Honda brought the legendary Africa Twin nameplate back to the U.S. lineup for the 2016 model year, and four years later, the adventure bike is evolving. The 2020 model year marks a shift from CRF1000L to CRF1100L, which indicates a revised bigger engine with slightly more power. The new bikes (shown in European form in the photos) are also lighter and more technologically advanced than ever, with modern driver aids and smartphone connectivity.
After expanding the Africa Twin lineup for 2018 with the addition of the comfort-focused Adventure Sports ES model, the bike is growing in a different manner for 2020. New models will be equipped with a 1,084-cc liquid-cooled Unicam four-stroke parallel-twin engine, up 86 cc from the 998-cc 2019 models. Honda also upgraded the intake and exhaust systems. Overall, the bike gets a 6% increase in horsepower, and torque is slightly up, though no official numbers were provided.
The improved powerplant pairs with either a six-speed manual transmission or an automatic dual-clutch transmission, both of which Honda says have been improved for 2020. Further enhancements include a new aluminum detachable subframe, an upgraded frame, and a lighter and more rigid swingarm.
Thanks to new tech, the 2020 Africa Twin will be more advanced than before. A new 6.5-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) color touchscreen display is Apple CarPlay compatible, and cruise control is now standard on all models. New driving aids include wheelie control, cornering ABS, rear-lift control, DCT cornering detection, and cornering lights.
Although the bike itself has been improved, the lineup hierarchy remains the same. There are two types of Africa Twins available: the base Africa Twin or the more expensive Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES. The base Africa Twin is focused on off-roading and has a new shorter windscreen and five-gallon gas tank. The Adventure Sports ES is tailored for longer driving and has more premium features such as Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension, tubeless wheels, heated grips, an accessory socket, a larger skid plate, an aluminum rear rack, and a 6.5-gallon tank.
Before destination fee, the 2020 Africa Twin starts at $14,399 MSRP, while the Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES starts at $17,199. DCT models add $800 to the bill on either trim. The new Honda Africa Twins will be available March 2020 in either matte black metallic or Pearl Glare White and Blue.