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Discussion Starter #1
Today the ice finally left the road I live on so I took her out for her first ride. I came from a CB500X. I knew this was a much bigger bike so I wanted to just go through the basics again. This is also my first ever DCT.

As soon as I started going on my 2020 AT AS DCT... man this bike is so balanced. Even better than my CB500X. I did a couple laps around my subdivision then I was off as I would be any other day on my CB500X.

A couple observations:
  • It was -1 C and it's first actual ride since the factory. (0.8 kms on the odometer)
  • The DCT shifted "stiff" at first but then it seemed to get better.
  • DCT D mode shifts extremely early. Sometimes the bike would lug a bit. Like many others I will probably run it normally in some S mode.
  • Hand warmers are warm but not super hot. My Honda heated grips put on my CB500X were hotter. My wife has Oxfords and you can't handle max power on those.
  • The exhaust is a lot louder than any factory pipe I've heard on an ADV bike. (Not like I heard them all though.)
  • DCT makes it really hard to keep the speed limit. >:) The thing just wants to keep on going.
So begins the love affair. I've left behind my beloved CB500X but I know where it is going and it will serve them well. 10% of my break in period is over now. I would have done more but I had to get supper. I will probably start commuting on it tomorrow. 500kms before break in is over (450 now). That won't take long if the snow and ice stays off the roads.
 

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Today the ice finally left the road I live on so I took her out for her first ride. I came from a CB500X. I knew this was a much bigger bike so I wanted to just go through the basics again. This is also my first ever DCT.

As soon as I started going on my 2020 AT AS DCT... man this bike is so balanced. Even better than my CB500X. I did a couple laps around my subdivision then I was off as I would be any other day on my CB500X.

A couple observations:
  • It was -1 C and it's first actual ride since the factory. (0.8 kms on the odometer)
  • The DCT shifted "stiff" at first but then it seemed to get better.
  • DCT D mode shifts extremely early. Sometimes the bike would lug a bit. Like many others I will probably run it normally in some S mode.
  • Hand warmers are warm but not super hot. My Honda heated grips put on my CB500X were hotter. My wife has Oxfords and you can't handle max power on those.
  • The exhaust is a lot louder than any factory pipe I've heard on an ADV bike. (Not like I heard them all though.)
  • DCT makes it really hard to keep the speed limit. /forum/images/AfricaTwinForum/smilies/tango_face_devil.png The thing just wants to keep on going.
So begins the love affair. I've left behind my beloved CB500X but I know where it is going and it will serve them well. 10% of my break in period is over now. I would have done more but I had to get supper. I will probably start commuting on it tomorrow. 500kms before break in is over (450 now). That won't take long if the snow and ice stays off the roads.
The “trick” to riding in “D” mode is RPM’s it will short shift the **** out of you unless you keep the R’s 3k or better, so holeshots for “D” and stop-n-go traffic is “S”
Yes the balance is absolutely great , but, she is a fat lady in spike heals tip her to far and you’ll be feeling her HEAVY weight. She does ruts like they aren’t there
 

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D mode is mainly aimed at the developed world excluding America, where fuel economy is very VERY important. The way it shifts is all about saving fuel. Nothing more, nothing less.

I pay the equivalent of $6.43 a US Gallon

So there are times when riding in D mode is very useful to me... And other times when it isn't.
 

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The “trick” to riding in “D” mode is RPM’s it will short shift the **** out of you unless you keep the R’s 3k or better, so holeshots for “D” and stop-n-go traffic is “S”
Yes the balance is absolutely great , but, she is a fat lady in spike heals tip her to far and you’ll be feeling her HEAVY weight. She does ruts like they aren’t there
I almost never use "D", and more often use "S2" / "S3". Most times I enjoy Manual Mode and still manage decent economy and very good response.

I have also found so far the AT is better than expected over wet, metal bridge grates (i.e. low tire drifting side-to-side).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Motobiker,
We are most certainly spoiled in North America for fuel prices. I own a full size 4x4 truck and have always said you don't buy these things for fuel economy. There are much better options for that. I feel the same about the AT. If I was wanting fuel economy I would have kept my CB500X. Current price where I live is $1.09/litre. (Southern Ontario Canada)

I want to do longer and longer trips and I always felt like I was strangling the CB500X at 120 km/h for long periods on the highway. That is what this machine is for. Commuting is just because my bike is my main method of transportation. I am 51 and have a lot of motorcycling to get in before I physically can't anymore.

