Yes! "ES" Means Electronic Suspension

Honda expands its 2020 Africa Twin lineup with the addition of the CRF1100L “Adventure Sports ES” model that turns an already capable dual-surface machine into a terrain-gobbling off-road tour de force. A larger, more powerful engine and lower overall weight boosts performance, and handling is improved, as well, through the electronically adjusted suspension system. Also boosted, fuel-tank capacity is increased to extend the range and make the “ES” even more suitable for work as a bona fide globetrotter.

  • 2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel Twin
  • Displacement:
    1084 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    17199
  • Price:

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Design

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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Fuel capacity increased by 30 percent to extend the globe-trotting prowess of the new Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES.

Honda’s new Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES toes the family line with a new snub-nose front fairing that relies on a proper close-fit fender rather than a floating bird’s beak to contain the front-wheel fling, and you can pencil me in as a fan. The fender itself mounts to the lower fork feet with tall uprights to cover and protect the swept area of the inner fork tubes from the grit and grime that can attack and wipe out the fork seals.

Dual headlights split the night from their recesses at the entry, and below the projectors there’s another pair of LED arrays acting as cornering lights to put the illumination where you need it most; where you’re going, not where the bike is pointing. It’s difficult to overstate how comforting it is to be able to see into the corners at night rather than waiting until you straighten up and bring your headlight back into line with your direction of travel, and if you’ve never been surprised at a corner at night, you’re decidedly in the minority and should thank your lucky star. To wrap up the forward lighting, LED front blinkers ride high-and-tight in a position that will afford them some protection if/when you drop the thing.

Unlike the base-model Africa Twin, the Adventure Sports ES rocks a full-size, rally-style clear windscreen that forms a large wind pocket for the rider’s comfort. Handguards do their bit to shunt the wind away from your hamburger shovels, and they improve the effect of the heated handgrips that come with the stock equipment package to potentially extend your riding season in areas with colder climes.

A 6.5-inch color TFT touchscreen display delivers all the pertinent metrics through a trio of layouts that let you tailor the information that’s visible at any given time, plus it acts as an interface for the Apple CarPlay feature that networks with your iPhone via Bluetooth technology. Real-time weather information, hands-free phone calls and navigation functions are all part of that package.

The fuel tank volume was increased to 6.5 gallons, up from 5 gallons, and it lends a dramatic hump to the flyline ahead of the deep-scoop seat that draws the rider down into the machine for better integration. A narrowed, adjustable saddle lets you choose between a 34.3-inch and 33.5-inch seat height for a bit of control over the rider’s triangle that works with a taller, tapered-aluminum handlebar and allows for a standing riding position or a comfortable upright seated position. Fold-up footpegs and extra-large J.C. handles join a low-rise pillion pad so you can share the fun with a friend.

At the tip of the tail there’s a small aluminum luggage rack for some open-air carrying capacity above an LED taillight and mudguard that mounts the blinkers, taglight, and license plate to wrap up the gear in the rear.

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Chassis

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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Honda redesigned the steel frame and borrowed the aluminum swingarm from its very own CRF450R motocross bike to give it a slimmer look and feel, and turn in better cornering performance.

Honda redesigned the steel frame on the Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES to be four pounds lighter even while the steering head is stiffened to minimize twist under heavy loads and turn in better cornering performance. The aluminum subframe is both removable for easy maintenance and 40 mm narrower for a slimmer look and feel. This year, the factory opted to borrow the aluminum swingarm from its very own CRF450R motocross bike to drop another 500 grams from the overall heft.

A set of beefy, 45 mm inverted front forks lead the way ahead of a Pro-Link monoshock giving 9.1 and 8.7 inches of travel respectively, with Showa’s Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment feature reading data from the inertial measurement unit to provide real-time damper adjustments while you ride. That same IMU also feeds the ABS to turn it into the corner-sensitive variety for added safety, and Honda gives it a pair of modes — on-road and off-road – plus an anti rear-wheel liftup function.

As for the brakes themselves, that job falls to a pair of four-pot calipers and 310 mm discs up front followed by a single-piston anchor and 256 mm disc in the rear. Ever the favorite of off-road riders, a pair of laced rims mount the dual-surface tires in a 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 to round out the rolling chassis with hollow axle shafts that lower the unsprung weight.

Front Suspension/Travel: 45mm inverted telescopic fork/ 9.1 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Pro-Link® system w/ single shock/ 8.7 inches
Front Brakes: Two four-piston hydraulic calipers w/ 310 mm disks; ABS
Rear Brake: Single one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 256 mm disk; ABS
Front Tire: 90/90-21
Rear Tire: 150/70R-18

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Drivetrain

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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Go with the six-speed manual gearbox, or opt for Honda's proprietary Dual Clutch Transmission that delivers twist-and-go operation.

The beefed-up engine rocks the same 94 mm bore, but with a stroke that was stretched by 6.4 mm to a total of 81.5 mm to give the mill its new 1,084 cc displacement. The liquid-cooled parallel-twin runs with a 10.1-to-1 compression ratio that demands premium gas to prevent knock/ping/dieseling. A single over-head Unicam feature times four valves per cylinder in a narrowed head that breathes efficiently with twin vertical intakes and a RbW-controlled throttle body to manage the induction. The crankshaft comes with a 270-degree offset giving the idle note a bit of a lope and increases traction on poor surfaces due to the relatively long delay between power pulses. That delay gives the rear wheel time to get a fresh bite every other pulse.

