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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if any AT owners would consider to share their comments on the road manners of the AT or offer comments comparing it's tarmac feel compared to something like the BMW F800 GS or Triumph Tiger 800 XCX.
 

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Very close with the torque feeling. Off course the front fork is penalised compared to the GS.
I found a lot of similarities between them. Both are nice tools. You want to play with them.
For my needs, the AT has enough torque and power. If you want to go faster the GS will be first.
After 6'000 trs/m you don't have a lot with the AT. With the GS you can continue higher.
 

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Here's what they liked and disliked about the africa twin:

Like:
true allure trail
sufficient motor and fun
maneuverability and agility
all terrain capabilities

Dislike:
High seat
limited equipment
mass transfers
packs & not given options
 

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Here's what they liked and disliked about the africa twin:

Like:
true allure trail
sufficient motor and fun
maneuverability and agility
all terrain capabilities

Dislike:
High seat
limited equipment
mass transfers
packs & not given options

First test I have read that says the AT has a tall seat height.
 

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Funny thing is the seats heights are listed as the same in the article in the spec section: 850/870mm. I bet the BMW had an optional low seat. If they fix their mistake, the AT would have probably won the review, and we can't have that now can we?
 

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Funny thing is the seats heights are listed as the same in the article in the spec section: 850/870mm. I bet the BMW had an optional low seat. If they fix their mistake, the AT would have probably won the review, and we can't have that now can we?
Well just had a sit on one.

I have a 28.5 inch inside led and I can get both feet/toes down with the standard seat in the high setting.

So I think he just likes BMWs
 

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I test rode an AT today. I have a 1200 GS LC so can give a straight comparison. It was lashing down with rain and the AT had only done a few miles, so any weaknesses with the handling would have appeared.

Seat height is the same, but the AT is narrower so I can flat foot with the seat set low and I have a 29" inseam.
Off the mark they feel the same. The extra grunt in the GS appears as the speed rises. The AT is more than enough and actually more fun for it.
The AT gearbox is brilliant, and way smoother than the BMW.
On Tarmac the AT steering is slower. It has narrower bars so takes a bit more effort at speed (the 21" front wheel hurts here too), but low to normal speeds the AT is more precise.
The AT dives under breaking. It's not bad and some would call it feel. The GS front end actively stops dive but the price you pay is feel, and the AT has plenty of feel.
On balance, the AT and GS are equal, which considering the price difference and lack of electronics on the Honda is, in anyone's books, a superb effort.

GS is going up for sale to make room for an AT. Enough said.
 

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GS is going up for sale to make room for an AT. Enough said.
Many thanks for this - really interesting. My local dealer now has a bike in so I'm hoping to ride it next week. It's a DCT one. I guess the one you rode was a manual as you mention the gearbox action compared to the GS.

Out of interest what is your riding split between road and off-road and are you at all worried about switching from tubeless to tubed?

I ask as I'm basically going to be making the same decision between the BMW and the @.

Cheers.

PS I road tested the GS and the RS (OK, OK, but it was new out and sitting there!). I really, really liked the RS because it had exactly what you describe as "feel". I rode it before the GS and whilst I preferred almost everything about the GS I really missed the forks of the RS.
 

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The AT dives under breaking. It's not bad and some would call it feel.
You should be able to easily fix this with a simple suspension adjustment. I have this problem with most of the bikes I've ridden and the first thing I do is harden the front suspension a little.

Thanks for the comparison.
 

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Thanks for the comments: I am new to forums and that was my first 'review'.

Dive under breaking.
I rode the bike straight from the showroom with no adjustments apart from mirrors. A few days fine tuning would trim the dive to my liking.

Tubed vs tubeless tyres.
I don't really have an opinion. I think Honda chose tubed for the AT to gain access to more off-road focuses tyres. If they had gone tubeless, we would have moaned about the lack of variety available in the wheel sizes. They have gone tubed and people are moaning: can't please everyone.

My riding.
As a teenager the split was 50:50 road to trails. This was driven by using green lanes and heath bashing as training for track racing. That stopped after a hit and run left me in traction and with a broken neck.

I have green laned a few times on the GS and it ain't much fun. Those cylinder heads are vulnerable as are the radiators. The split is about 95:5 in favour of road. The AT will get me back to 80:20 in favour of road as it will be used for commuting, touring and green lanes. I only have space for one bike, so it's got to do it all.

