Side-by-side with its sibling, the 2018 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports is obviously taller, with a flatter seat profile and more upright riding position. The fairing and screen offer more wind protection and a large sump guard and side pipe fully protect the machine. An extra 5.4 L fuel capacity extends range beyond 500 km, while heated grips and an AC charging socket add comfort and convenience.
The 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports’ comprehensive abilities start with its engine, which has to perform in off-road situations as well as on-road, over long-range tours, short commutes and all points in between. As such, it provides an optimum balance between power, torque, mass and physical dimension.
The four-valve 998 cc parallel twin Unicam unit’s tractable and usable all-day performance belies its extremely compact dimensions. They are the result of clever packaging touches such as housing the water pump within the clutch casing, and using the engine’s balancer shafts to also drive water and oil pumps. As a result, longitudinally, it is the same length as Honda’s popular 500cc engine, and its short height contributes to the Africa Twin Adventure Sport’s 270 mm of ground clearance.
Peak power of 70 Kw still arrives @ 7,500 rpm, with 99 Nm torque @ 6,000 rpm. Bore and stroke are set at 92 x 75.1 mm, with compression ratio of 10.0:1; the 270° phased crankshaft and uneven firing interval create the engine’s distinctive throb and feel for rear wheel traction.
For 2018, a modified airbox improves the power unit’s mid-range response, as does a lighter balancer shaft weight. A revised exhaust serves up an even more evocative howl as revs rise and also contributes to the improved performance.
A significant addition to the Africa Twin platform for 2018 is its new Throttle By Wire (TBW) system, which brings with it 3 riding modes to adjust engine character and output to suit riding conditions. Also new is an extended range of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) input.
The unique DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) version features the standard manual mode – allowing the rider to operate gearshifts through triggers on the left handlebar – and two automatic modes. D mode offers the best balance of fuel economy and comfort cruising whilst S mode gives three different, sportier shift patterns to choose from. The DCT is also fully equipped to operate in an off-road environment and off-road functionality is enhanced by the G button. Pushing the G button in any riding mode modifies the control of the clutch system to give a more direct drive.
The semi-double cradle steel frame provides the ideal balance of high-speed stability matched to genuine off-road ability by combining sheer strength with flexibility. The engine is mounted on 6 engine hangers, which keeps vibration to a minimum, avoiding the need for steering dampers. The new lithium-ion battery saves 2.3 kg on the 2017 Africa Twin’s lead unit, and the Adventure Sports version shares several detail changes made to improve the platform’s off-road ability and durability.
2018 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports image gallery
Fully adjustable 45 mm Showa inverted forks, fully-adjustable rear shock, dual radial-mount Nissin four-piston brake calipers and 310 mm ‘wave’ style floating discs are unchanged for 2018. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels are constructed from stainless steel. In addition to the standard dual-purpose 90 front/150 rear rubber, block tyres are also approved for fitment.
Dual LED headlights maintain the original Africa Twin’s presence and the seat height adjusts 20 mm from the 900 mm to 920 mm (both respectively 50 mm higher than the standard model). The 24.2L fuel tank – and the engine’s fuel efficiency of 21.8km/l (WMTC in DCT mode) – provides a range of over 500 km.
The 2018 CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports will be available in one 30th anniversary Tricolore paint scheme to celebrate the XRV650’s launch in 1988.