This is a motorcycle review. I know it doesn’t say ‘motorbike’ on the cover of this magazine any more than it says ‘skateboard’ or ‘freestyle armchair’. But, as Edna Mole said, yet here we are.
I’m not a motorbike reviewer. I’m not even a motorbike expert. But maybe I know more about motorbikes than your average DJ or celebrity chef knows about cars, and that doesn’t seem to stop anyone.
The bike in question is the new Honda Africa Twin – significant enough to warrant a mention because its rebirth isn’t unlike the second coming of the Honda NSX. Both were originally introduced, to great acclaim, within a year of each other around 1990, and both managed to hang around until the early part of the 21st century. By that time they were outgunned by their rivals but still retained a charmed following.
And now they’re back together, too. The new Twin isn’t without new-NSX qualities in that it sits between two established orders. The NSX is more powerful than most sports cars yet less so than most supercars.
Likewise, adventure bikes in the Africa Twin’s sphere tend to have around 800cc or 1200cc engines. BMW’s R1200GS, used by the thousand on southern European tours, makes 125bhp, which is rather more than the F800GS’s 75bhp. The 94bhp, 1000cc Africa Twin sits between those two and many more rivals, designed to pinch sales from above and below.