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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Discovering a real lack of objective reporting on the Africa Twin, with most reviews regurgitating the same information. There's obviously a journalistic bias towards the Adventure Sports model with DCT and very little attention given to its little brother, the L1 or the manual version in either model.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the styling on this year's Adventure Sports. It is sharp!
But, I'd love to hear from someone that has ridden BOTH MODELS off and on road and can attest to the performance differences, namely in the suspension category. An extra .8 inches of suspension travel sounds good in theory, but I wonder if the average rider will be able to tell the difference? Does the superior suspension outweigh the extra gas sloshing about and the extra weight added?

Also, I've seen little mentioned about the effectiveness of the LED headlights and whether it will buck on regular gas.

Personally, I'm more interested in the manual version for the same reason I prefer a car with a stick. It keeps me more engaged and is just more fun. Almost every review I've read is about the DCT version, which is probably a good match for some, just not me. How about a critical review of the manual for a change?

Many thanks in advance for your feedback!
 

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Since the AS is the newest revision, it gets all the latest ink--no reason to hash over the standard, which apparently hasn't changed much in 3 model years, other than colors.

Can't speak about the subjective differences between the two models, but I think it comes down to what you want to do with the bike. Do you need the extra gas? Are you traveling the American West, the Australian outback, or other remote places where gas is scarce? Are you trying to do rock-crawling, where you may need that last millimeter of suspension travel? If not, there may not be a "need" to buy an AS. Then it becomes a styling decision.

It's my feeling that many people are looking at this as a large dirt bike, taking it to places where it doesn't work at its best, and then are disappointed. The design brief appears to have been to make something you could travel around the world with, on mostly any surface, in relative comfort. You probably need some extras, but the base is there. Power for the freeway, and clearance for the backtracks.

Can't speak to the headlight question--I don't ride after dark if I can help it. I don't believe it's any worse than anything else, but everybody seems to put driving lights on. Maybe they know something.

I've never noticed any issue with different gas. I believe at this stage of EFI development, the ECU compensates for just about everything. That said, there seem to be a number of people complaining about fueling issues. Not sure that's a gas problem.

I think many of the people who reject the DCT just don't like the idea, without actually trying it. I had no preference when I bought my DCT. I still don't. Either trans would be fine. I do like the DCT at any speed above paddling speed, and in traffic it's brilliant. The fact that you can't manage power with your left hand makes it harder in very low-speed maneuvers, but the fact that you can't stall it compensates for that a bit. If you have that dirt bike blip-blip-blip throttle habit, it will break you of that real quick.
 

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Discovering a real lack of objective reporting on the Africa Twin, with most reviews regurgitating the same information. There's obviously a journalistic bias towards the Adventure Sports model with DCT and very little attention given to its little brother, the L1 or the manual version in either model.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the styling on this year's Adventure Sports. It is sharp!
But, I'd love to hear from someone that has ridden BOTH MODELS off and on road and can attest to the performance differences, namely in the suspension category. An extra .8 inches of suspension travel sounds good in theory, but I wonder if the average rider will be able to tell the difference? Does the superior suspension outweigh the extra gas sloshing about and the extra weight added?

Also, I've seen little mentioned about the effectiveness of the LED headlights and whether it will buck on regular gas.

Personally, I'm more interested in the manual version for the same reason I prefer a car with a stick. It keeps me more engaged and is just more fun. Almost every review I've read is about the DCT version, which is probably a good match for some, just not me. How about a critical review of the manual for a change?

Many thanks in advance for your feedback!
I have the manual with quickshifter and its great for me , I haven't ridden a dct so I cant comment on them, But I dont quite get why the good folk who bought the dct keep harkin on about it, Its as though they have to justify why they paid the extra for It and It is so much better than a manual, I might feel differently towards It as time goes by but to be honest I don't think It is a perfect solution to problem that Doesn't yet exist unless you are missing all your left fingers or you have the wrist strength of a baby.
They did this with the Porsche 997 PDK, but now the manual is a more desirable and rarer beast, only time will tell I guess..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since the AS is the newest revision, it gets all the latest ink--no reason to hash over the standard, which apparently hasn't changed much in 3 model years, other than colors.

