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IMO Honda has been producing motorcycles capable of 100,000 plus miles since the introduction of the CB750K in 69. They fit right in to the reliability and 100K club.
You're quite right, especially in the Goldwing category. There are many, many Goldwings out there with 100K, 200K and 300-350K miles on them and the motors haven't been touched, other than maintenance. I don't have anything against any brand motorcycle, (other than being LOUD when they don't need to be)(and that's the owners fault, not the bikes). One chooses what fits them, what appeals to them and or, is guided by input from multiple sources of experience. It's just that, I don't seem to see many Africa Twins on Adventure series shows or youtube vids. It seems that, at least for the ones I've watched, it's mostly BMW's.
The BMW Adventure bikes might be great machines for sure. Although I've owned a few other brands, I've been a Honda guy for most of my life. Heck, I've got a BMW K1600 GTL-E that I use for pleasure cruising and it's so far, an outstanding bike.
Scott
 

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Well, I think I can fairly respond to this, as I owned a 2018 BMW R1200GS Rallye for two years, and now I own a 2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports. I rode the BMW on several short rides, and one longer trip through Pennsylvania and New York, originating in Ontario.

For some reason I cannot [really] explain, I had several daytime close calls with the BMW. To be fair, I cannot specifically find fault with the BMW for this. Perhaps it was the lighting configuration (I even rode with the aux lights on during the day) or the color choice (blue with silver) that made it harder to see, but I cannot be sure. What I can be sure of, is that on three occasions of rapid braking to avoid a collision, I found the front end to be heavy, and starting to tip, feeling even heavier. In all three cases, I saved the bike, but the fact that these three heavy brake situations led to the tipping was more of the issue for me.

We all know that accident avoidance braking usually results in braking on the front, due to the easier nature of grabbing the front lever (especially if you constantly cover it, like me). I'm not sure if the BMW's brakes are linked to even out the braking, so I cannot say for sure that the higher brake pressure led to an over-abundance of front brake or not in my situations.

All-in-all, I didn't want to be riding something that felt cumbersome up front when I might have to perform an avoidance maneuver in traffic. I do not feel the same heft with the Africa Twin, despite it only being eight (8) pounds lighter on paper. In fact, I do not know how the two bikes could really weigh so similarly to one another when the Africa Twin feels so much lighter up front. This was the biggest issue for me by far. Everyone talks about the Boxer heads sticking out the sides as being a counterweight, lowering the center of gravity, and aiding balance. I liken it to a guy on tightrope holding a balance beam perpendicular to the rope. Sure, the beam helps him stay on the rope. If the beam tips too far to one side, however, the tightrope walker is history, following the lead of the beam toward the ground. I see the Boxer heads as creating the same problem. Challenge me if I'm wrong, engineers.

Yes, some of the BMW's plastics seem more substantial, the paint is fancier, and there's a few nicely machined tidbits on the bike (fork crowns, for example). The start button and switchgear are all nicely made as well. The BMW was also incredibly comfortable, the most comfortable motorcycle I've ever owned, but moving from a sport tourer and a more crouched position (VFR1200F) to the BMW was bound to be a large improvement. The Africa Twin is also comfortable, but I have yet to take it for an extended tour (come on, open the US border to the Canucks!). The windscreen on the BMW was also spot on perfect for me, and the screen itself is thick, durable, and nicely shaped, with an easy-adjust knob, and I like it better than the AT's. Overall, the bike was gorgeous, which made it hard to part company with.

The BMW nav unit was a bit fussy. It would only sometimes start when I started the bike. Once I shut it off and restarted it, it would then come on. I looked through the manual, but couldn't really come up with any reason why it would do that, but hey, not a big deal.

What was a big deal was the location of the nav unit, and the main TFT screen. They were both tilted for easy viewing, but sat up rather high in the cockpit....it made me constantly battle between looking at the road and looking at the screen, and that's just not the type of fight I'm interested in having while I'm riding a motorcycle. The road comes first. Period. Menu-driven stuff needs to be forgotten until you've stopped, and I prefer to have it all out of my riding view, only to be seen when I deliberately look down. The location of the TFT and nav, as well as the menu-driven nature of both are big fails for me, and I think that motorcycle "computing" has to take a different angle. It needs to be switch driven, with only lights to indicate when something is toggled on or off, similar to aircraft. And you can catch these lights out of the corner of your eye. There's just no room for treating your motorcycle like a personal computer while you're on the road, and it just can't be that way. The AT also has its screen menus, but the extra switchgear helps minimize the use of the screen, despite its complexity. I make computer-driven changes before I head out so that I don't have to bother with them at all. All in all, an advantage to the AT here, as the screen itself is positioned lower which doesn't irritate me.

