HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN (2016 - 2019) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Africa Twin inspires confidence on the dirt immediately, regardless of your ability or off-road experience. Its physical size makes it a breath of fresh air in the current 1200+cc dominated adventure bike class; the parallel-twin motor making it both low and narrow. This, combined with the fuel tank ergonomics, means that when standing up the rider is able to get their weight forward over the front wheel while putting pressure through the footpegs to aid steering and grip – a vital asset when covering rough terrain.
The new Africa Twin boasts true globe-trotting credentials both on and off-road. It feels lightweight and is seriously frugal. This is one of the most impressive true adventure bikes you can buy, and a stunning return for the prestigious Africa Twin name.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The impeccable fuelling and throttle connection makes for assured rapid progress, but the 94bhp motor fails to truly inspire. It lacks the bottom and mid range engagement of the 125bhp BMW GS boxer twin, and doesn’t have anything close to the top end rush from KTM’s ballistic 150bhp 1190 Adventure. But that is not to say it’s a slow bike. It has a decent torque figure of 68.6ftlb, and through the confidence-inspiring throttle-to-rear tyre connection it means that it’s easy to access every bit of the power on offer. It just doesn’t deliver it in an overly exciting way.
On the road the bike is seriously comfortable, the seat is spacious as is the relation to the foot pegs, meaning that there is plenty of room for 6ft plus riders. Yet the bike itself has an impressively low seat height meaning that at 5ft 10in tall I can put both feet flat on the ground at a standstill – a first for me on a big-capacity adventure bike. This was part of Honda’s design brief to make the bike as manageable as possible and has been achieved through integrating the oil tank and pump within the bottom of the crank case, which in turn reduces the overall height of the engine and resulting seat height. The seat itself is also particularly narrow where it meets the fuel tank, which means as a rider your legs aren’t splayed wide like they are on a BMW GS, which is significant for shorter riders. But move back on the seat and it gets wider, which is key to the high levels of rider comfort on the move. The handlebar position feels neutral yet purposeful and immediately gives great leverage, control and inspires a high level of confidence.
The standard screen is relatively small, but produces significantly better wind protection than its appearance suggests. High-speed cruising provokes limited buffeting and an acceptable amount of wind noise, even when wearing a peaked adventure helmet.
EngineNext up: Reliability
While its smooth, linear power doesn’t necessarily excite on-road, off-road it’s close to perfect. The brilliant fuelling gifts you predictable throttle control, immediately generating the confidence to switch off the impressive three-stage traction control (Honda Selectable Torque Control). Using level one the bike spins up and it will hold a slide, but will ultimately intervene to keep the rear wheel in check so that you don’t have to. Level two is more intrusive, while level three constantly interrupts the power in loose conditions, but still finds any available grip and keeps you moving. I experimented by stopping on a loose, rocky incline then restarting with the TC in level three and, while progress wasn’t fast, it reached the top of the hill with minimal fuss.
Honda have worked hard on mass centralisation and a low centre of gravity through their engine architecture and positioning of heavy components. This in turn gives the bike impressive balance, especially at low speed where full-lock turns on or off the dirt were easily achieved – feet up.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
It's well put together, with rugged simplicity being the key focus of the design brief.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Despite its 1000cc engine, the Honda Africa Twin's 94bhp power output puts it in the middleweight adventure bike category. As such, it isn't short of competition.
Despite giving away a little displacement, the Ducati Multistrada 950 is slightly more powerful and is a much more refined road-going proposition than the Africa Twin.
Or if you don't plan to go off road but don't have the budget for the Ducati, a Kawasaki Versys 1000 of the same age as the Honda could be ideal for you.
And if off roading is your thing and a newer bike is on the cards, the MCN 2020 Bike of the Year winning Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro would take some beating.
The 3-stage traction control is not only effective, but it’s simple to use. The Africa Twin has a dedicated toggle lever just above the passing light on the left-hand bar that changes the setting. Off-road-specific ABS, which allows the rear to lock, is also activated by a simple push button on the dash.
The all-digital dash displays speed and revs clearly in the top section with a lower section showing gear position, traction control, temperature, fuel gauge, trip meters and mpg. On either side of the dash are warning lights to indicate if the traction control has been activated.
Load of accessories are available including luggage, crash protection, heated grips, taller screen, fog lights, 12v socket and centrestand. There’s also a complete range of dedicated Africa Twin clothing which includes an Arai helmet, Spidi jacket, trousers and gloves plus Alpinestars boots.
|Frame type||Steel semi-double cradle with high-tensile strength steel rear subframe|
|Fuel capacity||18.8 litres|
|Front suspension||Telescopic fork|
|Front brake||310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston calipers and sintered metal pads|
|Rear brake||256mm wave hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-Channel with rear ABS off switch|
|Front tyre size||90/90 R21|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 R18|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£250|
|Used price||£6,700 - £11,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||2 years unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||94 bhp|
|Max torque||68.6 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
There is also a DCT version available at £11,299.
