2024 Honda Africa Twin ES DCT review | Welcome updates enhance this popular bike but have they gone far enough?


  • Optional Showa EERA semi-active suspension
  • 7% increase in peak torque
  • Five-stage adjustable screen

At a glance

Power: 101 bhp
Seat height: Tall (34.3 in / 870 mm)
Weight: High (538 lbs / 244 kg)


New £15,899
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Honda have always marketed their standard Africa Twin adventure bike model as the rugged off-road capable option where the Adventure Sports is more a tarmac-tourer. However this targeting has seen them make a few compromises in order to save weight and distinguish the models, the most obvious being not giving it semi-active suspension as an option.

For 2024 this has changed as you can now buy an Africa Twin with Showa’s EERA alongside an upgraded motor and refined DCT while the Adventure Sports now gains a smaller 19in front wheel for better road-holding. But it’s not all good news...

While the updates have certainly improved the Africa Twin and it is good to see owners now have the option of adding electronic suspension to the lighter base model, it is still not the pick of the current crop of adventure bikes – a problem compounded by the Twin’s price tag.

Honda Africa Twin ES DCT right side static

At nearly £16k for a DCT ES model, you are in BMW R1300GS or Triumph Tiger 900 models (with change) territory, which are better bikes. The issue is that where DCT usually adds about £1000 to the price tag, for 2024 there is no option of just having DCT, instead you need DCT and electronic suspension (ES), which adds £2700 to the standard-suspension and gearbox model’s RRP of £13,199, resulting in a big hike in its RRP to £15,899.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Taken from the Adv Sports, Showa’s EERA features semi-active damping at both ends with the preload also electronically controlled. Running the same stroke as the standard suspension (230mm/220mm), EERA has four set modes (Soft, Mid, Hard and Off-road) with a customisable User mode that allows the preload at both ends to be fine-tuned through 24 steps.

There is also the ability to quickly set the preload to ‘rider’, ‘rider and luggage’, ‘rider and pillion’ or ‘rider, pillion and luggage’ via the touchscreen dash when stationary, which is a good feature.

Noticeably firmer than an Africa Twin on conventional suspension, the ES certainly makes itself felt when you swap between modes and in its hardest setting makes the Honda more composed in bends. An already fairly sporty adventure bike (despite its 21in front wheel) with the EERA in Hard mode the Africa Twin feels very assured with minimal pitching under brakes or acceleration while swapping to Soft gives a noticeably more relaxed attitude to the suspension.

Honda Africa Twin ES DCT right side action shot

It’s not a gamechanger as the standard model’s suspension is very plushly damped but it does deliver an improvement both for sporty and more relaxed riding at the touch of a button when you change modes (after a weirdly long delay for the dash to respond). But the enhancements don’t stop there.

The new five-stage adjustable screen is a welcome addition but as you need to release catches on either side of the screen simultaneously, you can’t alter its height while on the move, which is frustrating. On its highest setting it does provide some weather protection but it’s not that impressive (especially if you are over 6-feet tall) so an aftermarket taller option is best fitted for touring holidays away.

The Twin’s lights are acceptable at night, not great but ok, and you would be hard-pushed to spot the sharper look without seeing the two generations parked next to one another. If you are wondering, the panel around the seat is extended on the 2024 model, covering more of the subframe, and there’s less plastic surrounding the screen area.

Honda Africa Twin ES DCT screen


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

While Honda claim to have increased the parallel twin’s peak torque by 7% (peak power is unaltered) and boosted its low and mid-range drive, you are hard pushed to spot the differences on the road – especially with a DCT gearbox. It’s a touch more responsive, that’s about it, and isn’t a major upgrade. What is more apparent are the refinements to the DCT itself.

It has taken a while but Honda seem to have finally refined their DCT system to a point that even riders who are used to a manual gearbox may well accept a bike with it fitted. Although the D mode is still a bit lazy changing gears (it is designed for slower-pace city riding or touring use), the three-level Sport mode is just about on the money and if you are riding briskly, S3 predicts quite accurately where you want to the revs and gears to be.

That said, the optional gear lever (pricey at £440) is a great addition if you are used to a conventional gearbox as it is more natural to override the DCT’s choice with your foot rather than the paddles on the (horrifically cluttered) switchgear.

