Honda Africa Twin (2017) Review


The market for adventure bikes is one of the hottest right now and the Honda Africa Twin is a top-quality example. These kind of motorcycles blend rugged ambition and go-anywhere styling with real world practical use. These bikes are characterised by comfortable riding positions and bump flattening suspensions, as well as ample room for generous cargo.

A Legendary Name

The Africa name is not a new endeavour for Honda, the first model bearing the name was launched in 1989 and it soon became a legendary model. The 2017 Africa Twin model is a different breed altogether. With a look that isn’t dissimilar to a Dakar dirt racer, the Honda Africa Twin offers the latest rider assist electronics like traction control and ABS. The motorcycle comes with either six speed enabled manual gearbox or with a smart adjustable semi-auto with a twin clutch. The latter makes for a unique transmission and is a Honda proprietary technology.

Honda Africa Twin

The Africa Twin is an actual dual purpose machine. The specifications sheet backs it up, with the 21 inch diameter front wheel for effortlessly traversing any rough ground instead of the standard road biased 19 inch front wheels.

A modest power train drives the Honda Africa Twin, delivering a smooth and superbly linear 94bhp. It is not much if you are pushing towards the horizon on a hot and grippy tarmac but less accident prone when the bike is off-road and the tyres are drifting on muddy tracks.

Long Distant Comfort with the Honda Africa Twin

The Honda Africa Twin is a great bike for riding longer distances, an excellent all rounder and a superb road bike. Riding position is perfect if you are taller than average, with an adjustable seat height that goes from 850mm to 870mm. The handlebars are set high, meaning the Honda magic works regardless of whether you’re standing on the foot pegs or sitting down. This enables more control off the road. This is impressive as most of these kind of bikes feel comfortable in either one-but not both.

The Honda Africa Twin’s engine has sufficient power to give the rider the needed confidence to gobble up distances with ease with its stable suspension enabling the rider to tackle everything from smooth roundabouts to rutted back roads. The vibration is excellently suppressed for parallel twin bikes and optional DCT gearbox means a low stress progress. The rider can enjoy the scenery anywhere-from water drenched equatorial roads to dry desert trails.

Honda Africa Twin

Ride Quality

The instrumentation is minimalist but clear and ordered, with heated handlebars if required. The 18.8 liter tank delivers a satisfactory distance although a little less than its competitors like the Multistrada Enduro or GS Adventure. Riders traveling far will enjoy the excellent ergonomics of the bike. It has a standard cruise control and the hard luggage is user friendly as well.

The only problem is the buffeting from the blast of the windscreen. It can be adjusted for height but most riders will have to experiment with screen extenders and after market screens. This is a standard issue with any adventure bike-and the Honda Africa Twin is not an exception.