The Honda Africa Twin is one of the more capable adventure tourers out there and certainly has grabbed attention in a lot of markets including India. However, the global ADV space is moving towards the middleweight space that now comes with a host of options from possibly every major bike maker. Honda too is looking to grab a chunk of this pie and is reportedly working on a smaller version of the Africa Twin. But the wait for this one might be a little longer than you would hope. While the plan is underway, the model could arrive only sometime by 2020.
Motorcyclenews.com quotes Honda Large Project Leader, Kenji Morita saying, "When we speak about pure adventure, we don't have such a wide line up. And yes, we are thinking of putting a half-way model in to attract younger people. We will develop this bike, but it's not something we are working on right now."
The Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin is a litre-class offering, while the the smaller version will be plying in the 600-800 cc space. The smaller Africa Twin, much like the litre-class machine will be an out-and-out adventure offering but sans the additional weight and intimidating feel. This will make the motorcycle a lot more accessible to newer and younger riders globally.
The middlweight adventure segment is extremely hot right now, especially with a tonne of new launches announced at EICMA last month. BMW Motorrad debuted the F850 GS, while Triumph revealed the new Tiger 800 range at the annual event. There is also the upcoming 790 Aventure from KTM that is expected to offer stellar equipment at a competitive price tag.
Little is known about what the smaller Africa Twin will be like, but Honda could look into the NC750X for the powertrain. The 750 cc parallel twin motor offers a decent 54 bhp and 91 Nm of peak torque, which works well in both the manual and DCT setup. Honda lacks a line-up of adventure tourers, like its competition but knows well that its famed reliability and easy to ride motorcycles are sure to attract a lot of attention from customers.
The smaller Honda Africa Twins is likely to be one of the many models that are expected to debut in 2020. This is when the Euro 5 emission norms will kick-in across Europe, and will have manufacturers introduce new and upgraded versions of its existing motorcycles. Do expect Honda to give a sneak peak of the bike sometime in 2019, possibly at the Tokyo Motor Show.