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN (2016 - 2019)
32 owners have reviewed their HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN (2016 - 2019) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Great engine and handling. Let down by some poor finishes
Buying experience: Great price from dealer and good service since then. Fitted Honda heated grips are barely warm though
Annual servicing cost: £250
Overall extremely delighted,so much so I have covered 26000 miles and what better can I get, don’t need extra Cc plus new equilvent is some 8000 to change totally unrealistic
I carry out own Maintenance
Centre stand to me is essential, I would also like as standard accessory electrical plug. Cruise control would be good,lean angle abs not necessary as far as I am concerned
Buying experience: Paid £10500 in 2016 from GT Motorcycles Plymouth very easy to deal with
Annual servicing cost: £500
Just a brilliant. comfortable bike with great extras and a superb finish
Such grunt and great top-end too - brilliant when off-roading as well as on-roading
best - the easy traction control etc etc
Buying experience: From Lings in Harleston, Norfolk Cost about £15K with all extras
Annual servicing cost: £400
Spot on, the bike I was waiting for. Europe and Greece four years running and nowt went wrong love me bike.
Nice and comfortable, did Stuttgart to Carlisle in 18 an half hour .
Mile muncher.bomb proof
Honda, wot do you expect.
Have added loads of extras for touring and camping.Bigger screen, panniers,large footpegs,and kaoko cruise control.
Buying experience: Hunts Manchester,spot on delivered to my door.
Annual servicing cost: £180
Decent build quality, ride is ok,just lacks the character of the 750 Africa Twin.
Not the smoothest of engines.
Great engine - fast enough for me Some rust so AC50 is needed Amazing fuel economy (60mpg) Good dealer service (Gedge) Metzler Tourance Next tyres have improve handling.
Honda heated grips are too weak
OEM Dunlops didn’t inspire confidence in the wet
Buying experience: Bought from Gedge in Pevensey. Good friendly service
Annual servicing cost: £500
Now over 4 years old thought about changing but nothing better appeals to me at this moment plus motorcycles like cars are getting to complicated not only in maintenance but in there general design of electrics etc, no wonder Royal Enfield is making in roads with regards to sales
Sweet and smooth performance plenty enough for any rider in all conditions and travel options
The Africa Twin is certainly a head Turner especially in the Red,White and Black colour scheme.
After 4+ years now covered 24,000 miles
Don’t like the fact damp enters cutout and starter button compartment but wd40 works wonders
Buying experience: Bought new from dealer
Annual servicing cost: £200
I’m really loving the AT. My last two bikes were a KTM 250 EXC for off roading which was a great bit of kit and a BMW S1000RR. I wanted a bike that I could enjoy on the road without going warp speed and also take off road now and then. The AT is a really good bike. Comfortable, punchy engine that actually sounds good despite the parallel twin architecture, frugal (55mpg), very practical with the added luggage. I also think it looks pretty cool in black.
For a big old bike with quite a bit of weight, off road inspired suspension and skinny tyres, it’s a blast. I am quicker on this than on the S1000RR. The handling is so nice. It swings through the bends and instills confidence. Not razor sharp of course. But fun.
Great for what it is. My wife had an ER5 which was a parallel twin with half the cubes of the AT. The ATs engine is easily twice that of the ER5. It pulls really well, you can ride the torque and rev it to the limiter if you wish. It also makes a fairly decent noise. Thw DCT gearbox is fun but may be a novelty.
So far, so good.
Other than servicing and consumables I expect the AT to be easy to own and maintain.
Loads of kit which I love. The luggage is really good. It’s plastic and not aluminium which is a shame. I find the heated grips fine. The led lights are extremely good. The optional fog lights are incredible.
Buying experience: Bought used from motor biking Bournemouth during the pandemic. Nice blokes, good bike and fair price.
Annual servicing cost: £50
Worse feature is the power delivery is very soft for road use but it’s amazing off road and in the wet, it’ll still cover ground incredibly quickly though. Best feature is the fuel economy, I rarely get below 60 mpg which gives me 220-250 mile range.
Suspension is brilliant if a little soft but it handles amazingly well for a bike with a 21 inch front wheel. Brakes are strong and progressive, ABS is top quality and you don’t feel it through the levers but really work we’ll in the wet. Very impressive, far better than the BMW R1200 gs but that maybe the weight difference...
Engine is typically Honda, super quiet with virtually no valve noise. Gearbox is smooth and has never missed a selection. 1st gear is too high in my opinion, uphill pull offs feel like your murdering the clutch but it hasn’t appeared to cause any damage or problems. Riding with a pillion saps the power compared to the BMW so motorway overtakes need planning at anything over 80 but it’s absolutely perfect on your own.. Another 20 Hp would transform the bike but that shouldn’t put anyone off these bikes.
Wheels corroded and were replaced twice, I was really disappointed because the rest of the bike is still brilliant. Still on the original battery Chain and sprockets and brake pads at 14k. Luggage is water tight. It’s had a few hard laps at the TT which destroyed the front tyre which normally last 6k.
I’m a bit OCD with servicing so it had the oil and filter changed at 100 miles and then 600. Being a bike tech I know that 99% of wear happens when the oil is contaminated so I change it after the first ride on all my new vehicles. After that it’s every 3000 regardless.