AT-Dragon,
So the cure to the short shifting is more throttle... I can handle that. I am still having a hard time keeping the speed down but that is just me getting used to this thing. This throttle by wire doesn't take much twist to want to go. I've been using Urban mode which has the power dialed back. There is so much to play with on this thing. It will be a while before I get it dialed in for me.

Thanks all. I've been lurking here for some months now and now I have my baby I am officially an AT owner and couldn't be happier.
 

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Motobiker,
We are most certainly spoiled in North America for fuel prices. I own a full size 4x4 truck and have always said you don't buy these things for fuel economy. There are much better options for that. I feel the same about the AT. If I was wanting fuel economy I would have kept my CB500X.
But you have an Africa Twin, and this can offer fuel economy, as much as a 1000cc bike can, by optimising gear changes - when such behaviour might suit you. or you can turn that aspect off. I read about plenty of people here in the UK who commute on their Africa Twins.. I probably would too if it made sense. but as my place of work is 1.3miles from my front door. it makes no sense. I cycle. (or walk)

I tend to use D mode almost exclusively on the Motorway. (freeway) Its perfect for such dreary riding.
 

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I use in the most time the S1 and S2 and the D mode only if I do some sightseeing. Yes I use more fuel but it is not so much more I don’t care. The prices here in the Netherlands are crazy €1,85 approx $2 a litre to support our green assholes who never do real work(ngo or goverment) and a lot of other things.
I agree with CJC I am 56 and try to spend all the free time I have on my bike before I can do it anymore. Last week I tried the off road mode on dirty road with a lot of mud and it was 😄. My son said “ crazy man the bike is just 2 months old and then you go in the mud” my answer to him it is made for that otherwise I bought a BMW if I want it to keep in showroom state.😁😁😁😁

I can’t until frost has gone no salt on the roads anymore( global warming? It that was true then i could also drive in the winter time)
Let us all enjoy our CRF1100
 

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I almost never use "D", and more often use "S2" / "S3". Most times I enjoy Manual Mode and still manage decent economy and very good response.

I have also found so far the AT is better than expected over wet, metal bridge grates (i.e. low tire drifting side-to-side).
I was (for a while) the same, ALWAYS in S-mode - I actually hated D-mode, so just to challenge myself I decided to use D-mode for a week, I commute A LOT on mine so it’s repetitive, repetitive, repetitive - within a couple of days I did work out all the tricks for riding in D-mode and no chugging along. It is possible to do, but D-mode is really better suited for rural riding, which of course, is it intended purpose anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am now at 128 KMs into my brake in period and I am starting to crack the code of D mode. Unless I get stuck behind slow traffic I have no short shifting. The secret is as simple as "it wants to go!" (As AT-Dragon said.) I tried S2 once. It shifted more like I would if I was doing it on my previous bike. This is not my previous bike. Much more power and torque. Much more weight.

I also use my bike for commuting. My commute is 7-10 KMs each way. Sarnia is not a big city and I drive right across it to go to work. My bike is my primary vehicle. Only if the temps are really cold or roads are snow and/or ice will I take my truck to work just for the safety factor.

On another note I originally said the hand warmers were not that hot. They are now. I've been using them at setting 4 of 5 in near zero weather and my hands are toasty warm in my winter riding gloves.

And another thing: Installed MirrorLoks on the bike. What a difference these make. I can see everything behind me now and I can lock my helmet to my bike too. They work so well my wife wants them for her bike.
 

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I use in the city or in slow trafic S1 mode it shift then not so often. Also with a DCT you have to use more your rear brake in slow manoeuvres because there is no clutch to reduce the power to the wheel. Do some excise on a empty parking lot to play with D mode and the S modes.


This morning it was here arround zero deg and I still use my summer riding glove and on postion 4 I have still warm hands. I was thinking that winter gloves are thicker and therefore it will take longer before the heating will go trough gloves but my be I wrong.

