11 Common Honda Africa Twin Problems (Solutions Guide)

The Honda Africa Twin is an adventure motorcycle built to handle a wide variety of terrain.

Still, like any vehicle, the Africa Twin isn’t immune to the basic problems and issues that can arise over the course of ownership.

This article explores the most common problems experienced by owners of the Africa Twin, including solutions beneficial to new and experienced riders alike.

1. Honda Africa Twin Won’t Start

One of the most frustrating problems reported by owners of the Honda Africa Twin owner is that their bikes won’t start. There are several possible causes for this issue, ranging from a low battery to a faulty fuel pump.

Check the battery voltage and connections:

A weak or dead battery can prevent the bike from starting.

Use a multimeter to measure the battery voltage and ensure it is above 12 volts.

Also, check the battery terminals and cables for any corrosion or loose connections.

Clean and tighten them if necessary.

Inspect the fuses:

 A blown fuse can also cause a no-start condition.

Locate the fuse box under the seat and inspect the fuses for any signs of damage or melting.

Replace any blown fuses with the same rating and type.

Check the fuel pump:

 Some Africa Twin year models have been recalled due to a clogged fuel filter issue that can affect the fuel pump performance.

To check if your fuel pump is working, turn the ignition on and listen for a whirring sound from the tank.

If you don’t hear anything, the fuel pump may be faulty or not getting power.

You can also try tapping on the fuel pump with a rubber mallet to see if it starts working.

Check the starter switch:

 Another common problem with some Africa Twin year models is a faulty starter switch that can cut off power to the fuel injection system.

To test if your starter switch is working, turn the ignition on and press the starter button while holding the throttle slightly open.

If the bike starts and runs typically, your starter switch is fine.

If the bike starts but dies as soon as you release the starter button, your starter switch may need to be replaced.

2. Honda Africa Twin: Battery Dying Issues

One of the most annoying problems that some Honda Africa Twin owners face is the battery dying after a short period. This can leave you stranded or unable to start your bike when you need it.

Here’s how one Africa Twin rider described the issue:

“My battery died after only 3 months of use. I had to jump-start it with another bike. Turns out it was a bad lithium battery that came with the bike.”

Check the battery voltage and connections:

Use a multimeter to measure the battery voltage and ensure it is above 12 volts.

Also, check the battery terminals and cables for any corrosion or loose connections – clean and tighten them if necessary.

Inspect your charging system:

Measure the voltage at the battery terminals while the bike is running.

It should be between 13.5 and 15 volts.

If it is lower or higher, inspect and replace the faulty component (stator or regulator/rectifier).

Test for electrical parasitic drain:

When the bike is off, measure the current between the battery cable and the terminal.

It should be less than 0.1 amp.

If it is higher, disconnect and isolate the device causing the drain (tracker, USB socket, heated grip, etc.).

3. Honda Africa: Twin Not Charging

Honda Africa Twin riders sometimes report battery charging failures on their motorcycles, often due to a faulty Regulator/Rectifier.

“My bike was not charging at all. I checked the voltage of the battery, and it was below 12 volts. I replaced the regulator and rectifier with a new one, which solved the problem.”

Check the battery voltage and connections:

Inspect the battery terminals and cables for any corrosion or loose connections. Clean and tighten them if necessary.

Inspect your charging system components:

Inspect the stator and regulator/rectifier for any signs of damage or wear.

You can test them with a multimeter or an ohmmeter according to the service manual instructions.

Replace any faulty component with a new one or a compatible aftermarket one.

Examine the electrical harness for any short circuits or loose wires:

Look for any exposed or frayed wires that may cause a short circuit or a poor connection.

Repair or replace any damaged wire or connector. Use a wiring diagram to trace any wiring issue.

4. Honda Africa Twin: Won’t Idle or Rough Idling

The idle speed of your Honda Africa Twin is controlled by the idle air control valve (IACV) and the engine control unit (ECU).

