The new Africa Twin generates more power and torque, with a bigger 1084cc engine, yet weighs 5kg less
A few months ago, Honda unveiled the 2020 Africa Twin. Now, the Japanese giant will be launching the bike in India on March 5. Last year, Honda had announced its plans to expand the Big Wing portfolio in the country, and this is the first of the many new models Honda intends to launch in India.
The 2020 Africa Twin receives new rally-style bodywork. And it’s got to do more with function than form. The windscreen now is shorter than the previous model, to aid visibility of the trail ahead and though the seat height remains the same, Honda has raised the handlebar 22.5mm higher to ease maneuvering when straddling.
Another update is a slimmer tail section and a narrower seat which will allow riders to move and shift weight more easily. The updates aren’t restricted to just the externals. The Africa Twin now gets a bolt-on aluminum subframe and is inspired by their motocross weapon, CRF450R.
Honda has retained the 8-valve SOHC setup but the displacement has gone up from 998cc to 1084cc. Now the Africa Twin pushes 100 ponies instead of 93 in the previous model. The torque too has gone up from 99Nm to 105Nm. With updates like aluminum cylinder sleeves, Honda has managed to shave 2.5kg off the manual powertrain and 2.2kg off the DCT.
The DCT transmission uses two clutches: one for startup, first, third and fifth and the other for second, fourth and sixth, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other. The DCT gets three modes – MT (Manual Transmission), D (for city and highway) and S (Sport). However, the rider can manually shift in D or S mode too.
The exhaust now features a variable control valve that opens at high RPM to add raunchiness to the already raspy exhaust note created by the uneven firing interval and the 270-degree phased crankshaft.
In 2018, the Africa Twin received throttle-by-wire, allowing Honda to add their selectable torque control for rear tyre grip. For 2020, the upgraded suite now works in conjunction with the six-axis IMU.
Though the seven level HSTC still exists, it works with the real-time input from the IMU. This system also offers 4 level of power and three levels of engine braking. The four modes are Tour, Urban, Gravel and Off-road along with two customizable modes.
The Africa Twin now gets a 6.5-inch multicolor TFT touchscreen display, complete with Apple CarPlay. That’s not all, Honda has added an Emergency Stop Signal function which turns on the hazard lamps during hard stops over 50kmph.
The touring-friendly Adventure Sport variant gets the same frame, engine and riding position of the Africa Twin with added features. To start off, it gets a 24.8-litre fuel tank, extended wind protection, adjustable screen, tubeless tyres, aluminum carrier and heated grips as standard.
The Adventure Sport also gets three-stage cornering lights which are managed by IMU and automatically adjust the field of illumination depending on the lean angle.
The engine specifications and components remain the same as the off-road focused sibling; however, the Adventure Sports also gets an option of Showa EERA forks which has four default modes plus a custom mode.
We have only had the DCT model of the African Twin and with the 2020 model, we expect things to remain the same. With the additional features and updates, we expect the prices of the new Africa twin to shoot up by a lakh. The current one is priced at Rs 13.5 lakh (ex-showroom) and the new one is likely to be priced under Rs 15 lakh.