Honda XRV750 Africa Twin 1990-99
Built in homage to the giant desert racers of the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally, the Africa Twin is a huge, imposing trail-styled bike, powered by a rather softly tuned V-twin engine. First launched in 1990, the Africa Twin features fully-faired bodywork, including a large 23-litre (5 gal) fuel tank and a tall windscreen. A wide, long dual seat stretches back from the tank to a tough, aluminium grabrail/luggage rack, while a tough aluminium bashplate protects the bottom of the engine from flying rocks and impacts.
But, while the Africa Twin’s styling points to off-road prowess, its detail design and performance suggests otherwise. The trail-styled knobbly tyres are designed for Tarmac use, and offer little grip on wet dirt or deep sand, while a close-fitting front mudguard quickly clogs with mud and debris. The plastic bodywork is easily damaged in the inevitable tumbles of off-road riding, and the 205kg (452lbs) weight makes the XRV very hard to pick up after dropping it.