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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, Steve here (aka Foss/Fossil). While I am new to this forum (and a self-confessed computer idiot), I am far from new to motorcycling. I am 71 years "young", as they say, and have been riding and/or racing since the early '70s. I currently have 17 bikes in my possession, some of which are ongoing projects. I have been really into the vintage bikes for about the last 25 years and keep a garage full of them. However, I also keep some modern bikes to ride also. That's where I could use some input from "those who know" here. I just sold my Kawasaki Concours 1400 and am strongly considering an Africa Twin as my next "rider". I raced off-road (enduros & scrambles) for over 40 years so this switch isn't as strange as it might seem. Anyway, on to the info I am seeking. I would like to get REAL input as to the REAL likes/dislikes about the DCT vs manual models of the AT. I know the "automatic" is cool, neat, different, etc. . But how do you who have put quite a bit of time on them have to say? And a few specific questions I have are: Are there maintenance issues that the manual don't have? Can you "bump-start" the bike, if ever needed? What is the resale difference between the two. Will the manual be harder to sell down the road? Are the manuals less desireable. I raced through the Rokon and Husky automatic era (I know this isn't the same) and figured some day a manufacturer would perfect an automatic and market it and apparently Honda has done it. Bottom line, I guess, is I am old school and shifting is just part of riding to me and it in no way offends me so I guess I am waiting for enough info to be persuaded to go with the DCT. I have two friends that have them and love it. I'm just not sure yet. Anyway, any input that I can add to what I read and see on the reviews would be really great. Thanks in advance. Foss
 

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Greetings, Steve here (aka Foss/Fossil). While I am new to this forum (and a self-confessed computer idiot), I am far from new to motorcycling. I am 71 years "young", as they say, and have been riding and/or racing since the early '70s. I currently have 17 bikes in my possession, some of which are ongoing projects. I have been really into the vintage bikes for about the last 25 years and keep a garage full of them. However, I also keep some modern bikes to ride also. That's where I could use some input from "those who know" here. I just sold my Kawasaki Concours 1400 and am strongly considering an Africa Twin as my next "rider". I raced off-road (enduros & scrambles) for over 40 years so this switch isn't as strange as it might seem. Anyway, on to the info I am seeking. I would like to get REAL input as to the REAL likes/dislikes about the DCT vs manual models of the AT. I know the "automatic" is cool, neat, different, etc. . But how do you who have put quite a bit of time on them have to say? And a few specific questions I have are: Are there maintenance issues that the manual don't have? Can you "bump-start" the bike, if ever needed? What is the resale difference between the two. Will the manual be harder to sell down the road? Are the manuals less desireable. I raced through the Rokon and Husky automatic era (I know this isn't the same) and figured some day a manufacturer would perfect an automatic and market it and apparently Honda has done it. Bottom line, I guess, is I am old school and shifting is just part of riding to me and it in no way offends me so I guess I am waiting for enough info to be persuaded to go with the DCT. I have two friends that have them and love it. I'm just not sure yet. Anyway, any input that I can add to what I read and see on the reviews would be really great. Thanks in advance. Foss
Thanks, wanting one also. Perfect questions, looking forward to the answers, especially about that DCT. I just can't see myself buying that. 55 years young here. Hard to break what you are used to.

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Can’t answer all your questions but can at least attest to how good the dct is. To be honest, I have not ridden a manual AT. Test drove the dct and knew it was the bike for me so bought it without giving the manual a try. No regrets. You can still put it in manual mode and shift as you want. I pretty much always just ride in S2 and manually override if I think I know better. Doesn’t happy often. I have had 0 issues with the bike. Plan on keeping it for a long time. I did tell my wife it would be the last bike I’d buy (again).


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Why change?

so I guess I am waiting for enough info to be persuaded to go with the DCT. I have two friends that have them and love it. I'm just not sure yet.
If you're happy with a manual box, and have no specific reasons to go with the DCT (hand pain or fatigue, lots of stop-start commuting, etc.) then I would stick with a manual. I like the DCT, but it's a very personal thing.
 

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@fossilrider
in 2013 a good friend of mine (Brit Ex-Pat) bought my Honda Varadero XL1000V off me in Portugal before I moved to Canada. He later sold it because he said it felt too heavy, and bought a 2017 AT DCT. He restores old bikes and has about as many as you in his 'stable' ranging from 1913 onwards.
Now you can imagine that he knows all about changing gear by hand, advance and retard ignition levers, fuel mix levers on the bars, manual engine oil pumps etc. He absolutely loves the DCT and you won't get any more of an old school bike lover/restorer than him.

