Honda Africa Twin Forum banner

Any Old Guys (Over 50) Riding the Africa Twin?

96886 Views 378 Replies 266 Participants Last post by  wags
I'm over 60 and used to ride Enduros in my teens and 20s so when a road worthy dirt bike the size of the Africa Twin, after researching the possible alternatives (KTM, BMW, Ducatti, Triumph, Yamaha, etc.), it stimulated my desire to get back in the saddle again. It's a different world with issues like no insured medical coverage for motorcyclists with my insurance company (in my state?) and a lack of bikes on the road but a plethora of automobiles. Finally I hopped on a section I-24 for three exits and while crossing the Ohio river at 75 mph was blown about a bit then was blown passed by a Harley bagger and a much smaller Suzuki dual sport. Am I just getting Old? I enjoy the twisties through the woods and the dirt roads, small stream crossings and logging roads even with the stock 90/10s but I'm sure this might be more fun with say a set of Shinko 804/805 combo. I have Nelson Rigg panniers, 15 liter rolls and a 30L Tail Bag but haven't used anything but the panniers for shopping and extra weather gear. Also I have a Oxford First Tank Bag that I don't recommend. The plan is to do some camping, if time permits? I am relatively short (5'8") with a mid life gut and find that wrong footing like stopping beside an unexpected pothole (patched) is enough to cause a critical shift in the bikes gravity (I fell) and subsequent embarrassment. So feel free to share yours!
  • Like
Reactions: 5
41 - 60 of 379 Posts
I'm new at AT Forum...
I'm almost 57 and sold my last bike almost 20 years ago...
Last year I bought a new bike for commute. After a deep analysis I've decide to buy a Kawasaki Versys X-300, a very good midrange bike, but before one year of owning that it becomes pretty small for me.
After another careful analysis I've decided by Africa Twin. I rode the main competitors in the segment Suzuki V-Strom 1000 and KTM 1090 Adventure R and definitely Africa Twin won on many fields, mostly on handling.
AT, in my opinion, has the best feel and sense on I bike I've ever rode. I fell in love with it at my first contact and until now she hasn’t disappointed me.
I've made two high leveled enduro rides and my AT has exceeded my expectations, even though it has the standard tires and, at my last and heaviest ride, it was on standard road setup, with my SHAD 58X topecase mounted and full.
Cheeky F#cker, over 50.... old !!
says a 53 yr old, grinning all over his face every time he rides his AT. (all of his other bikes too). Love my 2016 AT, one up or two up, it's a great all rounder.
davidji; Are you serious about a red seat attracting trouble where you ride? [/QUOTE said:
I was wondering what he means by that too. Is he talking about gang colors ?
I'm 61 and plan on getting an AT next year. I live in S. California and I don't feel safe driving here on a m/c with all these crazy bastards on the road. It's white knuckle driving just going to the store to pick up groceries here in a car , so I'm going to wait until we move up north to a less populated area. I used to ride a yamaha trials bike back in the UK in the 80's which was a lot of fun and I had a KLR until 2014.
I've been wanting an adventure bike for a long time to go to Alaska and I've been going back and forth between the Honda AT and a 1200GS but I love the looks of the Honda and I think it will serve it's purpose for me .
Remove the rear pegs and hangers..... you'll thank me when you hit sand ;)
  • Like
Reactions: 2
I’m 55 and like by 2016 AT DCT very much. I recently place a Leovince exhaust and that noise gives me a big smile. Sometimes I drive without dBkiller that feels that I’m 16 again.
50, just bought mine today! Got it home and had to fix all the suspension settings as they were ALL out of wack!

Ha! Looking forward to some killer trails
Old Guy

I am 67, used to ride dirt bikes about 40 yrs ago but just got this new Africa Twin so back at it again. But maybe not as krazy as I used to be!
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Are you serious about a red seat attracting trouble where you ride? I have an alaska leathers sheepskin buttpad on mine, making the seat brown. Well, not the pillion seat.

I like the red seat though.

Anyway getting a Seat Concepts kit, or a Sargent Seat would also give the bike a black seat.
I ride a lot in Central and South America. Everybody talks terrain but there are also people and the funny thing about third world countries is the abject poverty of the people and often an inherent danger that poverty carries with it. Pulling up on a gaudy expensive western motorcycle doesn't create bonds, it magnifies the void and draws unnecessary attention.

My opinion, although what you ride is none of my business :)
That blue model is a stunner

I ride a lot in Central and South America. Everybody talks terrain but there are also people and the funny thing about third world countries is the abject poverty of the people and often an inherent danger that poverty carries with it. Pulling up on a gaudy expensive western motorcycle doesn't create bonds, it magnifies the void and draws unnecessary attention.
Enjoy your ride, but what a load of cobblers. No one took offence against Charlie and Ewan on their travels on their gaudy expensive bikes......:wink2:
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Enjoy your ride, but what a load of cobblers. No one took offence against Charlie and Ewan on their travels on their gaudy expensive bikes......:wink2:
As I opinion
I'm turning 60 in 5 days ... I've had my AT DCT for little over a year. I LIKE the bike a LOT ... I used have the 13' R12GS which was a fantastic bike in itself! I'm a total newbie at off-road stuff, but any time a big, heavy bike can let me get back home in one piece, I'm happy. One thing I REALLY like about the AT is how simple & effective the electriceries are to use! Traction control have saved my 'butt' many times in the dirt already! I've yet to setup the suspension the way I like it, but working on it! Pictured is my riding buddy (daughter) who's planning to get a bike of her own soon!