More thoughts on the comparison to the GS having slept on it.
Wind protection on the AT is impressive given the size of the screen, and for my 5'9" frame was better than the GS.
Throttle: the slack in the cable took some getting used to after ride by wire. No cruise isn't an issue for me. The traction control was not obtrusive and I could pop wheelies at will. The GS traction control can cause kangarooing as it fights the anti wheelie. Turn it all off and it stands on the back wheel everything you pull away!
Motorway speeds are easy, no different between the two.
Engine: very smooth and makes a great sound. Smooth low down torque and very linear delivery, making it easy to learn and live with. Gets very smooth above 3000 rpm, but I did not push it too hard as it only had 30 miles on the clock when I collected it. The GS is essentially a big single that farts out torque from idle. Rev it and above 7000 rpm it sounds like it is ripping a hole in the space time continuum: the Akrapovic has a lot to do with that!

I keep coming back to the same point though: the GS is smothered in electronics and the AT isn't but I can't split them. Therefore in mind mind the AT is fundamentally better.

It will get crucified in the press (Ride etc.) because it doesn't have 200hp or break the sound barrier. That then misses the point; BMW and Ducati are in a space race, and Honda are leaving them to it and have chosen to produce a proper go anywhere machine.
 

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Thanks for the reply and further thoughts @Windy

Sounds like you're in a similar boat to me regarding your intended use - although I tend to be a summer only rider (shame on me) - once the grit lorries appear I get back on my winter bicycles.

The only thing I worry about is the tubed tyres. I change my road and mountain bicycle tubes frequently - too bl**dy frequently. But the thought of taking a wheel off at the side of a busy road or waiting for a rescue van in Morocco (I'm hoping...!) fills me with dread. I much prefer plugs I think. But I've decided it won't stop me buying an @ if I enjoy the test ride. It's just another technique I'll have to learn so I don't scratch the rims too much when I have to do it for real!

Anecdotally (i.e. scouring the interweb and adopting a somewhat pessimistic confirmation bias) there appears to more of a likelihood of a puncture with tubed tyres - I have no idea if this is really true or not. I sincerely hope not.
 

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Thanks @Yromulus.

Re: punctures, I can't comment. I ride in any weather (nuts, I know) and haven't had a puncture...yet.

I've also had 2 hours on an R1200RS. Superb bike but made my wrists ache after 30 minutes, but way more feel than the GS. I put it down to the forks, too.

Get yourself on the AT. I would like to know your conclusion.
 

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This has been a useful and interesting exchange, but gtj did ask for a comparison of the "mid-sized" ADV bikes (F800GS and Tiger 800XCS and I would add the KTM 690 Enduro). They seem to be better matched to the AT (price, horsepower, etc.) and if anyone can share their experience with one of those or similar models, that would be really helpful.
 

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@JustPlainBill0, fair comment.

The U.K. Press (MCN) are pitting the AT against the R1200GS, KTM 1190 and the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx. Report is out tomorrow...

Bike magazine love the AT and were bold enough to write that BMW should worry, compared to the both the 800 and 1200.

I am going to test a 690 Enduro and the 800 XCx this weekend to satisfy my own curiosity, and will post my thoughts once gathered.
 

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I don't see how any of these Adventure bikes can be compared to the KTM 690 Enduro. This bike can't do any adventures without spending a small fortune on a rally kit. It's seat, fuel tank etc are totally unsuitable for any long trip. Sure it is a very capable bike but out-of-the-box it's basically, well, an Enduro bike.
 

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I would like to hear some comments on the perceived weight differences between the AT and GS when riding them, handling them around a workshop floor and heaving them onto and off their centre stands. This last one has always been a concern for me being only 140lbs and 5ft 9in tall. It seems you have to take manufacturers weight declarations with a pinch of salt as they all use different standards for weighing their bikes ( with/without battery, centre stand, screen, hand guards, full tank or 90% full, etc).
The AT, however, does seem to be remarkably close to what Honda declare in their specs - 233kgs as weighed by the French moto-station review compared to 232kg as stated by Honda. The BMW GS on the other hand is considerably heavier, 249kg as weighed by moto-station compared to 238kg declared by BMW. Actual weight aside, one can assume that the AT must be about 13kg lighter than the GS (allowing for centrestand on the GS).
 

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I don't see how any of these Adventure bikes can be compared to the KTM 690 Enduro. This bike can't do any adventures without spending a small fortune on a rally kit. It's seat, fuel tank etc are totally unsuitable for any long trip. Sure it is a very capable bike but out-of-the-box it's basically, well, an Enduro bike.
Agreed. I looked into a KTM 690 once, and all the reviews say that it's no fun at all on the highway for extended periods.

I think the Triumph Tiger 800 XC and the BMW F800GS are the closest rival bikes to the Africa Twin out there. Really interested in hearing comparisons reviews with those.
 
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