Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports Review
|✓||Optional DCT automatic gearbox, huge range, looks great, sounds great|
|×||Super high seat, weight, non-adjustable screen, centre stand is extra|
What Is It?
For 2018 Honda upgraded the already brilliant Africa Twin adventure bike with a larger tank, taller suspension and loads of protection to create the Adventure Sports (ATAS).
Engine: 998 cc Parallel Twin, 94 bhp
Economy: 50 mpg, 270 miles
Seat Height: 900 mm
Wet Weight: 243 kg
What Is It Like?
Let me start by saying I'm one of those who true adventure riders will hate! I recently purchased a 2018 manual ATAS, this will be my first brand new bike as I usually get pre-owned models of a few years vintage but the offer was right and I loved the bike after a test ride although this was on the DCT model which I had no intention of buying as I prefer to change gears myself.
I'll start with a few negatives to get them out of the way.
It's a very tall bike, I'm 6ft and on the low seat height I can comfortably sit with both feet on the ground, not fully flat footed but not far off, I imagine for anyone vertically challenged this may be an issue.
It's a heavy bike to manually handle, be sure to rest it against your leg or keep that side stand down as when she gets over a bit she's a bit of a handful to get upright again.
Heated grips are good but not great, they are plenty warm enough at the moment but I can see them struggling when the mercury reaches 0 or below.
Buffeting. I'm 6ft and the turbulence I felt from around the fork section was akin to someone banging my lid on both sides constantly when over 50mph, a cheap aftermarket deflector was fitted and problem solved but do bear this is mind and see if you are affected during the test ride phase.
Lack of factory fit centre stand, should be as essential as fitting wheels on a bike like this, massive oversight by Honda in my opinion but you can get a genuine one as an extra.
Look at it! It's beautiful! The colour scheme, road presence, exhaust sound, riding position, everything about the bike is "right", Honda really have hit the sweet spot on the looks for this bike, I had been looking at these since release and always said I'd treat myself when the time was right, which is was and so I did!
Riding position (as listed above), I find this the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden, I come from a mainly sports bike background so that's not saying a lot I know but the ATAS has all day comfort with one exception, the seat....... It is very comfortable for the first 250 miles of the day then it starts to make your arse a bit numb, at this point I'm usually standing on the pegs pretending I'm back on a Mick Extance off road experience day (well worth doing if you live in the UK).
Tank range, fill up and go, worry about fuel when you get home, I'm averaging 58/59 mpg on mainly B roads (no motorways for me!) and I'm also finding she likes to drink premium fuel better than the general unleaded stuff, I prefer BP brand myself or Texaco and avoid the supermarket piddle.
Exhaust sound, now she's got 1600 miles on her and the exhaust is nicely settled in the bark she gives when you give it the beans is a joy to behold, someone pi**ing you off in traffic? Quick blip and it wakes them up enough to get the hell out of the way, on every bike I've owned I have always felt the need to upgrade the pipe to something a bit more vocal but not on this, it's perfectly balanced, great when tootling along but shows her devil side when you open the tap.
- Stephen H, 2019
How Does It Compare?
- Honda Africa Twin - The original 2016 more road focused version with shorter suspension, a smaller tank and less protection