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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone been able to do back to back comparisons or ridden both in the dirt? Does the 7 level set up have more refined settings or do you just go right to turning it off anyway?

I’m trying to decide if getting an ‘18 is worth finding a used bike. I would assume the new 7 level TC system was better at letting you play but not get into too much trouble. It seems like lots of people go right to turning the system off. I gotta think there is value in the system otherwise things like this wouldn’t exist.
 

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I was debating like you were between the years. I was also torn between the Adventure Sport model and the base one. Ultimately the way this article broke down some of the 2018 changes and the differences between the 2 models (AT and ATAS) helped push me to the 2018 ATAS. Have to admit I absolutely love the color combo of the 30th anniversary model which is the one I bought.

https://www.cycleworld.com/2018-honda-africa-twin-vs-2018-honda-africa-twin-adventure-sports#page-3

At the end of the day my ATAS was only about $1500 than the best price I could find on a 2017 AT. For me having the yaer newer, with all the upgrades of the ATAS made it an easy decision. I love the range I have with the bigger tank. The lithium ion battery upgrade was a nice weight savings and one I do to most of my bikes anyway.

As for the refinement levels of the traction control I haven't had a chance to really explore them offroad though like you I tend to believe they could be useful. I can say from riding the 2017 back to back with the 2018 the newer just feels a bit zippier and quicker to rev which I definitely appreciate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good to hear that the newer bike is better. Not that the old one was boring. I'm sure I would be happy with either one. I would assume the 4 more steps of TC were put in for more refined control for more advanced riders. Which I think is great, making they system usable for better riders keep them safer. Unless of course they are a just turn it off and never try it person. I'd think some "looser" settings that let some bigger sway angles and wheel spin would be beneficial.
 

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For somewhat of a reference point in 1, "loosest" setting of traction control but still engaged, my bike will wheelie about a foot up before power is cut and definitely some rear wheels spin. At level 2, I get about 6" up before it cuts and obvious rear wheel spin. At 7 my grandma could ride it on ice and not spin the tires. I have the DCT version so I can't speak about the normal version.

I meant to post this link earlier. A lot more detail on the 2018. Need to scroll way down past their photos to get it though.

http://www.hondaprokevin.com/2018-honda-africa-twin-review-specs-motorcycle-adventure-bike-dct-automatic-crf1000l

Here is a nice comparo read of the Big ADV bikes for reference. The AT placed well but didn't win.

https://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/2018-big-bore-adventure-touring-shootout-part-1-street
 

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The bike done well

Here is a nice comparo read of the Big ADV bikes for reference. The AT placed well but didn't win.
I like the fact that the only bits they didn't like were the crash bars, the fact that it doesn't have cruise control, slightly flimsy OEM luggage, and the height of the ATAS itself. I can live with all those. All the stuff they praised - ergos, rideability, steering and maneuverability - is what I like about the AT.

And that's before they got into the dirt in part 2.
https://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/2018-big-bore-adventure-touring-shootout-part-2-dirt

Spoiler: the AT was just edged into second place by the KTM, partly due to the latter's ballistic motor, and partly because the writer acknowledges that he wasn't quite at home with the DCT. "If we had the non-DCT Africa Twin AS, my choice may have been different", he concludes.

Nice test. In a way, it shows how hard it is to buy a "bad" bike these days.
 

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Yes, really hard to buy a bad bike anymore. I really do miss cruise control since I have a fairly long ride to any interesting offroad places (nice national forest).

As for the KTM's ballistic motor, almost every time I hope on my AT I am reminded how slow it is in comparison to most of my other bikes. I do wish they'd put another 20 hp or so in it.

I still love the DCT but I do wish they had some way of simulation a quick clutch pull and release. I can see it being a real issue when trying to quickly loft the front wheel over something. I simulated crossing a small log with a berm in a car park. I was in first, blipped the throttle and it more launched me firmly into the berm more than lofting the front wheel. I can tell you I did use up 8.9" of the front suspension as I mostly crashed headlong into it instead of sailing over it. The forks bottomed hard and the rear swallowed the hit up like a MX bike.

So maybe Honda could introduce sort of a clutch trigger on the left handgrip. On the plus side the DCT will never stall and that can be a huge advantage.
 

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I have a 2017 DCT purchased in Feb 2019 and now have about 1000 miles on it, about 50/50 on/off road. I really don't like the traction control for gravel or sand. Having the engine stutter when the system cuts power to the rear wheel is really distracting for me. My routine is to turn it off whenever I leave the pavement and enjoy the thrill of raw power when I want it. That said, I have not been riding in wet or icy conditions yet. I wish the system didn't re-set to "on" every time you turn the bike off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a 2017 DCT purchased in Feb 2019 and now have about 1000 miles on it, about 50/50 on/off road. I really don't like the traction control for gravel or sand. Having the engine stutter when the system cuts power to the rear wheel is really distracting for me. My routine is to turn it off whenever I leave the pavement and enjoy the thrill of raw power when I want it. That said, I have not been riding in wet or icy conditions yet. I wish the system didn't re-set to "on" every time you turn the bike off.
Ya need to trade up to an '18 or newer then you get user mode ;). If your made out of money that is haha.

