In 1982 Honda was crowned in the Paris Dakar with the XR 550 and its rider was the Frenchman, Cyril Neveu, who officially landed in the hardest and most famous rally that had ever been made, the Paris-Dakar, at the height of this tough test that started in the French capital and ended in Dakar, on the beaches of Senegal, along almost 15,000 km. (Africa Twin: a history of the competition)
The bike was the NXR750, equipped with a V-twin engine at 45 degrees, with a pedal start, which delivered 75 hp and was very fast and manageable in the desert. So much so that it won that same year and the following three, ridden by Cyril Neveu, Edi Orioli, and Gilles Lalay. After this fourth consecutive triumph, Honda officially withdrew from the African event. The success of the NXR750 in such a popular event was not wasted by the Japanese brand, which in 1988 mass-produced the Africa Twin 650 (XRV650), equipped with a 72º V-twin LC cylinder with offset crankcases, 3-valve cylinder heads (derived from the Transalp) and a power of 56 HP, with a look almost identical to Neveau’s bike.
A little more than a year later the XRV 650 (official acronym of Africa) was transformed into 750, growing in displacement and overall size, gaining torque and power (60 hp), strengthening and sophisticating several elements of the cycle part, being this model tremendously popular and all in sales success, since being a motorcycle that allowed all types of driving was used both for long trips and for excursions on trails. The 750 was in production from 1986 to 2003, with an aesthetic restyling in between to which a small onboard computer was added. It wasn’t until 2015, twelve years later, that the Africa Twin was reborn, changing its engine up to 1000cc. In 2018, after 30 years since its appearance, the legendary motorbike for its off-road capability continues to surprise with its latest model called Adventure Sports, a better-equipped version of the conventional dual-purpose, which will surely continue to add years of success, within its history.
Africa Twin facts and figures
It has one of the largest fuel tanks on the market, with an approximate capacity of 24 liters that allows you to travel up to 500 kilometers without worrying about refueling. Ideal, considering the inhospitable environments in which it is often used. It is one of the most reliable roadrunners in existence. It is enough to take a walk around the second-hand markets on the Internet, where we can see that it is still quoted, and a lot. It is not difficult to find on-the-road models from the 90s and even the late 80s in perfect condition. The 2015 version, the CRF1000L, was a real technological revolution, as it was the first trial of this size to incorporate an automatic sequential shift system. Our protagonist has its own African rendezvous, the Africa Twin Morocco Epic Tour, which between May 11 and 19, 2018 held its second edition. This exclusive trip for owners of the mythical trail provides about 300 kilometers per day through the breathtaking landscapes of Morocco. Credits: motos.honda.com.co