HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN Adventure Sports (2018 - 2019) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
Power: 94 bhp
Seat height: Tall (34.3 in / 870 mm)
Weight: High (512 lbs / 232 kg)


New N/A
Used £7,100 - £11,400

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Having enjoyed significant sales success since it’s re-birth in 2015, the Honda Africa Twin has now undergone it’s first round of serious upgrades in a bid to improve and keep up with the competition.

The 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports fuel tank over the standard Africa Twin (2018 and 2016 model) increases capacity from 18.8l to 24.2l. Not only does it give the bike significantly more presence on or off the bike due to its extra width, it increases the tank range to a theoretical 300+ miles placing it firmly among the adventure bike class’s grand tourers.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The bigger tank of course means more weight with the Adventure Sport now topping the scales at 243kg (wet) despite a 2.3kg saving thanks to a new lithium-ion battery. But with improved suspension, fully adjustable 45mm Showa front forks, you don’t feel the extra mass.

In fact, it feels more balanced than the original bike with the forks operating higher up in their stroke meaning there is less dive and weight transfer when you close the throttle or hit the brakes. This in turn makes it more fun to ride and enables you to make brisk, easy progress on twisty roads.

It’s an impressive achievement given that the new bike has an additional 20mm of suspension travel both front and rear in a bid to further enhance its off-road performance. Ground clearance is up 20mm to 270mm.

The 310mm twin brakes give good feel and solid performance with the limiting factor in hard braking down to the significant dive of the forks and grip from the narrow front tyre.

There is only one ABS setting for all conditions, which performs well, but becomes a little intrusive off-road. The rear wheel ABS can be turned off by simply holding down a button when riding off-road.


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The evocative exhaust sound note is backed up by a super linear power curve, but claimed power of 94bhp remains the same as the original model.

Ridden solo it’s an engaging ride with all its power and torque being easily accessible, but the power is no match for it’s 1200cc+ BMW, KTM, Triumph and Ducati rivals, putting it instead among their smaller siblings such as the BMW F850GS and Triumph Tiger 800 in the power stakes.

But it is powerful enough to make easy, brisk progress and requires minimal effort whatever the terrain. The only time that it ever feels lacking is when you start to load it up. Add a pillion and some luggage and you’ll be forced to make a lot more gear changes especially when overtaking.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

As Honda’s flagship adventure bike, it certainly looks the part and it’s colour scheme and paint quality certainly means it looks the part.

Being a Honda everything works as intended, the switch gear is all well positioned and some of the gremlins of the original bikes including corroding spokes have been resolved.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

With fuel consumption over 50mpg even at motorway speeds the Africa Twin is reasonably frugal. It’s lack of big bhp means it doesn’t destroy tyres, but it’s significant weight of 243kg does mean that tyres do square off if you’re doing a lot of motorway miles.

When released, the bike was priced at £12,599 the Africa Twin, which was competitively priced and in line with its rivals.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The new throttle by wire electronics not only gives an improved throttle connection that allows you to feel every beat of the 998cc parallel twin 270 degree crank motor it has also allowed the Honda engineers to enhance and add more rider aids.

The original three stage traction control now has seven stages and you can also control the amount of engine braking and power level. All of these options are packaged into to three different rider modes – Tour, Urban and Gravel.

There is also a User setting which enables the rider to easily adjust and tailor their preference to suit their riding. It also comes complete with a quickshifter and autobliper.


Engine size 998cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and uni-cam
Frame type Steel semi-double cradle type with high-tensile strength steel rear subframe
Fuel capacity 18.8 litres
Seat height 870mm
Bike weight 232kg
Front suspension Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and DF adjustment, 230mm stroke.
Rear suspension onoblock cast aluminium swing arm with Pro-Link with gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustment, 220 mm rear wheel travel
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 21M/C x MT2.15
Rear tyre size 150/70-R18 tube type

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 76.5 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost £110
New price -
Used price £7,100 - £11,400
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 94 bhp
Max torque 72 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 300 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

The Honda Africa twin can trace its DNA right back to the Paris-Dakar winning machines of the late 1980s. The XRV650, launched in 1988 was the first road-going version based on the hugely successful Honda NXR750 racer.

Between 1990 and 2003 the Honda XRV750 was made in one form or another before a 12-year gap preceding the announcement of the 2015 model.

Owners' reviews for the HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN (2018 - 2019)

2 owners have reviewed their HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN (2018 - 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.

Review your HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN (2018 - 2019)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
5 out of 5 Not the most exciting but great at everything you choose to throw at it
10 April 2021 by Paul W

Version: Adventure sport

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £120

It does not do anything brilliantly but it just does everything you ask of it really well it’s comfortable engine is great a good on and off road but I ride alone so I am reluctant to take it on too knarly tracks off road I have placed it a couple of time on its side and it is heavy

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Ride is a little hard for me but as long as you take breaks every couple of hours brakes are very good and handling is good in my opinion Very stable it’s just a good all around feeling

Engine 5 out of 5

As I said nothing exiting but has good linear power and a not noisy gear change seems positive just enjoyable to ride

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I have completed 9000 mile since December 2019 and it’s been no trouble at all

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Service intervals are good and reasonably priced

Equipment 5 out of 5

I never had heated grips so having them as standard is great and the screens and electronics are good I would say get a wind buffer it fit on the tank it only costs a few quid but is reduces wind turbulence

Buying experience: I brought it from Lings Suffolk and was treated really well

4 out of 5
14 March 2021 by Ben Breeze

Version: Adventure sport

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £100

The engine is fantastic, but the seat is so uncomfortable

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Fantastic bike but the seat is so hard and uncomfortable after about 30 mins of riding I enjoy riding it but the quality is not what I expect from honda

Engine 5 out of 5

Engine is sweet and characterful , few flat spots in the in the midrange but nothing a tune won't sort out

Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5

I have a 2018 and the wheels are corroding from the inside out and the paint on the frame is coming off causing the frame to rust and the tank is rusting aswell , iv contacted honda about this and they said they will not do anything because the bike got " wet" and I'm not the only person to have this problem so honda knows about the problems but won't sort it . Iv lost all faith with honda because of this.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

The Heated grips are fantastic and the different power modes are great

Back to top