The Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT is a remarkable embodiment of adventure and versatility in the realm of motorcycles. As the evolution of Honda’s iconic Africa Twin lineage, the CRF1100L DCT carries forward the spirit of exploration while integrating modern technology and engineering. With its distinctive blend of off-road prowess and on-road comfort, the Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT is designed to conquer both the vast wilderness and the daily commute. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the various aspects of this adventure motorcycle, covering its design, performance, handling, technology, comfort, and overall riding experience.
🔥 Design and Appearance
The design of the Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT exudes an aura of rugged elegance. It proudly showcases its adventure-oriented DNA through a robust and purposeful aesthetic. The distinctive front end, characterized by dual LED headlights and a high beak-like fender, evokes a sense of readiness for challenging terrain. The muscular fuel tank, coupled with a well-sculpted seat and compact rear end, portrays a sense of balance between form and function.
The Africa Twin’s design is a blend of modern adventure styling and subtle homage to its predecessor’s heritage. The high-quality fit and finish are evident throughout, with attention to detail and precision in both the bodywork and components. The motorcycle’s form is shaped to tackle demanding off-road conditions while providing an imposing presence on the road.
⚙️ Engine and Performance
Powering the Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT is a robust 1084cc parallel-twin engine. This advanced powerplant has been engineered to provide a harmonious combination of power and efficiency. With a focus on torque delivery, the engine generates ample low-end and mid-range torque, making it suitable for both off-road excursions and highway cruising.
The throttle response is smooth and precise, allowing for confident control over the power delivery. The DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission) version of the Africa Twin offers seamless gear changes, enhancing both the riding experience and the bike’s overall versatility. The option to select between automatic and manual shifting modes further contributes to the motorcycle’s adaptability to various riding conditions.
Chassis and Handling
The Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT features a sturdy chassis that’s been crafted to excel on diverse terrains. The steel semi-double cradle frame provides a solid foundation, and the long-travel suspension system is designed to handle off-road challenges while maintaining on-road comfort.
Both the front and rear suspension can be adjusted to suit rider preferences and terrain conditions. This adjustability plays a pivotal role in tailoring the motorcycle’s handling characteristics to different scenarios, be it aggressive trail riding or smooth highway cruising. The tall and wide handlebars offer excellent leverage, enabling precise control over the motorcycle in challenging conditions.
⚡Electronics and Technology
One of the standout features of the Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT is its comprehensive electronics package. The motorcycle comes equipped with selectable riding modes, each of which alters the throttle response, traction control settings, and ABS characteristics to match the rider’s chosen terrain and preferences. This technology allows riders to fine-tune the bike’s performance based on the riding environment.
Additionally, the DCT version of the Africa Twin offers multiple automatic shifting modes, including options for sportier or more fuel-efficient shifting. The inclusion of hill-start assist, cornering ABS, and cruise control further elevates the motorcycle’s technology quotient, enhancing both safety and convenience during long journeys.
🏍️ Comfort and Ergonomics
The Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT prioritizes rider comfort over extended rides. The spacious rider and passenger seats, along with a well-thought-out ergonomic layout, allow for a relaxed and upright riding position. The handlebars are positioned at a comfortable height, reducing strain on the wrists and shoulders during long stints on the saddle.
Wind protection is offered through an adjustable windscreen, allowing riders to tailor the amount of airflow to their preference. However, the lack of lower body protection might leave riders vulnerable to wind and elements during prolonged high-speed highway riding.
|Approx. 101 hp
|Varies based on model and tune
|6-speed manual or DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission)
|Adjustable telescopic fork (front) Adjustable monoshock (back)
|Front and rear disc brakes with ABS
|17-inch alloy wheels
|Varies based on model and suspension setting
|Varies based on model and options
How does the Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT Ride?
Climbing aboard the Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT instantly conveys a sense of adventure. The engine starts with a characteristic twin-cylinder rumble, igniting anticipation for the journey ahead. As you set off, the throttle response is smooth and controlled, allowing you to easily modulate power delivery based on your needs.
On the open road, the Africa Twin maintains stability, even at higher speeds. The suspension system absorbs road irregularities, providing a comfortable and controlled ride. When the tarmac ends, the motorcycle’s off-road capabilities shine through. The long suspension travel, combined with the electronics package and selectable riding modes, ensures that the Africa Twin can tackle gravel, dirt, and rough trails with confidence.
Switching to the DCT mode, the automatic transmission effortlessly shifts gears, adapting to changing terrain and allowing the rider to focus on navigating challenging paths. The manual shifting mode offers a more engaging experience for those who prefer more control over gear changes.
The Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT stands as a testament to Honda’s dedication to adventure motorcycling. With its rugged design, potent engine, versatile chassis, and advanced electronics package, the Africa Twin offers an exceptional blend of on-road comfort and off-road prowess. The DCT version further enhances its versatility, making it accessible to a wide range of riders, from novices to experienced adventurers.
While the Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT excels in many areas, it may not be the ideal choice for riders seeking a pure highway cruiser. The upright riding position and adjustable windscreen offer comfort, but the lack of extensive wind protection could be a drawback during extended high-speed journeys.
In conclusion, the Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L DCT stands as a worthy successor to the Africa Twin legacy. It successfully balances the demands of adventure riding with modern technology, providing riders with a capable and dynamic platform to explore the world, whether on or off the beaten path.