Power output is rated at 101 horsepower – up six percent or 7 ponies — and 77 pound-feet of torque. As for ride-quality controls, the Adventure Sports ES comes with wheelie control to help that front wheel remain planted when you get on the throttle. Wheelie- and cruise-control features round out the electronics suite alongside a Riding Modes system that manage four preset power-delivery curves and a pair of rider-programmable curves to let you try your hand at electronic engine tuning.

You get a choice at the transmission: go with the six-speed manual gearbox, or opt for Honda’s proprietary Dual Clutch Transmission that delivers twist-and-go operation.

Engine: Liquid-cooled Unicam® four-stroke 22.5º parallel-twin
Displacement: 1,084 cc
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 81.5 mm
Valve Train: SOHC; four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 10.1:1
Induction: PGM-FI electronic fuel injection (Throttle By Wire)
Ignition: Full transistorized ignition
Starter: Electric
Transmission: 6-speed Manual (DCT: 6-speed Automatic DCT)
Final Drive: #525 Chain; 16T/42T

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Pricing

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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MSRP starts at $17.2k; add $800 for DCT.

The base 2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES rolls for $17,199 with the manual transmixxer. If you prefer the DCT model, you can expect to turn loose of another 8 Benjamins. Honda offers a full line of accessories that let you customize both models, for a price.

Model ID: CRF1100L4
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty
Colors: Pearl Glare White/Blue
Price: $17,199 (DCT: $17,999)

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Competitors

2016 - 2019 Yamaha Super Ténéré / Super Ténéré ES
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2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
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If you want a bike with an automatic transmission, the Africa Twin is the only game in town.

Yamaha has its own answer to the Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES in the form of its rally-tastic Super Ténéré ES. As one of the Big Four, the Tuning Fork Company is one of Honda’s domestic foes, and is likely to appeal to the same sort of buyer. This may be even more true for Yamaha as it opts for a similar blunt-nosed fairing to lead the way sans any sort of bird’s beak structure, and it relies on a close-fit front fender to contain the fling.

The Super Ténéré rocks a pair of headlights, but falls short in the lighting department with no answer to Honda’s cornering lights. A tall, vented adjustable windshield and handguards provide a similar level of protection for the rider to make comfort a wash. Yamaha matches Honda point-by-point with electronically adjusted suspension components but swaps out the corner-sensitive gear in favor of a Unified Brake System that shares braking pressure between the front and rear binders to, in my opinion, fall behind just a skosh.

Power comes from a 1,199 cc plant that packs more cubeage than the Honda mill, and that coverts to a torque advantage to the tune of 86 pound-feet against the Africa Twin’s 77 pounds o’ grunt. Yammy picks up a minor victory in the engine controls with its traction control feature that joins the Driver Mode and Yamaha Chip Control Throttle system for a marginal lead in safety electronics. Like the Africa Twin, the Super Ténéré ES relies entirely on a digital instrument display with no analog gauges to be found.

Yamaha picks up another minor victory at the checkout with its $15,199 starting price which leaves a couple of grand on the table, but if you want/need a bike with an automatic transmission, the Africa Twin is the only game in town.

He Said

“As usual, Honda’s Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES doesn’t disappoint. It delivers the performance and electronics we expect, and leaves you feeling it’s a very capable globetrotting machine. Now if we could just get Honda to abandon that gaudy Captain America-looking livery, but oh well, aftermarket painters’ kids gotta’ eat too.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I think Honda really stepped up its game with the Africa Twin Adventure Sports and they’d done it again with the ES. Punching the displacement up to 1,084 cc, making the ride-by-wire more responsive, and sending the chassis to fat camp really makes a difference in performance and handling. Honda threw on things that I would go to the options catalog for, such as heated grips, adjustable windscreen, and cruise control. It has niceties like self-canceling turn signals, cornering headlights, and electronic suspension. Not only do you have ride modes, but also suspension modes to tailor the ride to the situation, and the handlebar is slightly higher to give you a more upright riding position. Throw on a larger fuel tank – not a quart or two larger, but a whole 1.5 gallons larger – and this is really shaping up to be a hardy adventure bike that really means business.”

2020 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled Unicam® four-stroke 22.5º parallel-twin
Displacement: 1,084 cc
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 81.5 mm
Valve Train: SOHC; four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 10.1:1
Induction: PGM-FI electronic fuel injection (Throttle By Wire)
Ignition: Full transistorized ignition
Starter: Electric
Transmission: 6-speed Manual (DCT: 6-speed Automatic DCT)
Final Drive: #525 Chain; 16T/42T
Chassis:
Front Suspension/Travel: 45mm inverted telescopic fork/ 9.1 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Pro-Link® system w/ single shock/ 8.7 inches
Front Brakes: Two four-piston hydraulic calipers w/ 310 mm disks; ABS
Rear Brake: Single one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 256 mm disk; ABS
Front Tire: 90/90-21
Rear Tire: 150/70R-18
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 62 inches
Seat Height: Standard position: 34.3 inches/Low position: 33.5 inches
Curb Weight: 530 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 6.5 gallons including 1.0-gallon reserve
Details:
Model ID: CRF1100L4
Warranty: One Year Included, Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty
Colors: Pearl Glare White/Blue
Price: $17,199 (DCT: $17,999)

Further Reading

Yamaha Super Ténéré/ Super Ténéré ES

2016 - 2019 Yamaha Super Ténéré / Super Ténéré ES
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See our review of the Yamaha Super Ténéré /Super Ténéré ES.

Honda Africa Twin (CRF1000L)

2018 - 2019 Honda Africa Twin
- image 803900

See our review of the Honda Africa Twin.

Honda

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Honda news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: honda.com, yamaha-motor.com

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