Honda Africa Twin Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, first post here, so hello!

As the title suggest, I'm wondering how the AT works as an on-road sport-touring platform. I currently have an FJR and an FJ-09. I find myself riding the FJ-09 more and more for it's light weight and fun on the twisty stuff. Have done some 3-4 day tours on it but use the FJR for longer stuff.

Saw my first AT a few months ago and really liked what I saw, talked with the owner but he had only just got it so feedback was limited. Some of the video reviews seems to say it's a great off-road bike but only fair on-road and that the GS makes a better road bike, except I'm not really a GS fan.

So... has anyone done some long asphalt type tours? How is the motor for vibes at freeway speeds, any comfort issues, and how does it handle when pushed on the twisty bits?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Mines coming next week, but I hired one for a week in Spain, mostly on road riding. My mate took an 800 GS.( I previously owned an 800 and loved it.)
AT was much quicker than the 800 through the twisties and I immediately gelled with it. (pegs scrape easily)
We averaged 250 miles a day and the bike was very comfy, when I had put the seat in the high position.
My last bike was a KTM 1190 ADV and obviously there is no comparison in performance but the Honda isn't slow. I had to keep stopping and waiting for the 800.
Suffice to say I traded in the KTM and ordered an AT. We both agreed it was a much better bike than the 800.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Mines coming next week, but I hired one for a week in Spain, mostly on road riding. My mate took an 800 GS.( I previously owned an 800 and loved it.)
AT was much quicker than the 800 through the twisties and I immediately gelled with it. (pegs scrape easily)
We averaged 250 miles a day and the bike was very comfy, when I had put the seat in the high position.
My last bike was a KTM 1190 ADV and obviously there is no comparison in performance but the Honda isn't slow. I had to keep stopping and waiting for the 800.
Suffice to say I traded in the KTM and ordered an AT. We both agreed it was a much better bike than the 800.
Excellent, thanks! Congrats on the new bike, look forward to your further impressions. I am also considering the Triumph 800XRx, had a chance to spend about an hour on one recently and liked it. A little smoother and more refined feeling than the FJ-09 but not quite as quick.

Two of my big concerns with the AT are the tube-type tires and road tire choices for 21" wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
Brilliant bike BUT the road handling is compromised by the skinny 21" tyre (compared to other bikes, I am not saying you can't do big road mileage on this bike). The tubes don't bother me. I am not knocking the bike, I intend to keep mine for a long time and will do good mileage but there are a host of more suited bikes for big asphalt tours. The bike has a design goal which I think many people agree Honda has nailed. Take a day long test ride if you can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Welcome pcarnut, IMHO the AT is a great touring bike, I regularly do a 250 mile day with the odd 300 day, I ve never had a problem with the bike, mines a DCT , I don't do off road and I avoid motorways where possible,
I've had mine for 9 months and travelled 12,500 miles to date, I use Conti TA 2 s, the best imo, I don't use panniers, but have a Jofama tail bag strapped to the rear seat , and a tank bag, I have a set of Motech bar backs, and a set of pivot pegs,
I've recently fitted a set of Alpina wheels so I can do away with the tubes,

I'm a GS fan too, but I prefer the AT, I shall change the AT for another one when its 2 years old,

Go for it, I don't think you'll regret it,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Just sold my AT and bought a GS...why?

The AT can tour no problem and is very flickable in the twisties. I imagine it is good off road too, but I never tried it on the loose stuff.

Reasons I swapped it for the GS:-

1. The GS is better for pillion passengers
2. I found the AT a little under powered and was thrashing it everywhere. Fine for a weekend thrash but a bit tiring on longer tours.
3. Heated grips crap on the AT, brilliant on the GS
4. Front suspension dive under breaking is alarming, prefer the electronic suspension on the GS.
5. GS has integrated sat nav, adjustable screen, cruise control and electronically adjustable suspension. AT has none of these.

So there you have it, the GS is simply better at longer touring trips, especially two up with luggage, where the AT really struggles.

For general riding though, weekend blasts and short tours, the AT takes some beating for the money! Depends on your needs - and the depth of your pockets!

I really liked the Tri-Colour scheme of the Honda and was able to replicate it on my R1200GS Iconic. Here she is....

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the welcome!

^ That's a great color scheme on your GS. For me, trusting my ride is a huge priority and BMW reliability has taken some hits in the past few years so I'm reluctant to invest in one with all the electronic whistles and bells. Plus a not pleasant experience with a friends F800ST rear drive and BMWs refusal to help a known issue didn't help.

If I tour two-up I'll take the FJR so the AT would be for riding solo. Good to know about the Alpina rims, that solves one of my issues.

Elvisto, why are you planning to get an other AT in two years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
By that time (2 years) it will have around 25,000 miles on it and be out of warranty, I'm very lucky that I can afford to change it when I like, I'll keep the Alpina wheels and just swap them over to the new bike when it arrives,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
It's funny because it's the electronics that our friend above likes about the GS are part of the reason that I don't like it that much.
I've had the same with the Multistrada and Triumph's and I felt a bit disconnected to them.
The tiger 800 I felt had a great charismatic engine, but the power delivery of the AT is more fun for sport touring (and wheelieing).

