HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 Motorcycle
HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 motorcycle brings the manufacturer strongly back to the adventure touring enduro and dual sport segment. The AfricaTwin has always been offroad oriented, one of the very first desert tourers and this is no exception. The HONDA typically goes it`s own paths and differs from the competition. The factory has a long history and impressive racing records in desert rallies. The AfricaTwin clearly benefits from this and represents the factory`s vision of a true adventure touring bike. It may not be one of the most aggressive offroad adventure motorcycle and there are few compromises, but for sure the AfricaTwin is able to travel long distances on loose surfaces with ease. One of the best reference and competitor today would be the BMW F800 GS Adventure 2016, but the old KTM 990 Adventure R still holds the true benchmark which is still an impressive performance level. Nevertheless the HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 makes a refreshing comeback to one of the most challenging category.
The HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 has a 21inch front and an 18inch rear wheel. This size of wheels are also used in desert racing due to the better offroad handling features, but the 18” rear tyre is not very common size on street bikes or among the competition. Generally big wheels are more calm and better to steer on loose surfaces, especially with a wide handlebar. These cross spoked rims are not tubeless type or airtight which means that the AfricaTwin rider can use lower tyre pressures than the most. This is a relevant advantage in the most challenging offroad conditions when the grip is scarce. The rubber tubes could be also fixed in case of a typical puncture, but on the other hand the tubes bring also a little bit more weight onboard. At the moment the Continental offers several tyre types for the HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016. The Michelin has two more just like the Pirelli which means that there are both knobbier and more tarmac oriented tyre patterns available for the AfricaTwin.
The HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 has a relative small fuel tank from the remote exploring point of view. The range hardly exceed 400kms or 250 miles with a significant touring payload unless the route is light to travel or reserve canisters are onboard. The overall weight of the AfricaTwin has been kept as low as possible. There is no center stand to service the chains and the 19L fuel tank is probably one of the targeted weight savings. The AfricaTwin wind cover is rather tall, but the screen is not very wide and the hand guards are from the smallest end. The AfricaTwin windscreen has a large opening in the middle and on both sides around a large LCD display, bringing air into the cockpit and reducing turbulence in front of the rider. A two piece seat can be adjusted 20 mm., but hopefully there will be also lower OE rider seats and suspension kits available too so that the HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 could be used by even more diverse group of motorcyclists.
The HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 parallel cylinders with compact four valve UNICAM heads and twin spark plugs delivers a reasonable and useful amount of power for offroad conditions. A wide range of torque buildup fits well for such a bike and especially for solo riding with a sensible amount of luggage. When coming closer to the maximum payload or returning back to the high speed tarmac, the twin feels less sporty like any other parallel twin. The basic AfricaTwin comes with a 6 speed gearbox and a slipper clutch assist which seems to become more popular in the category. The AfricaTwin is available also with a Dual Clutch Transmission – DCT which has been especially adapted for offroad riding. The DCT has 2 automatic modes. The D mode offers the best fuel economy and the S mode 3 levels of sportier shifts. The HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 has a special G switch for offroad DCT in the instrument panel improving the traction and the throttle control. The DCT eliminates stalling in tricky situations, but unfortunately it brings also 10kgs or 22lbs. additional weight onboard.
From the safety point of view the HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 comes with a HONDA Selectable Torque Control System – HSTC which offers 3 performance levels and an OFF mode. This is the STD assistance today, but as long as they can be switched off, the hard core riders can go along with it. In addition the ABS can be switched OFF, but only from the rear wheel. This should be today good enough, unless the ABS comes automatically back in every single engine start. The AfricaTwin has no electronic suspension system and the shock absorbers can be manually adjusted which is good for such an offroad tourer. At the same time some of the weight is saved for the payload. The key HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 motorcycle features are:
- Seat height 870 – 850 mm. or 34.2 – 33.4″
- Cross spoked rims (tubular)
- Tyres 90/90 – 21 and rear 150/70 – 18 (tube)
- Engine type parallel twin cylinder
- Max performance 94HP and 98Nm. or 72.3ft-lb.
- Alternator not yet known
- Chain driven
- Traction control HSTC (off switchable)
- ABS (rear off switchable)
- Onboard computer
- Electronic immobilizer system – HISS
- Weight fueled 232kgs or 511lbs.
- Payload not yet known
- Fuel tank 19L, 5.0USgal., 4.2UKgal.
In the cockpit the HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 has a large digital instrumentation panel and above a mounting rail for a GPS navigator or a road book. This should be STD feature for every single dual sport enduro. The instrumentation is up to date and the readability is one of the very best. Only more versatile onboard computer and a traditional tachometer would be slightly better. Nevertheless this is very good. The key HONDA CRF1000L AfricaTwin 2016 instrumentation features are:
- Digital tachometer
- Digital speedometer
- Fuel level bars
- Traction control setup
- Gear in use
- Air temperature
- Fuel consumption
- Digital odometer
- Trip 1 & 2
- Coolant temperature levels
- Warning symbol lights