This year, Honda Motorcycle India also hopped onto the bandwagon of motorcycle camp with the Africa Twin True Adventure Camp. Last month, Honda premiered its experiential programme for adventure motorcycle enthusiasts, exclusively for the Honda Africa Twin owners. The first leg of the camp was conducted close to the Damdama Lake on the outskirts of Gurugram in Sohna, Haryana. The camp was similar to the ones conducted by Triumph motorcycles and Ducati India.
According to Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Private Limited, the motive of the camp was to bring together riding enthusiasts and experts and to make the riders’ experience more adventurous, as the interactions among the community enhance the learning and skills to explore the full potential of the machine.
Honda Africa Twin True Adventure Camp
The event included both theoretical as well as practical sessions, where the motorcycle enthusiasts were taught and trained in the basics of off-road riding by Vijay Parmar, President of the Himalayan Motorsports Association, along with his team of experts. The event saw participation by twenty owners of the Africa Twin bike from the Delhi-NCR region.
At the camp, the participants got to brush up their basic skills and learned more about the dual clutch transmission (DCT) of the motorcycle that the company promotes. They were also taught the different riding modes for various terrains and the other skills necessary for off road biking. The participants were given the experience of four different modes – tour, urban, gravel and user, by practising on humps, underground turns, gravel pits and specially designed dirt tracks, which enabled them to get a better understanding of their motorcycles’ transmission and overall handling.
Exploring true potential of Africa Twin
The Honda Africa Twin was launched in India in 2017, and is one of the best adventure touring bikes in the market. It is the first 1000 cc motorcycle to be assembled in India by Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Private Limited. It has a 999.11 cc twin cylinder engine that produces 88.91 hp at 7000 rpm and 93.1 nm of torque at 6000 rpm. The Africa Twin has a top speed of 196 kilometres per hour (kmph). Despite the heavy weight of the bike (243 kg), Africa Twin is totally capable of going on uneven terrain, and still quite comfortable to handle. Its 21 inch front wheel and 18 inch rear wheel flaunt Bridgestone dual-sport tyres. The suspension setup consists of twin 45mm cartridge-type Showa inverted front forks and a Pro-Link rear monoshock. Stopping power is provided by the dual 310mm petal discs at the front and a single 256mm petal disc at the rear. ABS is offered as standard, and can only be turned off for the rear wheel. All these properties add to the commendable stability of the motorcycle.
Though both manual and automatic transmission options are available, India would only have the automatic dual clutch transmission variant. Rumour has it that a better and more powerful iteration of the bike is in the works and is expected to be launched in the market sometime next year.
Rising trend of motorcycle adventure camps
Honda is not the first company to dip its toes in such experiential events for its buyers. Triumph Motorcycles conducted its first track training programming called the Triumph Track Experience in April, 2019. It was held at the Buddh International Circuit Greater Noida, and had a similar set up as the Honda adventure camp with practical and theoretical lessons on track riding, and basics of setting up a bike for a track event. It had a total of 35 seats and the cost of registration for the event was Rs 10,000 per candidate.
Ducati conducted its training programme in India in February 2019, called the Ducati Racing Experience (DRE) racetrack training programme. Ducati became one of the first luxury motorcycle brands in India to organize such an event.
Similarly BMW also began its GS Experience in India for the first time this year. It was a two day long camp and enabled the owners to experience the GS range of motorcycles. It was held in 11 cities – Chandigarh, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Kochi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Coimbatore, from February 9 to April 21, 2019.
Such events are a great learning experience and give the riders an in depth knowledge of their vehicles. Here the owners can fully experience what their motorcycles are capable of in an environment that ensures the safety of its rider.
Now with the recognition of India globally in the off road rally racing, due to the recent first World Cup win in the FIM Baja rally raid, events like these are gaining in popularity. And businesses are capitalizing on that. The Africa Twin Adventure Camp is soon going to be held in various other cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kochi.