2020 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin First Look

Rennie Scaysbrook | September 23, 2019

After five years, the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin is getting a substantial update for 2020, with a revised motor, chassis, and all-new electronics package.

The range will still consist of two models—the standard Africa Twin for $14,399 and the Africa Twin Adventure Sports for $17,199 (both of which come with DCT variants at $15,199 for the base model and $17,999 for the Adventure Sports—although the designation of both bikes has now been reversed, with the standard model now firmly focused off road and the Adventure Sports now aimed more at long haul touring.

Starting with the motor, the new Africa Twin gets a 5mm stroke increase, resulting in a capacity of 1084cc—up 86cc over the 2019 model. The motor gets a new cylinder head, higher valve lift bigger throttle body, revised intake system and a new exhaust for a claimed six percent increase in horsepower.

The chassis has come in for a full makeover. Up front the steering head has been lightened with thinner tubes and the removal of the cross pipe. The rear subframe now has aluminum construction and is detachable, and it’s 40mm slimmer.

There’s new, more aggressively-styled bodywork and lights that adapt in brightness according to the ambient light, a lower screen for better vision when off-road, and new settings in the forks.

The Africa Twin Adventure Sports takes things a step further, boasting intelligent Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension (EERA), tubeless wheels, heated grips, accessory socket, larger skid plate, aluminum rear rack, and a 6.5-gallon tank.

The Showa system has four modes—Soft, Mid, Hard, and Off-Road—and the rear preload can be electronically adjusted, itself with four preset modes of Rider, Rider + Luggage, Rider + Pillion and Rider + Pillion + Luggage.

Electronics-wise, the Africa Twin has now firmly been moved into the digital age with a new 6.5-inch TFT display compatible with Apple CarPlay®. Cruise control is now standard on both Africa Twin versions.

As for rider aids, they are now the domain of the six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit, that will govern the lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS and wheelie control, and rear-wheel torque control.

If you’re coming to the AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, be sure to check out the Honda stand as the new Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports will be on display. Models are expected to be delivered to dealers in March 2020.

 

Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.