Can't speak about the subjective differences between the two models, but I think it comes down to what you want to do with the bike. Do you need the extra gas? Are you traveling the American West, the Australian outback, or other remote places where gas is scarce? Are you trying to do rock-crawling, where you may need that last millimeter of suspension travel? If not, there may not be a "need" to buy an AS. Then it becomes a styling decision.

It's my feeling that many people are looking at this as a large dirt bike, taking it to places where it doesn't work at its best, and then are disappointed. The design brief appears to have been to make something you could travel around the world with, on mostly any surface, in relative comfort. You probably need some extras, but the base is there. Power for the freeway, and clearance for the backtracks.

Can't speak to the headlight question--I don't ride after dark if I can help it. I don't believe it's any worse than anything else, but everybody seems to put driving lights on. Maybe they know something.

I've never noticed any issue with different gas. I believe at this stage of EFI development, the ECU compensates for just about everything. That said, there seem to be a number of people complaining about fueling issues. Not sure that's a gas problem.

I think many of the people who reject the DCT just don't like the idea, without actually trying it. I had no preference when I bought my DCT. I still don't. Either trans would be fine. I do like the DCT at any speed above paddling speed, and in traffic it's brilliant. The fact that you can't manage power with your left hand makes it harder in very low-speed maneuvers, but the fact that you can't stall it compensates for that a bit. If you have that dirt bike blip-blip-blip throttle habit, it will break you of that real quick.
Hey! Thanks for your reply and sharing your take. I agree with you about the power, which is more than adequate for highway and off-road use. Maybe not if you want to be the fastest at either. There are limitations to what kind of riding you can do with the Africa Twin and many of those are based on its weight. It's not going to handle like a 4 hundred pound dirt bike. But, if you are willing to slow down enough to match the bike's and your capabilities, you can have a blast.

Actually, there have been many changes to the Africa Twin since last year in both the L1 and Adventure Sports (L2) versions. Biggest is probably the switch to ride/throttle-by-wire. No more throttle cable or mechanically adjusted fueling. Throttle to accelerator now operated by a computer. Other changes include LED head and turn signal lights, beefier brackets for the wider positioned rider footpegs, Riding modes (thanks to Ride by wire), 7 levels of Traction Control (up from 3) and a lithium-ion battery instead of a lead-acid one (saves 5 pounds!).

Good point about figuring out what you want the big to do and in what environment. I think lots of motorcyclists have unrealistic or unconsidered expectations of a particular motorcycle's abilites. Maybe the bike is more than they need or maybe less. What are the compromises made between weight and power differences of different bikes? A KTM of similar engine size is going to produce more HP and accelerate quicker. There are downsides to those apparent advantages, such as running costs, heat produced by the engine and the cost of servicing.

Not sure about the source of all the fueling issues owners have been experiencing, but my impression is that many of them are due to ever-tightening emission standards. Basically, the manufacturers are forced by government standards to program the bike's brain (a computer) to starve the engine of fuel at certain rpms to meet stringent tailpipe emission laws. That causes extra heat (bad for engine longevity) and jerky movements.