These parts adjust the amount of air and fuel going into the engine to maintain a steady idle speed. If the idle speed is too high, too low, or erratic, there may be a problem with the IACV, the ECU, or other components, and the bike won’t stay running.

“My bike was idling too high at around 2000 rpm. I checked the IACV, and it was dirty and sticky. I cleaned it with some carb cleaner, and it fixed the problem.”

“My bike was idling rough and stalling. I found out it was a bad spark plug that was causing it. I replaced the spark plug, and it fixed the issue.”

Check the IACV:

 The IACV is located on the throttle body and regulates the airflow into the engine. If it is dirty, clogged, or faulty, it may cause the idle speed to be incorrect or unstable. You can clean the IACV with some carb cleaner or replace it if necessary.

Test your ECU:

The ECU is the computer that controls the engine functions. If it is malfunctioning, it may send inaccurate signals to the IACV or other sensors and valves.

You can reset the ECU by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes or using a diagnostic tool to scan for any trouble codes.

Check other components:

Other components may affect the idle speed, such as spark plugs, fuel injectors, air filters, vacuum hoses, throttle position sensors, etc.

You can inspect these components for any signs of damage, wear, or leakage and repair or replace them if necessary.

5. Honda Africa Twin: No Power

The power of your Africa Twin depends on the engine, the fuel system, the electrical system, and the transmission and their smooth operation. If any of these systems are not working correctly, they may cause the bike to have no power or lose power while riding, affecting its acceleration, speed, and performance.

“My bike had no power and was running very rough. I checked the fuel filter, which was clogged with rust and dirt. I replaced the fuel filter, and it solved the problem.”

“My bike lost power and stalled while riding. I found out it was a bad stator that was not charging the battery. I replaced the stator, and it fixed the issue.”

Inspect your fuel filter:

The fuel filter is located inside the fuel tank and filters out any impurities from the fuel.

If it is clogged or dirty, it may restrict the fuel flow to the engine and cause a loss of power.

You can replace the fuel filter with a new one or clean it and reinstall it.

Check the stator:

If your stator is faulty or damaged, it may not provide enough power to the battery or other electrical components and causes a loss of power.

Replace a defective stator with a compatible one, following your service manual instructions.

You can test the stator with a multimeter or an ohmmeter according to the service manual instructions.

Inspect other air, fuel, and ignition system components:

Other components may affect the bike’s power, such as spark plugs, fuel injectors, air filters, throttle bodies, ECU, etc.

You can inspect these components for any signs of damage, wear, or leaks and repair or replace them if necessary.

6. Honda Africa Twin Keeps Stalling

Some Honda Africa Twin owners may encounter a problem with their bikes stalling or losing power while riding. Stalling can happen for various reasons, such as faulty electrical components, clogged fuel filters, bad fuel quality, or improper engine tuning.

“My bike stalled several times while riding on the highway. It was very scary and dangerous. I took it to the dealer, and they said it was a recall issue with the ECU and DCT. They updated the software, and it solved the problem.”

Check for recalls:

Honda has recalled some 2020 and 2021 Africa Twin models with DCT due to a problem with the engine control unit and dual-clutch transmission that can cause stalling or loss of power.

Contact your nearest Honda dealer or call Honda’s customer service to find out if your bike is affected by the recall and get it fixed for free.

Check the fuel filter:

If the fuel filter is clogged or dirty, it may restrict the fuel flow to the engine and cause stalling or hesitation.

Check other fuel and air system components:

There may be other failures causing your Africa Twin to stall out while riding, such as the spark plugs, fuel injectors, air filters, throttle bodies, ECU, etc.

You can inspect these components for any signs of damage, wear, or leaks and repair or replace them.

Related: Are Honda Africa Twins Reliable? (11 Important Facts)

7. Honda Africa Twin: Noisy Engine

The Africa Twin stocks a parallel twin with a 270-degree firing order that makes it sound like a V-twin. This gives it a unique and distinctive sound. But if the engine noise is excessive or abnormal, it may indicate a problem.