Full LED lighting is very impressive and the optional fog lights make night riding a pleasure, the stock Dunlop tyres are a challenge in the wet, but absolutely fine in the dry. Center stand is an option but works brilliantly and well worth fitting on its PDI. The original heated grips (optional) were appalling, they were Luke warm at best and at £450 were a joke but after 12 months they had a fix with a new controller, fitted free thank goodness.. Traction control on maximum is very intrusive on the loose stuff but it’s fine on the road wet or dry. On minimum it’ll hang the back wheel out on a wet road but you’ll crap yourself when it steps out because it’s a big old bus.
Buying experience: I ordered the bike 6 months before the release date following the pictures I saw in MCN. Originally I was quoted £8500 but when it arrived it was £10500. Not a great start but my local dealer offered me a refund and showed me his invoice from Honda uk to prove he wasn’t trying to rip me off. I went ahead with the purchase and he fitted all my optional extras for free. Max respect to Crewe Honda. Still have a great relationship with them which I feel is very important when your spending a lot of money on your pride and joy.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Paint finish etc. not upto the standard you would expect from honda, the bike is three years old and having to fight rust on the frame and discoloured fasteners,DCT system brilliant
300 miles, i have a back problem
Rust on the frame, coating on fasteners poor
Buying experience: Dealer, £11,500
Annual servicing cost: £200
A bike that is stonkingly good at the job they advertise it at doing. Feel a bit let down with Honda UK, but the dealer support has been fantastic.
Does exactly what it's built for. You can't ride it like a sportsbike and expect to be launching around hairpins at breakneck speeds, but what riding you do will be comfortable and fun.
Not the quickest, but buckets of torque down low and easy to lift the wheel in first gear.
Bike was perfect and on the button for the first 18 months of ownership but then developed an intermittent starting problem that despite the dealer replacing a multitude of parts was still present. The other issue I had was corrosion, despite several baths of ACF. Two sets of wheels replaced with corrosion and every other bit of the bike showing signs of it. The rear suspension adjuster corroded stuck despite being used often and the lads in the store had to free it up for me.
About £200 a year to service it and keep the warranty valid, not a bad price to be honest.
Traction control was good, albeit a little agricultural but saved me a few times. LCD display is basic, but shows all the information you need when riding - why would you need more? OEM tyres are shockingly bad, but this has been the case for most new bikes I've bought. Replaced with a pair of Metzeler Tourance Nex and they stick like s**it on a rug.
Buying experience: Bought from Maidstone Honda. Got a great deal and the guys there are brilliant. Really look after you in Sales and Aftersales.
Civilised motorcycle that's a wolf in sheep's clothing, or sheep in wolves clothing, my second Africa Twin the first manual this one a DCT, bought with some trepidation but any doubts quickly dispelled once ridden a few times. The auto box really is a revelation, in drive it's a long-legged mile eater, in sports mode, the wolf comes out to play!
Few more local dealers would be handy.
Buying experience: Bought from Via Moto, very accommodating.
Annual servicing cost: £129
The Good: Honda have created a fantastic bike, the engine is enough to not be boring or scary. Extremely torquey allowing power wheelies in first gear. Mine is the tablet dash and the power is a lot better than the older models. keeps up with the litre boys and can really shift when provoked. The cornering is superb, making rossi wannabe sports bike owners cry because you can be faster in the corners than them, kept up with a GSX-S1000 in the corners. She can be a lump to chuck side to side in the slaloms but not enough of a lump to make you hate it, it strangely makes it better because it makes it feel like a real bike, if that makes sense?! Creates character. She makes you aware of her weight but doesnt shove it in your face, again, if that makes sense! For a big adventure tourer its quick to turn in. - I waffled so much im sure it reads as total rubbish but im basically trying to say its got great handling but you are made aware of the weight The suspension and chassis work well in unison, it really is down to personal preference as some people complain the suspension is too soft but I find it perfect. Recently went away on a euro trip and had worn away the chicken fillets i had on the tyres. It comes with a rack on the back of the bike which is very handy to ratchet strap down a bag for touring. The suspension can be wallowy but in a good way, in a corner its solid and doesnt skip out on you but applying power on and off its more bouncy than a pimped mexican's car - don't let this put you off it creates a lot of fun! Offroad ability is amazing, I've only been on the light gravelly stuff and the bike is so well balanced. Once you hit that dirt you immediately feel the history running through your veins. I generally think this would be competent in the boggy stuff as long as there are meaty knobblies on it. What about crashing? On my euro trip, i did go offroading. crashed at about 20mph, looking at bike no issues and light scratching on the engine casing then again she landed on soft sand so take it with a pinch of... sand. The braking is as it should be and helps in emergency situations. The Bad: The indicators, bugger me do the indicators inflict such a passionate hate. No idea why Honda thinks its a great idea to be always on (fronts only) had several people telling me I have an issue with my indicators or thinking I've got my hazards on so they pull out on me. - its more dangerous than safety. It also has automatic turn signals meaning if you're going a certain speed they will automatically turn off. What a burden! roundabouts and high MPH roads turning into small roads is a faff having to reput the indicator on. why didn't Honda put in an option to turn it off or on in a settings menu! Corrosion - My bike was