We finally know what the new Honda Africa Twin looks like when it’s actually in use.
After months of teasing, we’ve finally got video featuring Honda’s new adventure bike in action, with riding footage of the bike interspersed with clips of Honda product development bigwig Dave Hancock talking about the bike with Japanese designers and a couple of test riders.
While most adventure bikes are ridden primarily on the street these days, the video is all about the Africa Twin’s offroad capability. The marketeers go to great lengths to dispel fears the Honda’s DCT transmission is unsuited for off-road use. The conversation in the video directly addresses the feature, and the video shows several clips of the Africa Twin pulling wheelies – something that many riders would probably think quite difficult on a heavy adventure bike without using the clutch.
In the video, one of the test riders goes so far as to say he preferred shifting himself, but “for the the first time I felt DCT is better than me.” It’s important that Honda address this, because DCT could make or break this machine. Honda’s pushed the technology hard the last few years, as part of an apparent drive to make motorcycling more easy to learn. Experienced riders have yet to warm to DCT in any great numbers, and we have yet to see a huge influx of beginners drawn by the ease of the technology. If grizzled adventure riders decide DCT isn’t for them, then the Africa Twin could go the way of the DN01, unless there’s an optional standard transmission.
While we have yet to see any official weight figures published for the Africa Twin, Honda wants the world to believe the new bike will be very capable off-road. In the video, they tell us the new bike doesn’t look or feel like a 1000 cc bike (which we know is at least partially true; Editor ‘Arris said it was quite svelte when he saw it at EICMA).
What is interesting, though, is that none of Honda’s Dakar team are in on this video, which leads us to believe the machine is not far enough along in development to actually hand it over to someone beside a test pilot.