A good, reliable bike is essential for a memorable motorcycle tour in Africa. Ask 10 people what they think is the best motorcycle for touring in Africa and you'll probably get 12 answers. We have loved riding our older, super-reliable Honda Africa Twin XRV750 bikes. We've ridden them all over Africa for the past 6 years, putting over 150000km on them during our tours. The big selling points are their reliability, suspension travel, ease of maintenance and just being fun bikes to ride. The wheelbase and front fork angle give the bike a lovely responsiveness that allows you to throw it into a corner with confidence.
In 2022 we added the successor to the XRV750 to our fleet. The Honda CRF1000L shares many of the same design characteristics: an engine design that prioritises reliability over pure performance, good suspension travel and great handling. While the XRV750’s are lighter and lower, and are great for riding winding passes and gravel roads, the CRFs are better at eating up long tar road miles. The bikes have plenty of power for a motorcycle tour in Africa with the assurance that you're less likely to be left stranded by an engine issue.
The new Africa Twins also bring some more up-to-date features such as ABS, fuel injection and traction control for those who like to ride with those. We're still making up our minds about riding the DCT version compared to the manual. Both types have excelled on our rides from Cape Town to Rwanda and back, and on our more tar-oriented ride from Cape Town to the Kruger Park. We're finding a majority of our riders prefer the manual as it is what they are used to. We've had some DCT converts though and expect to find a few more next year. Overall, we're convinced the XRV750 and CRF1000 are the best motorcycles for a tour in Africa.
We love our growing family of riding machines for our motorcycle tours in Africa.
Explore the tours we ride with these great machines here
For an informative review of the Africa Twin CRF1000 click here