Adventure Sports model is more ready than ever for the long haul – and now available with cornering lights, a scooped seat and cutting-edge Showa EERA suspension as an option.
  • Unique Dual Clutch Transmission still available on both models.

The Adventure Sports edition additionally receives a raft of cool and useful upgrades including Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension (EERA) for optimized damping front and rear. The system includes four default modes – soft, mid, hard and off-road . There is also a “user” mode for further fine-tuning (see below for details on settings). Rear spring preload can be adjusted while the bike is stationary. Both suspension travel and ground clearance have also been lowered on the Adventure Sports model to match the standard Africa Twin for 2020.

Africa Twin Adventure Sport tubeless wire-spoke wheels
Tubeless wire-spoke wheels are now standard on the Africa Twin Adventure Sports.

In other good news the Africa Twin Adventure Sports now has the same two-way adjustable seat height of the standard Africa Twin: 33.5”-34.3” (down considerably from the 35.4”-36.6” of the previous model at the expense of less suspension travel). Accessory seats are available in lower (32.5”- 33.3”) and higher (34.4”- 35.3”) two-way adjustable heights. 

As expected the Adventure Sports will come with cross-spoked tubeless wheels, a larger, more substantial skid plate, new aluminum rear rack and 6.5-gallon tank. Creature comforts include heated grips and a new 12v charger socket. Its tall touring-style windscreen is adjustable to five levels as well. 

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports CRF1100L2
2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports CRF1100L2
The suspension travel of the Adventure Sports model has been reduced to the same height as the standard model (9.1″ front / 8.7″ rear).

Pricing for the standard Africa Twin is up $800, with the manual version at $14,399 and its DCT counterpart going for $15,199, which seems quite reasonable for the electronic upgrades alone. However the Africa Twin Adventure Sports version, with its trick electronic suspension, is up $2,100 over 2019 pricing, with the manual shifting unit listing for $17,199 and the DCT, $17,999. Gulp. 

US colors for 2020 will be Matte Black Metallic only for the standard Africa Twin, while the Adventure Sports will come in Pearl Glare White/Blue. Europe will receive an additional 2 colors: Grand Prix Red for the standard, and Darkness Black Metallic for the Adventure Sports.

Availability

The new Africa Twins will be on display at the AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio, September 26th-29th, and we expect them on dealer showrooms no later than March of 2020 in the US. Europe is expected to receive the new Africa Twin Models before the end of 2019.

2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports in Darkness Black Metallic.

Ride Modes

TOUR: Employs the highest level of power (1), for touring loaded 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 Modes 1 & 2: Offer the rider a choice of two distinct personalized setups – choosing between Power levels 1-4 and Engine Braking 1-3, and ABS on-road/off-road parameters.

Standard Africa Twin Specs

Engine TypeSOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam
Displacement1084cc
Bore & Stroke92mm x 81.5mm
Compression Ratio10.1:1
Max. Power Output100.6 hp (75kW) @ 7500rpm
Max. Torque77.4 ft.-lbs. (105 Nm) @ 6250rpm
Noise Level73dB
Oil Capacity4.8/4.3 (5.2/4.7 DCT)
Fuel SystemPGM-FI
Fuel Tank Capacity5 gallon (18.8L)
CO2 Emissions112g/km MT110g/km DCT
Fuel Consumption48 MPG (20.4km/L) MT; 49 MPG (20.8km/L) DCT
StarterElectric
Battery Capacity12V-6Ah Li-ion battery (20hr)
ACG Output 0.49kW/5000rpm
Clutch TypeWet, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch; DCT – 2 wet multiplate clutches with coil springs
Transmission Type6 speed manual (6 speed DCT)
frame TypeSemi double cradle
Dimensions (L´W´H)91.7 in. x 37.8 in. x 54.9 in. (2330mm x 960mm x 1395mm)
Wheelbase62 in. (1575mm)
Caster Angle27.5°
Trail4.4 in. (113mm)
Seat Height33.5/34.3 in. (850/870mm); low seat option 32.5 in. (825mm); high seat option 35.2 in. (895mm)
Ground Clearance9.8 in. (250mm)
Wet Weight (EU) MT 498.2 lbs (226kg); DCT 520.3 (236kg)
Front SuspensionShowa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and DF adjustments, 9.1 in (230mm) stroke
Rear Suspension Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustments, 8.7 in. (220mm) rear wheel travel
Front Wheel21M/C x MT2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rear wheel18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rim Size Front21″
Rim Size Rear18″
tires Front 90/90-21M/C 54H (tube type)
(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /
Metzler Karoo Street)
tires Rear 150/70R18M/C 70H (tube type)
(Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T /
AX41T Metzler Karoo Street)
ABS System Type2 channel with IMU
Selectable ABS MODE with on-road and off-road setting
front brakes310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
rear brakes256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-Channel with rear ABS off mode.
InstrumentsLCD Meter, TFT 6.5inch touch panel multi information display
Security SystemImmobilizer, security alarm (optional)
HeadlightLED
TaillightLED
ElectricsDaytime running lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple Carplay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop signal, IMU, HSTC and wheelie control)
Colors Matte Black Metallic, Grand Prix Red (EU only)
MSRP ($USD) MT $14,399; DCT $15,199

