2020 Honda Africa Twin First Look Preview

The lighter, more powerful 2020 Honda Africa Twin.

Honda just released the latest info on the 2020 Africa Twin and 2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE models. Both are available in the traditional six-speed manual or DCT versions. But the big news here is that the second-generation Africa Twin engine is now 1,100cc thanks to an increased stroke, new semi-double-cradle steel frame, removable aluminum subframe, and new swingarm lead a list of chassis updates that help shave off more than 10 pounds while improving its overall performance.

The 2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE will only be offered in the Pearl Glare White and Blue livery with gold spoked rims.
The 2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE will only be offered in the Pearl Glare White and Blue livery with gold spoked rims.Honda

Honda appears to be getting more comfortable with the rider assist technology these days too. The new Africa Twins features a seven-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), six ride modes, wheelie control, engine-braking control, selectable cornering ABS (this was offered on the previous model), and it now comes with cruise control. All of these functions can be monitored and adjusted via the new 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen display which is compatible with Apple CarPlay. Where Honda seemed to avoid electronic gizmos on the first generation, this version has almost all of them.

If you plan to do more off-road riding than long-distance touring, the base-model Africa Twin with its low windscreen and traditional suspension is the bike Honda built for you. It will be available in a Matte Black Metallic color scheme.
If you plan to do more off-road riding than long-distance touring, the base-model Africa Twin with its low windscreen and traditional suspension is the bike Honda built for you. It will be available in a Matte Black Metallic color scheme.Honda

"Since the Africa Twin's 2016 rebirth, it's been gratifying to see riders gravitate to a practical-but-fun adventure bike," said Chris Cox, American Honda's manager of experiential marketing/public relations. "For 2020, Honda has amplified what customers appreciate most about the Africa Twin platform—its ability to go anywhere, whether that means safety and comfort on the road, or performance and maneuverability in the dirt. With a long list of important updates to both model types, riders will find even more ways to pursue 'True Adventure.' "

The 2020 Africa Twin’s parallel-twin engine design allows Honda to make the bike shorter front to back. As a result, the front wheel is closer to the engine which shortens the wheelbase and makes it more nimble in technical terrain.
The 2020 Africa Twin’s parallel-twin engine design allows Honda to make the bike shorter front to back. As a result, the front wheel is closer to the engine which shortens the wheelbase and makes it more nimble in technical terrain.Honda

The big news for 2020 is a 86cc bump in displacement and the power boost that comes along with it. Basically, this is a stroked version of the same engine that now displaces 1,084cc and produces a claimed 100 hp at 7,500 rpm with 77.5 pound-feet of torque at 6,250 rpm. This equates to a 7 hp and 4 pound-feet increase over the 998cc version, which is not a huge gain. However, we must remember that Honda believes in making motorcycles with usable power and this longer stroke layout, combined with the 270-degree crank, should equate to more tractable power that will improve power delivery when riding off-road in particular.

While the majority of twin-cylinder engines use a 180-degree crank the Africa Twin features a 270-degree firing order which creates its unique power delivery that is particularly good in tough terrain.
While the majority of twin-cylinder engines use a 180-degree crank the Africa Twin features a 270-degree firing order which creates its unique power delivery that is particularly good in tough terrain.Honda

Rider comfort is the next area that Honda addressed. The seat is 1.5 inches narrower and has a new contour that makes it easier for the rider to touch the ground, and seat height is adjustable on both models with a range of 33.5 to 34.3 inches. The new-look front fairing is narrower, has LED running lights, and also cornering lights for the Adventure Sports model. This is where the Adventure Sports SE version begins to differentiate itself from the off-road-focused base model.

All of the new 2020 Africa Twins feature a 6.5-inch touch-panel LCD multi-information dash display with three display options so you can choose how much info is presented on the screen.
All of the new 2020 Africa Twins feature a 6.5-inch touch-panel LCD multi-information dash display with three display options so you can choose how much info is presented on the screen.Honda

The Adventure Sports SE is the touring version with long-range adventure riding in mind. The list of additional amenities includes a larger 6.5-gallon fuel tank, taller adjustable windscreen, large skid plate, rear storage rack, heated grips, and Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (EERA) suspension. The EERA is designed around Showa’s Balance Free fork valve tech working with input from the Bosch IMU to provide the perfect suspension setting changes on the fly through any of four settings: Soft, Mid, Hard, and Off-road.

Riders will have access to weather, playlists, and telephone numbers plus a variety of apps available from Apple CarPlay.
Riders will have access to weather, playlists, and telephone numbers plus a variety of apps available from Apple CarPlay.Honda

With the addition of electronic suspension combined with the fine-tuning deployed on the chassis and rider interface, the Africa Twin has evolved dramatically for 2020. Honda has clearly taken aim at the established uber-tourers, so 2020 is setting up to be a great year for the comparison that everybody has been hoping to see over the past four years.

The base-model Africa Twin ($14,399; DCT $15,199) will be available in Matte Black Metallic and the Adventure Sports SE ($17,199; DCT $17,999) will be offered in the Pearl Glare White and Blue versions only.

