Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
Carrying the model name made famous by the four-time Dakar-winning Africa Twin factory racers in the late 80s, the current version follows the 750cc V-twin road bike which ran from 1988 to 2003.
Returning to production as a 998cc parallel twin in 2016, the latest Africa Twin joined the big adventure bike class with a different take. Its 94bhp engine makes appreciably less power than its rivals, though its torque spread gives it plenty of flexibility. There’s an option of DCT and manual gearbox arrangements, the latter being £969 cheaper and better suited to off-road use.
The Honda’s overall dimensions are more compact than other big adventure bikes. Not quite as well equipped as many of them, the Honda features three-level traction control and switchable ABS for the rear brake. Tubed tyres are a strange choice, making punctures more hassle. A range of official Honda accessories is available including panniers, top box, tall screen, crash bars, heated grips, fog lights, power socket and centrestand – all of which were fitted to our test bike (£14,509).