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As I mentioned in my "newby" post, I snagged #000060 silver manual AT on 28 May 2016, in Tampa Florida. I traded my 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer to make the deal happen.

Here's the thing about the Triumph Explorer: It's big. Huge. It's taller, wider, heavier, longer and more top-heavy than the Africa Twin. It also has 135 HP, which made the bulk worthwhile -- on the road. I actually rode the TEx off road many times, and I'm no rally star -- I'm 60 years old. The bike would do off road, but it never liked it. And I had a real hard time picking it up.

And now I have an Africa Twin, and it *feels* half as heavy. It turns better on the road, it's much more agile, and the on-road ride actually is much nicer than the TEx. The sound is spectacular. Riding the Triumph had become an "event"...not something I'd just do for the heck of it. The CRF has changed that, and made riding not so much of a chore.

I'm at about the 200 mile mark now. More later.
 

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Well now that is interesting. I have both. I agree with some points and disagree with others. I agree that the Explorer is a monster and that it does not like offroad.


However as far as I am concerned the Explorer is one of the best motorcycles I have ever owned. It does everything very well (except offroad). I also converted the suspension front and rear to Wilbers. The set up I have on that bike means that it turns every bit as quickly as the AT on tight twisty roads. The Explorer motor is also more tractable in a low rev (sharp uphill hairpin) situations where I would actually be more comfortable on it because of that feature. I find the AT throttle response very abrupt by comparison in such situations and have yet to get as used to it as I have with the Triumph. The Triumph is not as plush as the AT on rough roads that I travel but it is not far behind.


I agree that the Triumph is not in the same league offroad. The AT is so much easier to manhandle, and at 66 I need it to be. I purchased my AT for comfort on the rough backroads and occasional trails that I ride. I also purchased for lightness compared to the Triumph. It does that for me, but the Triumph stays because it is a **** of a good bike and is in no way overshadowed by its new garage companion.
 

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The Explorer motor is also more tractable in a low rev (sharp uphill hairpin) situations where I would actually be more comfortable on it because of that feature. I find the AT throttle response very abrupt by comparison in such situations and have yet to get as used to it as I have with the Triumph.
I was wondering if anyone else noticed this as well. I feel like I'm having to learn low rev throttle control all over again with this bike.
 

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I was wondering if anyone else noticed this as well. I feel like I'm having to learn low rev throttle control all over again with this bike.


That is exactly how I am experiencing it also. I suspect that the triple engine in the Explorer has spoiled me somewhat, but I certainly have had some anxious moments on the AT in some full lock tight turning situations uphill. This is somewhat exacerbated by the tendency of the bike to squat excessively to the rear on uphill take offs. It still does that despite utilising 26 of the available 36 clicks of spring preload when riding solo. I suspect that the shock spring is also too soft for anything other than solo riding lightly loaded. I may replace the spring.
 

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That is exactly how I am experiencing it also. I suspect that the triple engine in the Explorer has spoiled me somewhat, but I certainly have had some anxious moments on the AT in some full lock tight turning situations uphill. This is somewhat exacerbated by the tendency of the bike to squat excessively to the rear on uphill take offs. It still does that despite utilising 26 of the available 36 clicks of spring preload when riding solo. I suspect that the shock spring is also too soft for anything other than solo riding lightly loaded. I may replace the spring.
Apart from the need to rev and slip clutch on pulling away the Triumph engine spoils you for anything else, once the Tiger 800 was rolling it was awesome...... Still miss it a little tiny weeny bit ......
The sheer grunt the AT has to offer low down helps me miss the TT a little less...., but only a little :(
 

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I had a Tiger 800. I wanted to swap because of the 65.000km on it.
My first idea was to buy the actual Tiger 800 XCX, full of nice toys! But I was doubting the price is balanced...
I tested the AT and concluded the bike is better balanced, maybe better (?) for long rides, but found the engine very "different".
Between them, and after testing the DCT, I decided that would buy the AT only because of DCT. If not DCT, I would go Tiger.
First kms I was missing the useful 2.000 to 9.500 rev of the Tiger.
After 2.900Km I "learned to use" the good 2.500 to 7.500 rev of the AT, with the intermediation of the DCT system. I'm now forgetting the 3 cylinders... slowly!
But there is one thing I can't forget... the rider's sit of the AT is "miles" less comfortable...
 

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Not having ridden the triumph i cant make comparison but i find the dct at never gives me concern at very low revs at low speed/tight turns on the road.
However i do miss the clutch a little bit on knarly very low speed off road. Relearning rear brake control helps massively especially with the confidence that you cant stall it.
Just my 2p worth.
 

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I liked the Tiger 800 when I test rode it and found it really top heavy compared to the AT but the engine was lovely. I've mostly had straight fours or V-4s in the past and the triple seemed to give the best of both fours and torquey twins.

Come to think of it the Yamaha Tracer (FJ 900 in the US?) is a pretty amazing engine too - better than the Triumph IMHO.

But for off-road I imagine the AT and its torque is significantly better - not done any off-road yet though!

I do miss the howl of a four at peak power...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
However as far as I am concerned the Explorer is one of the best motorcycles I have ever owned. It does everything very well (except offroad). I also converted the suspension front and rear to Wilbers. The set up I have on that bike means that it turns every bit as quickly as the AT on tight twisty roads. The Explorer motor is also more tractable in a low rev (sharp uphill hairpin) situations where I would actually be more comfortable on it because of that feature.
Griff, upgrading the suspension on the TEx is one thing I never did. That seems to have made a big difference, judging by your description. I agree the engine was spectacular. And like everyone else, I miss the low RPM tractability of the Explorer, something the AT doesn't have nearly as much of.

