It seems like entry level adventure bikes are going to be the warmest topic at the forthcoming 2017 EICMA motorbike show in Milan, Italy, next month. Triumph Motorbikes teased the upcoming new Tiger last week, while BMW Motorrad followed suit by giving us a glimpse of the new BMW F850GS. Ducati has already announced that it will be riding in five new bikes, which will also include the new Multistrada 950. Now, Honda has joined the bandwagon as it will launch a new version of the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin at EICMA 2017. There is no official announcement about the name of the new bike but it has been given an affectionate nickname of Honda Africa Twin “Big Tank”.
Amazingly friendly. It takes a while to get used to the absence of a clutch or gear shifter, but the DCT is a delightfully smooth operator. To set off, all you have to do is select D mode and gently open the throttle. Throttle action is honey-smooth at the opening, with no jerks or inconsistency. Shifts arrive smoothly with a refined click rather than a heavy clunk. Alternatively, you can shift into neutral and use the parking brake that resides where the clutch lever normally would. D mode soon feels a bit pedestrian and you’ll soon find yourself spending more time in the Sport modes. The gearbox shifts later in these modes and but leftovers intuitive. Inclines and slopes are well accounted for and downshifts arrive along with braking to ensure you’re in the right gear for corner exits. Manual mode is also available but it’s far easier to use the paddles only when you need a shift.
The new bike is expected to have a fuel tank capacity of 22 litres as compared to the 18.8 litres of the standard bike. It will be a more hardcore off-road version of the Africa Twin, designed to compete against the BMW R1200GS Adventure and the Triumph Tiger Explorer. The new bike will be based on the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports Concept which was showcased at the 2016 Osaka Motorcycle Show. It will feature better suspension parts including USD front forks with longer travel, new spoke wheels with knobby off-road tyres and a more robust bash plate to safeguard the power-train. It is also expected that the bike will feature a flatter saddle and from the teaser image we can see crash guard around the body panels. Powering the new bike will be the same 999cc, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder engine that develops 88.3PS of power and 92Nm of peak torque for the Indian market.
More details about the bike will emerge from the 2017 EICMA motorcycle show. We will be covering live from the event so make sure you follow Grease press for all the latest updates.