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Seems like as a Vstrom 1000 owner that dude had a bit of an axe to grind. I also take issue with his premise that no owners will ever take the bike off road, and it'll mainly be used for posing on outside of Starbucks. I personally do intend to take mine off road.
 

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To be fair, he says 'the majority of owners.. will not take it off road, not no owners will ever take it off road.

I thought he made some great points about the bike and his idea of buying the base bike and adding accessories from the aftermarket is well reasoned.
 

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I thought it was a fairly reasonable review - after all the Vstrom is a pretty good bike by all accounts and at a very decent price. If you don't intend to off-road then it's probably better. Mind you, I've seen the odd video of Vstroms off-road and they do OK there too!

Interesting that Honda "confided" in him that there would be TL tyre rims in the near future - I wonder if they'll be the same size as the current ones - the costliest farkle you can buy for us early adopters if they are. At the NEC show back in November one of the reps told me he thought these wouldn't be long coming but he didn't know when or even if it would be Honda that did them. Perhaps Honda has picked up on the reaction of some people to TT tyres.

Also interesting was how insecure those OEM panniers are - someone could kick them off and run away with them it would seem. That's a shame.
 

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Yip in reality , I imagine most will not see much dirt .I would estimate that less than 5% of the ADV bikes in SA get used in extreme dirt situations . @ R170K in our rand terms its not a "plastic bike " . There is a very small number of guys here that take ADV bikes into places that most would prefer a dirt bike . Marsbeetle ?? your mates in the Cape ?? same ??
 

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Haha, having said that , Just heard a KTM 690 will now cost us R132K !! SA Rand ! Cheap holidays for you all with US$
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yes, I looked at buying the Vstrom, but the cockpit is SO ugly i couldnt live with it.

Interesting the man from Honda confided in him about Tubless rims.

As one of the posers who will probably never go further than a muddy campsite or gravel track some 19inch by 17inch road tyres will be on my farkle list, mind you i could then put proppa off-road tyres on the original wheels and do some proppa offroading.

Dont know if wheel change will effect the DCT though??

Just ordered the oe panniers, his review wont affect that choice like the way they hug the bike, and also pop off when dropped..lol
 

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I looked at the Versys rather than the Vstrom. It was a lovely bike - beautifully smooth engine and really plush suspension. But it's even heavier that the AT lol. And not off-road in the least really which I really do want to have a bash at - quite literally I imagine. I must admit I'm not relishing a drop if there is no-one around now as I'm a bit featherweight and not that strong. But it's all about technique (or so I keep telling myself).

The Versys was also too similar to all the bikes I used to ride - I wanted something that was a bit different but still enjoyable to ride with the potential to off-road a little-bit.
 

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It's good to read an honest review and not just from someone that feels they owe Honda something positive for business classing them to SA and putting them up in a 5* hotel.
I agree about the tubes, and hopefully the option to retrofit tubeless ready stuff will be along eventually.
There's some criticism in there, but nothing major, and nothing that really affects how I feel about the bike I've bought.
Good honest review
 

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Will the majority of AT owners really not take it off-road? Can't say I understand that as it is marketed (and looks like) a large dirt bike. If you wanted to stay on road then I would say there are better bikes out there. Admittedly it would be a better choice if it had 19" tubeless wheels, but as it stands right now I would not buy this if I was only contemplating gravel drive ways.

I found the review odd. It seemed like he really liked the bike but then spent a lot of time complaining about how he dropped it in the mud and how tubed tires are bad for road use. Seemed like he picked a hammer and then complained it's not much use as a spanner.
 

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Will the majority of AT owners really not take it off-road? Can't say I understand that as it is marketed (and looks like) a large dirt bike.
This is a fair point although I believe that Honda admit a lot of people will use the AT on-road only. I get the impression they are selling it as a bit of an all-rounder - well, if you look at what we get to see in the UK it seems that way as some of the pics show commuting...

I will use it on-road mainly to be honest but I do hope to off-road occasionally and don't want two bikes to allow me to do that. If I were going to off-road in a big way I'd get a 690 or smaller and trailer it everywhere probably - but I don't want to do that.

