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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Africa Twin CRF1000l – A User’s Gripe


There is no doubt the Africa Twin CRF1000l is an excellent machine with a strong heritage and the name Honda, synonymous with reliability. World Wide sales have been impressive and an award for Bike of the Year in some places. But as good as the bike is, like any other machine, it has flaws making you ask, “For the love of god, why Honda?”


How Very Dare you!

Blood is thicker than water, so they say. And brand loyalty can be a serious sore point for some when it comes to criticism. For the large majority, the Africa Twin is their perfect machine, and they’ll have it no other way. But let’s be serious for a second here, there is no perfect steed. Marketing, like any other brand, does have a strong influence on our purchasing decision.
I own an Africa Twin CRF1000l, so this review or rant, call it what you will, comes from a rider who waited three years in anticipation. I fended off my other options for a GS and KTM in favour of the AT due to its price, and one has to admit, those clever Honda ads riding through the desert sands and hilly climbs, waiting longingly for the next adventure ad to wet my buds! I have to point out here, Farangmoto is not supported by Honda, so that you get my drift.
If you’re one of the very few like me that ride this bike for its designed/marketed purpose, there are plenty of gripes that’ll have you effin’ and jeffin’ after a couple of 1000km or so. But let’s distinguish the riders’ view of a perfect machine from those who have a few complaints.



Rider Variations

We’ve all fallen for reviews on various channels, but it’s worth remembering reviews based on short time possession will not discover niggles. Manufacturers tend to lend their test vehicles for a few days to a week. Hardly enough time to get to know the bike. Personal ownership reviews tend to be the best, and of course, vary in great detail.
Most riders it has to be said, will never take their perfect machine off road. Many have also worked their way up the ranks from a lesser bike or ordered a different menu from their previous crotch rocket. The Africa Twin has attracted many bikers who have never considered an adventure bike before and have always stayed on the black stuff. And in Thailand, but not limited to, a breed of Africa Twin owners riding with empty hard touring cases!


http://www.drivernrider.com/2017/09/29/honda-africa-twin-review/
 

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Hello Farang

I read your review with interest, I am interested in what currency you are quoting for the modifications you would make and what those modifications would be to create your perfect machine. 150k-200k whats?
 

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No marketing influenced my decision: I had narrowed it down to the Africa Twin and the KTM 1190r....I rode both, and yes, the KTM was sexier and a real beast in the dirt, but the KTM broke down on the test ride with fuel pump issues, stranding me, and before that, roasted my nuts with engine heat. The AT, even in stock form, is more bike than I can take advantage of on my jeep trails. I'll give up a bit of performance for reliability....my bike is a tool, not a toy.
 

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That's a fair assessment of the bike and good review. I lean towards touring with frequent journeys to gravel and reasonably ridden tracks, so the bike does more than I ask of it. For more than that, I think your review shows some of the shortcomings of the bike as an offroad machine.

The decisions for the footpegs and almost enough fuel range seem silly when you look at the uses of the bike - obvious errors that could have been caught had they (Honda) asked the potential demographic that would ride it. Although, mathematically speaking Honda did their work and even on long tours I've only had to carry fuel a few times (even in desolate and remote terrain) or come near running out.

The suspension comes up for every single bike - there's always a debate about suitability for use and pushing limits of the bike. As a 200 lb guy, I think the suspension is adequate, does what is asked of it, and does quite well for a 500lb bike on moderate offroad routes. I think that experts or diehards would change their suspension regardless of whether it was an issue or not. I stand by my reviews of expensive suspension changes on this and other bikes - maybe noticeable, maybe improve feel and performance, maybe worth the money for the technologically obsessed or expert rider. Otherwise, not so much, IMHO.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Farang

I read your review with interest, I am interested in what currency you are quoting for the modifications you would make and what those modifications would be to create your perfect machine. 150k-200k whats?
About 2-4 thousand dollars US i recon.

Also depends on cost for the items vs cost here which at times can be double.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No marketing influenced my decision: I had narrowed it down to the Africa Twin and the KTM 1190r....I rode both, and yes, the KTM was sexier and a real beast in the dirt, but the KTM broke down on the test ride with fuel pump issues, stranding me, and before that, roasted my nuts with engine heat. The AT, even in stock form, is more bike than I can take advantage of on my jeep trails. I'll give up a bit of performance for reliability....my bike is a tool, not a toy.
Agree, I did the test ride here for KTM of the 1290. Take into consideration you can buy 2 Africa Twins and a CRF250 here for the same price, its an absolute steal. Like we said, depends on how far you push it off road. Many Thai riders weighing in the 70-80kg have still changed suspension due to its limits, and many are reporting busted fork seals.

Everyone has a story and that's what makes it interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a fair assessment of the bike and good review. I lean towards touring with frequent journeys to gravel and reasonably ridden tracks, so the bike does more than I ask of it. For more than that, I think your review shows some of the shortcomings of the bike as an offroad machine.

