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ADV NewsLeaked Specs Reveal Details of New Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin

Leaked Specs Reveal Details of New Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin

Big Red's plan to go big with an 1100cc Africa Twin for 2020 gets leaked early.

Published on 07.25.2019
Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Motorcycle
Although no photos have surfaced of the actual bike yet, details of the CRF1100L spec document have been leaked. (Mockup image by Japanese Magazine Autoby)
We’ve seen rumors flying around for months now about a bigger, badder, 1100cc Honda Africa Twin coming down the pipe. While there has been no shortage of speculation, with no evidence like spy shots or specs, we’ve wondered if it’s all just a bunch of hearsay. The closest thing we’ve gotten to details on the new Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin is a mockup by the Japanese Motorcycle Magazine AutoBy.

With many manufacturers moving to downsize their ADV lineup in favor of lighter, more-nimble and off-road capable machines, it seemed like an unlikely move for Big Red. But now evidence has appeared that has us thinking these rumors may be legit. No photos have surfaced of the actual bike yet but both Cycle World and Bennetts claim to have laid eyes on a leaked official specifications sheet for a 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin.

What’s New?

According to reports, the old 998cc Africa Twin motor will receive an 86cc boost, bringing it up to 1084cc via an increase in stroke. The additional displacement is thought to result in a modest 7 horsepower increase, bumping the AT up from 94 to 101 horsepower @ 7500 rpm. Also peak torque is expected to increase from 73 to 79 ft-lbs @ 6000 rpm. The larger engine also gets quieter with 3 less decibels coming out of the tailpipe.

Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Motorcycle
All Africa Twin variants will be upgraded to a new 1100cc powerplant with 101 horsepower and 79 ft-lbs of torque.

Those may not be numbers that will compete with the BMW R1250GS or KTM 1290 Adventure but they do give the Africa Twin a little breathing room from middleweight competitors like the BMW F850GS, KTM 790 Adventure and Triumph Tiger 800 XC — bikes that claim similar power outputs to the current Africa Twin. The specs revealed nothing about cruise control, but after adding ride-by-wire throttle to the Africa Twin in 2018, this feature would be an obvious next step for Honda to be competitive with current offerings.


Honda is expected to continue offering four different Africa Twin models: Standard manual transmission; Standard with DCT; Adventure Sports manual; and Adventure Sports DCT. Based on the specs, the chassis will remain relatively unchanged for the lineup with the longer-travel suspension and improved off-road equipment continuing to separate the Adventure Sports from the Standard. Height dimensions varying between 61.4 inches and 63.8 inches suggest all models will receive an adjustable windscreen as well. And a 1.2 inch increase in overall width signals there may be a wider handlebar for more leverage on the larger machine.

One intriguing change worth noting is the use of the larger Adventure Sports fuel tank on the Standard model, increasing fuel capacity from 5.0 to 6.4 gallons. The larger fuel tank will be welcomed on longer journeys but comes at the cost of additional bulk and weight. The standard CRF1100L model is said to weigh 524.7 pounds with a full tank, up 17.6 pounds from the 2019 model. Although the Adventure Sports will lose 3.5 pounds, weighing in at 529.1 pounds with a full tank. Adding DCT to either Standard or Adventure Sports models increases weight by 22 more pounds.

Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Motorcycle
All new CRF1100L models will share the larger 6.4-gallon fuel tank currently offered in the Africa Twin Adventure Sports.

Is Bigger Better?

While many off-road riding Africa Twin owners have been pretty happy with the performance in the dirt, some have been less than thrilled with the CRF1000L’s acceleration on the street. This boost in displacement will no doubt help the Africa Twin’s performance on the road but Honda’s other goal may be to make room in the lineup for a middleweight Africa Twin. One of the rumors we’ve previously reported on is a smaller 850cc Africa Twin – a bike that could compete more directly in the burgeoning middleweight adventure bike class.

So while a larger Africa Twin may not be what everyone is asking for, it could open the door to a new middleweight Africa Twin. This strategy is no different than what KTM did when they first launched the 1190 Adventure, then split it up into 1290 and 1090 variants a few years later. If Honda can deliver a more powerful liter-class Africa Twin with similar weight and more range, while also bringing an all-new performance middleweight Africa Twin, it could be a potent combo.

With the release of detailed specs this early in the year, it’s a good sign that this new CRF1100L Africa Twin is close to production. In fact, it could be announced as a 2020 model in a matter of weeks rather than months. We’ll be keeping our eye out for any new details. Stay tuned!

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, 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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4 thoughts on “Leaked Specs Reveal Details of New Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin

  1. If the plan is for an 800cc AT that will be more hardcore, then the 1100 really needs cruise and tubeless tires to be more long distance road friendly. Still under powered compared to the ‘big boys’ too.

  2. Lighter please. I wouldn’t be worrying about the F850GS, it is overpriced and 25 lbs heavier than the F800GS, and thus also going in the wrong direction.


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