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2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports Impressions

SoCalEddie

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 14, 2017
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Los Angeles, CA
#1
I recently got an opportunity to attend the 2017 Progressive International Motorcycle show in Long Beach, CA today and saw some really fun and neat motorcycles. For the purpose of the forum, I'd like to express my general impressions and thoughts about the new 2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports.
WR9A5670.jpg
Wow... what an incredible machine! The overall fit and finish of the bike is exceptional. Have to give credit where credit is due and Honda did an outstanding job with the upgrades. The Adventure Sports model has a larger fuel tank (additional 1.4 gallons) compared to the base model and when I swung my legs over it and propped her up correctly, I didn't even notice it and felt completely natural. Although, that feeling may change when the tank is topped off.

I'm 5'10" and with the upgraded extended suspension and the additional 1.2" increased in seat height, I was on my toes and wasn't sure if I was able to properly balance the bike. The seat was set on it's highest position and if it was lowered to it's lowest position, it would of been more comfortable for me.


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Notice anything about the blinkers? You're right! Honda is getting rid of the "pumpkin" blinkers and replacing the 2018 Africa Twin Adventure Sports and base model with these beautiful LED blinkers. This information is confirmed from the Honda rep. You read it here first on africatwin.org!

WR9A5729web.jpg
Beautiful 30th anniversary paint scheme commemorating the first Honda Africa Twin XRV 650 released in 1988.

I know a lot of the riders here (@Corki, @Cuchulainn, @belrix, etc) had questions about retrofitting and the ability to swap parts from the Adventure Sports model to earlier Africa Twin models. The Honda rep mentioned there are completely different electrical components that is inherent with throttle by wire, emergency flashers and auto cancelling turn signals that would make it a nightmare to try to retrofit these features in to the older models. He did drop a hint and said with the implementation of throttle by wire, they have opened up conversations for cruise control. He also couldn't confirm nor deny retrofitting the fuel tank and fairings. "It would be interesting" he said... Below are some photos of plastic covers that go over the fuel tank to give you a general idea of how big or small the retrofitting project may go:
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New heated grips from Honda... Supposedly they have also fixed the issue of the grips not being warm enough.

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Thanks for checking out this brief report on the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports. Honda didn't give a price. Expect the first shipment to arrive around Spring/Summer of 2018 for us folks in the U.S.

Let me know your thoughts!
 

Cuchulainn

Well-Known Member
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Aug 10, 2017
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Denver, CO
www.rmmrc.org
#3
Those heated grips do not look any different from those installed on my bike. Is it just the internals that are different? Or are mine updated from what originally was installed?


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OneEarTim

Well-Known Member
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Aug 16, 2017
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Nor-Cal
motorcycleadventuregear.com
#6
wait wait wait wait, Is that a quicker, more reasonable way to access the air filters!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
My latest HUGE disappointment with my Africa Twin and possibly the reason I will end up jumping ship is the completely STUPID requirement of having to take off $1000 worth of PITA body work that depends on vulnerable plastic posts and tabs to stay on.
Totally unacceptable for a bike that is supposed to be ridden in the dirt if you ask me.
 
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Mitch

Well-Known Member
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Sep 20, 2017
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Iowa
#7
wait wait wait wait, Is that a quicker, more reasonable way to access the air filters!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
My latest HUGE disappointment with my Africa Twin and possibly the reason I will end up jumping ship is the completely STUPID requirement of having to take off $1000 worth of PITA body work that depends on vulnerable plastic posts and tabs to stay on.
Totally unacceptable for a bike that is supposed to be ridden in the dirt if you ask me.
Agree. Hard to understand. The removal of the plastics is a real PITA. Based on your type of riding I will bet a 1090 is in your future.

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OneEarTim

Well-Known Member
africatwin.org gold
Aug 16, 2017
286
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Nor-Cal
motorcycleadventuregear.com
#8
Agree. Hard to understand. The removal of the plastics is a real PITA. Based on your type of riding I will bet a 1090 is in your future.
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That could be a safe bet. I love my AT, but things like changing the air filter is crazy!
I've got some disk issues in my back that makes it hard to lift my left foot. I can still shift but the DCT does make it pretty nice to not have to worry about shifting.
 

Mitch

Well-Known Member
africatwin.org gold
Sep 20, 2017
303
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Iowa
#9
I'm sure you recall I have the same problem. After my third back surgery I was left with a moderate foot drop. It's difficult for me to shift with my foot. I have to raise my left foot using my thigh. When standing it is really hard to shift and maintain control, and with a full day of riding it gets really tiring. This problem was the primary reason I ever looked at the AT-DCT, and it will be the primary reason I put up with those stupid plastics....Candidly, I assume after I have removed them a few times it will be a lot easier and quicker. But it is still a dumb setup.
 
