The Africa Twin
is one of the most beloved Hondas
to never have been imported to the United States. In 1986, the NXR750 Africa Twin
factory racer made its debut at the then Paris-Dakar Rally
. The bike was powered by a V-Twin engine, while the rally largely took place on the African continent – hence its Africa Twin namesake.
Following racing success in the epically grueling rally, Honda produced the XRV650 Africa Twin
in 1988 and 1989 which used the same 647cc V-Twin engine as the Hawk GT
, then followed by the XRV750 Africa Twin
from 1990 to 2003 for foreign markets. Thirteen years after discontinuing that model, Honda has revived the Africa Twin moniker for 2016 as theCRF1000L
, and this one is
destined for the USA.
The Paris-Dakar rally is now known as just the Dakar and has relocated to South America due to safety concerns in Africa. So too has the new Africa Twin moved on, a parallel-Twin engine configuration replacing the V-Twin of the old XRV750. Of course, everything about the CRF1000L is new, especially the ones outfitted with Honda’s second-generation Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).
Sticking to the Africa Twin’s historical roots, Honda chose South Africa as the launching site for the company’s new flagship ADV bike; a two-day riding smorgasbord of asphalt, dirt, water, mud, rocks and rain. Occasional wildebeest, baboon, and eland sightings ensured we weren’t mistaking the semi-arid deserts of South Africa for the very similar ones of Southern California.