I'm confident that Honda has produced one of, if not the finest automatic transmissiona in the motorcycle industry. It's not perfect in all situations, but it's pretty darn good in many. And it will only get better and better as Honda continues to develop the technology. If more people get into riding, which results in few miles driven by cars, if it creates greater enjoyment by current riders or if it allows certain people to ride a motorcycle that otherwise could not, I whole-heartily support the purchase of a DCT-equipped bike. I grew up with stick shifts and manually-shifted motorcycles. I enjoy the challenge of finding the right gear and learning to be a smoother driver, so I want a manually shifted bike. That's not to say that DCT is not a better choice for another rider or in a certain riding scenario. If you enjoy riding your bike, that's all that counts! Figure out what YOU need and get the bike that matches those needs best. I totally agree about the benefits of an automatic in heavy traffic. It takes a lot less effort with an automatic in that common situation and that means you get home less tired and with less stress. Never stalling the engine is a great asset with slow-speed riding, especially off-road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have the manual with quickshifter and its great for me , I haven't ridden a dct so I cant comment on them, But I dont quite get why the good folk who bought the dct keep harkin on about it, Its as though they have to justify why they paid the extra for It and It is so much better than a manual, I might feel differently towards It as time goes by but to be honest I don't think It is a perfect solution to problem that Doesn't yet exist unless you are missing all your left fingers or you have the wrist strength of a baby.
They did this with the Porsche 997 PDK, but now the manual is a more desirable and rarer beast, only time will tell I guess..
Thanks for your reply. I think there are certain situations where an automatic shines, but there are others where a manual works better. There are always compromises and it's important that people have the information to weigh the benefits/drawbacks of different options. A big reason that Honda is pushing DCT so hard is that it means more money in their pockets. It brings more people to riding (who would otherwise not ride), who in turn buy Hondas and that in turn sells more expensive bikes. But again, there are situations (like slow-speed riding where it would be challenging to keep the engine from stalling, such as when going up a steep hill, or when the rider needs to make constant speed changes, like in heavy traffic) where an automatic is less work/easier and there are certain riders who enjoy more a manual or feel more in control than they would with a DCT transmission.
 

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I have the manual with quickshifter and its great for me , I haven't ridden a dct so I cant comment on them, But I dont quite get why the good folk who bought the dct keep harkin on about it, Its as though they have to justify why they paid the extra for It and It is so much better than a manual, I might feel differently towards It as time goes by but to be honest I don't think It is a perfect solution to problem that Doesn't yet exist unless you are missing all your left fingers or you have the wrist strength of a baby.
They did this with the Porsche 997 PDK, but now the manual is a more desirable and rarer beast, only time will tell I guess..

It is very simple..... We are a caring and giving bunch of riders, and when we discover something amazing, we just want others to enjoy it also.
I actually owned a 2016 manual and had the same mind set you seem to. I had always had manual, why in the world would I want DCT?
After hearing so many brag on the DCT, I went with a 2018 ATAS DCT.
Glad I did, was missing out on a fantastic improvement to the old way!!!
I understand there are many folks who have no interest in DCT, and that is perfectly ok also.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Glad you are having a good time with your DCT-equipped bike, Texasten. I like your positive attitude about other riders and your generous spirit. Cheers!
 

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Discovering a real lack of objective reporting on the Africa Twin, with most reviews regurgitating the same information. There's obviously a journalistic bias towards the Adventure Sports model with DCT and very little attention given to its little brother, the L1 or the manual version in either model.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the styling on this year's Adventure Sports. It is sharp!
But, I'd love to hear from someone that has ridden BOTH MODELS off and on road and can attest to the performance differences, namely in the suspension category. An extra .8 inches of suspension travel sounds good in theory, but I wonder if the average rider will be able to tell the difference? Does the superior suspension outweigh the extra gas sloshing about and the extra weight added?

Also, I've seen little mentioned about the effectiveness of the LED headlights and whether it will buck on regular gas.

Personally, I'm more interested in the manual version for the same reason I prefer a car with a stick. It keeps me more engaged and is just more fun. Almost every review I've read is about the DCT version, which is probably a good match for some, just not me. How about a critical review of the manual for a change?

Many thanks in advance for your feedback!

I have the ATAS DCT version. I love the bike. I am glad I bought the ATAS. Here are the things I like about it.


1. Riding Position - The riding position is one of the most comfortable of any motorcycle I have owned. The height and bend of the bars and the peg position are perfect for me. I am 5'9" and I can ride for hours in complete comfort.


