For 2020, Honda pulled the covers off of four models in the Africa Twin family: the Africa Twin, Africa Twin DCT, Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES, and Adventure Sports DCT. Every model received impressive updates from the outgoing Africa Twin models, but it’s the Adventure Sports ES DCT model that really shows off what Honda’s versatile adventure bike can do.
The engine capacity has been increased by 86cc up to 1084cc, increasing the power and torque by up to 6% in places. To complement the new capacity, Honda introduced a new rear subframe and swingarm to decrease weight, significantly improving performance and optimizing handling. Honda has also improved the DCT for unparalleled riding comfort.
Honda has treated the new Africa Twin Adventure Sports models with a host of onboard gadgetry, including Cornering ABS, Rear Lift Control, Wheelie Control, Cruise Control, improved Honda Traction Control, and DCT Cornering Detection for the DCT model. The advanced technology is controlled by a smart six axis Inertial Measurement Unit, which was usually only found on Honda’s class-leading CBR1000RR.
Add in Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth compatibility, a new TFT touchscreen display, slimmer bodywork and revised ergonomics, and you have a truly updated motorcycle. Available in Honda’s tricolor Pearl Glare White/Blue and Red, this adventure motorcycle is an entirely new beast.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT in one place.
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Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT Features
Here’s one of the worst-kept secrets in the motorcycling world—Honda’s Africa Twins make great long-distance touring bikes. To that end, we’ve equipped our 2020 models with cruise control, just like our Gold Wings. Your next adventure really starts a couple of hundred miles away? No problem!
THROTTLE BY WIRE
Our throttle-by-wire system greatly expands the Africa Twin’s versatility. First, you get seven levels of Honda Selectable Torque Control. Second, you can choose from four power delivery modes: Tour, Urban, Gravel, and a fourth that’s user-programmable. First used on our RC213V-S, throttle-by-wire is an excellent example of how Honda’s technology works for you.
Most twins use a 180-degree crank. By phasing the Africa Twin’s at 270 degrees, you get a unique power delivery that’s easy to modulate, especially in terrain where traction is challenging.
Our 2020 Africa Twin models offer two ABS modes: on-road and off-road. A third setting lets you turn the rear ABS off altogether for riding in the dirt.
CORNERING ANTI-LOCK BRAKES
The Africa Twin’s Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) comes standard integrated with a 6-axis IMU, it knows when you’re leaned over, and compensates accordingly.
The Africa Twin’s dry-sump engine design is the only way to go. The more compact sump increases ground clearance and eliminates the vulnerability of a conventional wet sump.
LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY, COMPACT MASS
By locating heavy components like the battery as close to the bike’s center of gravity as possible, and using a compact engine, the Africa Twin provides a superior platform for excellent handling.
Can you see the Africa Twin’s water pump? Trick question! It’s tucked behind the right side cover, out of harm’s way. There are no vulnerable hoses leading to it either, a weakness on some bikes. Driven by the balancer shaft, in case of a tip-over or in rocky sections, it’s one less thing to worry about.
LIGHTWEIGHT LITHIUM-ION BATTERY
Conventional batteries are notoriously heavy—that’s why we gave the Africa Twin a high-tech, lightweight lithium-ion battery. Compared with a similar lead-acid battery, it holds a charge approximately four times longer, and its shelf life is 1.6 times longer. Plus, it’s way lighter.
LONG-TRAVEL FRONT SUSPENSION
The Africa Twin doesn’t just look like an adventure bike—it’s the real deal. Exhibit A: Check out its long-travel front suspension. The inverted Showa fork is fully adjustable with huge 45mm tubes and 9.1 inches of travel—the most front-end travel in the 1000cc off-road class.
NEW STEEL FRAME
The 2020 Africa Twin’s frame is almost four pounds lighter than our previous model’s. Plus, we’ve fine-tuned it by making the steering head more resistant to twist.
The Africa Twin’s semi-double-cradle frame layout has been proven in countless Honda dirtbikes. In principle it’s similar to the design we use on our CRF450R Rally bike—a machine that’s designed to perform in the challenging Dakar rally and similar events.
Up front, the Africa Twin features twin four-piston brake calipers for powerful braking performance. The radial-mount design also helps make them stiffer, increasing brake feel and control.
43-DEGREE STEERING LOCK
With 43 degrees of steering lock both left and right, the Africa Twin provides excellent maneuverability on tight trails. This is one of the reasons the Africa Twin feels so much more nimble than many of the other bigger adventure bikes out there.
We shaved 500 grams from the 2020 Africa Twin’s swingarm—that’s more than a pound. This new piece uses technology developed on our CRF450R motocrosser. Any time you can take weight out of the suspension it’s a good thing, and helps handling and response.
