A Look At the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
The CRF1000L proves that Honda can pull out all the stops, and we reveal what makes this dual-sport machine so exceptional in this 2018 Africa Twin review.
Today, the adventure bike market is littered with 1200cc-class machines that come updated with all of today’s bells and whistles, but Honda Motorcycles went a different route with the 2018 CRF1000L Africa Twin.
Why exactly does the CRF1000L Africa Twin stand out amongst other Honda dual-sport motorcycles? Honda will tell you the CRF1000L is a more technically efficient, capable, and comfortable machine that suits a wide range of riders.
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The dual-sport Honda Africa Twin has three older siblings: the year 1989 saw the 650cc V-Twin XRV650, the 750cc V-twin XRV750T from 1990 to 2003, and, finally, the 1000cc parallel-twin CRF1000L in 2016 to the present. The bikes were built to pay homage to the enormous desert racers of the Paris-Dakar Rally. This particular dual-sport Honda has gone through several upgrades since its inception in 1989, the most recent being the addition of optional dual-clutch transmission (DCT) technology, resulting in a modern, heavier, on-road-focused adventure touring motorcycle.
The CRF1000L is a smaller rival to the larger, market-dominating 1200cc Yamaha, Triumph, Ducati, and BMW bikes that weigh around 600 pounds; instead, the 485-pound, 998cc Honda Twin feels more like a high-performing middleweight ADV. The chassis is stable, the front stiff, and the plush suspension reacts to small inputs while swallowing large hits as well. As is Honda’s fashion, even the roughest of roads is a smooth ride.
The fully-adjustable suspension remains creates a smooth off-road experience while also offering excellent control. Comfort is further guaranteed by the Twin’s narrow frame, so you can ride all day without missing a beat.
The Twin is one of the most capable ADV machines on the market, and that fact that it’s a cozy ride is a major plus. But, perhaps its greatest allure lies within its price tag.
2018 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Specs
- Engine: 998cc parallel-twin
- Bore / stroke: 3.62 in × 2.96 in
- Transmission: 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, chain final drive
- Front Suspension: 45mm inverted Showa fork, 9.0 in travel
- Rear Suspension: Single prolink shock, 8.7 in travel
- Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm disc
- Brakes, Rear: Single 256 mm disc
- Tire, Front: 90/90-R21 tube type
- Tire, Rear: 150/70-R18 tube type
- Wheelbase: 62 in
- Seat Height: 34.5 - 33.5 in
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