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