The competition in the mid-capacity adventure bike segment is about to get tough, with the success of the Triumph Tiger 800 and the BMW F 850 GS set to launch next year. Honda is also planning to enter the segment soon with a smaller version of its CRF 1000L Africa Twin.
Honda Africa Twin is a very popular off-road tourer but its size and power isn’t quite palpable for novice riders. New riders need something friendlier, lighter and more affordable. Honda’s Large Project Leader for the Africa Twin, Kenji Morita, accepted that they lack pure adventure bikes and as to how they are thinking of getting a “half-way model” in to attract young or A2 riders.
Developing a new engine would obviously be very expensive. Moreover, it doesn’t make sense because Honda already has a 750cc parallel-twin that currently does duty on the NC750X. Employing this engine will allow the bike to be accessible to a bigger market while also making the optimum use of Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission. However, this doesn’t really make for a small capacity Africa Twin. Hence, Honda could also possibly bring an Africa Twin with a 650cc engine like in the XRV650.
However, with the KTM 790 Adventure and the BMW F 850 GS lurking around the corner and Triumph’s Tiger 800 range out there now, Honda would have to roll up its sleeves and get to work to make the most out of this currently trending segment. The next Tokyo Motor Show is a good target with it being still almost a good two long years away. A concept of a smaller Africa Twin could get all the attention to help Honda become the talk of the town in 2019. We do hope that the new Honda Africa Twin comes soon as its elder sibling had us impressed and the new bike is expected to follow its footsteps.