So I guess the bike actually has a lot of briefs to hit. Which, for me, initially made the choice of tubed tires a bit of a pain and a bit surprising because I though the majority of use across a fair bit of the world might be on-road so why not have tubed tyres? I'm probably wrong in thinking this way.

I'm just going to ring for a recovery when one goes pop - I've given up caring too much about that now. I like the looks, I like the DCT gearbox and it will hopefully be fun when I do manage to go off-road. And if it doesn't work out I can sell it to someone who will hopefully do it justice! But I'm optimistic - I've ridden the demo a couple of times on normal roads and loved it.

In my defence, I don't find Starbucks coffee that pleasant - a bit bitter for me. And I live at the end of a gravel road. :wink2:
 

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This is a fair point although I believe that Honda admit a lot of people will use the AT on-road only. I get the impression they are selling it as a bit of an all-rounder - well, if you look at what we get to see in the UK it seems that way as some of the pics show commuting...

I will use it on-road mainly to be honest but I do hope to off-road occasionally and don't want two bikes to allow me to do that. If I were going to off-road in a big way I'd get a 690 or smaller and trailer it everywhere probably - but I don't want to do that.

So I guess the bike actually has a lot of briefs to hit. Which, for me, initially made the choice of tubed tires a bit of a pain and a bit surprising because I though the majority of use across a fair bit of the world might be on-road so why not have tubed tyres? I'm probably wrong in thinking this way.

I'm just going to ring for a recovery when one goes pop - I've given up caring too much about that now. I like the looks, I like the DCT gearbox and it will hopefully be fun when I do manage to go off-road. And if it doesn't work out I can sell it to someone who will hopefully do it justice! But I'm optimistic - I've ridden the demo a couple of times on normal roads and loved it.

In my defence, I don't find Starbucks coffee that pleasant - a bit bitter for me. And I live at the end of a gravel road. :wink2:
Fair points. I guess we all have different wants and one bike is not going to satisfy everyone. I know for me, the 21" wheels and tubed tires are a selling point. I live in an area with great adventure riding opportunities and lots of folks do take their GS's offroad, but it just looks like the wrong bike for it. I was happy to see Honda go in a slightly different direction from BMW & KTM. Heck, I would have been happier if it had been a 600cc class bike. I'm even still debating going the CB500X with Rally Raid kit route.

But if they bring out 19" tubless wheels then it would make a better commuting bike. Sort of the opposite of the GS and the GS Adventure. The Africa Twin and the, er, Africa Commuter :wink2:
 

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Intended use???

The new Africa Twin is an updated version of one of the best "Around the World" motorcycle. It was not built to be a super "Adventure" bike like the KTM, BMW, etc. that are highway focused with "some" off road capability. It is not an off road Dakar racer either.

What it is is a motorcycle designed to take you around the world in whatever environment or conditions you will encounter. It will carry you down the highway with comfort, give you lots of fun in the twisties, and handle off road terrain better than any of the competitors.

Then add in the DCT plus Honda's remarkable durability and you have the best "Around the World" motorcycle available today.

I will never do hardcore off road riding. But I will do some moderate off road riding. I will not use my AT as a long distance touring bike, my Goldwing handles that. But I will ride from Ft Worth to Arkansas and down to the Texas hill country for the adventure style riding available there.
And I will jump on it for quick trips locally and just for fun sometimes.

My Transalp is the bike I enjoy riding the most. I think that will change when I finally do get my DCT Africa Twin.
 

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I guess I just don't understand why anyone would buy the Africa Twin as a BMW GS sort of bike... There are many better bikes out there in the tall touring bike capable of light off road duties market. Not least the GS itself!

As others have said, I see the AT as being something different... More off-road biased than the competition, while still being able to handle long distance road duties.

That's why throwing the old Starbucks posing stereotypes at the AT annoys me a bit, because I think it offers something different.

But maybe I'm wrong about that, and people are just buying it because it looks cool (it does look cool!)... Nothing wrong with that either of course, there's no 'right' reason for buying a bike. It's all personal choice.
 