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 4
I’m 67, had at AT, now have the ATAS and love it

I'm 61, just bought the Africa Twin and I love it !
I'm 67 Did a 14000 mile trip to AK this summer on my 2017 AT. My other bike is a FJR1300 so I found the AT much more nimble at low speeds. Enjoyed it so much going back in 2019.
I'm 57. I grew up riding dirt bikes. My first was an XR75 at the age of 13. A few years later I had a an Elsinore 125. I lived in the dirt. Then, when I was 19 I bought a CB750F and became a roadie. I lived on that bike too!

Fast forward 30+ years and I placed my order for the new ATAS DCT on April 2 and then I waited, and waited....

I picked it up last month and took the long way home. 140 miles. I was impressed with the bike overall but was wondering if I had made a mistake and should have bought the manual version. I didn't quite get the DCT. I read up on the DCT functions and rode it a couple more times around town and began to dial in some of the features. Still, I was wondering if I should have bought the manual.

Last weekend I made a plan to ride over to the east bay backcountry to spend some more time in the saddle. To get there I had to ride city streets and freeway for about an hour. There the DCT performs as it should. I entered Niles Canyon and had it set in S3 mode. A little bit of altitude and a bit heavier on the throttle and the bike starts to come alive. I was still mixed in with some autos so my speed into the corners was nothing too aggressive.

Once I entered Mines Road it all changed. The canyon runs out through the backside of Mt. Hamilton. I opened it up. It was 8am and nothing but tight twisties, me, and the DCT. OMG. The thing just came alive! The traction control, ABS, engine braking, rev-match downshifting. I had miles of smiles! I rode 60 miles and saw one motorcyclist, which I passed on a short straight, and a coyote that ran across the rode. The sun was up, the temperature was right and the bike was awesome! After a bit more than an hour I peaked Mt. Hamilton at 4,265 ft. elevation.
I rode home with the thought that I was glad to have made the DCT choice. It will still take some getting use to but I have embraced this technology.

I look forward to getting on some fire roads this fall and experiencing the DCT in the dirt, on more technical terrain. Before I do, I need to purchase engine guards and swap out the tires.

That's my intro, I hope to see you out there. Cheers!
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 4
59 and pick up new dct next week,traded my cb1300 in as a bit to heavy and dont fit the bike anymore,knees,hips old age etc etc
  • Like
Reactions: 2
I'm 56. Road a lot when I was younger. I honed my skills on a Honda ’75 XL250, mostly on dirt. When I turned 16 I added a low-miles beautiful 1976 Kawasaki KZ650—that bike would go! After that bike was totaled in the typical driver-didn’t-see-me scenario, I got a ’78 Honda 750 Four-K… not quite as peppy as the KZ650 but a beautiful bike, nonetheless. A few years later, that one too went by the board in a similar fashion.

Decided to hang it up for a while after that but didn’t think it would take me this long to get back into riding. Esp. considering my brother is a vintage BMW aficionado—I did ride his bikes some, but not often enough.

Over the years I looked now and again, but nothing really caught my eye. I almost took the Harley plunge once or twice, but I really wanted a bike that could take me *anywhere,* an adventure bike—I wanted the best of both worlds, street and dirt. I thought about the KTMs and the BMWs but again, nothing was calling me enough to write the check. And even after watching The Long Way Round series and the serious dose of enthusiasm that put into me, I just couldn’t pull the trigger on a BMW or KTM—I wanted a bike that could do all that, but not those bikes.

I’d seen the original Africa Twins starting in 2016, and was attracted, but I have to be honest, they didn’t quite do it for me either. Then, suddenly, it was like Honda was reading my mind, along comes the Adventure Sports Model. It was love at first sight. The color scheme(!)—I literally wouldn’t change a thing. And it was taller, bigger, with that huge tank. I’m a tall, big guy, I like a tall, big bike.

So, in late June I went down to my local Honda dealer and wrote a check for the model they just happened to get in and with a few hiccups here and there—learning to deal with mechanical engine braking and the sensitive throttle, and making some needed adjustments to the shifter and chain—it’s been nearly pure bliss.

I feel at least 10 years younger when I'm on the bike, hẹll, 30 years younger, sometimes. On the highway, the bike rides as comfortably as a cruiser (less that niggling engine braking); on winding back roads, she handles wonderfully (and the engine braking actually helps). She has more power and speed than I will ever need.

And after taking her out on the dirt for the first time last weekend (admittedly slow and easy, but serious enough terrain) I can vouch she has torque to spare. I was very impressed with the low-end torque (in GRAVEL mode)—climbing *steep* hills effortlessly, like she could pull a truck up behind her. And the bike’s overall handling on the sloppy stuff was confidence-inspiring, even with the OEM tires! Exceptionally well-balanced and easy to handle. Took all the bumps with ease. What a blast!
See less See more
x sportsbike rider

Hi folks just joined tonight and also collected my ATAS on thursday night and have to say im loving it especially the dct gearbox .Ive decided at 56 my days are over with r1s and hayabusas ,love the riding position of the honda although at 6ft 2 i just about get my feet on the ground.Great to see our beautiful countryside for a change instead of riding head down arse up lol.Just running it in at the minute but already had a demo bike for half a day so know what it really goes like.Was a toss up between the bmw gs rallye and the twin but in the end i just fell in love with how easy the Honda was to ride,also about 4 grand cheaper which is a lot to try and justify the difference.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
41 - 60 of 379 Posts