Our Honda Africa Twin Project Bike: Everything You Could Ever Want for an Adventure
It’s fair to say Honda’s Africa Twin has turned the adventure-touring world on its ear. Or maybe just tipped it over onto the engine guards. But however you look at it, the CRF1000L Africa Twin has found an ardent following as a lighter, simpler, cheaper alternative to the European big boys in the ADV segment.
Africa Twin Luggage Overview
Of course, we can’t leave anything stock. So Twisted Throttle’s Honda Africa Twin project bike is equipped with everything you need to cruise the highway or navigate the back country, starting with SW MOTECH Trax Adventure boxes. The new design features double-walled construction for maximum strength and durability. And they’re water tight, so fording that stream won’t mean having wet underwear tonight. The left bag holds 45 liters, and the right bag 37 liters to accommodate the Honda’s muffler.
To add even more luggage space there’s an SW MOTECH Alu-Rack and an SW MOTECH Seat Rack. The Seat Rack is designed to position luggage across the back of the bike close to the rider, and includes solid strap mounts to secure your cargo from shifting on rough roads.
Gnarly trails littered with rocks, roots, and low-hanging branches make state-of-the-art chassis protection equipment a must. An SW MOTECH aluminum skid plate protects the underside of the Africa Twin. Unlike some other skid plates, it gives you access to the drain plug for easy oil changes, and is strategically ventilated so it doesn’t block vital cooling air from getting to the engine. An SW MOTECH skid-plate extender bolts between the legs of the centerstand to keep dirt, rocks, and water off the low-mounted rear shock linkage.
Engine protection can make the difference between riding home and pushing home, and again SW MOTECH comes through, this time with engine guards. Both the left and right guards are bolted to the frame in two places, and there’s a front cross brace for added strength and rigidity.
An SW MOTECH reservoir guard replaces the stock plastic part and protects the reservoir from being damaged by your boot if your foot is knocked off the peg. R&G tank pads protect the paint and give your knees some added grip on the tank in rough going.
No matter how or where you ride, comfort is important. SW MOTECH Adjustable Off-Road Footpegs are adjustable for height, and you can remove the rubber pads for better grip in sloppy conditions so your boots don’t slip off the pegs at the wrong time (and really, is there ever a right time for that?). The pegs are also bigger than the small stock pegs to spread the load and give your foot more support.
SW-MOTECH KOBRA hand guards have an aluminum spine, and the plastic protectors not only protect your hands from rocks and branches, they help fend off the cold wind in the wintertime. Note that this set works with the Africa Twin’s standard six-speed manual transmission as well as models equipped with Honda’s automated-manual DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) gearbox.
Africa Twin Auxiliary Lights
Sometimes you’re having so much fun on the trail—or so little—that the sun sets before you get home. Denali DM Micro LED lights throw out a strong beam and increase your visibility in traffic. But for maximum lighting, there’s the Denali D4 Flood and Spot Hybrid light, each with four elements consisting of a pair of spotlights and a pair of broad beams that help you see and be seen. The new Denali 2.0 lights share completely new insides with more powerful 10-watt CREE LEDs, true plug-and-play wiring harnesses, and the capability to be single- or dual-intensity with an inexpensive upgrade.
When trouble sneaks up on you from behind, the Admore LED Light Bar has your back. It has a decelerometer that knows when the bike is decelerating, even if you’re not on the brakes, and signals following traffic that you’re slowing down. And for those occasions when being seen isn’t enough, there’s the Denali SoundBomb Horn on a bike-specific mount. Directing the current flow to all the electrical accessories on our project bike is a PDM 60 controller under the seat. It has six circuits and is all digital—no burned fuses to replace, ever—and can be configured in myriad ways to keep all your electrical accessories under control.
When it comes to tires, you can wear yourself out comparing brands, compounds, tread patterns, and percentage of on-/off-road use. For our Africa Twin project bike we settled on 90/90-21 Mitas E-07 front and a 150/70-18 Mitas E-07 rear. Both are designed for 50/50 street/off-road use, and combine off-road traction with on-road comfort and quietness. Better yet, the Africa Twin worked extremely well on these tires, retaining good handling on road with enough traction off road to get yourself into all kinds of trouble.
It’s true that Honda’s latest adventure bike is pretty good right out of the box, but we’ve truly prepared it for any kind of adventure. Best of all, we can outfit yours the same way.