Liv­ing with an Africa Twin

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - Michael Guy, Sports Edi­tor michael.guy@mo­tor­cy­cle­ Miles 1635 MPG 49

Hav­ing at­tended the launch of the Honda Africa Twin in South Africa at the end of last year, I knew what I was get­ting when my long-term test bike ar­rived, but that did­nõt make me any less ex­cited!

It came from Honda fully loaded with top box, pan­niers, crash bars, spot lights, heated grips and a tall screen. First up I think itõs a great-look­ing bike and IÕM proud to say itõs mine for the year ahead. Itõs pur­pose­ful with­out be­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily big and has an un­der­ly­ing qual­ity that de­fies its pretty rea­son­able £10,499 price tag.

The bike ar­rived run-in with 600 miles on the clock and in my first two weeks of own­er­ship Iõve clocked up just over 1000 miles. It puts a smile on my face when­ever I see it. I love the fact itõs a real ad­ven­ture bike, se­ri­ously fo­cused to off-road rather than a road bike with an aes­thetic off-road makeover.

The 21in front and 18in rear wheels do, in the­ory, re­strict tyre choice for road rid­ing but with ex­cel­lent op­tions avail­able from Dun­lop, Bridge­stone and Pirelli itõs re­ally not a prob­lem.

The tall screen of­fers good wind pro­tec­tion, and my 130-mile daily com­mute is free from noise and buf­fet­ing, but de­spite the com­fort it pro­vides I want to change it. Un­for­tu­nately there is no ad­just­ment and I am at a height where the top of the screen is right in my line of sight, mean­ing I am ei­ther look­ing through the top of it or strain­ing to peek over it.

Per­for­mance from the 93bhp par­al­lel twin is en­joy­able and en­gag­ing, but itõs not fast. It could ben­e­fit from a few ex­tra horses so Iõve started look­ing into af­ter­mar­ket ex­haust op­tions, which will also save a few ki­los.

The big­gest sur­prise to me so far has been the tank range... or lack of it. It only holds 18.8 litres so I knew it would be lim­ited, but in the mainly mo­tor­way miles Iõve done so far IÕM only get­ting to just over 150 miles be­fore the fuel light comes on.

I guess it shows that you canõt have it all Ð even with the new Africa Twin!

ÔIT looks great and has an un­der­ly­ing qual­ity that de­fies its £10,499 priceõ

The top box adds to the Twin’s prac­ti­cal­ity, but the op­tional taller screen doesn’t work for Michael

Yet mor e ex­tras from the Honda cat­a­logue: spot lights and crash bars

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