Husqvarna Norden 901 Expedition vs Honda Africa Twin 1100: Which Is Better?

Husqvarna Norden 901 Expedition vs Honda Africa Twin 1100: Which Is Better? – this is the Husqvarna norda 901 Expedition and I’ve been riding it for the past week or so and it really is rather good but how does it compare to one of the absolute benchmarks in the category the Honda Africa twin well I’m here at Superbike Factory in Bristol today to ride them back to back to find out [Music] but before we get underway I just want to say a massive thanks to Superbike Factory for supporting the channel and sponsoring this video they stock thousands of different bikes all different genres and different price points some of them almost new this Africa twin for example that I’m riding today is a 22 plate less than 2 000 miles on the clock and yet you could save yourself well over a grand versus the price new so do check out their website which I’ve linked to down in the description below to see all of their awesome bikes and once again 

a massive thanks to Superbike Factory for their support now I’ve got to say after riding both of these bikes today they’re both absolutely awesome and Brilliant in their own regards and actually there’s quite a lot of similarities between the two they’re pretty much even on price so the Africa twin brand new comes in at 13 049 pounds whereas this Expedition version of the northern 901 is 13599 as for the engines you’ve got a parallel twin in both bikes and they make very similar power figures so just over 100 horsepower each and about 100 newton meters of peak torque and they both make those Peak figures at very similar points in the Rev range and they’re also quite similar in their intended usage so they’re both 

the most off-road bias models in their respective lineups with the northern you’ve got this Expedition version which takes the standard Northern 901 and Jacks it up and makes it taller and gives it more protection and then with the Honda it’s a more stripped back and simple version of the adventure sports which sits at the top of the lineup and is a little bit more feature-laden and touring focused so yeah off-rootie parallel twins about 13 Grand but there are some key differences that you’ve got to consider if you’re trying to choose between these two bikes so let’s start with the northern and the first thing that anyone will notice about this bike is just how good it looks now Husqvarna is actually owned by the same group as 

Husqvarna Norden 901 Expedition vs Honda Africa Twin 1100: Which Is Better?

KTM and a lot of their bikes share the same platform and so this has a lot in common the engine the chassis a lot of the underpinnings with the KTM 890 Adventure now in my book The 890 I’ve been isn’t a brilliant looking bike but they’ve done an amazing job applying that clean modern scandi Husqvarna design language to this bike and the result is something that really does look quite striking now that isn’t to say that the Africa twin is a bad looking bike in fact I think it’s one of the best in the adventure Market especially in the classic sort of white blue and red paint job it’s a brilliant looking machine but I think it’s fair to 

say that the northern just pits it in that regard I like the overall shape of it I like some of the semi retro touches like the round mirrors and the big round headlight I like some of the choices of finish as well like the bare aluminum and the white on the hand guards and the side of the seat here and specifically on this Expedition version you get this brilliant looking graphic scheme along the side just elevates it a little bit above the standard bike beneath the Aesthetics though another thing that I really love about this bike is the snap you get from this engine like I say the par figures are pretty much the same so 100 horsepower 100 newton meters of peak torque but this is the one that really does feel like it’s got a bit of that hooligan factor and it’s got a real immediacy to the throttle delivery naturally with any modern adventure bike you’ve got a whole bunch of different riding modes but in the street mode or the more aggressive rally mode you really do get this like kick if you give it a quick turn of the throttle and it turns 

this thing into an absolute wheelie monster it’s also got a nice free revving feel as well it doesn’t feel like it’s got a great deal of inertia so it’s not like a sluggish lazy feel it really does feel quite sprightly and so it makes it bags of fun to ride on the road now the big advantage of the Expedition version of the northern 901 is this suspension so the suspension on the standard bike is absolutely fine in fact it’s pretty decent it’s WP which is their in-house brand and it’s from their Apex lineup and it does a perfectly good job of both on and off-road riding but with this you’re only paying about 900 quid more than the standard version plenty of little extras across the bike which we’ll get on to but I think you’re getting most of the value just from the suspension alone now it’s pretty much the same stuff that you’ll find on the KTM 890 Adventure R so a little bit more off-road focused and so got more travel front and rear which gives you a little bit more ground clearance and of 

course you’ve got full adjustability all round I will say though there is a little bit of compromise certainly on road I mean firstly it is quite tall to get on even with the seat in the low setting but also when you’re on the Move despite the fact that it’s got this super low slung fuel tank you know you can feel that the weight is held pretty high and it does pitch quite a lot and it feels quite gangly for Road riding but you know that said if you are planning to do some serious off-road riding on one of these bikes this is a very good reason to consider the Norden but look even despite the suspension I think it’s pretty easy to justify this Expedition version over the standard Northern 901 just for all the little bits of spec and accessories that you get as standard so at the front we’ve got the touring windscreen which sits a little bit taller and also has this vent in the middle to reduce buffer tin and I’d say even though it looks relatively modest this windscreen and it isn’t adjustable either it actually does a very good job when you’re cruising that sort of 

