Well, I should say in fairness I've never ridden an Africa Twin :smile2: I'm basing my opinion entirely upon the spec sheet and reviews I've read.
I have, however, ridden the BMW GS and think it is an absolutely phenomenal bike in almost every way, except the gearbox (I'm not sure I ever really found neutral!). So I assumed I would be taking a hit with regards to road riding by getting the Africa Twin instead. Why didn't I just get a GS then? Because I have the desire to do traveling outside of North America/Europe someday and I want a bike that is relatively novice friendly off road. I also don't trust the BMW without a warranty and nearby dealership.
But if people who have ridden both say that you actually don't sacrifice a lot on road by getting the AT instead, then I'll be delighted to be proved wrong there!! :grin2:
I've ridden both bikes twice for around an hour each time but that is after having had a lay-off from motorbikes for 10 years (where did that time go by the way?)
So, for me, it's always nice to see someone who knows what they are talking about reinforcing my opinion - well, my decision as of a week or two ago. We're all on the hunt for positive affirmations - especially now we have the interweb to give us every opinion under the sun!
If it is just on-road use both bikes are very good at what they do, having spent a bit of time with both I would still go for the AT on road the main advantage would be the low center of mass that makes it turn so fast. If you then wanted to go off road at all its a no contest. The DL only has 160 mm ground clearance V 250 mm, suspension travel is 160 MM on the DL v 220 MM on the AT, DL has 19/17 alloy rims v 21/18 spoked on the AT, just those points alone will make a difference of about 60-80 kmh accross rough ground. A DL will still get you any place you want to go on the planet it will be just slower and in less comfort, there will be more butt puckering moments, you will have to be more careful that you dont bend rims and bottom out the suspension. The max I ever managed to get out of a tankfull on the DL was 280km. I think these bikes are in two totally different markets.