Honda’s new Africa Twin is marketed as a highly capable off-road machine.
Forget dust trails being kicked up halfway across the globe on the official press launch, most UK riders want to know how it performs in UK conditions – and that often means lots of boggy, wet ground and gloopy mud.
The bike’s 21″ front improves off-road handling no end, but at 232kg is this just another heavy ADV that’s not practical for the everyday rider to take off the tarmac?
With that in mind, MCN sent Michael Guy out to tackle some local green lanes and see if the Honda really can cut it in British conditions.
For the test, a pair of Continental TKC 80 Twinduro tyres went onto the wheels of the long-termer. Michael also turned off the ABS at the rear wheel, although he could do nothing about the front – which works in the same way both on and off-road, making it somewhat simplistic when compared with the systems used by KTM and BMW.
The 93bhp motor with it’s linear power delivery is perfect off-road. Between the motor and the chassis set-up you get good mechanical grip, whilst the finely tuned throttle gives you the opportunity to feel for grip or spin up the rear wheel as and when you need to.
In their 21st August edition, Michael says:
“Having moved the handlebars slightly forward prior to the ride the standing riding position feels aggressive and purposeful. Elbows up, I have good leverage and can feel the Continental TKC80s digging into the mud below. The fork, that feels overly soft on the road, comes into its own. Working well into its stroke gives a steeper head angle, which means the bike turns well while generating good grip and feel at speed. For more technical riding the poise and balance of the bike is impressive, full-lock feet-up turns are relatively easy thanks to the throttle and clutch connection.”
Having tried and tested all the flagship adventure bikes from the likes of BMW, Yamaha, KTM and Triumph, he also thinks this is the most user friendly off-road machines to date!
These are comments echoed by many magazines, including US based Dirt Bike, who find the Africa Twin so capable it just invites them to keep push harder and harder in the dirt.
Find out more about the Continental TKC 80 Twinduro here.