Oh! After arriving in Canada I bought a Triumph Tiger 1050. Great bike also but in August 2017 I finally went for a new 2017 DCT. It's been a great bike so far. No faults and totally reliable. It took very little time at all to get used to not grabbing for a clutch lever ;) Will I ever go back to a manual? I sincerely doubt it. For your information I'm 61.
See if you can get a test ride... I'm sure you'll not be disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks All, for the input. Never thought I would be so torn over an issue like this when buying a bike. Yes, both of the friends who have the DCT have encouraged me to come ride their bikes. Guess that might settle it for me.? James, how on earth did you end up in East Sooke? I had to look it up since I was born in Port Angeles, Wa. (just across the strait) and still have family there, though I was raised here in Tennessee. I have put together most of the funds to buy the AT and have started to shop. There are some killer deals out there on '17 and '18 bikes brand new, and some nice used units with add-ons at good prices. I know they say "the hunt is part of the fun" but I am about ready to pull the trigger and am just trying to get all the info I can so I don't end up with buyer's remorse. Of course there have been very few bikes that I have ever bought that I was really disappointed in. Thanks again. Foss
 

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Recent posts on here have illustrated to me what a fantastic job Honda have done with the DCT. I will see one post where a guy says for instance he uses S2 as his default, and I think 'eh!'. Then another will say he only ever uses Manual and I think 'Eh!'. Me I use them all - s3 if I want to get a move on D in gravel mode if the conditions are bad, sometime S1 in slow city riding (almost never use manual though).
But the point is no one way of using the DCT is right - Honda have given us a huge choice and they have even given us the option of using it like a traditional bike if we wish (the optional foot pedal gear change).
I sometimes wonder if Honda had launched this bike as a 'manual electronic clutch gearbox' bike that they would have converted more of the traditional brigade. They could then have launched an SE model with an auto option added on :)
Mike
 

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Thanks All, for the input. Never thought I would be so torn over an issue like this when buying a bike. Yes, both of the friends who have the DCT have encouraged me to come ride their bikes. Guess that might settle it for me.? James, how on earth did you end up in East Sooke? I had to look it up since I was born in Port Angeles, Wa. (just across the strait) and still have family there, though I was raised here in Tennessee. I have put together most of the funds to buy the AT and have started to shop. There are some killer deals out there on '17 and '18 bikes brand new, and some nice used units with add-ons at good prices. I know they say "the hunt is part of the fun" but I am about ready to pull the trigger and am just trying to get all the info I can so I don't end up with buyer's remorse. Of course there have been very few bikes that I have ever bought that I was really disappointed in. Thanks again. Foss
I'm about ready to pull the trigger also. I'm going for manual. Looking at a 17 new for $9999.00
If you pull first, can you let me know what the details were ? I'm worried about advertised price , all their BS fees, and then actual out the door price.

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Thanks All, for the input. Never thought I would be so torn over an issue like this when buying a bike. Yes, both of the friends who have the DCT have encouraged me to come ride their bikes. Guess that might settle it for me.? James, how on earth did you end up in East Sooke? I had to look it up since I was born in Port Angeles, Wa. (just across the strait) and still have family there, though I was raised here in Tennessee. I have put together most of the funds to buy the AT and have started to shop. There are some killer deals out there on '17 and '18 bikes brand new, and some nice used units with add-ons at good prices. I know they say "the hunt is part of the fun" but I am about ready to pull the trigger and am just trying to get all the info I can so I don't end up with buyer's remorse. Of course there have been very few bikes that I have ever bought that I was really disappointed in. Thanks again. Foss
Why don't you test ride both? Honda normally has events where you can get the opportunity. I actually test rode an Africa Twin DCT in Nanaimo, British Columbia at a test ride event at VI Honda. Even though it was raining we rode anyways. Hard to pick up all the nuances in such a short ride, but as I recall it rode well. Again short ride, but I wasn't too keen on not being able to blip the throttle. I'm so used to that and in low speed maneuvers on and off road I think its a must. There's a great video on YouTube that I recommend you watch. Father/son in the Pyrenees. Son on old AT and father on DCT AT. Really good footage and break down on the pluses/minuses and how he overcame the small minuses. In the end as I recall the gentleman stayed with the DCT. Btw us I bought a manual 2017. hahahaha. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have ridden the manual and loved it. now just called one of the friends with the DCT and he is going to call me in the next day or so when he can get away so we can go for a ride. Being an old dirt rider, I still lean toward the manual, but that might all change once I ride the DCT. One of the things that most concerns me is the resale of the manual. I just sold my Kawi 1400 and thought I would NEVER sell it.? I still don't know why those bikes are so hard to sell. Great bikes with a killer motor, handling, brakes, etc.
, but hard to sell. I don't want to get into that situation again, if I can help it. Not that I would plan on selling the AT any time soon, but when I decide to move it. Anyway, I will keep posting on the search/decision, for those interested. Foss
 