Coming trough a slow hairpin in 1ste gear, scrapping the footpeg and than lifting the front wheel, flicking it in 2nd keeping the front wheel up, just to arrive at the next bend with the same grin as you had when entering the las corner...
I have to say, I can't complain about the 'sport' aspect in 'sport touring' with the AT.

Probably if you'd buy a GS or Tiger it would give you the same grin on your face at some point.
So go out for a test ride and feel if it speaks to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I have a few of the bikes you are comparing, so I will share my direct experience.

The AT is a decent sport touring bike, but it kind of depends on how sporty you want to get on the pavement. The 21" front limits feel and grip. At a reasonable pace, things are good. On dirt roads or dirt trails, the AT is great for its size. Surprisingly good.

I have an FJR and although heavier, it is a better mile eater. I put 22k miles on a Super Tenere and loved it as a sport touring mount, but it is not as good on dirt as the AT. I have a KTM 1290 Super Adventure and it is a GREAT sport touring bike and good on dirt roads and ok on dirt trails. That motor and sweet trans are just a delight. I have ridden a friends FJ09 and it is a very nice sport touring mount. I love the motor and the front end feel is quite confidence inspiring. The wind protection is not as good as the AT.

I love my AT and will be taking some 7-10 day trips on it this coming year. We will see how I feel then, but for now, my all day rides have been a delight.

Hope that helps.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks guys for the feedback, it all helps.

Well, stopped by the two local Honda dealers today and they both had ATs in stock but only the DCT version which one of them let me play with out in their large parking lot. Would have liked to go out in traffic but oh well. First impression is very favorable, smooth motor, torquey, very comfortable seating position, not as nimble as my FJ-09 but then that's expected with the 21" front wheel.

Have an appointment to see a used AT tomorrow so we'll see how that turns out. It's all stock so a fresh palette. Wish me luck. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I got the AT especially because it has NOT got all the fancy electrical stuff like the GS to go wrong.
I had a Multistrada with all the bells and whistles, the electrics were scary the amount of times they went wrong while many miles from home. Fantastic bike to ride but so many problems.
My choice of bike was not, and is not a cash choice I can get what I want. I checked out the BMW range and it's ALL about which buttons or menus to use, no thanks! No use to me 500 miles from a dealer when it goes into safe mode.
The AT is a gem for touring it loves the twisties and long fast roads too. If you want to go bush it's pretty good at that too.
All together I was really surprised how good the AT has turned out to be, yes the forks dive. And?? So??
The handling at speed and cornering at high speed (100 mph and up) is impressive although I think the Dunlops are total crap and unpredictable, easily fixed by changing to scorpions or similar. Low speed twisties only problem I had was throwing the bike in too quickly. It's very light and turns in fast.
OEM center stand works for me just fine. Actually all of it is fine.
I had both wheels out just to see what to expect rather than find out the hard way on a dark wet night and it was so easy. Rider seat comfort is better than the Mult but perhaps not as good as the BMW but I haven't done thousands on the BMW.
The ABS works perfectly and the traction control is gentle, smooth and easy to change on the hoof not like the Ducati which was aggressive and difficult to change.
Brakes work perfectly even when being tortured on steep twisties on a long down hill stages.
I had to buy without testing and was concerned that I'd be disappointed with the power after going down 50HP well I didn't have to worry it's a rocket ship. All up totally pleased with it. Best bang for for the buck in many years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Been out on mine today, out to the Welsh coast and back via a bit of Snowdonia. It's a brilliant tourer! The fairing and screen work brilliantly well , I hate ear plugs and just don't need them on the AT. Today was a mixture of sweeping B roads, Anroad blast and loads of twisty back roads, some right along the coast. The bikes at home whatever you throw at it. Yes I find the seat a bit hard after a couple of hours, today less so and I would love a bit more grunt....but who wouldn't ?
If you want to go off road I suppose it will do that too, not my reason for buying, everything I've thrown at it in 5500 miles it's handled with style.
And it looks fantastic too... mines a tri colour ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
The AT is a back to basics adventure bike with a strong focus on real off road ability. The AT isn't BAD at sports touring but why would you want to use it as a sports touring bike at all when there are loads of actual sports touring bikes out there that would kick it's in power, handling and comfort?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys for all the comments, a big help.

Drumroll: Came home with my new toy tonight. It a manual trans, like new, with 200 miles on it. First owner bought it but never used it so time to sell. Let the farkling begin. :)

By the time I was home and things put away, only had time for a very short 15 minute ride but wow, I'm going to really like this bike. First impressions are excellent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Let us no how u are getting on with it and what changes u make.best of luck.il hv mine in 2 weeks or so I'm told.im a bit apprehensive
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Let us no how u are getting on with it and what changes u make.best of luck.il hv mine in 2 weeks or so I'm told.im a bit apprehensive
Absolutely, will do. First on the farkle list is a windshield, followed by mounting some crash guards, horns and some Clearwater lights. Luckily the first owner installed the centerstand so one less thing to do. :smile2:
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top