There's been so much buzz all year about the upcoming 2020 Honda Africa Twin, with rumors of a displacement upgrade and even a major spec leak. Honda has finally taken the covers off the new CRF1100L and its many upgrades. After some criticized the previous CRF1000L for being underpowered, the Japanese brand listened to its customers and responded by powering the 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin and Adventure Sports (DCT is available for both) with larger 1,084 cc SOHC Unicam parallel twins — meeting Euro 5 requirements without adding any unwanted weight. In fact, the new Africa Twin is 5 kg lighter than it was before, despite the upsize.
The 2020 Africa Twin’s bigger, Euro 5 compliant mill comes with power gains across the rev range: 7% more peak power (from 90 PS to 102 PS at 7,500 rpm) and 6% more torque (from 99 Nm to 105 Nm at 6,250 rpm). To increase displacement, Honda elongated the stroke while maintaining the bore. The efforts to shed weight and increase power were further achieved by new cylinder heads, valve timing and lift, ECU settings, and larger 46 mm throttle bodies.
Gear ratios and materials (the cylinder sleeves are now aluminum) were optimized to save weight. With the six-speed manual transmission, the engine is 2.5 kg lighter. With the six-speed, three-mode Dual Cutch Transmission (DCT, with cornering detection), on the other hand, it’s 2.2 kg lighter. The new exhaust system also features a muffler with a variable Exhaust Control Valve (ECV), similar to the unit on the CBR1000RR Fireblade, to control and enhance sound and performance.
The adventure bike is also slimmer and more compact, thanks to the completely revised aluminum semi double cradle frame (lighter by 1.8 kg), bolt-on aluminum subframe (lighter by 500 g), and aluminum CRF450R-style swingarm. Suspension settings have been revised for the 45 mm inverted forks and the 46 mm rear shock, both by Showa — with 230 mm and 220 mm of travel, respectively. Dual 310 mm front discs with four-piston calipers and a rear 256 mm disc with a single-piston caliper slow the bike and its aluminum rims with stainless steel wire spokes (21-inch in front, 18-inch out back).
To keep up with the compeition, the 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin is now equipped with more features: ABS, Throttle By Wire (TBW), seven-level and switchable Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), a six-axis Bosch MM7.10 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), three-level and switchable Wheelie Control, Rear Lift Control, and Cornering ABS. Riding modes include Tour, Urban, Gravel, Off-Road, and two User customizable settings. There’s also the 6.5-inch TFT display, LCD meter, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth audio, automatic turn signal canceler, a USB socket, and cruise control.
Meanwhile, the higher-spec 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE maintains the same suspension settings this time around. While the base model has a fuel capacity of 18.8 L, the 2020 Adventure Sports model can carry 24.8 L. It also comes with a taller adjustable screen, wider fairings, heated grips, a rear carrier, ACC charger, sump guard, and tubeless tires. Honda has also made the nifty Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (EERA) suspension system available as an option for the Adventure Sports, with four presets and one user configurable setting.
The new 2020 Honda Africa Twin has a wheelbase of 1575 mm, dimensions of L: 2330 mm x W: 960 mm x H: 1395 mm, seat height of 850/870 mm (low seat option is 825 mm, high seat option is 895 mm), ground clearance of 250 mm, weight of 226 kg (DCT weighs 236 kg). Availability in Europe is expected as early as the end of the year, while the US market will receive the bikes around March 2020. The 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin will be priced at US$14,399 (DCT: US$15,199) while the Adventure Sports SE will cost US$17,199 (DCT: US$17,999).
We have yet to receive word from Honda Philippines when the CRF1100L Africa Twin will be offered locally.