Honda previews new Africa Twin, CBR 650R, PCX 150

Honda CRF 1100L African Twin (left) and African Twin Adventure Sport (right)

All-new version of Honda’s adventure bike, the Africa Twin, pops up in Singapore alongside a possibly-very-affordable CBR 650R and new PCX 150 scooter

SINGAPORE – Honda debuted the PCX 150 scooter, the CBR 650R sports bike, and the new CRF1100L Africa Twin adventure bike at the motorcycle lifestyle event/festival, The Wicked Wallop, today. 

All three bikes are currently undergoing homologation and pricing should be confirmed in the near future. We’ll update the story when we have more info.

The latter is the headline grabber, since adventure bikes are the leading segment overall these days. The Africa Twin is Honda’s longtime adventure bike nameplate, which began with the original model more than three decades ago, and was relaunched in 2016 as the modern CRF1000L, with incremental improvements in 2018. 

The new bike has serious updates in all areas, including new frame, engine, bodywork, electronics and more.

The engine has increased displacement from 998cc to 1,084cc, and remains a parallel twin unit, power rises from 93hp to 101hp, and torque from 98Nm to 104Nm.

There is a dual-clutch automatic transmission model offered overseas, but Boon Siew will not be offering it here due to a low takeup rate of the DCT option on the previous Africa Twin. 

The steel frame has been lightened and the swingarm inspired by the one seen in the CRF450R rally bike. 

The new headlights are set higher, and include LED DRLs which adjust to ambient light levels. Behind that is a new 6.5-inch TFT screen (capable of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) stacked above another LCD display with the speedo and driving information, evoking Dakar rally bikes. 

A six-axis inertial measuring unit (IMU) provides the basis for extended traction control, wheelie control, anti-lift, and cornering ABS. 

There are two models now, the standard version and the Adventure Sport version – the latter aimed at those who want to tough things out when the tarmac ends. The standard model should cost around S$40k OTR (On The Road, including COE, Road Tax but sans insurance), the Adventure Sport model roughly S$5-6k more. 

You can identify the Adventure Sport model by its additional cornering lights below the headlight (the black bike here), and it also has a taller windscreen, larger fuel tank, and Showa electronically-adjustable suspension.

The CBR 650R is a very interesting motorcycle – it’s nominally a sports bike, but one that is more street-and-touring biased than the CBR 600RR, which is no longer produced. It also replaces the less-sporty CBR 650F model at the same time. 

That explains the aggressive styling, which is modeled on Honda’s flagship sportsbike the CBR 1000RR Fireblade, including full LED lights DRLs. In person the bike is compact and has a relatively comfortable seating position, with high-rise handlebars. 

The 649cc inline four engine delivers 94hp at a heady 12,000rpm, and has seen various improvements, along with the chassis, which is lighter and stiffer. There is ABS and basic HSTC (Honda Selectable Torque Control) traction control. The front forks are 41mm inverted Showa Separate Function Forks, with a Showa monoshock rear. 

Honda’s planned price point – below S$30k OTR – should make the bike an attractive proposition for riders who want some oomph but don’t need the balls-out performance of a supersport 600. 

Honda’s PCX 150 is far more humble than the bikes it shared the stage with, but will handily outsell all of them thanks to its everyday usefulness and inexpensiveness – it’s expected to cost less than S$10k OTR.

The design has been tweaked to look more upscale – perhaps to match the Forza 300 we’ve test driven last year. There is more underseat storage (a very large 28-litres) thanks in part to a new, lighter frame and the engine actually goes from 153cc to 149cc, but there is more peak power – 14.5hp up from 12.5hp. 

On another note, there is a PCX Hybrid (already on sale in Malaysia) which has a 48V hybrid system onboard for added accelerative boost and even more fuel efficiency, though Singapore won’t be getting this model.


about the author

Derryn Wong
Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.