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE Specifications

PRICE $14,399; DCT $15,199 / Adventure Sports SE: $17,199; SE DCT $17,999
ENGINE 1,084cc, liquid-cooled Unicam four-stroke parallel twin
BORE x STROKE 94.0 x 81.5mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.1:1
FUEL DELIVERY PGM-FI electronic fuel injection (throttle by wire)
CLUTCH Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; cable actuation
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
FRAME Semi-double-cradle steel frame
FRONT SUSPENSION Showa EERA (Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment) 45mm inverted telescopic fork; 9.1-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Pro-Link system w/ single Showa EERA (Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment) shock; 8.7-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Nissin two 4-piston hydraulic calipers, 310mm discs; ABS
REAR BRAKE Nissin 1-piston hydraulic caliper, 256mm disc; ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Die-cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5-in. / 17 x 6.0-in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR 90/90-21 / 150/70R-18
RAKE/TRAIL 23.1°/3.7 in.
WHEELBASE 62.0 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 34.3 in./33.5 in.
FUEL CAPACITY Adventure Sports SE 6.5 gal. w/1.0-gallon reserve / Africa Twin 5.0 gal. 2/1.0 gal. reserve
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 530 lb.
WARRANTY 12 months
AVAILABLE March 2020
CONTACT powersports.honda.com
The 2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE features five suspension damper settings: Hard, Medium, Soft, and Off-road, as well as two customizable “user” settings.
The 2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE features five suspension damper settings: Hard, Medium, Soft, and Off-road, as well as two customizable “user” settings.Honda
The 2020 Africa Twin handlebar is now 22.5mm taller which, along with the new seat and windscreen, creates a more accommodating riding position for those longer rides.
The 2020 Africa Twin handlebar is now 22.5mm taller which, along with the new seat and windscreen, creates a more accommodating riding position for those longer rides.Honda
Both the Africa Twin and Africa Twin DCT are equipped with 5.0-gallon fuel tanks, while the Adventure Sports ES model’s capacity is 6.5 gallons, which will greatly expand its touring range.
Both the Africa Twin and Africa Twin DCT are equipped with 5.0-gallon fuel tanks, while the Adventure Sports ES model’s capacity is 6.5 gallons, which will greatly expand its touring range.Honda
The Africa Twin’s semi-double-cradle steel frame layout has been proven in countless Honda dirt bikes and the fact is, this is just a super-size dirt bike. The frame is more than 4 pounds lighter than the previous version.
The Africa Twin’s semi-double-cradle steel frame layout has been proven in countless Honda dirt bikes and the fact is, this is just a super-size dirt bike. The frame is more than 4 pounds lighter than the previous version.Honda
Honda reduced the 2020 Africa Twin’s swingarm weight by more than a pound. This all-new piece incorporates technology developed for use on the CRF450R motocross bike.
Honda reduced the 2020 Africa Twin’s swingarm weight by more than a pound. This all-new piece incorporates technology developed for use on the CRF450R motocross bike.Honda
Honda believes that real adventure bikes use spoked wheels because they are proven to be better for off road. All Africa Twin models feature 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels with tubeless tires.
Honda believes that real adventure bikes use spoked wheels because they are proven to be better for off road. All Africa Twin models feature 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels with tubeless tires.Honda
The Africa Twin features a standard antilock brake system that uses a six-axis IMU to help determine when the bike is leaned over and adjusts the braking power accordingly.
The Africa Twin features a standard antilock brake system that uses a six-axis IMU to help determine when the bike is leaned over and adjusts the braking power accordingly.Honda
The optional three-piece hard luggage includes weather-resistant liners and the spacious top box is large enough to hold a full-face helmet.
The optional three-piece hard luggage includes weather-resistant liners and the spacious top box is large enough to hold a full-face helmet.Honda
Both 2020 Africa Twin models feature two ABS modes: On-road and Off-road, or you can turn the rear ABS completely off for riding in the dirt.
Both 2020 Africa Twin models feature two ABS modes: On-road and Off-road, or you can turn the rear ABS completely off for riding in the dirt.Honda
The new look of the Africa Twin front fairing includes LED running lights and, in the case of the new Adventure Sports, it also gets three-stage cornering lights to help improve your field of view in the dark.
The new look of the Africa Twin front fairing includes LED running lights and, in the case of the new Adventure Sports, it also gets three-stage cornering lights to help improve your field of view in the dark.Honda
The Africa Twins feature Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) to give you the ability to dial in the type of power delivery you want for the conditions you ride in. HSTC has seven settings and you can turn it off.
The Africa Twins feature Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) to give you the ability to dial in the type of power delivery you want for the conditions you ride in. HSTC has seven settings and you can turn it off.Honda
The new Africa Twin is leaner, more narrow, and more powerful with added wind protection and a little more power.
The new Africa Twin is leaner, more narrow, and more powerful with added wind protection and a little more power.Honda