HOLLOW AXLE SHAFTS
The Africa Twin uses large-diameter hollow steel axles front and rear. They’re super strong, durable, but also light: a combination which describes just about everything associated with this bike.
Honda SELECTABLE TORQUE CONTROL
The Africa Twin’s throttle-by-wire system lets us offer Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). You can dial in exactly the kind of power delivery you want for the conditions at hand. Honda Selectable Torque Control features seven settings for a wide range of conditions, from pavement to fast, loose fire roads to challenging singletrack. You can also turn it off.
Front and rear wheel-speed sensors working with the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) let you dial in three levels of wheelie control. There’s also an “off” position—you’re the wheelie control here.
Both manual-transmission and DCT models offer six riding modes: Tour, Urban, Gravel, Off-Road, User 1 and User 2. The last two let you customize the system to your individual preference.
Not only is the Africa Twin’s rising-rate Pro-Link® rear suspension fully adjustable, it offers a 220mm stroke for 8.7 inches of rear-wheel travel. Even better, there’s a special remote preload adjuster—you just turn a convenient knob, and you can compensate for varying loads like a passenger or full panniers.
TIRES AND WHEELS
Real adventure bikes use spoked wheels because they better survive the dings and hits of off-road riding. All Africa Twin models feature a 21-inch front and an 18-inch rear for superior performance, especially when it comes to off-road riding.
Apple CarPlay™* seamlessly integrates your compatible iPhone®* into your new Africa Twin. That means you can use your iPhone® to access Apple Maps, Apple Music, and other services easily. You’ll have access to weather, playlists and telephone numbers while aboard. Available Bluetooth®**-enabled wireless headsets let you communicate more easily than ever. And best of all, with more apps available every day, Apple CarPlay™ keeps your bike’s technology and convenience on the cutting edge.
*Apple CarPlay and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc.
**For using Apple CarPlay, connection to a commercially available Bluetooth headset is necessary. See owner’s manual for Bluetooth headset requirements.
NEW TFT TOUCHSCREEN DISPLAY
The new Africa Twins feature a 6.5-inch touch-panel LCD multi-information dash display. You can choose between three displays, too, depending on how much information you want to see at once. The screen also enables the Africa Twin to offer integrated Apple CarPlay.
SIX-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
The Africa Twin features a conventional six-speed manual gearbox with a handlebar-mounted clutch lever. It’s a proven, tough design that’s a little bit lighter, too.
OPTIONAL ALUMINUM LUGGAGE
Our optional three-piece hard luggage is sure to be one of your favorite accessories. All three bags feature weather-resistant liners, and the top box is big enough to hold a full-face helmet. And all three boxes use the same locking key, too.
LARGE FUEL TANKS
Our Africa Twin and Africa Twin DCT feature 18.8-liter (5.0-gallon) fuel tanks, while our two Adventure Sports ES models increase that capacity to 24-liters (6.3 gallons), enough for super-sized adventures.
We raised the handlebar 22.5mm higher for 2020. That helps open up the cockpit, and works in concert with the new seat and windscreen to give you a more comfortable rider’s triangle for those long days in the saddle.
TAPERED ALUMINUM HANDLEBAR
Another example of fitting premium equipment to the Africa Twin wherever we can, the aluminum handlebar is lighter than a steel unit. The design tapers from a thinner diameter under your grips to a thicker section at the top clamp, and is fine-tuned for optimal flex and rigidity.
By narrowing the Africa Twin’s seat by 20mm, we’ve made it easier to move around on the bike, and also made it easier to get a foot on the ground at stoplights or in parking lots.
NARROWER REAR SUBFRAME
Two things here: First, the aluminum subframe is removable, to aid in servicing and repairs. Second, we narrowed it by 40mm for 2020. That helps the whole bike feel narrower and more nimble—a big plus in challenging terrain.
Standard on the Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES models, these seem like a luxury until the first time you really need them. Then there’s never going back.
We’ve changed the Africa Twin’s fairing to give you better wind management. We’ve also taken the opportunity to fine-tune the headlights. You’re sure to appreciate the changes on longer rides—plus the new fairing just looks great, too.
By using counterbalancing elements on two axes, Honda’s engineers can cancel out both primary and coupling vibrations from the engine. The result is that we can mount the engine solidly for superior strength and handling, yet you still get an extraordinarily smooth, vibration-free ride.
ATHLETIC RIDING POSITION
Adventure riding is an active sport, and that means you need to be able to move around on your bike naturally and athletically. The Africa Twin is extremely narrow where you sit, and the peg-bar-seat triangle lets you move up and forward and far back as well, to enhance handling, especially under demanding trail conditions.
FULL ACCESSORY LINEUP
Right from the start, you can outfit your new CRF1100L Africa Twin with a full range of Honda accessories, items like a centerstand, quick shifter, top and side boxes, a rally seat, rally footpegs, and much more