The mid-capacity adventure bike market has exploded onto the front pages this year thanks to the arrival of the KTM 790 Adventure and Yamaha Ténéré 700. Now rumours coming out of Japan suggest Honda could be looking to compete in the class as soon as 2021.
A Japanese publication claims to have the scoop, and led with a computer rendering of the rumoured model. As you’d expect, any concrete information is pretty much non-existent, but you can expect the styling to be similar to the current 1000cc model.
Several outlets around the web are reporting that the new model would used an 850cc parallel twin engine. It makes sense, and would put the new model squarely up against the BMW F850GS. But I wonder if Honda would opt instead for a 750cc engine, to pay homage to the popular XRV750T Africa Twin.
A 750cc engine would still be larger than that of the new Ténéré, but would be a little behind the KTM and BMW. But then, Honda have never been one to chase absolute power figures. If the rumoured model was to be powered by the larger 850cc engine, then you may think the power output would be a little too close to the 94bhp that the current CRF1000L produces. But other rumours also point to a new, larger Africa Twin on the horizon. The new model is claimed to be powered by an 1100cc parallel twin engine, which will keep power up while still meeting Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission regulations.
The current Africa Twin is a great bike. Yeah, it lacks the outright power and electronic trickery of some of its more expensive rivals, but that’s precisely why it’s so good. It’s light, has just enough power, and is incredibly easy to ride.
If Honda produced a smaller Africa Twin that was even lighter and easier to ride? Well, yes please.