But for now I'm enjoying riding the AT more than the Explorer. :laugh:
 

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Part of the solution to getting the Explorer to turn quickly was to adopt a "tail up" attitude. The bike already had the basics to do so but tail up really enhanced it. The Wilbers conversion just helped comfort.


I am currently adopting the same tail up attitude on the AT to good affect. However I suspect the spring is too soft as already riding solo I have the shock spring preload up to 26 of the available 36 clicks. That does not leave much to play with for luggage.


I have found that taking some of the slack out of the throttle cables has helped throttle modulation also as suggested by a member on the ADVRider forum, and I am getting used to the light flywheel twin effect.


Like You I am enjoying my AT immensely but the Tex still brings a smile to the face when that lovely motor makes its delicious noises.
 

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I find the throttle very twitchy starting off also. I put on a "cramp buster" to help with highway riding and had to take it off. More than once I bumped it while going for the front brake and the bike would jump forward. Scary to say the least. I have ordered a Kaoke throttle lock which I hope will help.
 

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I find the AT very responsive at low throttle, but it was miles easier to control after I adjusted the humongous amount of slack out of the cable.

I like all my bikes to have virtually no play in the throttle cable, that way as soon as I touch the throttle the engine is responding, it makes it much easier to balance going slowly or maneuver the bike.

Just check by turning the handlebars from lock to lock with the bike ticking over that it is not so tight that it affects the normal idling.

When I put it in for the first service they unfortunately adjusted it back as it says in the manual, next time it goes in I will specifically request they don't alter my personal settings.
 

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I own a Triumph Tiger 800 XRx, which is the roadie version, so this comparison will be a bit apples to oranges, but since I've been seriously considering the switch to the AT, I'll toss in my comparison notes. I've test ridden the DCT AT, so have a small amount of direct comparison, but most of it will be based on features and the things I learned while riding the Triumph.

The Tiger weighs about 40 lbs less, it has cruise control, 17/19 inch cast wheels with tubeless tires, it has a power outlet that will run higher draw items, such as a heated jacket liner or an air pump, it has self-canceling turn signals, the windshield is adjustable and it came with a center stand. The power is a kick in the pants on the street, as is the handling.

The AT has almost 20 ft/lbs more torque and you can really feel the difference when riding. The Tiger's power delivery is almost road racer like, in that some clutch slipping is required to get going, then it pulls through moderate mid-range power. When you get things spinning in that little motor, it pulls quite strongly in upper mid-range through top end. This is fun on the pavement, but is definitely not the hot set up in the dirt. With significantly more low end grunt, the AT has the motor advantage off-road, hands down. The AT also has about an inch more suspension travel, much simpler TC/ABS controls, and the TC can be changed while riding. Both bikes have the typical (suckful) default reset upon turning the bike off. Like I said, my Tiger is the roadie, but the XC (17/21 wire spoke wheels & WP suspension) has the same motor and power characteristics, so I'd have to give a large advantage to the Honda when the pavement ends. As far as street riding and open road touring go, I'd give the nod to the Triumph.

I have years of dirt riding experience and if there were more places to ride off-road around here these days, I'd give up the street advantages of the Tiger and switch to the AT as soon as I could find one to buy.
 

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I am going to leave my Africa Twin Account dormant for now as I traded in my 2016 manual AT for a Triumph Tiger 1200. Thank you to everyone on the forum who have given good advice on various bits and bobs, great bunch of folk and I am grateful for those offering help.


I took the new 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 Gen 3 XCa model. To me the bikes are not a fair comparison and not really aimed at the same market. It is a bit like all those pointless YouTube videos with titles like, “the new Africa Twin, the GS beater”? They are just not aimed at the same buyer demographic or use case or spend.


I found my AT with a very low spring rate at the rear for my weight but very easily sorted and very cheaply with just a spring change, so that was sorted without resorting to expensive complete swap outs.
I hated the ultra-lean fuelling and the poor low speed engine control, again another reasonably cheap fix with a rapid bike easy.
I found it ergonomically good but got saddle sore after only a couple of hours, all day rides around the Wild Atlantic way had me aching and my clutch hand knackered (DCT would have cured that, now my quick shifter does).


I was not overly mad or confident on the road handling with the skinny front tyre and what I perceived as poor front-end feedback, especially in the wet (OEM and TA2’s). That had quite an effect on my thinking.
The Triumph is a different beast entirely and has negative points as well, it is just it is better suited to my use case of spending long, sometimes fast days in the saddle on regular roads. I had originally intended that for the AT but it’s load capacity was left wanting. I felt when loaded right up the AT was a little asthmatic and not up to the job. If I was riding solo round the world I think it would be my no1 choice by not for tarmac strewn Europe.


I have no doubt that when my riding becomes a little less demanding (speed/distance wise) the AT will be the top bike back on my shopping list with its simplicity and bullet proof engine. Thanks all, bye.
 

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Read all these posts with interest. I have a new ATAS 2019 manual. I traded an Aprilia Caponord for it after much research on which bike to get. Had a Triumph 955, then 1050 so I am very familiar with that triple engine. I was bummed when they dropped the 1050 here in the USA. I really like my new AT in spite of its engine problems which I have posted about. When it is running right it’s a comfy bike for touring, more so than my Triumphs and Aprilia. Had considered a Triumph 800 but I went for the Honda. I’ve already done more dirt on this AT than my previous 2 bikes and it handles it well. Anyway just my 2 cents. Loved this thread cuz it hit home!
 

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Put it in gravel mode for smoothness at really low 1st gear work. When carrying a passenger for the first time I use gravel mode to keep it as smooth as possible for them.
 

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Two of the happiest days in my motorcycling life. The day I bought a Triumph Explorer 1200 and the day I sold it ;)
 
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