Officially there's no news about when we're likely to see the next generation Honda Africa Twin, but sources inside Honda have suggested that the new Honda ultimate adventure bike will be part of the 2016 model line-up
While that's very exciting in itself, what adds fuel to the off-road fire is that Honda have applied for several patents around the world, which show serious aspects of the new motorcycle. And it looks like we will be getting a final version of the motorcycle that bears a very similar design and layout to the 'True Adventure' concept bike shown at EICMA in Italy last year.
That True Adventure concept bike was presented by Honda as an indication of where the company saw the Adventure market going next, but comparing that motorcycle with the patent filled in the USA it's much more likely that what the firm was doing was gauging public interest in the more narrow, more off-road-friendly idea before heading into production. What we know from the patent application is that the new motorcycle gets a split airbox design. Either part of the airbox sits on each side of the headstock which means that the fuel tank can then sit lower in the frame, keeping the motorcycle very narrow indeed and also helping keep the motorcycle's central mass low. The only reason you do this is to make the motorcycle more able off-road.
The motorcycle's twin radiators sit on either side of the engine just below the airbox, so they'll be less prone to damage from the front suspension and wheels when riding over extreme terrains.
The motorcycle's seat also gets a split rider and pillion set-up with a special height adjuster system which can move the rider seat up and down independently. But what's extra special is that the front of the seat moves up the petrol tank as the height changes, keeping things level and comfortable – to a point.
In the patents the whole of the motorcycle's fairing is one piece. It's difficult to see how this can stay like that in the final production runs where the cost of producing something as one unit will be high, it'll also not be popular with customers who will have to replace the whole thing rather than just the odd panel after a crash.
The motorcycle is already getting a lot of interest purely on the back of the sales success and loyalty from previous Honda Africa Twin owners. When the motorcycle was originally launched in 1989 (USA) it was in 650cc format but it's Dakar-esque styling quickly won it a large following.
The new Honda “Africa Twin” is clearly going to be 1000cc but is likely to not weigh much different to the original motorcycle's 218kg wet weight.