When is the new Africa Twin not the new Africa Twin? When it’s called the True Adventure and is presented as a prototype by Honda.
Honda was at great pains to present the True Adventure, presented at the Milan show last week, as nothing more than a prototype at this stage. The mud-splattered bike is actually a Honda R&D department test bike and was removed from the testing programme, tidied up a bit and then flown to Italy for the show.
Honda released no technical information about the True Adventure ‘prototype’ at the show, and refused to discuss details behind closed doors, but we know for sure it will have a completely new parallel-twin engine of around 1000cc, delivering around 100bhp, and it will also have a development of the Dual Clutch Transmission already used on road bikes like the VFR1200F and NC750.
The parallel-twin engine layout offers improved packaging for the rest fo the bike’s design, by freeing up space for the airbox and fuel tank when compared to the V-twin used on the original Africa Twin. This will also eliminate the potential cooling issues with the rear cylinder bank.
Honda have also been working really hard to keep the weight of the new bike down, so it can have real off-road riding potential.
Honda motorcycle boss Shinji Aoyama told MCN: "We are aiming this bike at 50/50 in terms of road and off road. The problem these days with homologation for a street bike that is off road is that it’s extremely hard to meet the homologation rules because of things like noise from the off-road tyres.
"This is a difficult point for us. We are still discussing this but perhaps there will be two models so one can be more off-road capable."
Honda’s adventure range already includes the V4 Crosstourer, and revamped VFR800X Crossrunner as more road-orientated machines, meaning that the new ‘Africa Twin’ has the freedom to fulfill a more hardcore role in the range.
MCN expects a production bike will be unveiled in 2015.