Then there's the marketing. Okay, I fell for it once..."You need the dynamic ESA package for the suspension adjustment. Then you need the rider modes package (I believe it was separate). Then you need the touring package (different seat and heated grips, I think)." Even the TFT was extra in 2018. So to this, I say "S-you BMW. Why don't you just give me an excellent riding experience?" And this what I feel Honda has done, over and over and over again in their lineup (I miss you VFR1200F, very badly for this reason!). They look at the bike as a whole, and add what it needs to come up with an excellent feel, an excellent ride, an excellent handle, with what you need to enjoy yourself in a well-rounded manner. BMW was so obviously an upsell for every this- and that- that I felt like a total sucker for falling for it. So out it went.....I'll take Honda's overall impression of the riding experience first.

On the service note, yes, my oil change was expensive. It was part of an "initial service" of approximately $500, where the dealer checks this and that, but amounts to nothing.

On the reliability front, my dealer told me at the first service that several of my spokes had come loose and needed replacement under warranty, which he did. Well, that was unbeknownst to me, and I don't know what to say, other than I'd sure take a little bit of rust forming on the spokes over blowing the integrity of the wheel at speed.

As for riding it, I did find the handling on the BMW really quite nice and sporty; perhaps the Michelin Anakees were partly responsible for that because their rounded profile would make for easy tip-ins. I did not like the engine too much; it's too grunty, which I didn't like from the start. And it's tractor-like, not very exciting, and it tops out pretty early. Even at 125km/hr, the bike felt like it was topping out in sixth. Of course it would go higher, but it felt like I was taxing the engine to do it. As mentioned, the seat was amazing, making the bike rideable for hours. Coming to a stop at a stop light, like other big ADV bikes, it would tend to lean one way or the other, but turning my head slightly left alleviated the uncertainty with this. I did not, however, like the feel of the sideways motion of the pistons while at a stop. Although minor, it just felt strange to have these small sideways forces operating on the bike at a stop. A detail, I know, but hey, go try it and tell me what you think. And, by the way....I wouldn't say there was always a consistent pattern in the stroke either. It seemed like there was a bit of hit and miss going on, but perhaps that was by design, I don't know. Then there was the quickshifter, or was there one? The bike was very very lurchy with the quickshifter. It was bad enough for me to ask the dealer to have his mechanic test ride it to see if there was a problem. The answer was that, yes, the quickshifter was there, and that was how it operated. Because it was so jerky, I never used it. I couldn't imagine the gears would last long with such rough shifting.

So where and what is this exclusive BMW club? I had the hardest time selling this bike, and anyone who did come around was a serious low-baller and a broker joker. I see who they attract, it's a wide swath, but all of the ones I met did not match the "appreciation of the brand" with what my bike was worth. I put it for sale at a huge discount from new, and still, no one came to the table. There's no elbow-rubbing and beer stein clinking going on in the least. Nope. So the cache for BMW is just a writer's paradise as far as I'm concerned.

As for upgrading to an R1250GS with Shiftcam? I have no desire to add electronics into the engine at all. That area, to me, is supposed to be mechanical, and not a mix of mechanical and electronic. I'm not sure how it's working out for BMW, but I am concerned that it would be prone to failure at some point, due to the heat on the electronics. And then what? I think Ryan at F9 discusses how variable valve timing can work mechanically with a governor, as on the VStrom 1000, when he reviews the R1250GS.
 

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These are the two bikes. You cannot really scrutinize them equally from these, but perhaps I will get some other photos. I included the photo from an earlier post because it really demonstrates the difference in appearance, where the BMW appears to be bloated in the front end, likely because of the paralever front suspension. I'm not sure why it's still necessary when good quality adjustable forks are available. It seems redundant to me, adding weight and complexity to how the suspension operates. .
 

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That video is a hoot!

I will take a moment to say that the BMW riding gear is pretty slick. I don't know who makes the stuff but it almost looks like a racing driver's outfit. Beemer patches, world rally championship markings & a really good look. I would really like to see a comparable Honda AT outfit to impress the baristas with. Unfortunately I have to live with a Revit Sand outfit with no distinguishing marks of hubris or above-average means.

65133


Now that's a good-looking adventure-rider's outfit! Compared to my utilitarian Sand gear, my riding partner really stands out. Here I am, briefly considering suicide for fashion reasons.

