Hepco & Becker Luggage Rack with Cases for Honda Africa Twin

Feb 11, 2018 View Comments by

Last fall we planned a big dual sport ride with the Africa Twin, but taking a brand new motorcycle off-road comes with risks. Dropping one usually isn’t cheap. So why not spend a little extra and protect your ride? We turned to Moto Machines, the Hepco & Becker distributor in the USA for 3 essential upgrades:

  1. Luggage racks and side cases for the Honda Africa Twin
  2. Headlight protection
  3. Handlebar/brush guards protection

1. Hepco & Becker’s luggage racks are fairly straightforward to install. They do require drilling through plastic though, but fortunately in a concealed place (under the tail section) in case you ever want to take the racks off. The whole setup includes the 40-liter Xplorer case for the non-exhaust side, and the 37-liter Xplorer for the exhaust side, in addition to the rack hardware, in short everything you need. The Xplorer cases can be locked securely to the racks aside from locking the cases themselves, but they can we left in the open position for easy and fast on/off. The Xplorer cases are 50% plastic and 50% metal held together with plastic rivets and “special” super glue. Why is this good? It is less likely to take an impact and be left with a dent. The plastic provides a shock absorbing element so that when the bike falls over, the plastic part is the part most likely to take the fall. The cases have the strength of traditional metal cases and the shock deflection of plastic cases. They’re well made and everything lined up properly during the install something that’s not always a given. They’re an upgrade over the OEM luggage, which are side loading cases with less volume. Plus, the racks add protection in case of a tip-over. The whole setup costs $1,200 including the racks, both cases including keys, and all hardware.

2. Riding with friends on gravel roads is fun…if you’re the first rider. Following others can subject you and your bike to debris, which sometimes can cause damage. Protecting the headlight seems like the most logical, and the part costs about $135. Money well spent. To attach this headlight guard, you can use the Hepco & Becker tank guard as a mounting point or a bracket they sell separately for $39.98. Both options are less than ideal for a typical headlight guard but since Honda did not provide an easy location to mount a guard, the two mounting options were the only solution for a bolt down solution where simple straps would not suffice. On this particular bike, we chose to install the Altrider lower crash bars and the upper crash bars in combination with the headlight guard. The headlight guard does stick out more than we like; it is hard to tell if this is due to the mounting points or install as we chose to retrofit the headlight guard on the Altrider crash bars instead of the Hepco & Becker tank guards they were built for.

3. Lastly, we wanted to protect the plastic brush guards on the Africa Twin. Hepco & Becker’s solution costs a modest $160. Installation was easy, almost. One side mounts to the handlebar clamp while the other replaces the bar end. The OEM uses a very common (and small) hex socket, but for whatever reason, the aftermarket bolt is this giant hex socket size. It’s a size not too common, as we found out after trying 3 hardware stores to find the right size. Plan ahead and make sure you have a “large” selection in your toolbox! (Yes, the instructions state “5/12 socket needed”, but who needs instructions with such an easy and straightforward bolt-on accessory? Lesson learned.)

Enjoy some photos and leave us comments below if you have any questions about these items.

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