Africa twin DCT, our new toy

Sometimes you end up with no words after some experiences in life. Speechless as one can be, our experience with the Honda Africa Twin and the new automatic transmission (DCT) was simply out of any other bike. It was unlike any other we’ve ridden before.

So before we continue, please bear in mind that we are not experienced motorcycle testers. However, our own experience provides us with valuable insights. We have ridden from Ecuador to Ushuaia twice, toured all around Europe, and competed as riders for Ducati in local and South American championships with good outcomes. This experience gives us a bit of intel on what to look for in a motorcycle. So here was our experience:


Highest bike model

We got brainwashed. The Africa Twin stood in the highest positions in all the shootouts on YouTube. It also appeared in comparisons between high-end adventure motorcycles. We made up our minds to go and get one of those bad-ass toys to include them in the fleet. As we walked into the dealer, its representative, Bernardo, welcomed us warmly. He then pointed out the section where various models were on display.

Two things came to my mind right away: First, those stock tires…. it was like seeing a Range Rover fitted with slicks, I thought. Little did I know that those Bridgestone were going to prove me wrong later on. And the second thing was that I couldn’t help to compare the basic model with the 30th-anniversary DCT model standing right behind it.

There was no doubt that if we were going to get one of these, we were going to get the best of it. Bernardo also pointed out that the bike was the last one in the country out of the few that came. No questions asked we decided to get it on behalf of our future customers at Ecuador Bike Rental by Sleipner. To be fair, we couldn’t push the bike too hard due to tires and engine break-in, but it didn’t disappoint.


An ok first ride with this monster was obviously under controlled conditions. So we decided to take it to the beach riding through twisties from the Andes towards the coast. It took 30 minutes to get used to the lack of a clutch lever. Then figure it out what was the logic on the gear shifting and engine break while going from the mountains to the Pacific Coast.

Riding modes

Its got 3 riding modes to change its power output. Thanks to its HSTC (Honda Selectable Torque Control), engine brake and parameters like traction control, that can be changed on the fly in 7 levels or turn it off. The user mode allows you to modify the engine output, the engine break logic, and the traction levels.

Once we became familiar with these commands, and in drive mode, we noticed that the bike leans a lot toward fuel consumption. You can override this by using the shifters on the left-hand side. So used to up/down normal shifting, I thought this was going to be a fallback on fun, but far from it, it makes it more interesting. According to some magazines, this lady has close to 80 riding modes for all likes in all its combinations. I don’t think we tested all of them.

Drive mode

Then, we decided to test a variation of the ‘Drive mode’. If you press the button enough, 3 levels of Sport mode open to you. With this, its own mapping of RPM selection for upshifting and downshifting thanks to its dual clutch system, which gives you the output needed for fun in the twisties and to hold gears off-road.

And if that is not enough for you, you can always hit the manual mode as we did, and just do it manually. Perfecto! One plus of the Africa twin DCT, it allowed us to feel more relaxed on traffic jams. I felt like if we could ride 11 straight hours with a normal bike, with this one we could go over 15 easily.


Few facts about power and stats on this particular model. Its overall ready-to-ride weight of 240 kg balances pretty well on-road and off-road. Off course, we had to test it in sand and dirt roads as well. Its 998cc, outputs some sweet 94 CV and 99 Nm in torque, making it more than enough while riding this bike where it’s supposed to be ridden, off-road.

Other information

That, mixed with increased travel in its front and rear suspension, contributes to its capability. Additionally, it features a 21-inch front wheel. There are also two little buttons on the right-hand side: G and ABS rear off. Together, these elements convert this gentle machine into a dirt devour. The asphalt sport-convertible you were riding before would suddenly feel like a war tank. It would be ready to tackle whatever comes its way. The Gravel button allows you to have a dryer response from the clutch. Meanwhile, the rear ABS turn-off switch allows you to have its tail exactly where you want it on corner entry.

So back to those tires, we had monsoon like those that happen every few years in Ecuador on our way back to the Andes. Those tires gripped as much as we needed. And since we were already wet, thanks to our pre-programmed route GPS, we decided to cross a river whose depth is slightly less than a meter.


Even with the “doubtful” rubbers, the bike managed to cross it with no hesitation. Once again, our guides are not professional rally racers, but this bike proved to forgive any hard mistake I did. So after 1000 km of testing, is pretty fair to shout how awesome this machine is.

We’re really happy to have it on our fleet and to provide our customers with the best as we always strived. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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