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SoCalEddie

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 14, 2017
249
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Los Angeles, CA
#12
Those heated grips do not look any different from those installed on my bike. Is it just the internals that are different? Or are mine updated from what originally was installed?
From what I gathered, I believe they are an updated version that hopefully addresses the issues riders were having.

@OneEarTim Good catch! Should of asked.

@Cuchulainn edit* Bonehead reply on my end. You're correct, new internal parts apparently. We'll see... :)
 
Last edited:
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Cuchulainn

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Aug 10, 2017
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Denver, CO
www.rmmrc.org
#13
Mine seem OK. The only two fingers that ever get cold are the two I use to cover the front brake. my palms, other fingers all stay warm. I have a pair of Gerbings Hybrid gloves that keep my hands far warmer than any heated grip, for when the going gets really cold.


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Likes: Bmp4510
Nov 6, 2017
36
14
8
Omaha, NE
#14
Saw the bike at the show too. I certainly can be in for a bigger tank. Taller suspension etc., not sure my riding will need it and I'm not short, I am getting older, but swinging a leg over when a tailbag is on is not easy and not sure I want to try and lift it up higher. The bike overall looked very sweet though!

There was booth at the show (have a brouchure, but not handy) that was showing heated gloves that plug into a heated Jacket or in my interest (I like my current jacket) a heated vest. I know heated gloves are not new, but these were variable control and basically a pretty neat setup. So, I'm thinking of investing this way instead of heated grips and seats that I was looling at.

Mention above of KTM 1090; The dealer I bought my AT at also is a KTM dealer and knew I was comparing the two models. After the sale (not sure they would of before) the sales manager admitted he'd lean the Honda way as well. His main concern, the Honda is much more 'in the middle of nowhere' serviceable. He said the 1090 is almost impossible to figure out a mechanical issue without the KTM Diagnostic Tool/Computer software (which I guess the software is the critical part). And he said only KTM dealers are authorized to have the equipment. So the AT has some short comings (plastic removal a big one), but I think each brand of Adventure type bike has positives and negatives and leaves a rider to make a choice of what he wants to 'deal' with.
 
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Davy F

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2015
166
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Northern Ireland
#15
IMG_1877.JPG IMG_1879.JPG IMG_1882.JPG IMG_1887.JPG Well, I've had time to digest my thoughts over the past few days and my 2016 AT can rest easy in my garage. As nice as the Adventure Sports model is, and I love the 30th anniversary paint scheme, it's not for me. It was the same with my 12GS...the GSA wasn't something I desired. I don't need a taller bike or larger fuel range, nor the added weight. In fact, my 'basic' model seems more like the sports model with the AT AS being the long legged super touring version.
There's more that I could probably add, but ultimately I can keep the 5 to 6 grand it'd cost me to change in my bank for something else on another day.

Bike of the show for me, and many other people I spoke too was the Kawasaki Z900RS. Rose-tinted glasses firmly glued on to ones head and think you're back in the early 70's. :D
 
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Admin

Administrator
Staff member
May 13, 2015
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#17
@Davy F Thanks for the write up about the Africa Twin Adventure Sports and always nice to get a different perspective on things. That Kawasaki z900 is a very pretty machine.
 

Squily

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2016
159
105
103
Esperance Western Australia
#18
That could be a safe bet. I love my AT, but things like changing the air filter is crazy!
I've got some disk issues in my back that makes it hard to lift my left foot. I can still shift but the DCT does make it pretty nice to not have to worry about shifting.

Bit off the subject, but maybe something you could develop Tim?

Mate of mine was working on a clip-on system that goes over the air intake under the lights. Then using a simply maxi-pad type prefilter that you buy for 3 for a $1 from Woolies/Aldi. I had a look at it for mine, but the 'system' wasn't compatible with my Holan upper-bars.
 

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
929
295
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So. Cal.
#19
Don’t you all find that the air filters seem to stay surprisingly clean? I’ve got 8K miles, a lot off road, a substantial amount following, and my filters are still good.

Bit off the subject, but maybe something you could develop Tim?

Mate of mine was working on a clip-on system that goes over the air intake under the lights. Then using a simply maxi-pad type prefilter that you buy for 3 for a $1 from Woolies/Aldi. I had a look at it for mine, but the 'system' wasn't compatible with my Holan upper-bars.
 

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