How Long Do Honda Africa Twins Last? 4 Examples

The Honda Africa Twin is a dual-sport motorcycle intended for use both on and off the road. 

There have been four versions of the Africa Twin over the years, ranging in size from 650cc to 750cc to 1000cc and finally, as of 2020, the modern 1100cc CRF1100L.

The Africa Twin changed the industry standard on just how off-road a dual sport bike can be, but how long does the Honda Africa Twin last?

Here’s How Many Miles You Can Get on a Honda Africa Twin:

You can earn well over 75,000 miles on an Africa Twin, and since the average adventure bike is ridden around 5,000 miles a year, a well-kept and responsibly owned Honda Africa Twin can last over 15 years. Ownership habits are a more significant variable on how long an AT lasts than mileage.

How Many Miles Do You Get on a Honda Africa Twin?

It’s not uncommon to get over 75,000 miles on an Africa Twin, possibly almost double that providing you store your adventure bike properly, ride it regularly and within the parameters of its intended use, and service it per the maintenance schedule outlined by Honda in the owner’s manual.

But don’t take out word for it; we combed the forums to find five real-life examples of Honda Africa Twin owners with high-mile adventure bikes.

  1. One rider I encountered claimed a mileage of 67,600 on an Africa Twin he’s never had a problem with.
  2. Another rider claimed his Africa Twin crossed 100,000 miles. He said he had a few bumps in the road, like spoke alignments and electronic failure of his heated grips. These issues are to be expected, he notes, as hard as he rides off-road, and overall he said the adventure bike runs excellent. He praised the Africa Twin’s Dual Clutch Transmission, even after 38 years of experience riding only manual bikes, and sites it as a secret component to its longevity.
  3. One Africa Twin rider popped up in the forums to share his reading of 78,000 miles.
  4. And finally, the highest confirmed reading I could dig up was a cat in the states with 182,000 miles on his odometer. He said he wasn’t surprised at all to see these bikes going over 100,000 miles and found his reading to be less than spectacular considering he claims he knows someone who crossed 400,000 miles without a rebuild, but I wasn’t able to track down the owner and confirm that.

In short, there’s no doubt a well-kept Honda Africa Twin can cross the 75,000-100,000 mile mark without engine failure.

Still, other components like the suspension and wheelset will likely need some work if the bike reaches that fabled 400,000 mark mentioned above, especially if ridden off-road. 

There are also the variables of routine maintenance, storage, and riding habits; ownership affects longevity more than mileage—more on that down below. 

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What Is Considered High Mileage for These Models?

The used market considers the Honda Africa Twin to be high mileage between 40,000-50,000 miles, based on the assumption that an off-road bike is ridden rough and exposed to corrosive elements. An Africa Twin’s longevity is affected more by its owner’s habitual care, or lack thereof, than is by mileage

If you’re in the market for a used Africa Twin, don’t let a high mileage reading detour you from a good deal on an AT. It could mean that the owner loved, appreciated, and cared for the bike. If that’s the case, high-mile might translate to low price, not short life. 

In addition to whether or not a used Africa Twin has high miles, here are a few things to consider when assessing the lifespan of these bikes:

  • The Previous Owner. The person who owned the motorcycle before you is the most significant factor in how long the Africa Twin will last, even if it’s not considered high mileage. Motorcycles that were ridden often but owned and appreciated by a single owner have a higher chance of being responsibly maintained than an AT that was passed around from owner to owner. 
  • A person whose hobby was off-roading every weekend is more likely to make routine maintenance part of his general lifestyle than someone who let the Africa Twin sit in the garage unused; high-mile could be a good thing.

  • If the previous owner stored the bike for extended periods, it might still have several years left. Ask the prior owner of a low-mile bike what their storage procedure was to ensure they maintained its fluids and tires and its electronics were tendered. 
  • How often the Africa Tein was ridden is only part of it, though. You’ll want to know how the previous owner rode it. Just because it’s an adventure bike doesn’t mean you can treat it like an off-road stunt machine. Every vehicle has limits—when considering an AT’s mileage, also consider how the rider rode the bike to get those miles. 
  • If you see a good deal on a used Africa Twin that’s incurred high mileage, don’t say no right away. First, inquire into the previous ownership by asking for service records and the VIN so you can look up the bike’s crash report.

To summarize, although a used Africa Twin is considered high-mileage after 40,000 miles, an AT with no accident history that was serviced regularly and stored and appropriately ridden could have a long life ahead of it, and it might be a great deal.

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How Many Years Does a Honda Africa Twin Typically Last?

A Honda Africa Twin that’s maintained, stored, and ridden responsibly can last for over 15 years. The average adventure motorcycle is ridden 5,000 miles a year, and it’s common for the Africa Twin to last for well over 75,000 miles if the owner takes good care of it. 

