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Honda Africa Twin Final Concept Revealed at EICMA 2014

Even though we cheered as the wraps fell off an extremely dirty new Africa Twin machine at the EICMA 2014, there is still some waiting ahead. Honda has not finished working on the new Africa Twin adventure bike, but maybe we will get to see it reaching the dealerships in Q2-Q3 next year.
2015 Honda Africa Twin 26 photos
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We’ve spoken with a Honda Italia official who didn’t want to be named, and we managed to learn one of two things about the upcoming machine. So far, it looks like the bike which was unveiled at the EICMA 2014 is indeed very close to its final production stage, though minor changes could not be ruled out. However, when we asked whether the bike will look different, the Honda official said that what we were looking at is the new Africa Twin, though certain rally-raid inspired optionals could arrive with it when the bike will finally roll out.

No media was allowed near the bike, and Honda was careful to smear just enough mud on the thing and create a very effective camo livery which would “hide” it from the peering eyes. The fine details of the bodywork got lost in the urban camo wraps, so it looks like we’re now going wait for spy shots. Since the machine is ready, we can bet a small army of spy photographers are now readying their gear to catch it testing in the wild.Does it look anything like the old Africa Twin? NO!
Some of the fans of the old Honda will definitely be disappointed, as the new machine doesn’t retain anything but the name from the Africa Twin. The new machine is indeed powered by a liquid-cooled parallel twin engine and this means no v-twin rumble across the hills any more.

Despite the better torque characteristics of the v-twin, Honda wanted a more compact bike, with more centralized mass, so the in-line twin was the natural choice. Even though the parallel twin engine needs higher revs to make things really fun, the rumored 100 hp of the engine should do it.

The seat of the old Africana has been replaced with a more racey one, and it will be interesting to see how the new AT will feel for touring. Honestly, spending 10 or more hours a day on that saddle doesn’t look like the most comfy experience. However, since we could not take a photo from above, let alone sit on it, this is a thing to be decided at a later time.

Honda’s new adventure machine is clearly inspired from the Dakar version of the CRF450R, but this isn’t exactly a bad thing. The shapes are indeed way more supple that what the old lady could brag on, and it looks like this bike favors riding standing.

The front end is very compact, and the windscreen, which appears to be adjustable is almost vertical, not unlike that of the rally-ride machines. It’s really wonderful to see Honda avoided adding the infamous beak to the new Africa Twin. This was probably the last thing this bike needed. The front cowl is compact and aggressive, as it should be, after all, built for thrills instead of frills. The dual headlight cluster was maintained, but the new Africa Twin lights have nothing in common with those of the old AT. Still, they are perfectly integrated with the somehow edgier overall attire, and if Honda plans to retain what appeared to be xenon lights, we’re definitely in for very good nocturnal vision. Even more, with the optional auxiliary lights, things look really well.

The petal rotors are equipped with ABS rings, and we wonder whether Honda will dish out an off-road ABS system, as well, to keep up with the competition. The suspension and brakes are most likely Honda’s in-house Showa and Nissin units. The front brake calipers definitely look like Nissin ones.

No price was provided by the Honda official, but we can guesstimate that the Africa Twin, hopefully a 2015 model, will arrive with a price tag reading anywhere between €10,000 and €13,000, with the last figure possibly getting you a fully-loaded machine, with plenty of adventure amenities.

Now, it’s back to the waiting game, but at least now you know what to expect. Leaving the old vs new Africana debate aside, what do you think about the new beast? Honestly, we sort of love it, even though a more touring-oriented seat could be a really sweet addition.

 
 
 
 
 

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