2. Seat - The seat is more comfortable than the standard seat - it has more padding. It is not perfect, but it is more comfortable than the standard seat.

3. Suspension - I love the suspension. It is plush on the roads and has plenty of travel for off-road. I have made no adjustments on the suspension over the stock settings - it is perfect for me. The additional travel is great off-road. It allows you to pick perfect lines because you do not have to worry about bottoming the suspension or grounding the skid plate.

4. Fuel Capacity - I really like the larger tank. I hate filling up and I consistently get 45 - 55 mpg (US). It is nice being able to go 250 miles between fill ups.

5. DCT - I am really glad I got the DCT. I thought that it was an extravagance, but I live in a large city with a lot of traffic. It is really nice not having to fool with a clutch and shifter. I can always choose to override and manually shift, but rarely do.

6. Headlights - The stock LED headlights are more than adequate and are as good as most cars I have owned.



I am amazed at how well it does off-road. It is really nice not having to worry about stalls. In really tight trails and uphills, I leave the traction control on 1 and just chug up steep hills without sliding even with the stock tires.


Things I am not too wild about:


1. Heated grips - On the hottest setting, the stock grips are just adequate. I much prefer the Oxford grips I had on my last bike and may eventually change them out. The Oxfords on max would roast your hands.


2. Ride Height - The ATAS is tall enough the even in the low seat position, I cannot flat foot it. It would be perfect if it was about an inch lower, but I like the additional ground clearance. After riding the bike about 3 months, I have become used to the additional height. One thing that is nice is that although it is a heavy bike, its weight is concentrated low. It is not top heavy like my Triumph Tiger 800XC was.


3. Exhaust - I think that the exhaust is a little on the loud side for me, but some people may prefer this.


4. Windshield - the stock windshield had a lot of buffeting for me. I switched to a Madstad shield and now it works perfectly.


5. Air filters - It is a bit hard to access them, but once you have had the bodywork off a couple of times, you can do it pretty quickly.


6. Crash bars - They are flimsy and should not be depended on. Replace these soon if you off-road the bike and expect to drop it.

7. Tool kit - The stock tool kit is a joke. It comes with just a screw driver and an allen key. The allen key is necessary to access the battery.

I did some work on the battery before a long trip and did not get the terminals tight enough. I was driving along at 40 mph and my bike suddenly shut off. It scared the heck out of me. As it turns out, the bike had the two tools I needed to do the repair. It does need improvement, no doubt.
 

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It's a Blog from an Austrian AF rider. His Africa Twin DCT from February 2016 has 170000 Km now .He has a varadero to with I think 550000 Km.
 

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From all the research I had done before buying my ATAS, the AT and the ATAS received these updates updates:

New instrument panel
Throttle by wire
Three riding modes (Tour, Urban, Gravel)
Minor intake and exhaust changes
Lighter balancer shafts
Lithium-ion battery
Seven levels of HSTC (traction control)
Wider footpegs with steel brackets
Redesigned passenger pegs
Redesigned LED turn signals

Only the ATAS received these items which set it apart from the AT:

Fuel capacity increased to 6.37 gallons (extra 1.4 gallons)
Fork travel increased to 8.9 inches (extra 0.9 inch)
Shock travel increased to 9.4 inches (extra 0.8 inch)
Ground clearance increased to 10.6 inches (extra 0.8 inch)
Seat height increased to 35.4 inches (extra 1.2 inches)
Redesigned flat seat
Handlebar height increased (extra 1.3 inches)
New windscreen (80mm taller)
Larger skid plate
Standard crash bars
Redesigned steel luggage rack
Standard heated grips
Standard 12-volt accessory socket
Rear storage pocket
30th anniversary paint scheme

The AT is a better fit for those under 200 pounds and an inseam under 32 inches. The ATAS with its longer suspension travel is for taller and heavier riders or those will be riding the bike in rougher terrain.