brand new, I noticed the corrosion around the 1200 miles mark, she had 3 ACF50 baths from brand new. This was my fair weather bike, she doesnt know what rain is. A massive issue has been build quality, fasteners and bolts furring within 4 months. This is around the brakes area, banjo bolts, bolts holding caliper on, brake line all corroded so badly it looks like its been through the wars or sat in the ocean for a year. The rims are a known issue for corroding as well. Brakes - My bike developed a warped front disc at the age of 1500 miles leaving me with major front brake failure. Dealer and Honda have said this is unheard of and looking at the internet I seem to be the only one that has developed this issue. Honda replaced immediately under warranty. Dashboard/Display - this thing is sensitive, if an ant were to take a stroll on your display say hello to several scratches and water ingress in the display. BUY A SCREEN PROTECTOR ASAP! Customer Service - I went to the dealer to advise of the corrosion and they took pictures and sent it to Honda for inspection. Every claim was rejected. The reason was due to "salt corrosion" I explicitly told them no riding in rain and has been acf50'd 3 times since brand new, they didn't give a toss. Honda put me through to their customer relations and the first bloke i dealt with was a moron, didn't really know the product, lack of empathy and you could tell the job he was doing was giving him clinical depression. I asked for case to be transferred and spoke to a lady who was extremely knowledgeable and had great customer service skills. Unfortunately it was too late by then, they said they can do the rims under warranty after I bombarded them with Honda known faults. Currently going through the financial ombudsmen of the motor world called the national conciliation service. I can't be arsed to read your waffle whats the verdict/Conclusion? Honda have made a brilliant bike, great engine, great suspension for road and offroad use, great potential for touring, the rear rack is a great anchor point to ratchet down a bag. But completely undo their hard work of creating such a great bike by building it out of sugar cubes. I'm incredibly upset that Honda would do this to a bike with such a heritage and potential. All Africa Twin forums have a corrosion post, this isn't just mine or my model year only, this affects most of the years. Everyone is complaining about the corrosion. Would I recommend this? Sorta, I'd highly recommend second hand instead. bike is fantastic, build quality is shocking. - your discretion, if you're gonna mad dog it around some green lanes not caring about showroom condition then I'd say go for it. have a test ride, let the bike choose you. Currently in a love/hate relationship.
Ride quality is great, seating position is commanding and comfortable. Brakes are great as well but due to the nature of the bike heavy front braking creates a lot of fork dive.
Torquey, fast, fun inducing, sleeper. This engine is a masterpiece. first gear wheelies and that exhaust note with a can on is to die for. Like the devil clearing its throat. power delivery is all down low. the powerband is mostly brutal at lower revs but the band is still present in all RPMs leading to red line.
Major front brake failure but I am the only case of this and Honda replaced immediately, so i'll let it slide. Fasteners and bolts furring within 4 months. This is around the brakes area, banjo bolts, bolts holding caliper on, brake line all corroded so badly. Axel bolt and axel has slight rusting on it....
unfair rating as I'm used to a oil + filter service costing around £40 and a full around £80 as I do all my own servicing on my bikes but due to the warranty restrictions I had to pay for a service. £129 for an oil & filter + chain health check and lube is ridiculously over priced. The dealers are really reaping in the cash by pulling your trousers down and having at it, minus the dinner date. - this is on the cheaper side! I've heard people paying £189 for the same thing! the bike itself is cheap with a great 55mpg return, around 200 miles to a tank!
It was the perfectly equipped bike. Fuel gauge, how long you've been on the bike, trips, down to empty range and ambient temp. for me it has everything, I hate overly electrified bikes with electronic dampening and lean angle sensor etc, just shouts ISSUES in the future to me. this bike isn't too electrified but not completely bare bones Honda nailed the equipment. I'd suggest tinted screen, exhaust and new rubbers as the stock are shocking in the wet.
Buying experience: From a dealer, brand new for £9,599.00! 0%APR, the deal was too good to pass up.
Annual servicing cost: £400
Super comfy, very well balanced, awesome dirt road handling
Smooth and torque, sound brilliant too
Bland bland bland
It's OK, my last dirt/street bike was an old (1991) Aprilia Tuareg, I put a Wilbers shock on it it braked and handled about the same as the africa twin. It's not a lot of progress for 25 years.
500 miles and the spokes rotted and have to be replaced under warranty. Rust everywhere despite acf 50!
Cheap to run
The traction control is good to have in winter.
Buying experience: A very very cheap pcp deal (thankfully). The dealer was great.
Version: Africa Twin Adventure Sports
Annual servicing cost: £150
New Adventure Sports Model and I can't fault it. All the niggles from my 2016 Africa Twin have been addressed and this top of the range model is the perfect ride and my first 7 hour running-in route was completed in total comfort on less than a tank of fuel. Only one problem now.....I'll be disappointed with every other bike I own and ride.
Outstanding brakes and suspension is sublime with every adjustment you could want or need, only trouble is I wouldn't know how to set it up, still the rear pre-load was wound up 4 clicks and it is perfectly balanced.
65 mpg during running-in so I expect the same or better in the future.
It is a new Honda!
8000 mile service intervals, probably £250 for second service.
Has everything you are realistically ever going to need except a center stand and fenda extenda, which Suttons Homnda fitted for me. I purchased the lower seat as well as the standard one but the standard one does the job perfectly well on the higher or lower setting (I'm 5 ft 10in).
