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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice, concise review, subscribed.

Thanks appreciated! :) I find there's way too many long motorcycle reviews online and I don't have the attention span to watch from beginning to end, so I try to keep my reviews as short as possible while giving an unbiased opinion of the good and bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks appreciated! Even if Youtube is favoring longer videos over the shorter ones, I'm sticking to my intention of keeping it short and sweet hehe
 

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Nice review. I subscribed as well. I recall your review of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 as well. I had some interest in one briefly and your review and a few others helped talk me off of the ledge :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice review. I subscribed as well. I recall your review of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 as well. I had some interest in one briefly and your review and a few others helped talk me off of the ledge :)
Glad I talked you out of it, I wish I had seen my review before buying it! :) Out of the 20+ bikes I've owned, its one of only 2, that I really regretted (the other one was a Ducati Monster that went back to the dealer 6 times under warranty in under 3 months). Still a bit puzzled how some love the suspensions on the 1200XE, to the point where I'm wondering if they didn't change them mid-production and some have different suspensions. A lot of owners reached out to me saying they had back and even neck pain because of the harshness, while most journalists were saying they absorbed everything like it was nothing...
 

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Glad I talked you out of it, I wish I had seen my review before buying it! :) Out of the 20+ bikes I've owned, its one of only 2, that I really regretted (the other one was a Ducati Monster that went back to the dealer 6 times under warranty in under 3 months). Still a bit puzzled how some love the suspensions on the 1200XE, to the point where I'm wondering if they didn't change them mid-production and some have different suspensions. A lot of owners reached out to me saying they had back and even neck pain because of the harshness, while most journalists were saying they absorbed everything like it was nothing...
I was always a Triumph guy, but the bike I most regret was the Explorer 1200. Two of the happiest days in my motorcycling life were the day I bought it and the day I sold it :). Poor experiences with a 2013 and later a 2014 Tiger Explorer XC turned me off the brand for a bit. I thought that the Scrambler XE was going to maybe bring me back, but it didn't.

It seems like Triumph couldn't quite figure out what they wanted to do with the Scrambler. Make it look like it has off-road intentions and give it some nice rider modes to that purpose. But by contrast, leave everything very vulnerable and exposed and give it a suspension suited for bikes like the Street Triple R :)

I already have some low back issues, I don't need to add to it . It sure does look and sound good though :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looked and sounded great for sure :) But even if on paper it was 10X superior to my 2015 Scrambler, I'd still pick the 2015 over the 2019. I've had 1 Speed Triple, 1 Street Triple, 3 Scramblers, and have always liked Triumph (though I'm not loyal to any brands). But lets just say that I usually don't buy without trying but because I couldnt find a demo bike for the XE, I took a calculated risk that with 10" of travel and all the adjustments I could make them work...well turns out I was wrong.

I've taken bigger risks in the past without being disappointed. I bought an MT-01 from another province, flew down there to pick it up in the morning, and rode the 800km back home on it in the same day...and I still regret selling that bike!
 

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2019 Honda CRF1000LD Initial Review (Mar29/20)

Recently coming from a Honda 2014 CB1100A and a Honda 2018 NC750XD, I will attempt to share initial rider impressions of the 2019 Honda CRF1000LD (aka "Africa Twin" or "AT") and relative to the former said Hondas.


USE:
  • Application: Anticipated 99% road, 1% off-road for the first few years.
  • Daily commuter spanning a spectrum of riding conditions including: Urban freeway, rural freeway, rural highway, backroads, and city roads.
  • Single rider tourer (most of the time).
  • Two-up riding on urban freeway and in-town setting.

REQUIREMENTS:
  • R1. Must be comfortable for at least two hours non-stop.
  • R2. Must have enough power to not to wish for more.
  • R3. Must achieve decent economy and have useful range using regular octane fuel.
  • R4. Must absorb pot-holes without drama.
  • R5. Must be reliable.
  • R6. Must have no shiny chrome-like bits to fuss over.
  • R7. Should have shaft drive.

