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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all
I've just joined this forum although I have been an active member of a couple of other forums for some time.

I bought my Africa Twin just a few weeks ago, the tri-colour DCT version.


I sold my 2013 VFR1200X to my brother to make room for the AT


Cheers from downunder
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How did the 2 bikes compare crosstourer and AT?
Hi Ted
The two bikes are very different, more so than I would have thought.

The VFRX, being designed as an 80/20 paved/unpaved bike, is a nice road touring bike that is manageable on gravel. I've taken it on some pretty gnarly routes. However, its weight makes for difficult handling downhill on gravel and becomes almost unmanageable on dirt downhill. Tires make a huge difference on this bike. When I had TKC 80's on it, its road handling was not that good, but it made the world of difference on gravel. The VFRX comes into its own for road touring and the odd bit of gravel for one or two up riding with gear. The motor is fantastic, one of the best around.

The AT is is fundamentally different. The 21 inch front and 18 inch rear makes this bike a genuine 50/50 paved/unpaved bike. It is also lighter and the centre of gravity is very low. Surprisingly the AT is quite a good road touring bike. Not as accomplished as the VFRX, but still a very good, comfortable bike on tarmac.

On gravel it is awesome for a big bike.

I also really like DCT. This is the first time I have ridden a bike with DCT. DCT is not for everyone, but once you get used to it you wonder why you didn't have it before. Here's what I do like about DCT:
- absolutely smooth gear changes. My pillion (she who must be obeyed :nod) likes that to.
- On a long trip with lots of changing up and down I no longer get tired of changing gears
- low speed maneuvering is so much easier (round about navigation, T intersections etc)
- urban riding. Comes into its own
- gravel riding when I need to stand up. I've never been good at changing gear while standing up, now I don't need to, or I can do it with my thumb or index finger
- gravel riding in general.

What I don't like about DCT:
- very slow riding where you would want to slip the clutch. The fix is drag the rear brake
- two up riding you need to manually override the change down's a bit more. But that is done with the thumb is half a second. Still easier than changing manual gears.
 

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Thanks so much Mr Kiwi for your well considered answer. I lost the thread and missed it until today. I love my DCT Africa Twin and it has become my standard Auckland city commuter transport where the DCT box and narrowness makes motorways with lane splitting easy, quick and fun - as opposed to my using my Goldwing. I would like to ask for your thoughts on something elase. I have a sister who has shifted to Dunedin ( for forum members - about 1700 km away at the other end of NZ from me in Auckland). I tested the return ride Auckland to Dunedin at New Year and rode there and back 2-up in 5 days on the Goldwing with my wife. Quite a hard 3400 km and not to be done regularly in such a short time I think, although a lot of fun and my wife and I enjoyed it, but she won't do it regularly with me in such a short time. So I wonder about stationing a bike in Dunedin at my sister's place, plan being I/we fly down and ride for a week then fly home, as leave from work for 2 weeks is hard to get but leave for 1 week is easier. Bikewise I am narrowing it down to probably leaving in Dunedin either a Varadero (which I know from the the VRX UK club you had) or a Crosstourer. Vara's are rare in NZ - there's 4 on trademe now and go for $8 -12k, and Crosstourers are similarly rare and go for for $15.5 - 25k. As I will use the Dunedin bike for mainly road South Island Tours, and for tootling around day-tripping near Dunedin with either of my sisters or wife for probably only a month per year, the cheaper Vara may be a good option - except I may want to go on the occasional "nice" gravel road with sisters or wife 2-up, eg Molesworth or Skippers in Queenstown (specifically NOT Rainbow road & NOT gnarly stuff). You have commented that the Crosstourer is so much better on gravel previously than the Vara so can you second guess for me - is the Vara suitable for "easy gravel " 2 -up? My skills are low, my sisters and I are large (though not my wife!) and I worry about safety but I did do a prorider 1 day adventure riding course and then the Molesworth 2-up with my wife last year on an old hire BMW 650 Dakar which we enjoyed so much we bought the Africa Twin. Is the Vara ok for this sort of riding do you reckon? I think the Crosstourer has the newer technology and is a much better bike though. Clearly the Africa Twin is ideal for roads like the Rainbow which I want to try in the next 2 years, when I will ride from Auckland hopefully with my wife and do them then. Regards Ted
 

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Hi,I'm going to ask b4 anyone else those.why hv u sold the 1200 chaft driven looks fully loaded to buy the AT.also yr impressions of the AT SO FAR.the good and the bad.u are in a beautiful motorbike country.Did u give yr brother family discount and a years guarantee ?best of luck.??
 

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I must remember to scroll down b4 I sent message ?.what pannier system did u get and why did u not choose the Oem,s.were u happy with the oem tyres.
 

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Mr Kiwi. Great informative read on your opinions and comparisons of your 2 bikes. One question if I may have yoy put TKC80's on the AT yet and are they your tyre of choice. I know there is a thread on tyre choice but after reading you comments I thought no harm in asking. And how would you describe your of road usage to tie in with your tyre selection. Thanks Joe
 
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