Buying experience: Suttons Honda! Can't be beaten for customer service.
Awesome all rounder, commuter, 2 up tourer and OK for a bit of fun. I've had a goodly selection over the years, GS1100, CBR1000F, GSX1100G, ZZR1100, CB1300X4, Deauville, BMW 1100RT, Aprilia Shiver, ST1100 Pan. This isn't a hard bike to get to know, it's comfy, all works as it should but won't terrorise you, it's surprisingly light and easy to handle, the riding position is superb, but good for a chortle playing in 2nd 3rd and 4th. Typical Honda, its a little bland but so very competent, lovely noise with aftermarket end can :)
Simply the most comfortable bike I have owned, even more so than a Pan European or 1100 BMW, braking is immediate and has great feedback, even in hard braking I haven't triggered the ABS yet.
It could have a little more grunt, but it's a joy from low rev toddling or dragging around some twisty A roads, not the beefiest out there but certainly adequate.
No issues, bought used with 1000 miles on the clock with a load of extras.
Easy to cruise at 80mpg or better, not a thirsty bike unless you are riding flat out everywhere.
Bought mine with loads of extras already aboard, heated grips, full luggage, scott oiler, crash bar, spot lights, basically the full kit. Its all good quality and works as it should, the top box closing mechanism feels a little weird but it is sturdy and works well.
Buying experience: Bought used in an hour from a local dealer, no issues or hassle.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Great fun big bike. Playful nature, fast enough, well made aside from spokes. Good dealer service. I fitted the lowered seat, not because of reach to the ground, but to feel more 'in' the bike rather than perched on it, which I found helped. The seat is rock hard, for touring I use an airhawk which transforms it. One major PITA is the tubed tyres. Yes, they're better for hardcore off road, but most people don't do that. I converted mine to tubeless which was remarkably easy. I made a video - search 'africa twin tubeless conversion' if interested. 5k miles later and no air loss.
It's a softly sprung, comfortable bike. I share none of the complaints from some people about the rear shock etc. If you wind up the preload and damping a bit then it becomes a lot more taught and stable at 100mph+ speed, but then you lose the lovely soft ride. Simple, really. For luggage, I put a couple of extra clicks on the rear shock and it's fine.
A lovely exhaust note (especially with REMUS can) and is really lively at the top end. On the open road, roll-on acceleration against an R1200 LC is remarkably close from 30-120mph. Surprisingly little in it. It's plenty for road use but of course doesn't thrill like a 150bhp bike. The upside is good economy. Sometimes needs two presses of the button to start it - quite sensitive to battery condition.
Generally very good. As is well documented, the spokes corrode too easily. I don't understand why Honda don't just use stainless spokes. Charge another £50 if you have to! To be fair, DOBLES replaced the entire wheels front and rear under warranty and the new ones do seem better, although they are still plated, not stainless. Also, the left hand switch gear failed quickly due to a sticky button. Again sorted under warranty and the new unit has been fine.
Around £12k for this bike is good, I think, especially compared to BMW and KTMs at £18k. It was the usual dealer rip off for an oil change at service time, around £180. I'm not fooled by the 'we check everything' BS. But they're all the same. Fuel economy very good at 58mpg if you go steady. Down to 45mpg if you cane it, which is good fun of course.
The torque control works well, DCT works well, engine strong enough, nice soft ride. I love the bike's playful nature for a big adventure bike. Feels 'up for it'. Factory heated grips are POOR. Come on Honda, they only get medium warm. My £40 OXFORD ones on my other bikes are much better. I don't get on with the standard screen, so I fitted an MRA lip which then makes it perfect.
Buying experience: I bought it from BRIDGE Honda in Exeter. Cr#p. Would never go back. I felt like I was on a production line, was served by a distracted sales person, and made to sit in the Kawasaki section! Most underwhelming. I went there because they had a tricolour DCT which I was after. Once bitten...
Version: 2016 ABS
Annual servicing cost: £150
Outstanding economy and touring ability but initially let down by a few new-model niggles
Very powerful brakes with very good ABS system, saved my bacon an a damp road covered with a diesel spill! Ride superb once you crank up the pre-load a few clicks on the rear suspension, then a few more clicks if you put liggage on the back. At high speed over the rough mountain passes of Italy and France my AT glided over seriously broken-up roads - really astonishing suspension.
The best part of the bike the engine, powerful, flexible and frugal. I changed the oil every 4000 miles not 8000 like Honda recommend and this seemed to pay dividends in terms of economy averaging 70 mpg over the last 1000 miles.
Outstanding build quality save the mode switch on the LHS which stuck from the first few hundred miles. Honda ran out of spares so it took months to get the warranty part, other than that its a Honda with outstanding reliability which is why I purchased it rather than a BMW.
I averaged 70 mpg from the South of France back to the UK - excellent, really pleased!
I was put out by having to spend several hundred pound for a centre stand and 12v socket and the 12v socket did not hold my GPS cable in meaning I had to push it back in every 15 minutes - irratating. At £11k Honda should factory fit the 12v socket.
