After speaking to Leon about his 2016 Africa Twin, (You can look forward to a little question & answer session coming soon) I just had to get a closer look at the bike and so in the comfort of an air conditioned room, I got to spend some time with the machine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complement it with time in the saddle but here’s some thoughts on the presentation of the machine and some unprofessional shots. (Do note the feature shot above was taken off Motorcyclist Online)
The machine presents itself as very well constructed. It’s clear the engineers at Honda took pride in their creation, not just in reviving the marque but in true Honda ethos it is a machine that looks and feels premium on almost every component, even the plastics are textured and don’t look or feel flimsy. Absolutely nothing feels or looks like parts bin components – although there would definitely be some in the interest of keeping construction and maintenance costs down – there are no weird un-explainable gaps, everything fits nice and snug.
The ergonomics of the machine are as impressive and true to Honda, the riders position is as natural as can be. You don’t feel a need to adjust your seating position or dial in any of your own personal settings. The tank is nice and slim for those moments you need to stand off-road, though as you will see that Leon pointed out, it could do with some bigger footpegs, especially when you will be wearing humongous boots.
With my size 11 boots for measure.
That can be an easy add on down the road. It doesn’t put you in a commanding position like on a BMW but it’s still an easy triangle that doesn’t distract you from concentrating on other aspects when riding like judgement, feedback, body angle, etc.
An added benefit is that I can plant both feet on the ground. Keep in mind I’m a 32″ inseam.
In the cockpit you look straight and you see the display right in front of you. It’s uncluttered and doesn’t obstruct your view of what’s beyond that and it’s very easy to read. It looks premium too, not plastic-y like its built within a budget. Again like Leon said, it reads well even under direct sunlight which I’m glad that Honda understands, nobody likes having glare reflected in their faces especially if you are riding across wide open spaces.
They also kept the package neat, no unnecessary buttons. Everything has it’s little cubby hole and nothing protrudes in places you might accidentally catch a glove on or break off in a fall. On the dual clutch transmission models you have the parking brake and release levers disguised as a clutch lever and decompression lever that you see on older kick-start machines. A nod to the bigger cc kick-start dirtbikes of old, very ingenious of Honda.
The machine comes with a skidplate, no need to go hunting for one either. That low slung exhaust header is a tad scary though, like it could crunch in a hard enough fall.
Some engine guards should take care of that, somewhat – necessary evil against a very sleek body line. It’s impressive that Honda managed to shove a litre engine into something as sleek and slim as this. Gotta LOVE modern engineering.
A test ride would be nice if they did any now.
The machine retails for 34K at Boon Siew, 32K at Mah and 31K at Looi’s with COE. Your call.