PROS:
  • So far the riding stature and seat comfort [R1] are very favourable for me. I have yet to feel discomfort after two hours of continuous riding. On the smaller CB1100, I'd be in such disposition after 65 minutes that no RLET could help. This is important to me and I continue to assess with different riding situations. If I do feel discomfort, I can easily and maintain a full upright stand on the footpegs below freeway speed. This is a tall bike, and it feels good to me.
  • The engine pulse speaks to me in a way that my body likes. I have rediscovered the inline-twin. It is not as smooth as the CB1100 inline-4, but is smoother than the NC750X inline-twin.
  • I have not found wanting of more power. The from-stop take-off with the DCT is a clear winner. On paper the AT twin is marginally more powerful at the top end in both available power and torque compared to the CB1100, yet its lungs displace 142 cc less (94 hp @7500 vs. 90 hp @7500, and 72 ft-lbs @6000 vs. 68.6 ft-lbs @5000). [R2] The point is: It is a very capable twin maybe up to 170 km/h, after which the CB1100 just wants to keep going up. Respective 0-100 km/h and quarter mile statistics are: 4.3 vs. 4.2s, and 12.8 vs. 12.7s.
  • Factory exhaust note is seductive, especially compared to the stock CB1100. It is similar to the NC750X, but has noticeably more heft.
  • Engine with DCT will never stall. This is particularly useful on off-road steep hills.
  • Aftermarket SW-Motech center stand lifts the beast like a hot knife in butter. I do not recall a previously owned bike that was as easy, maybe the NC750X came closest with its stock OEM center stand.
  • The default DCT "D" Drive mode behaviour of the AT is superior to that of the NC750XD. Maybe this has to do with more engine displacement, but I suspect Honda engineers optimized the algorithm too. The NC is also much more limited in available power (54 hp @6250 and 50 ft-lbs @4750). The Sport and Manual modes are delicious. S1 and Manual modes are my favourite.
  • Fuel economy [R3] using regular 87 octane is so far about 4.6 L/100 km. This is not as good as the NC750X (3.7 L/100 km), but better than (for my style of riding) the CB1100's 5.3 L/100 km of mixed duties. My AT tank range is in the realm of 413 kms.
  • The AT's dual LED headlights are incredibly good, and superior to the NC750X's dismal offering.
  • The front wheel is 21" in diameter. The tire is narrow, however, I have yet to experience problems on lift bridges, and grated highways (surfaces scraped in prep for new asphalt). I found the factory tires on the CB1100 dismal on these surfaces. However, I had the Honda dealer change out the factory tires to Bridgestone A41s since the factory tires were the same Dunlop Trailmax garbage that came on my NC750X. The A41 is amazing road rubber and the big front tire and superior suspension makes potholes fun [R4]. This was never fun on the CB.
  • Turning radius of the AT makes me laugh. It is short and such a joy. It almost feels like a scooter, but without the loose steering feeling.
  • So far like the CB and NC, the reliability [R5] is typical Honda. However I will admit, I will need to get bogged down in profuse hot, humid summer traffic congestion to really get a gauge of bike behaviour. I am optimistic having dual radiators and large dual electric fans that blow hot air away from my legs.
  • I love the look of chrome ... ... on other people's bikes. The CB1100 is the most gorgeous steed out there. But [R6] the AT feels like a low maintenance girlfriend that won't let you down. The important things are easy to get at.
  • Brakes are very strong and firm. No complaints. Definitely better than the NC, and I am going to say better than the CB1100 because these don't squeal.
  • Suspension (front and rear) is fully adjustable and long.
  • Emergency stops cause the LED rear brake and front signal lights to fast-flicker warning nearby drivers.
  • The engine itself is mechanically quiet sounding.
  • Not sure if this is a pro yet, but the battery is lithium-based and very light and small. It is too early to determine if there are other advantages.

CONS:
  • Although Drive Mode works well, I have found that if you accelerate really hard (e.g. after completing a turn), the DCT tends to "stick" in first gear on its own for too long. This is annoying, but fixable instantly by (+) upshifting. If you accelerate hard, but somewhat gradually, this does not appear to happen in Drive Mode. As a note, I do have the Torque Mode set to "6" and Power set to "1" or "2".
  • As adventure bikes come, the AT is arguably the least ugly of the offerings. Nevertheless, it is still adventure-bike-ugly. If you squint hard enough (but not so hard that your eyeball pops out), it may have a few good angles. Maybe it is the exhaust can. Maybe something to change out down the road. I have seen some decent aftermarket offerings.
  • Tubed-tires: This model has them. The spoked-gold rims look nice, but I may consider a tubeless rim conversion kit in the future.
  • No clutch or similar method to emergency disengage powertrain. Have a heavy throttle wrist? Then you are going for a ride.
  • Final chain drive: As some forum members may recall, I like shaft drive. I wished this had a [R7] shaft drive, maybe like the BMW R1200GS.
  • I miss the steam dial tachometer. The LCD version is functional and responsive, but it is a little cold in character and gets washed out when the sunlight angle is just inconvenient.
  • Did not come with a factory center stand.
  • Compared to the '14 CB1100, freeway cruising engine RPM in sixth gear is about 700 RPM higher at around 120 km/h. However, you don't feel anything adverse. It is incredibly smooth.
  • There is an ambient air temperature reading on the instrument panel. However, I think it reads high by several degrees C. Too bad. Even my old Aprilia was spot on.
  • You can't bump start a DCT equipped bike. With care, it must be jumped.

WIP:
  • Cornering: I am still getting used to the high clearance and tall engine/fuel tank. General purpose cornering is very good, however, aggressive cornering requires more training with this machine ergonomics.
  • Factory windscreen: Wind noise and head buffeting is still being assessed. I will be adding a farkle that allows configuration of the existing screen. I hope to improve the experience.
  • Torque, engine braking and power are all user configurable at a flick of a switch. You can even override rear ABS for gravel road duties. This is arguably complex to some, however, once you understand what you want out of the AT, it is mostly a matter of recalling the profile from system memory.

SUMMARY:

The honeymoon is still on every time I mount this beast. This feelin' is what every rider expects when they mount their machine.
 
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