So Long To The Lovely Africa Twin

Parting ways with our very long-term Honda

Saying goodbye to our very long-term 2017 Honda Africa Twin.Spenser Robert
Wrist: Zack Courts
MSRP: (2017) $13,299
Miles: 15,989
MPG: 49
Mods: A single tear of sorrow
Updates: 8

Loyal readers might be wondering why the Africa Twin has been in our fleet for more than a year. Truth be told, we abused Honda's generosity a little bit, based purely on our love for the AT. It has been a steadfast commuting and traveling companion, and an all-around staff favorite. As always, the time has come to say goodbye.

I experimented with skid plates from AltRider and Black Dog Cycle Works, crashbars, windscreens, a different seat, luggage rack, slightly heavier fork oil, shock upgrade, and a few sets of tires. I had good luck with all of it, aside from the seat and luggage rack not getting along. But now I’d like to spare a minute to go over a few of the little things I’ve noticed about the CRF1000L that always got cut from my updates.

The centerstand, for example, that I had fitted for a spell—I would recommend that any day of the week. It’s a good upgrade on any sport-tourer but seemed to suit the AT especially well. Next, if you’re going to swap windscreens, be exceedingly careful about the rubber grommets that the mounting screws thread into. It’s way too easy to push them through to the depths of the front bodywork, and you have to take it all apart to get them out. If you’re in there, might as well go a couple of steps further and clean the air filters. It’s a pain, because they hide behind the monikered side panels, but it’s a good process to learn if you’re an owner, even though I never found them particularly dirty.

Getting to know the plastics will also help you route accessories from, or tend to, the battery. It's mounted in a weird place (behind the cylinders and above the transmission), and depending on what you're plugging in, you'll want to afford some extra wire to route behind the bodywork or under the seat. The $20 USB plug from Cycle Gear that I ran to the handlebar is a perfect example of how easy it can be to add a bunch of value to the AT with only a bit of loot and elbow grease.

Gripes? Yes, a few. The transmission isn’t perfect, it’s true, and boy do I wish it had cruise control. Hot-blooded ADV’ers cry out for a tubeless tire option, which I agree is appealing but can’t say I needed, even while jumping and crashing the AT more often than I’d like to admit. At the end of the day, I still recommend this bike all the time. It has proven to be a proud and worthy bearer of the famous Africa Twin name. And is it me, or is it the best-looking adventure bike on the market? Hard to say, I guess. Love does crazy things.