Honda Africa Twin ES DCT engine detail

The refined ‘feathered’ clutch feel, which aims to soften take-off and the transition between 1st and 2nd gear, has removed a lot of the snatch but there is still a bit of a lag in the clutch picking up that makes slower speed work a touch awkward on the Twin. I can’t help but feel Honda should look at dragging the rear brake slightly to help put a bit of resistance against the bike to smooth the transition from off the throttle to on.

Although not everyone’s cup of tea, Honda say 49% of Africa Twins bought have DCT and this latest generation is now very good. Not perfect but certainly acceptable once you get used to living with it.

Reliability & build quality

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

Initially there were a few issues with the Africa Twin (rusty spokes) but most of these have now been sorted and it is a very reliable bike. DCT has no major worries and overall, you can buy with confidence.

Value vs rivals

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

It is hard to see the Africa Twin as good value, mainly as the middleweight adventure market is so crowded with excellent rivals. You have the likes of the Ducati DesertX for £15,161, Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro for £14,495, KTM 890 Adventure R for £13,999, £12,899 Husqvarna Norden 901 or the updated BMW F900GS for £11,995 or £12,350 in Adventure guise. And that’s just a small selection of the Twin’s rivals... When you dig into spec, residual value etc, the Honda doesn’t come out very well...

Honda Africa Twin ES DCT ridden on the road in the UK


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The £13,199 Africa Twin now can be specified with electronic suspension (ES) for £14,699 or ES and DCT for £15,899, which is a bit annoying as it used to be £1000 extra for DCT but now you have to have a bike equipped with both ES and DCT if you want DCT.

As standard the Africa Twin comes with angle-responsive ABS and TC, cruise control, variable power modes, anti-wheelie and a TFT dash with inbuilt connectivity and Apple CarPlay but, as before, it’s not perfect. The bewildering array of buttons (16 on the lefthand switchgear, six on the right) is a terrible design and to activate CarPlay, you need to not only physically tether your phone to the bike via a cable you also need a Bluetooth headset connected. If Honda provided a cubby hole for the phone (like BMW do) you wouldn’t mind so much – but they don’t.

Honda sell lots of accessories for the Africa Twin including hard luggage, crash protection, heated grips (which link to the dash), a centre stand, quickshifter, etc. Most come as a group in one of the many ‘packs’ but can all be ordered individually if you want.

Honda Africa Twin ES DCT TFT dash

Interestingly, unlike previous Africa Twin models, the 2024 bike now runs tubeless tyres where before only the Adventure Sports had this feature. Honda have relented and realised that tubeless are quicker to plug a puncture in than tubes and most riders don’t fancy changing a tyre at the side of the road! Metzeler Karoo Street tyres are standard fitment but block-pattern Michelin Anakee Wild are approved for more rugged riding.

Related: The best adventure bike tyres tested back-to-back


Engine size 1048cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v, SOHC, V-twin
Frame type Steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 18.8 litres
Seat height 870mm
Bike weight 244kg
Front suspension 45mm, Showa EERA inverted forks, fully-adjustable with semi-active damping
Rear suspension Single Showa EERA rear shock, fully adjustable with semi-active damping
Front brake 2 x 310mm wave discs with four-piston radial calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 256mm single wave disc with single-piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 18

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price £15,899
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 101 bhp
Max torque 82.7 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 190 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2016: Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin launched - all-new generation of Africa Twin.
  • 2018: Second-generation Africa Twin gains a ride-by-wire throttle and some tech updates. It is joined in the range by a ‘big tank’ Adventure Sports model.
  • 2020: Both Africa Twin models increase in capacity to 1084cc and become the CRF1100L. A TFT dash is new alongside a six-axis IMU. Electronic suspension is an option on the Adventure Sports model.
  • 2022: Small updates see the DCT refined and a rear carrier fitted as standard.

Other versions

The Adventure Sports is the ‘big tank’ version and as well as a larger fairing, it comes with a 24.8 litre tank, heated grips and cornering lights as standard, a five-way adjustable screen and semi-active suspension. A DCT gearbox is an optional extra.

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