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Spain

There's a great video on YouTube that I recommend you watch. Father/son in the Pyrenees. Son on old AT and father on DCT AT. Really good footage and break down on the pluses/minuses and how he overcame the small minuses.
It's a good one isn't it. I also watched this before going ahead and ordering my DCT. Now riding the gravel roads in northern Spain is something I've put on my rider bucket list.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, let it never be said that I can't make a decision! Bought a manual model today. Let me explain. I made a trip to the Honda dealership today and found a gorgeous left-over '17 DCT for $10,300 and, if I had had a little more money in my funds for this purchase, would probably have bought it then and there. Since I didn't, I told the salesman I would think about it for a day or two (while I scraped up the rest of the money). After I left the shop, my friend (that was going to let me try his DCT tomorrow) called me and said one of his other friends was ready to sell his '16 manual model (same color as the new one: red, black,white) with 3k miles on it and he thought I could get it for $7,500! Long story, short, went and looked and, since it looked new, bought it. Just got it home and went for a short blast and came back grinning from ear to ear. My friends with the DCT models wished it had been a DCT but certainly understood the decision. So... thanks to all for the input. Not sure it affected my decision in this case, but it is appreciated anyway. now on to the accessories. I have a Givi monokey top case that I will make an adapter for, if they don't make one, and start looking for the best bang for the buck in panniers. At this point, that is all I plan to add. Thanks again, Foss
 

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Well, let it never be said that I can't make a decision! Bought a manual model today. Let me explain. I made a trip to the Honda dealership today and found a gorgeous left-over '17 DCT for $10,300 and, if I had had a little more money in my funds for this purchase, would probably have bought it then and there. Since I didn't, I told the salesman I would think about it for a day or two (while I scraped up the rest of the money). After I left the shop, my friend (that was going to let me try his DCT tomorrow) called me and said one of his other friends was ready to sell his '16 manual model (same color as the new one: red, black,white) with 3k miles on it and he thought I could get it for $7,500! Long story, short, went and looked and, since it looked new, bought it. Just got it home and went for a short blast and came back grinning from ear to ear. My friends with the DCT models wished it had been a DCT but certainly understood the decision. So... thanks to all for the input. Not sure it affected my decision in this case, but it is appreciated anyway. now on to the accessories. I have a Givi monokey top case that I will make an adapter for, if they don't make one, and start looking for the best bang for the buck in panniers. At this point, that is all I plan to add. Thanks again, Foss
Awesome..congrats and enjoy.

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Good choice moneywise!!
Just do not forget there is a DCT out there waiting for you somewhere.
Just put it in your bucket list and get it whenever you feel you are ready. It is worth it!!
 

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DCT is great! It is very easy to use, but it has a long learning curve to really understand it. Best way to really learn it is to own the bike for a while. In the end, if you really dislike it, just sell the bike. It is not like an automatic in a car with a torque converter. It is more comparable to the SMG and DCT transmissions in performance cars like Ferrari for example.
BTW I have two DCT bikes.
Recommendation: Get the DCT bike to learn about something new.
 

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Having tried the DCT, it is without doubt an incredible well engineered transmission. As someone who only rides for pleasure and spent a working life dealing with automated manual transmissions in trucks, I decided to go with the manual, I enjoy changing gear and prefer the simplicity of a manual gearbox. A quick scan of the shop manual alone shows the sophistication and potential for issues, not so much when the bike is new, but a few years down the road. I guess it also depends on how close you live to a dealer. In summary, I would have loved to have bought one, but as a non-commuter, was attracted to the simplicity of the manual. Apologies to the DCT fraternity for being a simplicity loving dinosaur. I would also add that if you want a DCT then get one.
 

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IMO if MAN would learn to leave things be instead of always trying to FIX them, things....and life , would be a little bit easier. "Don't fix it of it ain't broke".

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Well, let it never be said that I can't make a decision! Bought a manual model today. Let me explain. I made a trip to the Honda dealership today and found a gorgeous left-over '17 DCT for $10,300 and, if I had had a little more money in my funds for this purchase, would probably have bought it then and there. Since I didn't, I told the salesman I would think about it for a day or two (while I scraped up the rest of the money). After I left the shop, my friend (that was going to let me try his DCT tomorrow) called me and said one of his other friends was ready to sell his '16 manual model (same color as the new one: red, black,white) with 3k miles on it and he thought I could get it for $7,500! Long story, short, went and looked and, since it looked new, bought it. Just got it home and went for a short blast and came back grinning from ear to ear. My friends with the DCT models wished it had been a DCT but certainly understood the decision. So... thanks to all for the input. Not sure it affected my decision in this case, but it is appreciated anyway. now on to the accessories. I have a Givi monokey top case that I will make an adapter for, if they don't make one, and start looking for the best bang for the buck in panniers. At this point, that is all I plan to add. Thanks again, Foss
It was a great deal, so I can't knock your decision :)
As I have often commented, elsewhere, most people that buy DCT's are happy with their decision. Equally, most that choose manuals are happy with their decision also.
At the end of the day DCT or manual they are all Africa Twins and will provide years of fun. Yeah, some will have faults, as with any bike brand, but I doubt if very many will be total show stoppers. So far my 2017DCT has been totally reliable. 10,000+km.
 

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James, how on earth did you end up in East Sooke?
Hah! Long story.

Short version....
We were based in the Algarve, Portugal. Went to visit my Dad (He lived in Victoria, Vancouver Island), liked the area (South Island) and decided to move there. Emigrated. Found a log home online - Bought it, and here we are :)
 

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