Motorcycles

Honda demonstrates Africa Twin’s skills at record altitude

The Honda Africa Twin team celebrates setting a new record
The Honda Africa Twin team celebrates setting a new record
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The fleet of Honda Africa Twins on the way to a world record
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The fleet of Honda Africa Twins on the way to a world record
This is nowhere near Africa, yet the Africa Twin feels at home on any terrain
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This is nowhere near Africa, yet the Africa Twin feels at home on any terrain
A Honda Africa Twin with the DCT automatic transmission was part of the group, making most of the climb
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A Honda Africa Twin with the DCT automatic transmission was part of the group, making most of the climb
The GPS readout that confirms that a Honda Africa Twin made it as high as 5,965 m (19,570 ft)
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The GPS readout that confirms that a Honda Africa Twin made it as high as 5,965 m (19,570 ft)
After the 5,965 m (19,570 ft) milestone, a wall of snow made it impossible to proceed any further for the Honda Africa Twin of Fabio Mossini
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After the 5,965 m (19,570 ft) milestone, a wall of snow made it impossible to proceed any further for the Honda Africa Twin of Fabio Mossini
Honda designed the Africa Twin as a real-world adventure motorcycle
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Honda designed the Africa Twin as a real-world adventure motorcycle
The Honda Africa Twin team celebrates setting a new record
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The Honda Africa Twin team celebrates setting a new record
Honda's Africa Twin team in action
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Honda's Africa Twin team in action
The Honda Africa Twin team heading towards the final ascend
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The Honda Africa Twin team heading towards the final ascend
The Atacama Region desert route has become very famous as part of the Dakar Rally
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The Atacama Region desert route has become very famous as part of the Dakar Rally
A base camp full of Honda Africa Twins
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A base camp full of Honda Africa Twins
The Honda Africa Twin motorcycles that took part in the record attempt used only off-the-shelf parts
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The Honda Africa Twin motorcycles that took part in the record attempt used only off-the-shelf parts
Honda says that the Africa Twin is the best off-road motorcycle in its class, and took it climbing on the world's highest volcano to support the notion
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Honda says that the Africa Twin is the best off-road motorcycle in its class, and took it climbing on the world's highest volcano to support the notion
With only simple modifications, this Honda Africa Twin climbed to an altitude of almost six kilometers (19,685 ft)
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With only simple modifications, this Honda Africa Twin climbed to an altitude of almost six kilometers (19,685 ft)
A Honda Africa Twin with DCT automatic transmission playing in the high altitude plains of the Ojos de Salado volcano
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A Honda Africa Twin with DCT automatic transmission playing in the high altitude plains of the Ojos de Salado volcano
After reaching the highest point, it's descent time for the Honda Africa Twin motorcycles that took part in the adventure
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After reaching the highest point, it's descent time for the Honda Africa Twin motorcycles that took part in the adventure
Fabio Mossini celebrates the record altitude he reached with the Honda Africa Twin
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Fabio Mossini celebrates the record altitude he reached with the Honda Africa Twin
The adventure of the five Honda Africa Twins started at sea level, at the foothills of the Ojos de Salado volcano
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The adventure of the five Honda Africa Twins started at sea level, at the foothills of the Ojos de Salado volcano

Ever since launching the new Africa Twin last year, Honda has unleashed a worldwide promotional offensive, designed to distinguish the touring and off-road attributes that its new adventure bike professes. Its latest endeavour included climbing the world's highest volcano to a record-setting altitude.

The ice pockets of Ojos del Salado at the Atacama Region, on the Argentina-Chile border, must be witnessing unusual traffic recently. The world's tallest active volcano has often offered the grounds of choice to contenders for driving various vehicles to Guinness World Record heights – in part owing to the publicity gained from the successful relocation of the Dakar Rally from Africa to South America.

Only in the past five years, the world record for riding a motorcycle at the highest altitude has been broken twice on this volcano's demanding slopes, while KTM returned here last year to authenticate the equivalent world record for electric motorcycles. The same mountain set the stage for the altitude records of cars and trucks in 2007 and 2014 respectively, and has also hosted some bizarre attempts, like the highest scuba dive record that was ratified in a permanent lake at 6,382 m (20,938 ft).

Honda's latest attempt involved an enduro champion from Chile, Fabio Mossini, and a supporting team of five Africa Twin motorcycles, helping him reach as high up as 5,965 m (19,570 ft), before a 2 m (6.6 ft) wall of snow signalled the end of the ascend.

With only simple modifications, this Honda Africa Twin climbed to an altitude of almost six kilometers (19,685 ft)
With only simple modifications, this Honda Africa Twin climbed to an altitude of almost six kilometers (19,685 ft)

This altitude does not constitute an outright motorcycle record, since it didn't surpass the 6,471 m (21,230 ft) milestone that Gianfranco Bianchi managed in 2015 aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. It still qualifies as a world record for twin-cylinder motorcycles though, given that all previous records were set with single-cylinder enduro bikes – like the current record-holding Suzuki, and the Husaberg FE 570 before it.

Actually, far more important that the record itself is the fact that Mossini's Africa Twin was more or less standard. Honda makes no mention of any changes in fuelling, which obviously means that the stock injection system managed to handle the oxygen deprivation of these high altitudes.

The motorcycle was equipped with a Termignoni exhaust, off-road Metzeler MC360 tires, shorter final transmission, and some parts straight from Honda's aftermarket catalog, like the protective bars. These are simple modifications with off-the-shelf accessories that anyone can easily make on a standard Africa Twin, offering proof that Honda's latest adventure bike is more than capable of holding its own off the paved roads.

Source: Honda

1 comment
sugamari
Ok Honda! We hear nice things about this bike. We also know where it came from and now we expect to see a position in a endurance race such as DAKAR! Good Luck see you there!