The secret to the Africa Twin’s wide-ranging abilities starts with its engine, which has to perform in off-road situations as well as on-road, over long-range tours, short commutes and all points in between. As such, it provides an optimum balance between power, torque, mass and physical dimension.
The four-valve 998cc parallel twin Unicam unit’s tractable and usable all-day performance belies its extremely compact dimensions. They are the result of clever packaging touches such as housing the water pump within the clutch casing, and using the engine’s balancer shafts to also drive water and oil pumps. As a result, longitudinally, it is the same length as Honda’s popular 500cc engine, and its short height contributes to the Africa Twin’s all-important 250mm of ground clearance.
For 2018, a modified airbox improves the mid-range response, as does a lighter balancer shaft weight. A revised exhaust serves up an even more evocative howl as revs rise and also contributes to the improved performance.
The lightweight six-speed manual gearbox uses the same shift-cam design as found on the CRF450R to ensure positive changes, and is equipped with an aluminium assist slipper clutch. Another significant addition for 2018 is the new Throttle By Wire (TBW) system, which brings with it 3 riding modes to adjust engine character and output to suit riding conditions. Also new is an extended range of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) input.
The Africa Twin’s semi-double cradle steel frame provides the perfect balance of high-speed stability and genuine off-road ability by combining sheer strength with flexibility. The engine is mounted on 6 engine hangers, which keeps vibration to a minimum, avoiding the need for steering dampers. For 2018, the addition of a lithium-ion battery contributes to a 2.3kg overall weight saving, while several detail changes further improve the machine’s off-road ability and durability.
The fully adjustable 45mm Showa inverted forks, fully-adjustable rear shock, dual radial-mount Nissin four-piston brake calipers and 310mm ‘wave’ style floating discs are unchanged for 2018. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels are now constructed from stainless steel, and for 2018 block tyres are also approved for fitment.
The Africa Twin is styled with minimum bodywork in a tough, lightweight form that offers both wind protection for the rider and a slim, agile feel. Dual LED headlights maintain the original’s presence, while the negative LCD meter closely follows the layout of the Dakar race machine. Seat height adjusts 20mm from the standard 870mm down to 850mm, and an 18.8-litre fuel tank provides great touring range.
The 2018 CRF1000L Africa Twin will be available in Australia in Matte Ballistic Black Metallic, Pearl Glare White (Tricolor) and Grand Prix Red (Team HRC Rally colour)
ENGINE TYPE – Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and uni-cam
BORE AND STROKE – 92.0 x 75.1mm
COMPRESSION RATIO – 10.0:1
STARTER – Electric
CARBURATION – PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
IGNITION – Computer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance
CLUTCH – Wet, multiplate with coil springs, Aluminium Cam Assist and Slipper clutch
TRANSMISSION – Constant mesh 6-speed manual
FINAL DRIVE – O-ring sealed chain
DIMENSIONS (LXWXH) – 2,335 x 930 x 1,475mm
WHEELBASE – 1,575mm
SEAT HEIGHT – 870mm / 850mm
GROUND CLEARANCE – 250mm
FUEL CAPACITY – 18.8 litres
KERB WEIGHT – 230 kg
FRONT – 90/90-21 tube type, stainless steel spokes with aluminium rim
REAR- 150/70-18 tube type, stainless steel spokes with aluminium rim
FRONT – Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and DF adjustment, 230mm stroke, 204mm axle travel
REAR – Monoblock cast aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustment, 220 mm rear wheel travel, 94 mm axle stroke
FRONT – 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads, 2-channel ABS
REAR – 256mm wave hydraulic disc with 1-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-channel ABS with rear switch off
COLOUR – The 2018 CRF1000L will be available in Australia in Matte Ballistic Black Metallic, Pearl Glare White (Tricolor) and Grand Prix Red (Team HRC Rally colour)
IMAGES – Images show overseas models – accessories NOT included
WARRANTY PERIOD – 24 months