2018 Honda Africa Twin Sports CRF1000L2 Preview
With the big-bike ADV craze at full throttle, Honda re-entered in 2016 with the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin, a bike that was inspired by the original NXR750 Africa Twin that claimed four-consecutive Paris-Dakar Rally victories back in the 1980s.
The Africa Twin was well received, and the ADV aftermarket quickly released accessories to make it more off-road worthy. Realizing the need for a more off-road and touring-ready Africa Twin, Honda unveiled its CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Sports at EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show.
The CRF1000L2 was released next to an updated 2018 Honda CRF1000L, which also receives upgrades to its engine, electronics, and rider interface. Following are the essential Fast Facts for Honda’s new CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Sports.
1. The Sports model has longer-travel, fully adjustable Showa suspension, which offers 10.6 inches vs 9.8 inches on the base model.
2. The Africa Twin Sports gets a flatter seat profile that’s 1.2 inches taller than the base model, and the seat height can be adjusted nearly an inch. The CRF1000L2 has a seat height of either 35.4 or 36.2 inches, vs. 33.5 or 34.3 on base model.
3. For more comfort off road, the CRF1000L2’s handlebar position is 1.3 inches higher and almost a quarter-inch rearward compared to the standard version.
4. Fuel capacity grows by nearly 1.5 gallons on the Adventure Sports due to a 6.4-gallon fuel tank compared to five gallons on the standard model.
5. The Africa Twin Adventure Sports has a larger fairing and 3.1-inch taller windscreen for better protection from the elements.
6. Further ADV-ready accessories on the Sports arrives from larger sump guard, a larger front light bars, brushed-aluminum cowling panels, rear mudguard, and easily removable steel rack.
7. The 2018 Honda CRF1000LS Africa Twin Sports arrive standard with heated grips and a 12-volt accessory socket.
8. Both the Sports and base 2018 Africa Twin models feature 21- and 18-inch wheels, with stainless-steel spokes for improved durability.
9. The Africa Twin’s footpegs are now wider and affixed via stouter steel mounting plates for strength and comfort off road. The passenger footpeg hangers also have been redesigned to allow more room for the rider’s feet when standing.
10. Speaking of standing, the instrument cluster has been re-positioned for a more optimal view while standing.
11. For 2018, the Africa Twin lineup’s 998cc SOHC eight-valve parallel-twin engine features a new airbox (20mm longer) and redesigned exhaust for better midrange power.
12. The engine’s balancer shaft weights were lightened by 10.6 ounces.
13. The Africa Twin lineup’s water pump is housed within the clutch casing. A thermostat is integrated into the cylinder head, while water and oil pumps are driven by the engine’s balancer shafts, contributing to a compact engine and optimum ground clearance.
14. A lithium-ion battery was introduced for 2018 across the Honda Africa Twin lineup, which helps shave 5.1 pounds.
15. A two-channel ABS is standard equipment across the Africa Twin lineup, and the rear can be turned off.
16. Once again, both models are available with Honda’s automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). Riders can select from three different shifting modes, plus a G switch that enhances off-road functionality by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes.
17. New for 2018, both Africa Twin models four individual riding modes and an expanded Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system. The HSTC traction-control system now features seven levels instead of three. HSTC can also be completely switched off, and three levels of power and engine braking are available
18. Both CRF1000L Africa Twin models now have auto-canceling turn indicators.
19. The CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Adventure Sports model also arrives with a storage pocket on rear right.
20. The Honda CRF1000L2 will only be available in one color combination–white/blue/red.
21. The 2018 Honda CRF1000L2 will first be released in Europe, but the L2 and the CRF1000L will arrive stateside next summer. Expect to pay about $2000 over the base model for the CRF1000L2, which in 2017 sold for $12,999 in standard, and $13,699 with DTC.
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