As for the TC comment above. Some one is going to hack the bike and add cruise to it I'm sure of it. They did that with Ducati's (why you would want cruise on a Panagale is beyond me). That will happen and so will a good flash tune for the ECU.
 

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The reason you want cruise control on a Panigale is why you need it for many Ducatis, so you don't get any more speeding tickets than necessary. I do hope someone will hack the cruise soon, I would be a buyer if it was a reasonable amount. Was out riding a few minutes ago and before I realized it i was well up into triple digits on my S1000XR. If that bike didn't have cruise control I would have lost my license a long time ago.

I do like the user configurable setting on the 2018. It is the one I have configured to what I like the most. I set it on gravel for whenever my son rides the AT to dial back the performance a bit. It seems similar to the rain mode on my 1000XR but much slower.

I have to say at the price Honda asks for the bike it is a bargain. The leftover 2018's are a screaming deal in my area.
 

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Cruise has been done, and mine works like a charm. However, if you are not a decent wrench plan on paying some large dollars for installation. MCCruise.com
 

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I know this isn't related to traction control but wanted to mentioned something else about the ATAS. The stock headlights are quite good. I do wish both bulbs were on at low beam but when you engage the high beam it really lights up the road. Even the single LED low beam is pretty good on its own. Overall some of the best motorcycle headlights I've seen. While the latest crop of Harley LEDs and their massive light systems are better overall Honda did an excellent job with the AT.

This is something very few motorcycle reviews focus on. Even if the stock headlights are abysmal you rarely read anything about it. Maybe because so many bikes have terrible headlights...
 

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I like mine pretty aggressive while I'm on the street and turn it down a little on the dirt. It's way to powerful and will get very easy wheel spin on dirt. If you get caught in the rain on the street, it's probably a good idea to keep it turned down. The only time I ever turn traction control off, is if I want to wheelie or drag race.
 

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On my User setting, I have TC on 2. Every higher number is too intrusive, although I haven't tackled wet muddy conditions yet (dry Aussie summer) but it's coming. One thing I find interesting is when the TC is kicking in, if you gas it harder it lets the wheel spin some more. Sounds weird but that's what it feels like at speed. More TC is fun to feel it do it's thing but after a while it will nag you like a wife, and you don't need that out riding!
 

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Will do a full write up but I tried the 2018 AT at the honda adventure centre, after riding my 17 AT there.
It was the best2 days and massively worth it for me. Lots of off reading and did things with the bike I wouldn’t have thought possible.
We did tests with the tc settings on gravel roads going from 4-3-2-1-off. 4 and 3 make you feel safe even pushing in the corners. If you are steady you can go up a steep muddy track and it won’t kick in, even in 6-7. We went up steep hills in 4thgear, just to prove it has the torque and as long as your throttle is constant you won’t spin the wheel.
In tc2, which we used most of the time, you can let the back slide out nicely before it kicks in and corrects you gently. In 1 you can almost power slide and although it coughs a bit still goes. With the tc off it’s great fun in the muddy ruts throwing massive roosters behind you and going around gravel corners.
N comparison the 17 model, tc1 is a bit like 3 on the 18, but it makes the engine splutter too much. I would prefer turning it off and just using a higher gear and being steady on the throttle.
 

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Great experience

It was the best2 days and massively worth it for me. Lots of off reading and did things with the bike I wouldn’t have thought possible.
I second this. I was there too a month ago and found it equally worthwhile - playing with the traction control is just one example of that. A great course. As soon as I can get some time off and money together I'm going to go again, for the next level.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Will do a full write up but I tried the 2018 AT at the honda adventure centre, after riding my 17 AT there.
It was the best2 days and massively worth it for me. Lots of off reading and did things with the bike I wouldn’t have thought possible.
We did tests with the tc settings on gravel roads going from 4-3-2-1-off. 4 and 3 make you feel safe even pushing in the corners. If you are steady you can go up a steep muddy track and it won’t kick in, even in 6-7. We went up steep hills in 4thgear, just to prove it has the torque and as long as your throttle is constant you won’t spin the wheel.
In tc2, which we used most of the time, you can let the back slide out nicely before it kicks in and corrects you gently. In 1 you can almost power slide and although it coughs a bit still goes. With the tc off it’s great fun in the muddy ruts throwing massive roosters behind you and going around gravel corners.
N comparison the 17 model, tc1 is a bit like 3 on the 18, but it makes the engine splutter too much. I would prefer turning it off and just using a higher gear and being steady on the throttle.
AWESOME thanks for you sharing your experience! Would you say the new TC set up is vastly superior or not enough to make it worth paying new in the face of a good used bike?
 
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