65 or 70. now also playing into the sort of touring image you’ve got heated grips and a heated seat for the rider massively beneficial if you want to ride it through winter or if you’re doing some touring and you’re going to pass through some cooler climates plus you get this soft luggage so 18 liters either side I like the fact that it sort of ties in with the rest of the bike in terms of the visuals and it comes on these rigid frames with a quick release mechanism I mean look they’re not a substitute for proper three-piece luggage if you’re doing proper distance work or going two up and you want to take plenty of stuff with you then these probably aren’t going to quite cut it but as a standard accessory on a bike at this price point it’s a nice little touch download you’ve got this extra protection from this big sump guard that wraps around this low fuel tank and keeps it nice and safe still probably a NASA even if you’re not off-roading as well if you dropped it in a car park or something you probably want to have this on just to protect the bike and you also get a quick shifter as standard so that’s quite a lot of little extra things not just against the standard Northern 901 but also the Africa twin no heated bits on that one no quick shifter no luggage it’s a low windscreen as well and so if you did want to spec this bike up for a little bit of light touring it’s going to push the 

price up quite a bit and that makes the northern expedition look quite tempting one last little Victory here for the northern would be the ease of use of the menus and the switch gear and the dash this genuinely feels quite fun to use they use little graphics and stuff like that and also that clean minimal design from the rest of the bike does run through to the dash whereas the Africa twin has an absolute array of buttons there’s loads of them and the dash is just a little bit sterile feeling it doesn’t have the same sense of fun or dynamism now I know I said I love the engine on the Husqvarna for its liveliness and free Readiness and when you want it to be fun to ride and entertaining then it definitely does the job but the Honda just feels like it has a little bit more satisfaction to it it’s got a couple of hundred extra cc’s of capacity and so despite the fact that those Peak power and Peak torque figures are almost identical actually this is the one that feels like it has a little bit more guts in the mid-range the other thing as well is the sound 

that this thing makes is really very very satisfying when you’re on the throttle it’s sort of got like a chug in almost like a single cylinder kind of sound and it just absolutely suits the nature and image of this bike this engine has a 270 crank which gives it like the 90 degree interval between the two cylinders so a little bit like a V-Twin this has a 75 degree interval I think to mimic the KTM V twins yeah and so while they do both sound pretty good I think if you listen to this you’ll agree that the Africa twin does Edge it acoustically now like I say I think suspension wise the northern edges it in terms of like off-roadiness but I think the Africa twin has a little bit of a better balance for all-round riding you see it’s more than capable off-road I’ve ridden it for a day at their Adventure Center down in Exmore and it was absolutely brilliant on the trails but on the road it just feels that little bit more composed than the northern and it feels a little bit less boingy and wallowy and I’ve checked the settings on both bikes and it seems to be pretty much middled out in terms of the damping adjustment and still for me the Africa 

twin just feels a bit more firm and more appropriate for like I say a wider spread of riding now another big plus for me on the Honda would be that renowned build quality and while I’ve only had the Husky for about a week or so so I can’t speak too much about the sort of long-term reliability of it you know my experience of Hondas over the years has been very very good and it also feels just that little bit better together things like the quality of the Plastics and also stuff like the fact that you get a proper metal fuel tank as opposed to plastic covers on a plastic tank just help to make it feel that little bit more premium to me I’ve also got to mention as with many other Hondas that little trim card which is that this engine is available with a DCT gearbox they’re not for everybody it basically acts like an auto box so it shifts on your behalf no clothes to work no gear shift on the pegs and I think for some people that does remove a little bit of the satisfaction of riding but I will say it’s an absolutely fantastic system far better than I ever 

anticipated it to be and I would even say the same for riding it off-road it just seems completely counter-intuitive to use DCT off-road but once you give it a try as you can do at the Adventure Center it really does make sense and it’s a lot lot easier to get on with than I expected plus you can always knock it into manual and use the Triggers on the switch gear to control it and also there are different modes for it as well so you can adjust how Keen it is to shift and so if that sounds like your cupboard T it really does transform the writing experience and it puts this bike in a field of one another big one for some people anyway is going to be the fact that the TFT Dash on this bike gets apple carplay and yes the dash on the Northern is really nicely designed but in terms of like interface design and software design you can’t really be you know the same people that designed the iPhone interface having all your favorite messaging and music and podcasts and navigation apps all on the screen there just makes it so much easier to use and 

more intuitive and again it’s something that’s only really available on the Africa twin there’s no other adventure bike on the market as far as I’m aware anyway that comes with carplay honestly these two bikes are just so good and so enjoyable to ride that it’s really difficult for me to pick between the two generally I’d say go for this one if you want the one that looks the best has the most peppy and Lively engine and the one that sits you know pretty tall and has that more extreme off-road bias the Honda though has that satisfaction with the engine it really is a lovely sample of the parallel twin you’ve got that renowned Honda build quality and reliability and then also a couple of little tricks up its sleeve with DCT and carplay as always I’d love to know which one you’d pick down in the comments below so do let us know a massive thanks again to Superbike Factory for their support and I’ll leave you with a selection of our other favorite adventure bikes from the superbike Factory showroom which you can click on on the screen here and give it a watch now many thanks for watching today and we’ll see you in the next one

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