Buying experience: Honda dealer was fantastic. Shrewsbury Honda Centre allowed me to watch the 600 mile service so I could change the oil myself while on tour. Really good service from these people.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Many great qualities for those in the outback, desert and big country type of places. Once the hopeless rear shock is sorted its fine. If you are a solo rider you will get away with it but not if you want a pillion and luggage. Not really suited as a tourer on fast European roads but in fairness that was not its design brief.I own this bike but would not recommend it to anyone who mainly rides on the road, it is too compromised as a road bike. If it is just for a blast out on a day OK too as the engine is a hoot. Many will find it underpowered though which adds to its poor touring performance. Spokes rotting nicely though, my 7 year old £350 pushbike has aluminium spokes, seen more rain than the Africa Twin and they are spotless, that is a really poor show. Gearbox like a tractor, clunky from new, that seems to be real hit and miss with owners, some are reported as being like butter.
2 for suspension, 5 for brakes so I give it a 3.
It is a hoot, I give it 5 for that. Underpowered as a fast tarmac tourer though it can't be knocked for that, it is nolt sold as a road tourer.
Gets 3 as is has never left me stranded. Spokes rotting, starting can occasionally be problematic.
12 months Service (no valve adjustment or air filter). MPG reasonable, I expect the running costs to be reasonably low.
My 2016 has no ABS, Traction, Cruise or much else but I bought it like that in the full knowledge of the spec so I can't knock that. Not putting a single 12v socket on was a bit miserable though and it is labour intensive for a dealer or yourself to fit. That is Honda trying to ingratiate themselves with dealers for lucrative "vale-add" services.
Buying experience: Dealer - fine
Brilliant solo bike on or off road let down by switches spokes and undersprung springs, particularly the rear shock absorber.
Excellent ride in all conditions. The things that let this bike down are cost cutting issues which are a false economy and ruin the experience slightly. They don't alter the riding experience which is brilliant.
Tractable, frugal engine with plenty of power on tap when riding solo. Not fair to judge on two up, fully loaded touring as it's not really built to excel in that department as standard.
'Set' button on left switch stuck after 200 miles, replaced under warranty. Shiny spokes turned black after 500 miles, waited 6 months for a Honda fix but replaced last month with like for like. Despite been treated with ACF50 new spokes appear to be turning too. Starting problem due to kill/start switch but fixed by a strip down and clean but I'm sure soon the switch will need replacing.
OEM tyres are terrible. Replaced with Continental TrailAttack which transform the road handling.
Buying experience: Hunts in Manchester supplied the bike and have been excellent in dealing with all issues. Honda UK not so good, unfortunately!
Annual servicing cost: £200
I've put over 10,000 miles on it in 6 months. A trip to NE Canada, doing the Trans-Labrador highway, accounted for 6,500 of these. On that trip I went with three friends; one on a BMW R1200GS, one on a BMW F800GS, and one on a Suzuki V-Strom 1000. I have to say that the AT good on-road, but hands down the best bike on of the four off-road. I gave it a 4 because I agree that the rear suspension could be better and the availability of after market farkles is still weak. Other than that, the bike's comfort, reliability, value, power, and ease of use were all top notch. I have not had a minutes worth of problems with the bike and no rusty spokes.
The ride is comfortable enough. I need to add engine bars and highway pegs to for long trips. The front dives a bit under hard braking, but it really stops well.
I traded bikes for half a day with my buddy with the BMW1200. He couldn't get over the power of my little Honda. Go figure. The power band is long, steady, and strong. I'm really impressed with the motor.
Starts every time
It's around $200 every 4,000 miles for dealer service
The bike is comfortable to ride. Narrow at the waist and easy to stand up. I got the 12V accessory jack, the centre stand, the top box (with mounting bracket), and the tall windshield from Honda. I've also added side racks, Adventure Spec soft bags, bark busters, a throttle lock, and a Airhawk seat cushion. It works for me.
Buying experience: Good experience. Although I ended up purchasing a couple of towns over from where I live.
Version: manual black
5 stars for build quality??? You gotta be kidding....rusty spokes, weak paint, falling apart panniers, sticky buttons, cold start problems, clutch cable popping out, soft suspension, stalling etc etc
Annual servicing cost: £160
Poor range and some corrosion issues let this bike down.
Reliability is excellent - its is a Honda!. Poor finish on some components (wheels, engine bars and bolts and clips all replaced under warrantee)
£160 for 8000 mile service on the DCT (2 oil filters)
After markets panniers and frame protectors are better value than the OEM Honda equipment
Buying experience: +ve - Thunder Road in South Wales
Annual servicing cost: £250
People who recommend this bike are nuts its rubbish. I have had handling problems from day one, I toured Spain it was rubbish loaded it cant quite do it fuel eco is ok though, overall don't get this bike if you intend to tour, it won't do it !
Don't put luggage on the thing! Don't carry a pillion it will be ok ish, otherwise the handling goes to pot and a 5 bar gate with a hinge in the middle would be a better ride
very under powered for a 1000cc twin its more like a 650 v strom
it cuts out and stalls a lot Honda says there is nothing wrong!
if you can work out how to read the dash info its ok, Honda panniers look good but leak water when it rains but very expensive rubbish
Buying experience: Bought from Lings Honda if you are in Suffolk or Norfolk you know how rubbish they are!!!!!!!