The decisions for the footpegs and almost enough fuel range seem silly when you look at the uses of the bike - obvious errors that could have been caught had they (Honda) asked the potential demographic that would ride it. Although, mathematically speaking Honda did their work and even on long tours I've only had to carry fuel a few times (even in desolate and remote terrain) or come near running out.

The suspension comes up for every single bike - there's always a debate about suitability for use and pushing limits of the bike. As a 200 lb guy, I think the suspension is adequate, does what is asked of it, and does quite well for a 500lb bike on moderate offroad routes. I think that experts or diehards would change their suspension regardless of whether it was an issue or not. I stand by my reviews of expensive suspension changes on this and other bikes - maybe noticeable, maybe improve feel and performance, maybe worth the money for the technologically obsessed or expert rider. Otherwise, not so much, IMHO.


Thanks for sharing.
True about fuel. A friend and I were caught out on a recent trip, he was on a Triumph T120. I was running on empty for a while but fortunately a local shop was selling filled coca cola bottles of fuel.
 

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I think your 150-200 k is a big exaggeration & even if you spent that the cost would still be 350k under a KTM or BMW ( which also need money spent on them in stock trim)

Tires 15k
Front sprocket 1.5k
Front and rear suspension upgrade ( springs only) 30k
Foot pegs 10k
Muffler 15k

& don’t forget the Honda dealer support is nationwide , KtM non existent .....you rode a stock bike except for the tires & compared it to your heavily modified verysys ....change the sprocket & springs & report back ...I changed the sprocket and it’s a different bike altogether.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I think your 150-200 k is a big exaggeration & even if you spent that the cost would still be 350k under a KTM or BMW ( which also need money spent on them in stock trim)

Tires 15k
Front sprocket 1.5k
Front and rear suspension upgrade ( springs only) 30k
Foot pegs 10k
Muffler 15k

& don’t forget the Honda dealer support is nationwide , KtM non existent .....you rode a stock bike except for the tires & compared it to your heavily modified verysys ....change the sprocket & springs & report back ...I changed the sprocket and it’s a different bike altogether.
30k front and rear is not for real off road. It may improve the bike, but for serious adventure riding it would not cut the mustard.
Excluding the mufler, I spent 55k before changing the suspension.

Hyper Pro Extreme 60k plus with front
Crash Protection 15-30k depending on manufacturer.
Fender riser kit (Real off road 15K)
Tires 8k plus
Bash plate 8-12k
Hand gaurds 6-10k
Footpegs 6-11k
My muffler was 30K (Adds nothing, but it is pretty)
Othe protection such as brake reservoir. 2-10k.

All horses for courses and depends on how you ride. Yes, you could buy the cheaper Thai made version in some areas such as S-Wolf.

I'm not comparing it to KTM. I tested the 1290 Adv and BMW for a Thai reviewer and I still prefer the Africa Twn. But riding at 120Kph plus on bumpy dirt trails and sometimes through mud, does show up areas for improvement. The bike has been marketed that way regardless of whether buyers fell for it or not, and I'm not saying it is a bad bike, it's great. But for 'TRUE' adventure, it does need kitting up. But then what bike doesn't?

Heavily modified as for as a Versys goes. Heidenau K60s tires inferior to e07, Power Moto Crash protection (Thai Made), and Ohlins Street shocks! Dam*, I should have saved my money and bought a sprocket. Will it turn me into Dougie Lampkin on my AT!
 

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I read your review with interest because I thought I had missed something prior to buying it , as you say it depends what you plan to use it for , I am like you I want an adventure bike that will take me everywhere ..... I am yet to do the suspension upgrade until I have had more rides in heavy terrain , however I think at my level springs will be adequate if I need to do it ...I did all the numbers prior to buying & evaluated it’s short comings as well ... hard to be disappointed with a bike still half the price of the competitors even with the upgrades ....KTM suspension also requires upgrades on the rear according to old mate Adam Reimann ...... I a must stoked at my bikes value for money warts & all !!! See you on the road up the nth east one day !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I read your review with interest because I thought I had missed something prior to buying it , as you say it depends what you plan to use it for , I am like you I want an adventure bike that will take me everywhere ..... I am yet to do the suspension upgrade until I have had more rides in heavy terrain , however I think at my level springs will be adequate if I need to do it ...I did all the numbers prior to buying & evaluated it’s short comings as well ... hard to be disappointed with a bike still half the price of the competitors even with the upgrades ....KTM suspension also requires upgrades on the rear according to old mate Adam Reimann ...... I a must stoked at my bikes value for money warts & all !!! See you on the road up the nth east one day !!
You could get away with changing the springs and it will be fine for 90% of the rides, including off road. Most won't do 100kph plus on dirt while standing on the pegs, and won't take the bike where smaller off road bikes fair better. I sometimes do simply because I like the challenge, even if I have to physically drag the bike out of a ditch! I'm quite heavy at 95kg (all pure muscle of course) so regardless of the suspension's ability, it isn't adequate for my weight and how I ride (sometimes).
 
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