65134
 

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I don't think there's anything wrong with your riding gear. BMW knows everyone is checking out their photos, so I'm sure they go to extraordinary lengths to make sure everything in them is pristine, including the rider's gear. I wouldn't be surprised if they custom tailor it to the rider, maybe swap out the real armor for smaller, thinner stuff, etc.
 

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...
All-in-all, I didn't want to be riding something that felt cumbersome up front when I might have to perform an avoidance maneuver in traffic. I do not feel the same heft with the Africa Twin, despite it only being eight (8) pounds lighter on paper. In fact, I do not know how the two bikes could really weigh so similarly to one another when the Africa Twin feels so much lighter up front. This was the biggest issue for me by far. Everyone talks about the Boxer heads sticking out the sides as being a counterweight, lowering the center of gravity, and aiding balance. I liken it to a guy on tightrope holding a balance beam perpendicular to the rope. Sure, the beam helps him stay on the rope. If the beam tips too far to one side, however, the tightrope walker is history, following the lead of the beam toward the ground. I see the Boxer heads as creating the same problem. Challenge me if I'm wrong, engineers.
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Not a challenge, just things to consider...

A bike doesn't rotate it's lean angle from the contact patch of the tire, it rotates on it's longitudinal center of mass. The ability of the front wheel to alter the bike's direction gives the bike the necessary movement to allow the rotation to be centered in that location.

Now take a baseball bat and balance it upright in the palm of your hand. It doesn't matter which end you hold up when weight is the question, but balancing that bat? It absolutely makes a difference which end is up when it comes to control and maintaining that upright status.

I don't know how many variables could be considered in determining the "whys" of the results when applied to a bike, but obvious ones are center of mass, wheelbase and speed. Steering geometry has its own variables...rake, trail, tire profile, wheel diameter and variable ride height dependent upon the length of suspension stroke. Other considerations for "handling" would include handle bar width, unsprung weight (inertia) and the strength/skill of the rider.

I'm sure BMW's TeleLever forks have more to do with controlling the lower center of mass than they do with any marketing speil. As far as I'm aware, the telelever keeps the rake fairly consistent throughout the range of suspension. One less variable = one more constant?

Funny thing about bikes...straight line stability doesn't contribute to cornering stability, and vice versa. Toss in the pitching of deceleration/acceleration and the idea that a bike is even a viable form of transportation is simply astonishing. lol
 

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Well, I think I can fairly respond to this, as I owned a 2018 BMW R1200GS Rallye for two years, and now I own a 2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sports. I rode the BMW on several short rides, and one longer trip through Pennsylvania and New York, originating in Ontario.

For some reason I cannot [really] explain, I had several daytime close calls with the BMW. To be fair, I cannot specifically find fault with the BMW for this. Perhaps it was the lighting configuration (I even rode with the aux lights on during the day) or the color choice (blue with silver) that made it harder to see, but I cannot be sure. What I can be sure of, is that on three occasions of rapid braking to avoid a collision, I found the front end to be heavy, and starting to tip, feeling even heavier. In all three cases, I saved the bike, but the fact that these three heavy brake situations led to the tipping was more of the issue for me.

We all know that accident avoidance braking usually results in braking on the front, due to the easier nature of grabbing the front lever (especially if you constantly cover it, like me). I'm not sure if the BMW's brakes are linked to even out the braking, so I cannot say for sure that the higher brake pressure led to an over-abundance of front brake or not in my situations.

All-in-all, I didn't want to be riding something that felt cumbersome up front when I might have to perform an avoidance maneuver in traffic. I do not feel the same heft with the Africa Twin, despite it only being eight (8) pounds lighter on paper. In fact, I do not know how the two bikes could really weigh so similarly to one another when the Africa Twin feels so much lighter up front. This was the biggest issue for me by far. Everyone talks about the Boxer heads sticking out the sides as being a counterweight, lowering the center of gravity, and aiding balance. I liken it to a guy on tightrope holding a balance beam perpendicular to the rope. Sure, the beam helps him stay on the rope. If the beam tips too far to one side, however, the tightrope walker is history, following the lead of the beam toward the ground. I see the Boxer heads as creating the same problem. Challenge me if I'm wrong, engineers.