Version: Manual, non ABS/Traction
Annual servicing cost: £250
Superb all rounder, bags of character, great value for money with flawed rear suspension.
Brakes five star, rear suspension 2 star, massively undersprung if you loads this bike up pillion and gear. Average weight solo rider no problem, heavy load adventure touring or pillion useless. My one and only real gripe with this bike. This bikes handling does not inspire confidence scratching around twisty b-roads. You have to know that and drive accordingly, slow into corner, power out.
just magic, enough power, had bikes with 60 more BHP than this and didn't enjoy them as much, "less is more".
Everything seems high quality and well put together. Many owners complaining of spokes tarnishing, mine are fine. I expect reliability to be superb given the lack of electronic gizmos etc.
A lot of bike for the price, cant fault that. Buy it now, Brexit will add another £1500 to the asking price, just watch!
I have the base model so there is pretty much no equipment, e.g. no USB chargers, power sockets etc. I still give it 5 stars though because of the price, it reflects that. I can add those myself. I am 6ft, regular front screen is perfect at speed. I also have the Honda panniers, I like them a lot, simple fitting and use the ignition key to lock.
Buying experience: Dealer purchased, no issues, got £350 store credit for clothing.
Only done 1000 miles but i love it, very rider friendy,smooth, standard screen is perfect for me been 5.7 tall 2 height seat postion is great but a bit hard to firgure out. Down side Mr HONDA no centre stand and charging point as standard.........
Ride is surperb, happy filtering in traffic or on gravel roads. nice postive feel to brakes and rear abs can be turned off great for off road.
Smooth loads of torque, pulls well 2 up which surpised me as its less than 95 BHP
Usual Honda quality, well thought out, only a 1000 miles but reliability is excellent....
Quite a big job to remove panels which will add to service costs i would imagine...
LED lights are a real bonus,
Buying experience: Brought from local dealer, service excellent , they really didnt want to take DL1000 al4 in px,but having said that they offered me a fair price. but in the end i sold it private...
Annual servicing cost: £150
Cracking bike on the road shortly be doing the adventure off road bit does all what you want with confidence, friends have ordered might have to wait a while as stocks sold out.
Great bike so far on the road very comfy 200 mile trip so far, pillion advised it was very comfy.
Just right for its purpose plenty of grunt when required and to have fun.
Honda as usual fantastic build quality and reliability no question.
First service with top box fitted
For the money it is well equipped, top box added so far will have other items added when required seen lots of the accessories good quality as always.
Buying experience: Dealer Belle Vue Honda Southend, great service from them on purchase and first service would recommend.
Outstanding - Honda's new Africa Twin is the new benchmark adventure bike in my opinion. The bike has loads of power (despite the nay-sayers). I chose it over a BMW GSA 1200 because Honda build quality is second to none, I also chose it because I found it to be a much more capable all-rounder and way more agile when you're tackling a twisty trail or just filtering traffic. Having tested almost every other large adventure bike out there - I'd go so far as to say that the Africa Twin is destined to become an all-time classic for the game-change it has brought to the adventure class. It has raised loads of questions which other manufacturers will be forced to answer - and alongside the KTM 1190 R, is one of the few big adventure bikes which can really cut it off road. I've owned BMW GS bikes for the last six years and didn't think I'd stray far because I still rate them very highly, but Honda have completely re-thought the approach to this class and it shows. Instead of going for tons of electronics to control virtually everything, they have gone back to good design to make a more conventional bike which does everything well. It is comfortable for long distances, handles brilliantly on fast, twisty b-roads, commutes like a dream and can leave everything else in its wake when it comes to tackling tough trails or genuine exploration, with impeccable balance. If you want to ride vast distances on tarmac for weeks on end, buy a BMW GS. If you want to tackle highly technical enduro circuits, buy a smaller KTM. If you want a real all-rounder - the Africa Twin is as good as it's going to get.
The bike is a genuine all-rounder, so there is a natural balance between what makes it good off road and what makes it good on road and therefore, there is a small amount of compromise - as with all of them. The Africa Twin feels better balanced than the big KTMs off road due to the mass centralisation of weight and that compact engine and it handles almost as well as the KTMs on tarmac, tackling twisty b-roads brilliantly and far better than you'd expect. However, I found it to be more comfortable than the KTM 1190 and the 1190 R over distance, with less vibration, a far superior seat and the engine/clutch/power delivery are also more civilised on the Honda, particularly in town. That said, it isn't as plush as a sofa-comfy BMW 1200GS if massive autobahn distances are your thing (not much is) but it is a fine distance bike nonetheless and will be much more manageable when you do get it in the dirt. It is also very slim, so commuting and filtering are a doddle. I haven't taken a pillion any distance on it yet, but it looks perfectly adequate and I've happily ridden 250 solo miles through the Derbyshire and Yorkshire dales before stopping, with no discomfort at all. Brakes are good with plenty of feedback, but you do get a fair bit of fork dive - as with most conventional suspension set-ups.