Inspect your exhaust system:

If your exhaust system is damaged, loose, or modified, it may cause the engine noise to change or increase.

You can inspect the exhaust system for any signs of cracks, leaks, or corrosion and repair or replace it if necessary. You can also adjust the exhaust valve to reduce some noise¹.

Check the valve clearance:

The valve clearance is the gap between the valve stem and the rocker arm that controls the opening and closing of the valves.

If it is too tight or loose, it may cause the engine noise to increase or become irregular.

Check and adjust the valve clearance according to the service manual instructions.

Inspect oil system and clutch components:

There may be other components that affect the engine noise, such as the cam chain tensioner, oil pump, clutch basket, etc.

Inspect these components for wear, damage, or malfunction and repair or replace them if necessary.

8. Honda Africa Twin Won’t Shift

The Africa Twin has two types of transmission: manual and dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Both types rely on the proper functioning of the clutch, the gear selector, and the engine control unit (ECU) to shift gears smoothly and accurately.

If any of your transmission or shifter components are faulty or damaged, they may cause shifting problems.

“My DCT [Africa Twin] won’t shift out of first gear no matter what mode I try. It’s stuck in first gear, and I can’t ride it. I took it to the dealer, and they said it was a problem with the left switchgear. They replaced it, and it solved the problem.”

“My manual [Honda Africa Twin] won’t shift into second gear. It’s like there is no second gear, and it just skips to third gear. I checked the clutch, and it was fine. I took it to the dealer, and they said it was a problem with the gear selector fork. They replaced it, and it solved the problem.”

Inspect the battery (DCT):

The battery is responsible for providing power to the bike’s ECU and other electrical components. If it is low or weak, it may cause shifting problems, especially for the DCT models.

Check the switchgear:

 The switchgear is responsible for controlling the DCT modes and functions. If it is sticky or faulty, it may cause shifting problems, such as not shifting out of first gear or not engaging neutral. You can clean the switchgear with a contact cleaner or replace it with a new one if necessary.

9. Honda Africa Twin Won’t Rev Up

Honda Africa Twin owners sometimes experience their bikes not revving up correctly or at all, affecting the performance and throttle response.

  • The throttle position sensor (TPS) may be out of calibration or faulty. You can reset the TPS by turning the key on, holding down the starter button, and throttle for 5 seconds. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the TPS.
  • If the fuel filter is clogged or dirty, it may restrict the fuel flow to the engine and cause poor acceleration or hesitation. Replace your fuel filter with a new one or clean the one you have to restore your revving capabilities to their potential.

10. Honda Africa Twin Speedo Not Working

Some Honda Africa Twin riders have reported problems with their speedometer not working or showing inaccurate readings.

  • If the speed sensor is faulty or damaged, it may cause the speedometer to malfunction or show wrong readings. Inspect the speed sensor for any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage and replace it if necessary.
  • If the wiring harness is loose or broken, it may cause the speedometer to malfunction or show wrong readings. Examine your wiring harness for any signs of open connections, cuts, or shorts, and repair or replace it if necessary.

11. Honda Africa Twin Heated Grips Not Working

A handful of Honda Africa Twin owners report issues with their heated grips not working or not being warm enough.

The heated grips fuse blown; it can cause the heated grips to lose power. Inspect the fuse for any signs of damage or burn marks and replace it if necessary.

If the heated grips switch is faulty or dirty, the grips can fail to function or get warm enough to be effective. Attempt to clean the switch with a contact cleaner, replacing the switch if it remains faulty once cleaned.

Author:

  • Michael Ta Nous

    I've been weaving words into stories since my early scribbling days, and my journey in the world of motorcycles and their communities spans almost two decades. Living with a talented motorcycle mechanic as a roommate, our garage transformed into a vibrant workshop where I absorbed the intricacies of...

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