First Ride, First Thoughts - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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First Ride, First Thoughts

Went and picked up my new AT in Denver yesterday, and rode it home 137 miles on the super slab. I came from a Harley-Davidson Road King so this is quite a change for me - about 300lbs. lighter.

The first thing that hit me is how tall this bike is. I am 6' 2' and I feel like I need to stand on a milk crate to mount it. Quite comfortable once on board, and very nicely balanced. Fired her up, and the bike just sounds awesome. Didn't really want to fiddle with all of the electronics until I had time to read the manual, so I decided to buzz around some side streets until I got familiar with the controls.

Most of the reviews I have read are lukewarm on the AT's power, but for me it is quite impressive. Throttle response is good, just point it where you want to go. Didn't have any twisty streets to ride, but the bike was nimble and felt very planted on my cruise through the neighborhood. Braking is good, but not great. After I began to feel comfortable, I jumped on the interstate and headed home.

I was worried about riding an unfamiliar motorcycle through heavy traffic, but my fear went away quickly once I got moving. The bike just feels so intuitive. Still figuring out where the shift points are at, but the bike was a joy and moved up and down the power band effortlessly.

Pros:
The windscreen is quite good, much better than I thought it would be when looking at it.

Basic gauges - speed, rpms, fuel - are well laid out and easy to read, even in bright sunlight. Also liked the fact that the turn signal indicators are right up in my line of sight.

Cons:
HATE the stock grips. Felt like I was holding on to pencils - very small diameter - my hands began to cramp before I got home. Going to have to look for some magnum grips.

Not a big fan of the seat, although I didn't think it was as bad as some reviews have indicated. Definitely going to replace it, but I don't feel like I need to rush it.
The first thing I will add is crash bars, followed by a throttle lock and new grips. Didn't have a chance to ride in the dirt, but planning to correct that today.

Ride safe everyone, hope to see you out there.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 09:47 AM
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This may help getting on and off, note turning the bars fully to right lock.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 05:29 PM
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The seat will get softer over time. I was going to replace mine but now at 2k miles it fits me nice.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTwin View Post
This may help getting on and off, note turning the bars fully to right lock.
I watched the video, and I was skeptical, but this does help. At least I am not scuffing the seat with my boot every time.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslingr View Post
The seat will get softer over time. I was going to replace mine but now at 2k miles it fits me nice.
If it can survive my carcass sitting on it for 2k miles, it will have to be softer.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 07:37 AM
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I thought the same when i first rode the AT. Purchased the grip puppies and feels much better. You may want to try, they are cheap and help with some vibes through bars too.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sybjer View Post
I thought the same when i first rode the AT. Purchased the grip puppies and feels much better. You may want to try, they are cheap and help with some vibes through bars too.
I may try these. Do they just provide cushion, or do they also make the grip feel fatter?

I did buy a cramp buster and that ingenious little device is working pretty well.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 09:40 AM
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Thumbs up from me for grip puppies.....make the grips fatter and soak up some vibes!

Adrian
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 01:08 PM
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Find the grips OK, everyone's different I guess. After nearly 5000 miles the seat still sucks , did 170 miles today and was getting pretty "tender" , need to look for alternative.
I have the standard seat on low setting ( 30" inside leg, low seat is even worse than standard
Being a shorty I just use the left peg to boost me up and over, took a little getting use to but don't even think about it now.
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