The Africa Twin was designed to be more off-road-rugged than any dual sport before it—Honda built it to last for years of rough riding. 

The Africa Twin has a steel double-cradle frame to protect its engine, a powerhouse of reliability in its own right. This is a rigid and robust machine built to roll over rocks for the long haul.

Its subframe is aluminum. Not only is it still rugged, however, it’s also detachable for easy maintenance, which adds to the bike’s longevity.

Is the Honda Africa Twin Reliable?

The Honda Africa Twin is considered highly reliable, provided it’s ridden within its intended use and stored and maintained properly. Its rigid frame, class-leading suspension package, and a powerhouse of a motor make it a reliable choice for a dual-sport tourer.

The motor’s reliability stems from its more-than-adequate power supply.

The modern AT has a peak horsepower of 100 at 7,500 RPMs, cranking out 78 foot-pounds of torque. 

The Africa Twin was designed with the intention of ease of riding and reliability. Not peak power. The fact that it’s not an aggressively high revving motor means the big-bore powerhouse isn’t overworking. This translates to less wear and tear and more time on the road. 

Reliability, after all, is not to be confused with how long a bike lasts but refers to how often it breaks down, and the modern AT equips an advanced electronics suite that keeps performance reliable. 

A six-axis Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit, or IMU, lies in the heart of its electronic management system, ensuring that its traction control, ABS, stopping power, power delivery, Dual Clutch Transmission, and engine braking are all performing at top-notch. 

Its exhaust system features what Honda calls a Variable Control Valve, which spreads its power over a more comprehensive RPM range to increase efficiency and dependability.

Does a Honda Africa Twin Last Longer Than Other Motorcycles?

The Honda Africa Twin lasts longer than other motorcycles in its class. Honda prioritized its off-road function, making it durable, reliable, and stocking it with an engine that emphasizes ease of riding, performance, and longevity.

The AT’s rigidity is made clear by its rigged dirt bike style, Dual Clutch Transmission, and comfortable ergonomics. Honda’s world-class engineering squad designed this bad boy to be the authority of adventure bikes to outlast the competition. 

One secret behind how long the Africa Twin lasts compared to other motorcycles on the market is its Automatic Dual-Clutch Transmission. 

The Africa Twin comes stock with the latest incarnation of Honda’s legendary DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission). 

This Honda-unique technology puts the Africa Twin ahead of the competition in terms of off-road reliability, power-packed performance, and rugged reliability.

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What Typically Breaks First on a Honda Africa Twin?

Valves are the first thing to break on a Honda Africa Twin that isn’t serviced per Honda’s suggested maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual. Owners need to check their valves regularly or have them inspected by a Honda-literate mechanic and adjust or replace them accordingly to keep them from failing. 

Four signs of broken valves on a Honda Africa Twin are:

  1. Loose Valves—Rattling Sounds. Loose valves will make a rattling sound and speed up wear on the valve train parts and cause an increase in valve clearance, which creates issues with compression, not to mention reduced performance.
  2. Tight Valves-Overheating. Valves left uninspected or adjusted may lack clearance, slowing the rate at which they close during the action. This can cause overheating that eventually damages your valves to the point of needing a replacement.
  3. Decrease in fuel efficiency. The Africa Twin’s fuel efficiency will take a noticeable dip if your valves are out of whack. If not synced regularly, your AT’s exhaust valve might open while the intake valve brings in air and fuel, meaning your air:fuel mix is coming in one end and out the other.
  4. Broken Valve Train. If your Africa Twin’s valves aren’t adjusted regularly, they’re liable to cause wear and tear on the whole valve train unit and all the components therein. Too much clearance can rough up your AT’s camshaft lobes and rocker valves, not to mention the valves themselves. 

In short, valves are the first thing to go on a Honda Africa Twin if they aren’t adjusted properly. You can prevent this by inspecting your AT’s valves per the Honda- intervals in the bike’s owner’s manual. 

9 Great Tips to Make Sure Your Honda Africa Twin Will Last Long

Here are nine excellent tips to help you get the most out of your Honda African Twin:

  1. Break-in your Africa Twin per Honda’s spec.
  2. Adjust, and replace your Africa Twin’s valves as needed, inspecting per the intervals outlined in the owner’s manual. 
  3. Change your Africa Twin’s oil. To keep your motor running reliably, you’ll need to change the oil every 5,000 miles or more often when riding in dusty conditions. 
  4. Clean or replace your Africa Twin’s air filter per Honda’s spec intervals. 
  5. Maintain your Africa Twin’s tire pressure and tread. 
  6. Change your Africa Twin’s liquid coolant per the service schedule.
  7. Keep your Africa Twin’s chain-drive clean, lubed, and tightened to spec.
  8. Store your Africa Twin out of the elements and away from corrosive chemicals.
  9. Ride your Africa Twin regularly, prepping it for storage before long stints without use.
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