The mirrorlock Is a good tip thx.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I use in the city or in slow trafic S1 mode it shift then not so often. Also with a DCT you have to use more your rear brake in slow manoeuvres because there is no clutch to reduce the power to the wheel. Do some excise on a empty parking lot to play with D mode and the S modes.
This is a good tip for DCT. Luckily I had been doing more and more gravel and dirt with my CB500X which had me getting in the habit of using the rear brake more and more. I also found balancing the brake use and using the rear more when coming to a stop limits nose dives of the front end. In the motorcycle course for our M2 license (Ontario has M1, M2 and M) they kept telling us to use the front brake and leave the rear brake alone. I come from dirt bikes and always found this to be silly. The more I ride the DCT the more I find I am using the rear brake more than the front. I've had one hard stop so far and I naturally evenly used the brakes with bias towards the rear at the end once I knew I could stop in time. This makes the bike more stable.

I plan on taking an off-road course this summer to hone my skills from dirt bikes to this much heavier bike. For this size and type of bike I consider myself intermediate on road and beginner off road. That will change with training, practice and time. Always learning is what I love about motorcycles.

This morning it was here arround zero deg and I still use my summer riding glove and on postion 4 I have still warm hands. I was thinking that winter gloves are thicker and therefore it will take longer before the heating will go trough gloves but my be I wrong.
That is a good point. I have rev-it gortex waterproof gloves for the winter. I did mention to my wife that I don't think you could touch the hand grips with bare hands at 4. If I give them a chance to warm up before I get going they more than keep up.

My true test will be if I end up like I did in May of 2019 riding in near zero temps all day in the rain. That is the day I learned to dress better (I thought I did but I was wrong) and use proper gear (again I thought I did but I should have had the gloves I have now and more layers). That trip began soaked and cold but the rest of the 4 days was amazing weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey CJC: Those locks on the MirrorLoks, are they simple - like those of PC computers of yesteryear?
The key is like one of those bicycle locks. It's a cylinder with notches in it. The whole mechanism is like a pad lock built in. The bar stops people from removing the whole thing by fitting inside the hex of the bolt that attached to the bike. I can take a pic and share it if you would like. Let me know.

Like everything else it is there to slow people down and keep people honest. It is also a mirror extension. You can check them out here: motomanufacturing.com/mirrorlok/
 

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The key is like one of those bicycle locks. It's a cylinder with notches in it. The whole mechanism is like a pad lock built in. The bar stops people from removing the whole thing by fitting inside the hex of the bolt that attached to the bike. I can take a pic and share it if you would like. Let me know.

Like everything else it is there to slow people down and keep people honest. It is also a mirror extension. You can check them out here: motomanufacturing.com/mirrorlok/
Not necessary - for me anyway. Thx! I looked at this online, just like your URL. I agree - it is to keep the punks away, but not determined folk.
 

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This is a good tip for DCT. Luckily I had been doing more and more gravel and dirt with my CB500X which had me getting in the habit of using the rear brake more and more. I also found balancing the brake use and using the rear more when coming to a stop limits nose dives of the front end. In the motorcycle course for our M2 license (Ontario has M1, M2 and M) they kept telling us to use the front brake and leave the rear brake alone. I come from dirt bikes and always found this to be silly. The more I ride the DCT the more I find I am using the rear brake more than the front. I've had one hard stop so far and I naturally evenly used the brakes with bias towards the rear at the end once I knew I could stop in time. This makes the bike more stable.


That tends to be a generational issue. When I started riding we were taught to use both brakes with the rear being applied slightly before the front. That helps to keep the back wheel behind the front and load the suspension for better control during the stop. That was also in the very late 1960's and early '70's. Many bikes at that time had the original ABS brakes. No matter how hard you pulled the lever or stepped on the pedal, there was no way the wheels were going to lock up. Far different these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That tends to be a generational issue. When I started riding we were taught to use both brakes with the rear being applied slightly before the front. That helps to keep the back wheel behind the front and load the suspension for better control during the stop. That was also in the very late 1960's and early '70's. Many bikes at that time had the original ABS brakes. No matter how hard you pulled the lever or stepped on the pedal, there was no way the wheels were going to lock up. Far different these days.
A good example of this is during my M2 course one person grabbed a bunch of front brake and high sided over the bars. I come from the age of dirt bikes and go karts. For my experience learning on my own in fields, for dirt bikes you want to use the rear, just like you said, to stabilize the bike for what comes next. To me the rear is just as important than the front. Sure the front does the majority of the stopping work (it has the best weight transfer so best traction) but the rear needs to drag the back of the bike to even out weight transfer to prevent over zealous stoppies. :grin2:

So I totally see about using the rear first then balancing out with the front.

Again, what I love about motorcycles is there is always something more to learn.
 
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