Africa Twin

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

Honda’s new ad­ven­ture

When we stopped for lunch on day two we were cold and damp so headed for a truck-stop. We wanted ba­sic, warm food; ham, egg and chips or a tra­di­tional break­fast. We knew what we were get­ting, what to ex­pect and all for less than £8. Within 15 min­utes we were warm, happy, well fed and sat­is­fied – that’s how the Africa Twin makes you feel.

It doesn’t have the bells and whis­tles of the other two, it’s ar­guably not as de­sir­able, can’t match the power and han­dling ei­ther. There is one rider mode, very ba­sic TC, and the screen isn’t even ad­justable, but some­times that’s all you need and the Honda’s around £5000 cheaper than the other two bikes on test. You warm to the sim­plic­ity, its ease of use and friend­li­ness. Some­times you just want a bloody mug of tea not a Skinny Vanilla Grande Latte for three times the price!

I cov­ered over 300 miles in one day on the Honda and grew to love it. Ini­tially I wanted a slightly larger screen, cruise con­trol and heated grips, but that was only be­cause I’d been spoilt by the other two. Cruis­ing at 85mph is fine, there’s still plenty of power in re­serve for a quick dart to 100mph and more. The par­al­lel twin of­fers ex­cel­lent MPG and de­spite hav­ing the small­est fuel tank it went the fur­thest be­fore il­lu­mi­nat­ing its fuel light.

What’s more the Africa Twin has real po­ten­tial off-road. Be­fore I re­ceive a del­uge of com­plaints from an­gry GS own­ers, I know the Beemer is far bet­ter off-road than its size sug­gests, but I’ve rid­den both mod­els off-road back-to­back and the Honda runs cir­cles around the Beemer off-road. This gives the Honda true globe-trot­ting po­ten­tial.

On road the Honda is pre­dictable and for a bike with a 21in front wheel ac­tu­ally han­dles sur­pris­ingly well. The sus­pen­sion is ad­justed con­ven­tion­ally, what you see is what you get. The big­gest dif­fer­ence is the brak­ing, which is lack­ing com­pared to the other two. It’s not that the Honda brakes are poor, it’s just the other two are very ca­pa­ble with awe­some ABS, more so the Du­cati. But, de­spite its faults, lack of glam­our and out­right power, we all loved the Honda.

‘You warm to the sim­plic­ity, its ease of use and friend­li­ness’

It might be at the back but there’s no way the Africa Twin is get­ting left be­hind

Even with that 21in front the Honda has de­cent road man­ners

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.