The New 2018 Honda Africa Twin was delivered in a beautiful metallic red colour. The controls are very easy to adjust to your own preferred riding settings after looking at the Rider hand book. Tyre pressures were a little hard 2.6 front and 2.9 rear. Dropping to 2.4 and 2.5 which I prefer for daily commuting. Oil levels are easy to check. Fuel tank holds 18.8 litres of fuel allowing a range of 380kms between fuel stops. This depends on how aggressively you are with the throttle hand.
Mounting the motor cycle, I was surprised by the seat height. Once settled on the seat the bike feels much lighter than similar types and models here is South Africa. Utilising the left foot to balance the machine it was easy to select which mode to ride, choosing the S (Sport) mode the pull away only required soft use of the throttle to get mobile. Utilising more throttle, I decided to ride a series ofleft circles. Constant throttle and light use of the rear brake allowed very tight circles and after a number of turns, switched to right hand turns with ease!
Riding Straight l I was able to experience the Front brakes till the ABS system was felt with using the two finger preferred by most bikers today at speeds form 45km/h to 100km/h. Yes, the 21inch front tyre does complain with some tyre squeal. The same trial using both Front and Rear brakes exhibited very good ability to stop quickly and safely.
Engine is really smooth up to the 8000rpm red line with a typical twin growl though the exhaust system. The 100hp power delivery is linear with great controllable delivery which allows traction to be predictable at the rear wheel. Torque curve well matched to the machines power. The front screen is adequate for speeds up to 120km/h. There is an aftermarket screen available if you are a tall person. Pillion riding is comfortable, and the foot pegs are just right, the power plant has a go anywhere ability coupled to reliability and cost-effective service schedules.
Suspension settings standard from the factory can be adjusted to suit your own riding ability and needs very easily. If not sure ask the Honda Technicians for assistance in getting the ride correct. The model tested was a little on the soft side both front and rear.
Daily commuter rides are very pleasant with the Auto Gear Box allowing easy riding in all traffic conditions. Gear selection depends on your throttle use, gear changes both up and down the gearbox is smooth and hardly felt at all, except for the rev changes from the engine.
The are a number of accessories available for the Africa Twin. Talk to your dealership.
Handguards are a little narrow in profile not giving hand protection from our current cold ride conditions. Is there a Heated hand grip option available??
Visit a Honda Dealership to arrange a Test Ride you will be surprised by the experience.
Words – James McClelland