Honda has set a new record with its CRF1000L Africa Twin for riding a twin-cylinder motorcycle at the highest altitude, reaching as high as 5,965 m, before a 2 m wall of snow halted progress for Chilean enduro champion Fabio Mossini. After five days of acclimatisation, the team started at sea level and completed its ascent across mud, sand, gravel and ice in less than 24 hours, and in temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees Celsius.
Mossini and a supporting team of five Africa Twin motorcycles led the attempt to climb the world's highest volcano to a record-setting altitude. The volcano, Nevado Ojos del Salad, is situated between Argentina and Chile. The Atacama Region desert route has become very famous as part of the Dakar Rally. A Honda Africa Twin DCT automatic transmission was part of the group, making most of the climb.
The record though does not constitute the highest altitude reached by a motorcycle, since that belongs to Gianfranco Bianchi reaching 6,471 m aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450 in 2015. It still qualifies as the record for twin-cylinder motorcycles, given that all previous records were set with single-cylinder bikes.
The Honda Africa Twin bikes used in the challenge were kitted out with Termignoni exhausts, different sprockets, Metzeler MC360TM tyres, shorter final transmission and some parts from Honda's aftermarket catalog, like protective bars. What is noteworthy is that the Africa Twin bikes used in the attempt are more or less standard. Honda hasn't mentioned any changes being made to the fuelling, meaning the stock injection system managed to handle the thin air of the high altitudes quite well.
The Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin is powered by a liquid-cooled 998 cc parallel-twin engine which makes 94 bhp of power and 97 Nm of torque. In India, the Africa Twin will be launched in mid-2017, sometime around June or July and has been the topic of much interest among the adventure motorcycling crowd. Internationally, the Africa Twin is available in two variants - one with a manual transmission and an auto shifting dual clutch transmission (DCT). In India, only the DCT variant will be launched, expected to be priced around ₹ 17 lakh.