Ultimate Overland Motorcycle Build 2021: Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT

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As any motorcyclist will tell you, nothing is better than getting on your bike and heading out for a ride. There are few things in life that are as inspiring, liberating, and just plain fun. When you’re on an adventure motorcycle, exploring the trails, or cruising the open roads, riding is about choosing the road less traveled and immersing yourself in the journey.

Keen to get more motorcyclists outfitted, inspired, and out on overland journeys, Overland Expo is building the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle in 2021. With our eye on providing the gear and knowledge you need to hit the trail, the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle Build is here to fuel your imagination for long-distance adventure travel and weekend ramblings alike.


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With manufacturers making more capable bikes than ever before and countless brands offering smart, durable adventure moto accessories, you could certainly cruise out of your local motorcycle dealership on a stock bike and tackle thousands of miles of trail without batting an eye. However, just because you can roll from showroom to backcountry doesn’t mean it’d be as comfortable, safe, and easy as it could be. To get the most of your new adventure moto, outfitting it with protection, ergonomic tweaks, and must-have gear is essential for adventure riding. 

So, starting with the 2021 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT platform, Overland Expo is building its vision of the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle with the latest and greatest adventure moto gear. Then we will take it on overland journeys throughout the year to further motivate others to get outfitted and get going on their own adventures.

The Ultimate Overland Motorcycle Build 

The thought of overland travel often brings to mind four-wheel-drive vehicles. But motorcycles have deep roots in overland travel history. With pioneering motorcyclists riding to the furthest reaches of the globe as far back as the early 1900s, adventure riding carries the spirit of exploration that is at the core of overland travel. 


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Though adventure bikes may not be as common as the Wranglers and Tundras you see along the trail, here at Overland Expo, we believe that motorcycles are an essential part of the overland community. We hope to inspire others to gear up and hit the trails on two wheels.

With more people now than ever before taking up adventure riding, Overland Expo is here to point you in the right direction. Whether you’re just getting your motorcycle endorsement, swapping your street bike for something with knobby tires, or you’ve been riding off-road for years, our Ultimate Overland Motorcycle is built to motivate everyone to get out there and explore.

The Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT

When choosing a motorcycle that can stand up to the demands of overland travel, there is no better bike than the Honda Africa Twin. Combining unmatched reliability, the off-road capability guaranteed to get you through the tough stuff, and the comfort to keep you cruising on even the longest adventures, the Africa Twin is built for the challenge.


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It’s been over three decades since the Honda Africa Twin first hit the dusty trails and Paris-Dakar desert races. While our 2021 CRF1100L bears the Africa Twin name, this is a modern machine from the spokes up, fully infused with the essence and spirit of what made the original so popular.  

The CRF1100L Africa Twin’s parallel-twin engine delivers torque from idle to redline, making it equally capable for all-terrain riding and cruising on the open road. Plus, Honda’s electronically controlled suspension has five settings, allowing you to fine-tune your ride, and it comes equipped with the transmission of the future. As tough as a conventional manual, the DCT six-speed automatic transmission can shift itself with remarkable precision or you can paddle-shift for full control.


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The Africa Twin is ready for whatever challenges you throw at it and is designed to carry all the gear you need for long-haul adventuring. It is the perfect platform for Overland Expo’s Ultimate Overland Motorcycle Build.

Planning the Build

With an Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT, finished in the new 2021 colorway, Darkness Black Metallic, in our hands, the team at Overland Expo is kitting it out with some of the best, most practical gear on the market today and heading out on the sort of adventures this bike was bred for. 

Starting in early March, we will begin the process of transforming the Africa Twin into our vision of the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle. With a focus on crash protection, ergonomics, and long-distance travel accessories, we are collaborating with several aftermarket suppliers to do the job. With the help of Outback Motortek, Jesse Luggage, Denali Electronics, Wolfman Luggage, Garmin, Superwinch, Heidenau, KonTour Seats, and others, we are setting up the Africa Twin to be the most capable long-distance adventure bike imaginable. Watch in the coming weeks as we continue to add new parts and products to the build.


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Once built, our fully outfitted Africa Twin will be hitting the trails. With an eye on remote terrain, multi-day treks, and the road less traveled, we’ll be putting the bike through its paces and seeking adventures across the U.S. All of the bike’s travels will be chronicled on Overland Expo’s Compass Blog, where you can follow along on the journey.

The build will be revealed in person at Overland Expo Mountain West in Loveland, Colorado August 27-29, 2021, and traveling to Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona and Arrington, Virginia later into the Fall. There you can check out the build firsthand while gaining the gear, skills, and knowledge to fuel your own adventures.

Ultimate Overland Motorcycle Build Partners 

Knowing where to start, which pieces of kit to choose, and which brands to trust isn’t easy in such a wide and varying market. We are thrilled to be partnering up with some of the best in the industry for the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle build and our collaborating brands are rock solid with countless years of production experience under their belts.

  • Outback Motortek — With a complete set of crash bars, engine guards, and skid plate from Outback Motortek, the Africa Twin will withstand falls in even the most rugged terrain. 

  • Jesse Luggage — We’ll be hauling our trail gear in a sturdy set of Jesse Luggage panniers and top case. The Jesse system allows for more volume in a sleek profile to keep gear safe and dry.

  • DENALI Electronics — Our comprehensive lighting kit from DENALI includes forward-facing auxiliary lights, front and rear turn signals, plus rear running/brake lights to illuminate our adventures.

  • Wolfman Luggage — To expand our carrying capacity on the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle, we’re using a durable tank bag and versatile soft bags from Wolfman Luggage.

  • Heidenau Tires — To be prepared for all roads and terrains, we’re fitting the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle with the long-lasting Heidenau K60 Scouts.

  • Garmin — To plot our adventures and stay in touch while out in the field, we’ll be using Garmin’s zūmo XT and inReach Mini for navigation and communication.

  • Superwinch — For serious recovery situations in challenging terrain, we’re carrying the compact LT2000 from Superwinch on the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle.

  • Kontour Seats — Riding in comfort is key for long-haul adventuring and we’re fitting the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle with a custom KonTour Seat.

Stay tuned to the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle Build homepage for updates on the Africa Twin’s build and our ongoing adventures. We’ll be releasing content about the best gear, trips, and travels throughout the year. 

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Photo by Brett Willhelm

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