The perfect engine for this type of bike. It is a strong motor and gives all the power you could possibly use on tarmac with an 18/21" wheel combination. I have never felt that I'd wish for more power - it's substantially more lively than an 1150GS and more comparable to a Triumph Tiger 1050 than the 800cc Triumphs people insist on pitting it against. Really, it's in another league. The Africa Twin engine drives the bike extremely well out of corners, has a very smooth, linear acceleration which finds you in illegal speed territory far sooner than your senses tell you and has more character than any other parallel twin I've tried. It's not quite like a v-twin for that lunging power delivery, but Honda has done a great job of making a really compact and well-balanced powerplant which is well settled at speed and only matched by single cylinder bikes in off road applications. 70-80mph cruising only demands about 4,000 revs so it hums away nicely.
Honda. Enough said... Although, for those of you who haven't owned a BMW, I'll say this. Honda provide a top class finish on their bikes and after years of dismay watching my various GS's rusting, shedding paint from the cylinders and generally deteriorating almost before my eyes - it is a delight to go back to a bike that doesn't do this! I've ridden the bike through rivers, mud, salt, rain and all other UK associated challenges and it cleans down easily. Granted, it's a new bike, but having owned Hondas in the past, I'm confident this one will hold up just as well. Another point is that my previous BMWs would cough a bit after a pressure wash which was probably a bit of moisture ingress into the electronics, the AT doesn't skip a beat. Stock exhaust probably weighs a ton (they all do) but it sounds superb. There are also other nice touches such as the colour coded bar-ends, integrated grip-switch for the heated grips, complete absence of engine pipes and cables to get snagged etc which make it a really classy machine. Chain drive isn't much of a bother and you know it's not going to be a massive problem if it goes wrong.
Servicing costs are reasonable, service intervals at 7500m are fine, but fuel consumption is exceptionally good. Honda accessories also seem competitively priced.
Standard set up is great. The Dunlop TR91 tyres inspire confidence, allowing you to get the best out of the bike on the road and they do a reasonable job on gravel. This is matched by superb, silky suspension with longer travel than any other large adventure bike. I'd recommend the centre stand as a well-needed accessory and you would want to swap to TKC 80's or Karoo 3 tyres if you plan any real mud-plugging. The traction control is dead easy to use, very effective in its different setting modes and can be switched off without fuss, as can the rear wheel ABS.
Buying experience: Bought from Hunts Honda in Manchester. Good bunch of guys and they looked after me.
Annual servicing cost: £500
The bike I have been waiting for :-) The AT is the perfect synthesis of three bikes I have previously loved: Varadero 1000, Transalp 700 abs and 800 Crossrunner. It has the power and travel ability of the Varadero 1000, the weight and easyness of the 700 Transalp, with the mod cons of the latest 800 crossrunner (efficient Traction Control and ABS). the AT does it all except racing tracks . I ride mainly on the french "B" roads (or departementales in french) full of tricks, tractors, pottholes, traps and this is probably the best bike available for the price.
so easy to be fast without fuss with it!
definitely adapted to the bike and I do not need extra power on B roads to be fast. Low revs grunt, Top end decent power, all I need
Honda quality, no bull, only the necessary electronics without the headaches my friends encounter with their KTM adventure or GS 1200 suspensions.
maintenance every 7500 miles, a set of tyres now and then
No need of sophisticated electronics to be efficient
Buying experience: €12999 from a Honda dealer in Paris
A fantastic bike. What a revelation. After many years of sports bikes and sports tourers this bike can pretty much do it all. The handling and comfort are superb and the speed is kind of VFR 800 fast. (Plenty for the road).
The suspension is supple and does a great job of dealing with any bumps in the road. Ive not taken it off road yet but road wise its really composed and it glides over those potholes and bumps that sports bikes get all upset over. Although the suspension is supple it seems to do a good job of not pitching back and forward when hard on the throttle or brakes. The handling is much better than you would think. It turns well and is stable and composed. I would not want to be going much faster on the road than this bike can go. The bike looks tall at a standstill but is easy to paddle about as its got huge luggage/grab rails on the back which make it easy to push about. Im 5'9'' tall and can get both feet flat on the floor when sitting on the bike with the seat in its lowest of two settings. Its a nice place to be when on the move, you sit upright and get a good view of the world around you and its very comfortable. Big miles would be easy. The fairing is surprisingly good and during a recent downpour the only part of me to get the worst of it was my lower legs and feet.
The engine is really smooth but has a off beat feel about it. It suits the bike well and sounds good from the seat of the bike. The standard exhaust sounds good for a stock one and pops on the overrun. Speed wise, its deceptive due to the smoothness of the engine. It does hustle along although not 1000cc sports bike fast, more VFR 800. The performance of the engine seems to suit the style and ride of the bike nicely.
So far so good, but it is nearly new. The paint looks good and the finish of the bike is lovely. The Gold wheels look fantastic and the switchgear and dash is classy. At night the dash is backlit Blue and looks really good. The headlights are very good at night.
It is averaging around 50 miles to the gallon at the moment but as the engine loosens up i expect that to get better.
It has traction control and ABS so safety is covered. The dash has loads of info on it and is easy to get to. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of some of the competition.
Buying experience: Purchased the bike from Shrewsbury Honda. Excellent dealer. Have had bikes from them in the past and have always found them knowledgable and friendly. I would not go elsewhere to buy a Honda.