Not every upgrade for a car or motorcycle needs to be some big, fanfare-laden event. Sometimes, little quality of life tweaks go a long way. For owners of the Honda Africa Twin, this week's announcement definitely makes life easier without being some sort of earth-sundering occasion.
Honda announced this week that it will add Android Auto compatibility to the Africa Twin. This upgrade covers 2020-model-year-and-newer CRF1100L Africa Twin variants, including the standard Africa Twin and the Adventure Sports ES. Best of all, riders don't even have to schlep to the dealership to make it happen; instead, owners simply head to Honda's website, where they can learn how to put the update on a USB flash drive and use that to upgrade the bike themselves. Honda said that a passenger volume-control function will also be added as part of the software update.
Already available on the Gold Wing, Android Auto brings the second half of the smartphone-mirroring equation to Honda's wicked-cool adventure bike. Plug in a supported Android phone, and the infotainment display will shift to an Android-based experience that more closely mirrors how your phone functions, bringing things like app functionality front and center. If you've ever used Apple CarPlay, it's basically that, but, you know, Google-flavored.
Even without Android Auto, there's a lot to like about the latest generation of Honda's Africa Twin. A new 1,084-cc parallel-twin engine adds displacement and produces an estimated 101 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque. It's available with either a six-speed dual-clutch or a six-speed manual transmission. After some time with one, editor Kyle Hyatt called it a "fantastic, practical, comfortable and affordable adventure bike," with pricing starting at $14,399 before dealer fees for the base model with a manual.