A new engine, more power, revised chassis & better electronics on a bike that is leaner, lighter & styled more aggressively. So, is it wrong to term the 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin as a completely new bike?
After teasing the updated derivative of its full-size adventure tourer since July 2019, Honda has now officially introduced the 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin. The 2020 model will arrive in two versions: a standard derivative & the Adventure Sports ES version. Both versions will further be available either with a manual or Honda's DCT automatic transmission. While the 2020 model is basically a new bike in itself (due to major components being replaced with completely new units), the standard version still gets better off-road capabilities than before. The Adventure Sports ES steps it up a notch with additional tech & features.
Visually, the 2020 Africa Twin bears a handful of changes. The overall front profile has been made more aggressive by a slightly tweaked fairing & headlight design. the tailpiece also receives a similar makeover. Further, to enhance riding comfort, the 2020 Africa Twin gets a taller & tapered aluminium handlebar (raised by 22.5mm), a 20mm narrower seat (for better body movement) & removable aluminium rear sub-frame, which has also been narrowed by 40mm. For better manoeuvrability, both on the road and off it, the 2020 Africa Twin gets long-travel suspension up front, courtesy of fully-adjustable 45mm inverted Showa forks (9.1 inches of travel). At the back, suspension duties are carried out by a fully-adjustable Pro-Link setup with a remote preload adjuster. Numerous weight-saving measures have been carried out on the 2020 Africa Twin, courtesy of a lighter swingarm, new steel frame & a lighter Li-ion battery.
The biggest change, however, is that of the heart. The 2020 Africa Twin gets a new & bigger 1,084cc liquid-cooled Unicam four-stroke parallel-twin motor. The outgoing bike has a 998cc version of the same motor. Apart from the bigger capacity, the new motor also has a reworked stroke (increased by 6.4mm), which allows for wider power & torque band, starting much lower in the rev range. Coupled with an improved air-intake & exhaust system, the 2020 Africa Twin produces 100bhp & 105Nm of torque, compared to the 2019 model's 94bhp & 99Nm.
As mentioned above, the 2020 Africa Twin gets an updated suite of electronic riding aids. The list now includes a new six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which adds additional features like wheelie control, cornering/selectable ABS, rear-lift control, DCT cornering detection and cornering lights. As the 2020 Africa Twin works via a throttle-by-wire system, this has also allowed it to receive the seven-way adjustable Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) feature & six dedicated riding modes: Tour, Urban, Gravel, Off-Road (New), User 1 & User 2. The last two offer rider-customisable settings. The riding modes, along with the new Cruise Control unit, are offered as standard on both manual & DCT versions.
Another significant change comes in the form of a new command centre, courtesy of a new 6.5-inch LCD touchscreen dash display. The new screen unit also features integrated Apple CarPlay (new) & Bluetooth connectivity.
Over the standard version, the Adventure Sports ES offers a bigger 24.8-litre fuel tank (18.9-litre tank on the standard model), Showa Electronically-Equipped Ride Adjustment (EERA) suspension, tubeless tyres, heated grips, accessory socket, larger skid plate & an aluminium rear rack. It also gets an adjustable seat height & windscreen.