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I think this is a fair and somewhat humorous review of the bike. It's not for everyone and Honda almost always makes niche bikes.
I have a Varadero that is much more comfortable to ride long distances and offers better wind protection. But, the AT is hundred plus lighter and easier to use in rougher terrain than the Varadero, which with luggage was difficult, but not impossible to ride.
I think the AT will give more off-road ability without necessarily being used by most to go out on difficult single track. It'll be an awesome gravel-plus bike. Want to get gnarly - XR500, CRF450 (maybe even CRF250L), etc.
 
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Also, that Rally Raid CB500X the reviewer mentions as being far more suitable for real world adventure riding... is it really that clear cut?

The Africa Twin is a bit heavier, true. But the CB500X isn't exactly lightweight either. But the Africa Twin also has more off road friendly wheel sizes, plus can be equipped with the DCT that all reviewers say makes off road riding easier. Better ground clearance too I believe.

Plus once you've put all the Rally Raid stuff onto the CB500X it isn't even vastly cheaper than the Africa Twin.

I don't know, I just think it's 'cool' in round the world riding circles to say that those riding 500cc bikes get it, whereas those riding 1000cc bikes will scurry back to their nearest Starbucks with their tails between their legs should they ever even attempt to leave the safety of home. I believe that the AT breaks that stereotype, but some reviewers haven't caught up with that yet.
 

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As I already own a Honda CB500X, I considered going the Rally Raid route. It was going to cost me about $5000 AUD to do the conversion, making the total cost of the bike about $13000 AUD. Still a fair bit cheaper than the AT, but if you have an ABS version, then it can be a pain turning off the ABS as it is not switchable. Weight difference isn't much either, 195 kg kerb weight vs about 230 kg. Haven't sat on an AT, but most say it feels lighter so you may not notice the difference at all. AT has more power so is probably a better long distance touring bike. His gripe about the turn signal indicator switch is also not really justified. A lot of Hondas these days have this configuration and you do get used to it. My own opinion is that the AT is a better all round machine, but do agree if you are only doing road riding with some easy dirt/gravel roads, then there are probably better bikes around.
 

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Some people are buying it because it's not a GS - me for example. Not just for that reason of course but I rode both more or less back to back and couldn't really justify 45-50% more money for a bike that was a bit better on the road, a bit worse off the road, had a few issues with component failures and finish and is really common. And doesn't have DCT - or a pleasant gearbox for that matter.

Well, we'll see if I've made a mistake! I'm sure it'll be fun finding out!
 

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I've swapped a 2014 GS1200 TE for the AT and after 800 miles, I'm very glad i did. I'm using it everyday with confidence and its fun.

its stable, smooth and has a gearbox that works. its planted on the road and deals with our slimy winter roads with ease. filters through traffic easier and is easier to manually move around. not noticed a down side yet apart from chain maintenance but fitted scotoiler today so that will help.

the tyres are perfectly ok so far, not really much difference to metzler tourance I've fitted to all my BMWs. the 800gs had tubed tyres and i never noticed or had a problem in 10,000 miles. no punctures and didn't really notice any difference between tubed or tubeless tyres.


its comfortable for me and with wife on pillion, too. much better that 800gs, no worse than 1200GS.

honda top box is a rubbish plastic box compared to the BMW vario luggage and i shouldn't have paid for it really but i needed it and am impatient. its ok for work but i wouldn't use for a trip and will replace soon.

ordered a touratech tank bag which I'm sure will be fine and work.

I'm confident the AT will do anything i ask it to do and very competently too, and plod along forever if thats what we decide to do.

i loved my BMW while i had a warranty but then couldn't trust it not to cost me a fortune.

the AT is more like the F800GS we had but better, much better.

all the bikes mentioned are better than most people off road, I've done BMW off road school, only first level, and in the hands of instructors, or Dakar legends, the GS is a very capable tool.
I'm sure the AT is too and hopefully will do the honda AT off road school this year.

i intend enjoying our new AT for many years to come, whatever we decide to do on it and I'm sure the AT will do it all willingly and competently.

I've got a bike i love, thinks pretty, have confidence in, feel good on, enjoy riding and enjoy cleaning. my wife likes it and will ride with me so I'm a happy biker on our Africa Twin.
 
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