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From Bennets

“We rode both models, standard and DCT. I preferred the DCT in that terrain, especially the G mode button. On occasion we had the bikes almost up to the axel in deep sand, and it was quite a challenge using the clutch to get it out but on DCT with G button it puts it into direct drive and all you have to worry about is keeping the bike upright, it just drove itself out. It was a real surprise for me.”

http://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/news-and-views/news/2012/2015/december1/honda-africa-twin-key-questions-answered/#.VoVJ2vnyuM9
 

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Sometimes feathering the clutch is exactly what is needed to get out of tight situations such as rocky ravines etc ...it allows you to have total control over the power delivery so that it can be supplied smoothly in very small or light increments if necessary.

I wonder how the DCT will do with supplying power in small increments or is it simply just on/off ? Can the power be controlled smoothly(in 1st gear) with DCT in other words without any jerkiness ? ...out of interest since I'm purely a manual person.
 

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I currently ride an NC700 DCT 95% on paved roads and none on single track or rocky ravines as you describe. In years past I did a lot of mountain trail and trials riding and believe I can accurately interpolate what the DCT does as I ride it now, to what it would be capable of in the dirt So here is my take:

DCT gives a rider the same benefits in loose terrain (mud, sand) that an automatic transmission in a car stuck in snow or ice -- smooth controllable power application without having to split your (mental) attention between clutch, brake and gas. But on a motorcycle, being able to fully grasp the left handlebar with all your fingers and thumb, the rider gains increased physical control of the bike and is better able to shift his weight, use a foot for balance or leverage to push off and all the other riding techniques you need to get from A to B. If you need more confirmation, check with the guys using Rekluse clutches on their dirt bikes; the principles are the same if the technology is different.

That said, using a 530 pound motorcycle to traverse a rocky ravine is like using a pipe wrench to repair a Swiss watch. I watched the video of Piero Sembenini riding the AT on the trials course in Italy and concede that it is possible, but it doesn't change the fact that there are better tools for the job. If you need a Honda trials bike, get a Montesa Cota.
 

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That said, using a 530 pound motorcycle to traverse a rocky ravine is like using a pipe wrench to repair a Swiss watch. I watched the video of Piero Sembenini riding the AT on the trials course in Italy and concede that it is possible, but it doesn't change the fact that there are better tools for the job. If you need a Honda trials bike, get a Montesa Cota.
Makes sense apart from what you said above. Adventure riding is just that, you don't always get to decide where you might end up and rocky mountains, steep ravines, thick sandy area's etc are par for the course. Saying there are better bikes for the job is a bit silly as none can generally ride for 400km off-road on such adventures apart from bikes designed to do just that. If you take Piero Sembenini's example he was basically showing a condensed version on what you may encounter and what the AT is capable of in such situations.

If you don't intend on using the AT in real off-road scenario's then that is fine but some of us undoubtedly will. I see people getting stuck and dropping their GS's, KTM's etc in such situations as I described above all the time, it's part of the fun of riding on an adventure and it's perfectly acceptable of these type of motorcycles.
 

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We live in different worlds Marsbeetle, and not just geographically. In mine, off-highway "adventure" riding is largely done on double track and where a jeep has been, a motorcycle can go, usually with less drama. In my world, adventure bike riders tend to be older, more careful of themselves and their bikes, so more inclined to take the long way around the ravine. And if they decide the ravine had to be traversed they might go back for their trials bike. As an example; I can't recall seeing a used adv bike advertised for sale as showing the effects of hard off-road use. (Not saying they don't exist, only that they aren't openly advertised for sale as such.)

You describe what I would call either "cross country" or "trail" riding. That still goes on in the U.S. but it's most often done on mid-size dual sport bikes - usually equipped with large "desert" fuel tanks for longer journeys. The riders are younger, more fit and willing to tackle rocky ravines. ( :crying: Wistfuly drying a tear now for the good old days.) It's not uncommon to see dual sport bikes advertised for sale in battle scared condition.
 

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Sometimes feathering the clutch is exactly what is needed to get out of tight situations such as rocky ravines etc ...it allows you to have total control over the power delivery so that it can be supplied smoothly in very small or light increments if necessary.

I wonder how the DCT will do with supplying power in small increments or is it simply just on/off ? Can the power be controlled smoothly(in 1st gear) with DCT in other words without any jerkiness ? ...out of interest since I'm purely a manual person.
From what I've read the AT will actually crawl itself forward. I can't remember what the speed they said, I want to say maybe 16 km/h, like an auto box.

A little bit of back brake should give the same effects as feathering the clutch.
 

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A little bit of back brake should give the same effects as feathering the clutch.[/QUOTE]

This it does.
But much easier as you can't stall a DCT so it does make it much easier to ride slow when you need to be concentrating on your line. The DCT will greatly improve the ride for many.
Im sure that there are riders still that can do a great job with a regular clutch, but I admit im not in that class. When I rode the AT I found the DCT was like cheating it made life so easy!
 

