If a report from Japanese motoring blog, kojintekibikematome, is to be believed, Honda is working on bringing the Africa Twin moniker to the middleweight segment. The blog has also posted a rendering of the alleged 'Honda Africa Twin 850 (CRF850L)' that was published in the July issue of the Japanese magazine Motorcycle.
The rendered motorcycle draws styling cues from the current generation CRF1000L. Regular followers of the motoring industry would know that Honda already offers the NC750X with the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) tech in the middleweight adventure touring segment. However, with its 17-inch alloy wheels on both ends, the NC750X is targeted for on-road riding. The middleweight Africa Twin, on the other hand, will take the beaten path and thus come equipped with wire-spoke wheels. The front wheel on the Africa Twin 850 will most likely be a 21-inch unit. Like the litre-class version, the Africa Twin 850 will most likely be available in two variants – manual transmission and DCT.
We hope Honda brings the cross-spoke design to the Africa Twin range that will enable the installation of tubeless tyres on the motorcycle. Tubeless tyres are quicker to fix in case of a puncture.
The rendered Africa Twin 850 is shown with premium hardware that will match products like Triumph Tiger 800 and the BMW F 850 GS. The shock absorption department comprises upside-down telescopic forks at the front and a monoshock at the back. In comparison, the NC750X uses conventional telescopic forks at the front. The anchoring hardware on the rendered motorcycle includes dual discs at the front and a single disc at the back – both featuring a petal-type design.
While most of the styling cues are similar, the Africa Twin 850 uses slightly different design elements. The front, for example, is imagined with body coloured fender. The headlight design of the middleweight motorcycle drops the partition in the centre while retaining the twin-pod design. The headlight mask and parts of the fairing have also been blacked out. More changes are visible in the form of a single-piece saddle (vs split seat on CRF1000L), and a different design for the exhaust.
In terms of mechanical specifications, Honda may revise the existing motor from either the CRF1000L or the NC750X. The performance numbers may not match the existing middleweight adventure tourers like the Triumph Tiger 800 XC and the BMW F 850 GS, although Honda will have an edge with its DCT technology. Other electronics on the motorcycle will most likely include switchable ABS, traction control and ride-by-wire throttle.
Meanwhile, the 2020 iteration of its litre-class adventure tourer from Honda is reportedly set to receive a performance bump and new features.