Africa Twin Adventure Sports Specs

Engine TypeSOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam
Displacement1084cc
Bore & Stroke92mm x 81.5mm
Compression Ratio10.1:1
Max. Power Output100.6 hp (75kW) @ 7500rpm
Max. Torque77.4 ft.-lbs. (105 Nm) @ 6250rpm
Noise Level73dB
Oil Capacity4.8/4.3 (5.2/4.7 DCT)
Fuel SystemPGM-FI
Fuel Tank Capacity6.5 gallon (24.8L)
CO2 Emissions112g/km MT110g/km DCT
Fuel Consumption48 MPG (20.4km/L) MT; 49 MPG (20.8km/L) DCT
StarterElectric
Battery Capacity12V-6Ah Li-ion battery (20hr)
ACG Output 0.49kW/5000rpm
Clutch TypeWet, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch; DCT – 2 wet multiplate clutches with coil springs
Transmission Type6 speed manual (6 speed DCT)
frame TypeSemi double cradle
Dimensions (L´W´H)91.7 in. x 37.8 in. x 61.4 in. (2330mm x 960mm x 1560mm); 63.8 in. (1620mm) height with screen in uppermost position
Wheelbase62 in. (1575mm)
Caster Angle27.5°
Trail4.4 in. (113mm)
Seat Height33.5/34.3 in. (850/870mm); low seat option 32.5 in. (825mm); high seat option 35.2 in. (895mm)
Ground Clearance9.8 in. (250mm)
Wet Weight (eu)MT 524.7 lbs (238kg); DCT 546.7 (248kg); MT W/ Showa EERA 529.1 lbs (240kg); DCT W/ Showa EERA 551.2 (250kg)
Front Suspension Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and damping adjustment, 9.1 in. (230mm) stroke EERATM – Showa Telescopic inverted fork with an inner tube diameter of 45mm, and Showa EERATM with compression and rebound dumping adjustments, 9.1 in. (230mm) stroke 
Rear SuspensionMonoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustments, 8.7 in. (220mm) rear wheel travel. EERATM – Monoblock aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic remote control preload adjuster and electric control unit with compression and rebound damping adjustments, 8.7 in. (220mm) rear wheel travel
Front wheel21M/C x MT2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rear wheel18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim
Rim Size Front21″
Rim Size Rear18″
tires Front90/90-21M/C 54H (tubeless type) Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T
Metzler Karoo Street
tires Rear150/70R18M/C 70H (tubeless type) Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T
Metzler Karoo Street
ABS System Type2 channel with IMU
Selectable ABS MODE with on-road and off-road setting
Front Brakes310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear Brakes256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-Channel with rear ABS off mode.
InstrumentsLCD Meter, TFT 6.5inch touch panel multi information display
Security SystemImmobilizer, security alarm (optional)
HeadlightLED
TaillightLED
ElectricsDaytime running lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple® CarPlay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop signal, IMU, HSTC, cornering lights, wheelie control
colorsPearl Glare White/Blue; Darkness Black Metallic (EU only)
MSRP ($USD)MT $17,199; DCT $17,999

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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18 thoughts on “Honda Unveils Lighter, Faster, Feature-Packed 2020 Africa Twin

  1. All sounds yummy until you get down to the last line on the spec spread sheet when it comes to a north of 48 currency conversion ! I’d imagine the 1000 AT will drop drastically !

  2. Have to say i find the new CRF1100’s SUPER good looking! wow! The headlight pattern, the fairing, the dakar Rallye RAID look are all epic! the “off road” red bike is epic looking. Kudos to the Honda design team as the bike looks badazz without looking like aquaman bug insect (the other brand). Also if i understand correctly Honda went with BOSCH IMU and Bosch ABS – correct for both? No more rubbish TC? In the Honda demo video the rider is constantly popping wheelies and i wonder if he has everything OFF or is using the Bosch system to hoist the wheel over obstacles? wow – if true it’s and overdue move. On my KTM 1190R I permanently leave all TC off to enable me to raise the front over obstacles – Honda hopefully understands the priority of wheel lift OVER and above wheel spin – if the pilot needs to raise the front wheel then there might even be a bit of wheel spin – time will tell if it works on the CRF1100 or it’s rubbish – Seriously considering leaving KTM camp and going over to big red now. I do wish they would also offer Left side handlebar hydraulic (rear) brakes for the DCT (not that punny cable park brake) so that feet are free to do other tasks. Presumably the light bike has no centerstand? btw tubeless is for soft adventure – in serious Adv in AU everybody uses tubes anyway.

  3. Funny how everyone is asking the world out of the Aftrica twin. More power, cruise control, better suspension, better dash, lower seat, lighter weight, tubeless tires….Honda delivers and you feel they shouldnt raise the price?
    You expect them to give away all these advancements? Balk about cost? Has no one bought a GS?
    Bikes looking to be amazing, I would love to give the standard AT DCT a test run and perhaps upgrade from my 2006 steed.

  4. Nice upgrades. I can see a few more folks going to the AT now that would not have with the current bike. If the likely 800cc AT comes in at 460 lbs. the KTM 790 and Yamaha 700 Tenere will have competition.

  5. So, fuel consumption has worsened compared to 2019 model? Where did you find the numbers for fuel consumption that you list in the specs? Do you have the same information for ‘19 models?

  6. So, from what I’ve gathered, the 2020 standard version (the one I’d buy due to cost, weight and less complexity/more dependability, compared to the Adventure Sports) costs $800 more, weighs 11 pounds less and loses 2 mpg in fuel consumption compared to the 2019 version. The lack of tubeless wheels definitely gives me reason to pause, but that can be rectified with some sealant, tape and a new tire. Hmm. Sure would be nice if Honda would let us swap out for tubeless wheels for a few hundred more. Are you listening Honda?