With the first prototype revealed at EICMA 2014, Honda tries to enter once more in the adventure class. There were hundreds of rumors in the past several years about a new adventure motorcycle from Honda, one whom will benefit from the heritage of the highly popular Africa Twin. After all the speculations, Honda finally brought to the world something that could easily be the big brother of the ,,African Queen’’. But does it deserves the name? How will it compare with the competition?
After dominating the Paris Dakar in the late 80s and later becoming the perfect tool for crossing continents, the Honda Africa Twin has become a legend. Its ultra-reliable engine along with high quality components, the AT has become one of the best in its class. But being discontinued in the early 2000s, Honda had a gap in this category. The Trans Alp was bit underpowered and the Varadero was basically too large. Also, the bad fuel economy of the Varadero was a big drawback for this model.
KTM introduced the 950 and later the 990 within the big adventure motorcycles. Also BMW introduced the F800GS/Adventure, a capable and lighter motorcycle then the monster R1200GS.
Yamaha introduced the new Super Tenere, a great bike for touring but with some limitations off road. And then the True Adventure was presented. Having all eyes on her at EICMA, it was clear that the True Adventure has a different approach. It’s more aggressive and it looks less bulky than the competition. It’s almost like the new Honda is trying to tackle with the KTM’s 990(now discontinued).
Aggressive tourer or conferrable dirt bike?
The engine is a parallel twin that is rumored to have around 1000cc. This will put the True Adventure right in between the 800GS and the upper line of the adventure class (the KTM 1190, the R1200 GS and the Super Tenere). With a high travel suspension and slim body, the TA could be more agile off and on road than the rest of the pack. If Honda manages to keep the weight down at around 180-190kg, this would mean that the bike can really be taken on bad roads and mud sections as well. As the competition earns big points for comfort, Honda needs to come with a solution for the sitting. The initial seat from the prototype did not look very capable of globe traveling. It is not clear yet what the real target of the True Adventure will be. Will it be more fun that practicality as it looks like from the initial prototype? Or will Honda manage a way to implement comfort and performance in a unique way?
Either way, if the price will be on par with the performance, this will be a real head turner within the adventure riders segment.