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A little bit of back brake should give the same effects as feathering the clutch.
This it does.
But much easier as you can't stall a DCT so it does make it much easier to ride slow when you need to be concentrating on your line. The DCT will greatly improve the ride for many.
Im sure that there are riders still that can do a great job with a regular clutch, but I admit im not in that class. When I rode the AT I found the DCT was like cheating it made life so easy![/QUOTE]

The problem is that there are far too many out there who over estimate their abilities and believe they could win Dakar if only given the chance ;)

I also find it interesting that DCT is demonized by the bike community depite being lauded in car culture for superior performance.

Honda and the boys need to change their approach to DCT marketing. don't tell people it makes things easier, most of these heros get their backs up at that. Tell them it makes them FASTER... then watch the DCT take rate explode hehehhh (sorry for the digression)
 

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I totally agree with that. I used to be one of the "I'd never own an automatic bike" crowd until I started thinking about it differently: it's not an automatic bike, it's a quickshifter that I can also put in automatic mode if I want to :)

That makes it feel like a very different proposition! And I'm quite excited about trying it now... I'm a very average rider, so I suspect it'll actually make me quicker!
 

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We live in different worlds Marsbeetle, and not just geographically. In mine, off-highway "adventure" riding is largely done on double track and where a jeep has been, a motorcycle can go, usually with less drama. In my world, adventure bike riders tend to be older, more careful of themselves and their bikes, so more inclined to take the long way around the ravine. And if they decide the ravine had to be traversed they might go back for their trials bike. As an example; I can't recall seeing a used adv bike advertised for sale as showing the effects of hard off-road use. (Not saying they don't exist, only that they aren't openly advertised for sale as such.)

You describe what I would call either "cross country" or "trail" riding. That still goes on in the U.S. but it's most often done on mid-size dual sport bikes - usually equipped with large "desert" fuel tanks for longer journeys. The riders are younger, more fit and willing to tackle rocky ravines. ( :crying: Wistfuly drying a tear now for the good old days.) It's not uncommon to see dual sport bikes advertised for sale in battle scared condition.
I think there will be a lot of people here in AU that want what Marsbeetle is saying you need the high speed long haul capabilities and you want something with lots of suspension travel (300mm would have been good) that can take the big hits but able to be manhandled in the trickey stuff. The bike feels lighter to ride than my DRZ with a big gas tank. I am thinking a couple of 6L fuel cells and you would be good to go on the AT. I have been using a Honda XL1000 and a Suzuki DRZ400E and it looks very much like the AT is about as close as you will get to both of those in the one bike. I dont think in this market AU there is a difference between adventure bikes and dual sport they all have to get to the same spots here.
 

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All you guys have good points, an AT is what it is and will be used for what it is used for. We all have different ideas on what a ADV bike is and I don't think any of them are wrong. I am an aging rider who is new to this market but I am not new to the dirt having rode the dirt for many years as a younger rider, I ride a Honda ST 1300 now and am not afraid to take that 700 + lb bike down a dirt/gravel road and at only 5'6" and 160lb that can be a challenge. I will be using my AT mainly for asphalt but will be venturing more often and further down those dirt/gravel roads. To me that will be my ADV riding, matching my adventure to my age and skill level. After hearing what you guys said I am glad Honda offered this bike in a DCT, opening this sport up to rider like me. See you guys in the dirt.
 

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Please correct me if I"m wrong but one disadvantage of the DCT is that you can't bump start your motorcycle if your battery goes dead. I know that most of you are saying, "well, you need to make sure your battery is in good condition and you won't need to worry about it." but if you ride long and far enough, it could happen. Over the past 20 years of owning and riding motorcycles, I've had to bump start my bikes a couple of times to avoid a very, very long walk home.
 

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That seems to be the case - no bump starts on DCT that is.

A lot of people carry a power brick to jump start if needed (and to charge their phones!)
 

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Good point about the bump/jump start. I've had to do this a couple times due to dead cell batteries.

Also, don't leave the AT parked on a hill without using the parking brake. I suspect a few people new to DCT will learn the hard way.
 

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Agreed , I have also had to do the push start thing a few times , but could always jump start from a mates bike with small jumper leads if push start was not an option . so not a huge issue I don't think . For me ... the park brake is More of a worry to get used to.
Ive ordered a Manual ABS Tri Colour , still a little noise in my head telling me to go DCT...
 

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I had to smile about the bump starting, I was trying to think back the last time I had to bump start a bike, :smile2:
I think it was in the 60s on my Vincent Comet :grin2:
 

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Not having ridden in sand I wondered if anyone who has could tell me how chains fare in these conditions and how you look after them? Thanks.
 
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