Japanese firm widens range with more road-focused Honda Africa Twin model, and new electronic suspension options
Honda’s CRF1100 Africa Twin is one of the regular strong sellers for the firm, and is a very good piece of kit. It’s fighting in a super-competitive sector though of course, and is up against some amazing machines. So for 2024, Honda’s given the two models in the range a makeover, with new equipment options and some chassis upgrades.
The Adventure Sports version of the Twin now comes with a more road-focused front end, with a new 19-inch front wheel rather than the dirt-friendly 21” rim used now. That improves grip, feedback and manners on road and allows a wider tarmac-friendly tyre fitment, and is matched with a new electronic suspension setup from Showa as standard.
The EERA (Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment) system has four preset modes – Soft, Mid, Hard and Off-Road, as well as a customisable User mode. The semi-active suspension constantly adjusts as you ride using info from the engine ECU and IMU unit, as well as a stroke sensor inside the front fork.
It can be tweaked on the move, with even the rear preload adjustable without stopping. There’s a larger 24.8 litre fuel tank – well done Honda! – and new bodywork with an adjustable windscreen gives better wind and weather protection for the long haul too.
Meanwhile, the standard Honda Africa Twin keeps its 21” front wheel for better dirt performance, and the Showa EERA electronic suspension is available as an upgrade option too, with the same 230mm front/220mm rear wheel travel as the standard bike, (20mm longer than the Adventure Sports road-friendly variant).
Both versions have a revised engine tune for 2024 too. The parallel twin SOHC 8v motor has the same peak power output of 100bhp@7,500rpm as before, but there’s been a retune for more midrange grunt and peak torque goes up to 112Nm@5,500rpm from 105Nm@6,250rpm.
Higher compression, new cam timing and wider intake trumpets and ports all contribute, and the optional DCT automatic transmission has also been tweaked on the new machines. The DCT now uses inputs from the IMU to improve performance while cornering and on steep inclines, while new settings improve the natural feel when pulling away from a stop, and when changing gears.
On the equipment front, the Honda 6.5” full colour TFT LCD touch screen dash gives access to all the electronic settings, and includes a Bluetooth connection and Apple Carplay/Android Auto functions, which makes a big difference on long haul trips. Cruise control, USB charging socket, cornering lights, a new lithium ion battery and a new thicker seat cushion all make the new Africa Twin even more of a distance machine.
Evolution rather than revolution from Honda then, and the new 2024 Africa Twin range will no doubt stay a strong seller for the firm.
But with the competition getting even better, and more clearly defined, it’s not going to have an easy fight in the sales arena. BMW’s R1300 GS has a new, more compact look, while new bikes from Ducati, KTM and Triumph have also given buyers many more options.
The new bikes will be in dealers next month, with the standard Africa Twin starting from £13,199 and the AS model from £17,599. More info: www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles
Don’t forget to get your motorcycle insurance quote from Devitt today!