By Troy Siahaan
Any motorcycle reviewer will tell you it takes a long ride and several miles to really understand how good – or bad – a motorcycle is. This is especially true when the motorcycle in question is a model refresh and not an entirely new machine. But this might be the first time I can remember where just riding from my house to the stop sign at the end of my street left an impression that would last my entire time with the bike. The updated, 2020 Honda Africa Twin is good. Really good.
Despite the AT’s generally positive reception in 2016, the call for more power is a loud one to ignore. Not that the bike was slow, but when placed against its (bigger) rivals the lack of muscle was apparent. Even on its own, whenever we’ve twisted an Africa Twin’s throttle, excitement and gusto weren’t generally the emotions that followed.
The (re)launch of the Africa Twin in 2016 brought back one of Honda’s iconic off-road models, but its liter-class engine placed it in a weird spot in the marketplace.
Honda has listened with the new 2020 Africa Twin. The headlining feature, of course, is the larger engine, but Honda took a holistic approach to improving the entire bike, too. We’ve become desensitized to it now, but it seems like whenever a manufacturer gives a model a significant update, the PR buzzwords usually sound something like this:
And smarter than ever before!
The updated 2020 Africa Twin still looks undeniably like an Africa Twin, but it has gone through several changes.
The new Africa Twin follows that playbook to a Tee. Here’s the thing: It really is all of those things. For better or for worse. More on that in a moment.
No Replacement For Displacement
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