From the moment you grip the Africa Twin handlebars you’ll just want to ride, and keep on going.
The long road to adventure is varied as adventure bike always associated with its weight but the Africa Twin doesn’t feel heavy for someone like my size and, in addition riding the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) machine gives us a different feel as there is a choice of semi-manual and automatic gear-shifting to suit road condition and tarmac, from dirt tracks to steep mountain corners. In ‘MT’ manual mode the gears can be changed manually, through a lightweight 6-speed gearbox, using up and down triggers on the left handlebar. Then, there are 4 ‘AT’ automatic modes; ‘D’ mode, which is ideal for cruising and maximising fuel economy, and ‘S’ mode, or Sport mode, with three progressively more sporty shift options: S1, S2 and S3.
With a higher ‘S’ mode selected, the engine holds higher revs before shifting up and down through the gears. So, when my mood takes me, or where the road and trails demands it, I get a much more exciting and sportier ride.
When the going gets tough terrains, the Africa Twin really gets going. Hit the ‘G’ switch and traction is improved throughout all modes. There’s also a unique incline detection feature just what you need when faced with a loose, steep trail or sandy surface so I’m in full control of any situation.
Now, here’s what really adds to the Africa Twin’s true off-road capability, the DCT, with Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) and ABS not only work in unison, but they can be independently set to give you 80 different possible combinations. In other words, you can adapt the Africa Twin’s response to suit your own skill level and to whatever the conditions demand.
No other bike we have ridden give us this type of feel except the XADV which is also a DCT machine but 750cc engine and the seating position is really different more like a scooter feel but the Africa Twin DCT really feels different when the gear changing is auto shifting up and down. But when going up or downhill, on or off-road, up and down the curb and the Africa Twin takes the challenge as easy as opening a bottle cap. Just throttle and the Africa Twin latterly know how to change its gears.
Where the road ends, adventure begins.
That’s when you’ll really appreciate how compliant the 45mm Showa front forks really are. With a 230mm stroke the longest in its class these inverted, cartridge type forks are fully adjustable with a good range of rebound and compression settings.
The rear-shock, coupled with our proven off-road Pro-Link system and lightweight swingarm, has a class leading 220mm travel. The Rear shock is also fully adjustable with an easy to operate, hydraulic spring preload adjustment. This allows you to make quick changes no tools required as the load, the road and weather conditions changes.
The ABS brakes are standard which feature 310mm ‘wave’ style, twin floating front discs with Nissin 4-pot radial calipers for plenty of feel and strong stopping power. Rear disc is a 256mm ‘wave’ style with a 1-pot caliper. Wheels are rugged spoked type 21 inch front and 18 inch rear, suitable for fitting a wide range of road and off-road tyres. Another feature is the rubber mounted handlebar clamp. This dramatically reduces any vibration and shock when landing from a jump. The Africa twin also incorporated a unique brass dynamic damper in the handle bar, to control vibration and help reduce arm fatigue on a long haul.
With new bar end weights and knuckle guards up front, the Africa Twin has a tough, purposeful and determined look you just can’t argue with.
The look of the Africa Twin just says true adventure!
It’s slim, tough bodywork truly reflects the sharp lines of CRF influence and attitude. Light and agile with a good degree of weather protection, it’s also an ideal machine for practical everyday commuting. The comfortable seat adjustable from 870 to 850mm and upright riding position make easy work of city traffic but make sure you don’t over throttle during traffic as the DCT’s 1st gear is really torquey.
The slim design nicely disguises the 18.8 litre fuel tank which, does take me up to around 400km with a full tank and that’s a lot of mileage!
The Africa Twin come with dual LED headlights like the Dakar winning machines with the rear mudguard and tail light is sharp; underlining it’s off road intentions.
The LCD meter displays information vertically, so there are no distractions looking from side-to-side. Information is arranged in definite clusters, making it easy for the eye to pin-point relevant information quickly at speed, or off-road, where you really need to focus. The LCD meter can also be adapted by use of a cursor to display a reading to suit your own personal preference.
Stopped on a hill, or off-camber, can be tricky and awkward if you can’t put both feet on the ground. A 4-position ‘Lever-Lock’ or a Handbrake I would say gives the Africa Twin parking brake system but don’t be confuse as first time riders will defiantly ask why the “clutch” is so far, cos there isn’t any clutch on DCT models! Just throttle it and the Africa Twin pulls away right from the green light.
The un-adjustable windscreen and front cowl are designed to deflect the full force of the wind. This not only reduces the buffeting effect when you’re touring at high speed, but with clever air-ducts positioned just in front of the display unit, it helps maintain stability at higher speeds too.
The Africa Twin DCT is ready to give the rider a different feeling like riding a bike from the future, but all I can say is Africa Twin is a big fun to ride.
Riders may take some time to get use to the DCT but after getting accustomed to how the DCT reacts. You’ll for sure love the DCT Africa Twin like we did. I love standing on the Africa Twin from the traffic to my journey back from the city, even though winding roads.
For the old school rider there is the manual 6 speed Africa Twin which we tested earlier, but since we had the Twin for 3 week, I grew fond of the DCT.
The manual 6-Speed Africa is priced at RM 69, 999, while the DCT Africa RM 76, 399 excluding road tax and insurance.