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ADV VideosWatch: Honda Africa Twin Gets Wrung Out on the Nürburgring

Watch: Honda Africa Twin Gets Wrung Out on the Nürburgring

 The Africa Twin crushing it at Germany's famous race track.

Published on 05.21.2019
We all love adventure bikes for their Swiss Army knife intentions. How we can climb aboard and know all options are open. Well, at least all options as limited by our abilities. If Toby Price roosted away on our personal bike, it would quickly become clear we’ve been sitting on a much sharper tool than previously conceived.

And such is the case as we watch Nürburgring track connoisseur and blogger Billy Burke race a stock Honda Africa Twin around Germany’s infamous road circuit with such smooth ferocity. It’s a bit of a mind-bender, watching that mild-mannered travel bike turn such a fast lap on a track so tricky and treacherous that competitive motorcycle racing has been outlawed there since 1994.

Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L at the Nürburgring

Billy was able to achieve a lap time of 8 minutes and 38 seconds on this lap and on another run he was able to improve his time to 8 minute 35 seconds — which he claims is the fastest lap ever on an Adventure Bike. While that might seem an eternity on most road courses, it’s the flutter of wings on the near 13-mile-long Nurburgring, where the current hot lap for a motorcycle stands at 7 minutes and 10 seconds, set by Andy Carlile on a street legal Yamaha YZF-R1. For perspective, the fastest lap held by a production vehicle of any kind is 6 minutes 45 seconds as seen from a Lamborghini Aventador driven by a professional driver in 2018.


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But Burke is a civilian rider, a guy with a passion for motorcycles and a bona fide obsession with the Nürburgring, having moved to Nürburg, Germany in 2015 to be closer to the action. Burke has owned 60 motorcycles since he began riding in 1990 including a few ADV bikes such as BMW’s F650GS and F800GS and says the 2018 Africa Twin in the YouTube video has so far seen more than 200 laps around the course.

To watch the lanky, Dunlop TrailMax shod Africa Twin lancing the Nürburgring’s forested hills with its yawning 21-inch front wheel, achieving such steady and thrilling speeds jockeyed not by a professional racer but by a fellow lover of the sport is especially captivating, and quite aspirational.

For another view of what happens when you light a fire under an Africa Twin, check out Isle of Mann legend Guy Martin at Caldwell Park in Lincolnshire, England as he’s being chased by an amateur racer on a Suzuki Hayabusa.

No matter which angle, the message is the same: ADV bikes like the Africa Twin can cut right to the chase. But it’s up to us to sharpen the blade.

To catch more of Billy Burke smashing hot laps on his bikes head over to his YouTube channel.

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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6 thoughts on “Watch: Honda Africa Twin Gets Wrung Out on the Nürburgring

  1. I don’t think anyone doubted the Africa Twin can ride a road course. The question on the minds of those I circle with is “Can it genuinely handle true off-road?” And no, a dirt road isn’t “off-road” to people in the Rockies. In my opinion, this article is well-written, but doesn’t satisfy.

    • Not sure what circle that is but if you are still wondering at this point if it can handle offroad in spite of the large amount of reviews, videos and material already available on that then just go ride one.

  2. I did a track day on my Cagiva Gran canyon once (ADV type of bike), came in after a session and a guy came up to me and was wondering what I was riding and he said: “I was trying to catch you but couldn’t”. He was riding a CBR600RR…
    So yea, and ADV bike can hustle along pretty good.

  3. Check out the Redondo Beach PD Africa Twin built by Roland Sand’s! There’s video of it at Chuckwalla and EVOC in San Bernardino. It absolutely rips. Adam Waheed also had a YouTube video of it at Chuckwalla getting his knee down… Very capable street bike!