The iconic Honda Africa Twin may have several Dakar wins to its name and a reputation for go-anywhere toughness that has lasted well after the model was discontinued, but in Thailand the go-anywhere do anything Honda Africa Twin was never officially imported, The current offering, the Honda CB500X and VFR1200X are good motorcycles but it's most certainly more road-oriented than the Africa Twin or even the good old Honda Transalp was designed to be. That leaves a hole in the Honda range that is conspicuous given that the adventure range sector is the market biggest growth market.
Rumors has it, however, that Honda has an all-new Africa Twin fresh from the drawing board. At this stage the rumor has done several laps around the world in more languages than I have fingers and filled Internet searches with circumstantial claims, but is yet to be comprehensively confirmed.
The rumor started with a quote from Vito Cicchetti, the General Manager of Honda, Italy, he repetitively confirmed last year that the Honda Africa Twin will return in 2015.Although Mr. Vito Cicchetti doesn't say, most rumor point to the Milan Motorcycle show of October 2014 as the date that the company will officially introduce the 2015 Honda Africa Twin 750, some rumors suggest that the new Africa Twin will run a 1000cc engine. The engine size could have serious effect on the sales numbers given the 800 to 1200cc market continues to dominate and companies like BMW, Yamaha and Triumph offer a motorcycle to cover a range of sizes starting from 660cc.
One thing we do know is that when people get frothy to this extent about the possible return of a motorcycle. It's simply because it was loved and respected. It happened with the re-release of Yamaha Tenere, To have the Honda Africa Twin and the red wing on the side of a mighty adventure bike stirs emotion even in a country that had to look far and wide for the few models that made it here previously.
We asked Honda Asia if there was any substance to the rumors of the Africa Twin and they stated that they 'that they could not confirm or deny that this model being developed or built'. So either an Italian General Manager didn't know what he was saying or the motorcycle is a barely contained secret....