For me, I have a 35 inch inseam and I am about 215 pounds, plus I have been off road riding for about 45 years. I felt the ATAS was perfect for me. I have read a lot of great feedback about the DCT model but I went with the manual because it saved about 23 pounds on the bike, it should be more reliable, easier oil changes and it shaved about $600 off the price of the bike. I've also grown up with a manual shift on my motorcycles so that is my preference. I will say that I wouldn't have anything else but an automatic on my Jeep Rubicon. I just think that DCT is still too new and its reliability is still an unknown.
 

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From 17 AT to 18 ATAS

I rode my 17 AT about 5000 miles this year. Over-all, liked the bike a lot. Thought it was a little under sprung but over-all a good package. I was always concerned about the inner fork anodizing but two of my riding buddies (and myself) had no issues yet. Also, none of us had corrosion problems with spokes or rims. We do ride them on some gnarly logging roads. I am just shy of 6'2" and about 220#.

When I saw the 18 ATAS, I loved everything about it, especially the colors including that beautiful white frame and the brushed aluminum badge. Have had it about 3 weeks and 400 miles. The headlights are very good, the suspension is a little firmer, the bars are higher, and I like the DCT transmission (I wanted to try it). I am hoping that the ATAS forks will not have inner anodizing issues. The fueling is good, but not the near perfect that the 17 AT was. Its probably due to ride by wire and more stringent emissions. There is probably 50 more pounds with the ATAS DCT, but it does carry it very well and is not that big of an issue for me. It was worth it to me to upgrade to the ATAS.

Jon
 

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DCT where DCT makes sens...

I also have a 2015 manual Goldwing and it's clunky and I have a love hate relationship with it. Some days it shifts like a dream others it's like a truck. My Africa Twin is a DCT and its great for trail riding as it cannot stall going up a rocky trail with rear abs and traction control off.

I have ridden the 2018 DCT Wing and will never go clutch less, it would be like taking the alcohol out of my English beer, the caffein out of my coffee, the Grand Tour off my Amazon Prime. But I digress...

DCT isn't for everyone or every application but it's up to you to decide. I don't have the skill for a manual AT on the trail, love that I don't have to worry about being in the wrong gear or not being able to change when in a tricky situation. God bless you Mother Honda!

Ps. I now sometimes forget to clutch on my Wing when I come to a standstill which makes me feel rather silly when I stall at the lights!

Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk
 

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I can not speak to the Adventure Sports as I have the DCT 2017 AT, but I can say that I really like the DCT so far. I have ridden a 2005 Honda 450x for so many years and during my ownership I was gifted a Revloc clutch. This was the rival to Rekluse and the company has since folded. The idea of not stalling was awesome and with a little learning curve, the "automatic clutch" became a trusted friend. The DCT was the next progression in using technology to make up for not growing up with a throttle in my hand. I understand that many consider the rekluse and the DCT as a departure from the roots of motorcycling but it does remove a few factors when riding terrain. I can only applaud those who are skilled in the finer aspects of clutch control as most make it seem automatic. To each his own of course and in any event I feel the purchase of a Honda product is a strong choice. Many miles to all.
 

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My father snorted when I came home from driver's ed and told him we were learning in cars with automatic transmissions. "How can you learn to drive properly in one of those?" But then, I think he learned in a Model T... 8^)
 

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I put a Rekluse on my dirt bike and it really changed my riding style for the better. I started single tracking at age 58 after a long period of not riding at all and never on backwoods trails. It seemed that in any tight situation my mind was more focused on what my left hand was doing with the clutch then the trail itself. This overthinking would find me most times at the bottom of the hill without the bike. The Rekluse has been a game changer and now I find the trails an enjoyable experience, so I followed suit and put one on my manual 2018 ATAS. I've got a little over 1,800 miles on it and it's been great!!! No worries about stalling and it shifts easily with or without using the clutch. Before having it installed I spoke to the guys at Rekluse regarding durability and there seems not to be any long term issues. Well, guess I'll just keep on enjoying the ride.
 
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