Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Friday, July 24, 2015

To Buy or Not To Buy? 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Officially Released!

Gotta Love That Face!
I have to admit, I really became swept up in the Honda Africa Twin craze, so much so that I found myself toying with the idea that maybe I'd just go down and put a deposit on one. I know, crazy... right?! Speculation has been immeasurable to say the least with phrases like "game changer" being thrown around more often than I can count. Add to the hype accidental (yeah, right) leaks, and people have been frustrated as nothing had been confirmed... that is until today. Honda has decided to finally release the official specs of the new Africa Twin. Already, I can see folks are bitter having created nothing less than a motorcycle akin to a Unicorn in their minds when in fact, the reality is nothing more than your typical Clydesdale. Not that there is anything wrong with Clydesdales of course.

Selling the Idea - Light As a Wheelie?!
Is the Africa Twin going to be everything that we could have hoped for and then some? As with anything in life, it comes down to who is asking the question. I don't envy Honda or any company creating and manufacturing goods and services for the general public. As a college professor I know all too well how hard it is to please everyone, let alone people who see themselves as customers whom are always right (even when they aren't). Sure, I can echo some of the complaints, particularly where weight is concerned. The AT comes in at 503lbs (standard), 511lbs (ABS) and 534lbs (DCT) respectfully. In an ideal world, if weight had to be added, it would have stayed at 503lbs with DCT. As it stands, Canada will be receiving the ABS and the DCT models only.

Rally Raid CB500X
To put things into perspective, Honda's very own CB500X comes in at 430lbs with ABS. Now, before you start spouting off about how it's like comparing apples to oranges, let's not forget that Rally Raid has made the CB500X a bona fide off road machine with their level three kit. Jenny Morgan of Dakar fame has already put the modified bike through its trials via the Trans-Am 500 adventure tour she recently took with Piglet. Rally Raid is presently planning another adventure with the CB500X in Australia no less!

Africa Twin 998CC Twin delivers 97bhp.
Of course, at 47bhp, you could argue that your still comparing apples to oranges. After all, unlike the CB500X, the Africa Twin will be making no less than 97bhp. The question comes down to how much bhp does one really require in real world riding conditions? As you can see, I am struggling between my practical and irrational side. Not least of all where price is concerned. Considering that Honda's ill priced CB1100 was $13, 200 (taxes and dealership fees not included) in 2014 and subsequently was discontinued after lack of sales, here is hoping that the AT won't be priced ridiculously high.

Designed for Experienced and Novices Alike?
I have been wanting something different for quite some time now. My search for Mr. T's replacement has been anything but easy. Not least of all when companies like Yamaha come out with new models like the XSR700. Of course, companies like Yamaha also reserve said models for Europe with no foreseeable plans to release them in Canada a la SR400. Nevertheless, the adventure motorcycle market has always been an interest of mine despite never having actually owned an adventure bike before. What is appealing about the AT is that Honda claims it is ready for off road use right out of the box. Though I suspect some TKC80's would be in order first. If the price is right, then this could be a great bike for experienced riders (on pavement) like myself with little experience off road.

3 Colour Option in Canada
2016 DCT Model Will Be In Silver - 534lbs
Apparently the DCT is the "Game Changer" :-(
Not Sure What To Think About DCT in General
Although I have Only Heard Good Things!
Standard Model in Canada Comes With ABS - 511lbs
Standard Model Comes in CRF Rally & Matte Black
Can you guess which colour I would buy?
Sophisticated & Sharp Looking Cockpit
Would This Be an Ideal Round The World Machine?
According to Honda, Yes!
Are You The One?
Time Will Tell.
The question, for me, is whether the Honda Africa Twin is worth the sticker price (whatever that may be - I am betting it is nothing less than $13, 999)?! My aspirations are not merely limited to commuting and taking the kids out for small rides. Like so many I dream of travelling around the world, of taking the road less travelled. I dream of owning a motorcycle touring company some day and with it, the need for a reliable trustworthy Clydesdale, so to speak, is an important consideration. I like the looks of the bike but am just not certain if paying a premium for the Africa Twin moniker is really going to be worth it? We will soon find out!


  1. Two things. 1: It is never worth it, but it will end up being worth it anyway. 2. You will always end up saying you don't regret it, because even though it has some things that nag at you it rarely overshadow the thrill of riding it.


    1. Well if Yamaha doesn't release the Yamaha XSR700 in Canada, the AT will definitely be one of the top contenders! :-)