Yes, some of the BMW's plastics seem more substantial, the paint is fancier, and there's a few nicely machined tidbits on the bike (fork crowns, for example). The start button and switchgear are all nicely made as well. The BMW was also incredibly comfortable, the most comfortable motorcycle I've ever owned, but moving from a sport tourer and a more crouched position (VFR1200F) to the BMW was bound to be a large improvement. The Africa Twin is also comfortable, but I have yet to take it for an extended tour (come on, open the US border to the Canucks!). The windscreen on the BMW was also spot on perfect for me, and the screen itself is thick, durable, and nicely shaped, with an easy-adjust knob, and I like it better than the AT's. Overall, the bike was gorgeous, which made it hard to part company with.

The BMW nav unit was a bit fussy. It would only sometimes start when I started the bike. Once I shut it off and restarted it, it would then come on. I looked through the manual, but couldn't really come up with any reason why it would do that, but hey, not a big deal.

What was a big deal was the location of the nav unit, and the main TFT screen. They were both tilted for easy viewing, but sat up rather high in the cockpit....it made me constantly battle between looking at the road and looking at the screen, and that's just not the type of fight I'm interested in having while I'm riding a motorcycle. The road comes first. Period. Menu-driven stuff needs to be forgotten until you've stopped, and I prefer to have it all out of my riding view, only to be seen when I deliberately look down. The location of the TFT and nav, as well as the menu-driven nature of both are big fails for me, and I think that motorcycle "computing" has to take a different angle. It needs to be switch driven, with only lights to indicate when something is toggled on or off, similar to aircraft. And you can catch these lights out of the corner of your eye. There's just no room for treating your motorcycle like a personal computer while you're on the road, and it just can't be that way. The AT also has its screen menus, but the extra switchgear helps minimize the use of the screen, despite its complexity. I make computer-driven changes before I head out so that I don't have to bother with them at all. All in all, an advantage to the AT here, as the screen itself is positioned lower which doesn't irritate me.

Then there's the marketing. Okay, I fell for it once..."You need the dynamic ESA package for the suspension adjustment. Then you need the rider modes package (I believe it was separate). Then you need the touring package (different seat and heated grips, I think)." Even the TFT was extra in 2018. So to this, I say "S-you BMW. Why don't you just give me an excellent riding experience?" And this what I feel Honda has done, over and over and over again in their lineup (I miss you VFR1200F, very badly for this reason!). They look at the bike as a whole, and add what it needs to come up with an excellent feel, an excellent ride, an excellent handle, with what you need to enjoy yourself in a well-rounded manner. BMW was so obviously an upsell for every this- and that- that I felt like a total sucker for falling for it. So out it went.....I'll take Honda's overall impression of the riding experience first.

On the service note, yes, my oil change was expensive. It was part of an "initial service" of approximately $500, where the dealer checks this and that, but amounts to nothing.

On the reliability front, my dealer told me at the first service that several of my spokes had come loose and needed replacement under warranty, which he did. Well, that was unbeknownst to me, and I don't know what to say, other than I'd sure take a little bit of rust forming on the spokes over blowing the integrity of the wheel at speed.

As for riding it, I did find the handling on the BMW really quite nice and sporty; perhaps the Michelin Anakees were partly responsible for that because their rounded profile would make for easy tip-ins. I did not like the engine too much; it's too grunty, which I didn't like from the start. And it's tractor-like, not very exciting, and it tops out pretty early. Even at 125km/hr, the bike felt like it was topping out in sixth. Of course it would go higher, but it felt like I was taxing the engine to do it. As mentioned, the seat was amazing, making the bike rideable for hours. Coming to a stop at a stop light, like other big ADV bikes, it would tend to lean one way or the other, but turning my head slightly left alleviated the uncertainty with this. I did not, however, like the feel of the sideways motion of the pistons while at a stop. Although minor, it just felt strange to have these small sideways forces operating on the bike at a stop. A detail, I know, but hey, go try it and tell me what you think. And, by the way....I wouldn't say there was always a consistent pattern in the stroke either. It seemed like there was a bit of hit and miss going on, but perhaps that was by design, I don't know. Then there was the quickshifter, or was there one? The bike was very very lurchy with the quickshifter. It was bad enough for me to ask the dealer to have his mechanic test ride it to see if there was a problem. The answer was that, yes, the quickshifter was there, and that was how it operated. Because it was so jerky, I never used it. I couldn't imagine the gears would last long with such rough shifting.

So where and what is this exclusive BMW club? I had the hardest time selling this bike, and anyone who did come around was a serious low-baller and a broker joker. I see who they attract, it's a wide swath, but all of the ones I met did not match the "appreciation of the brand" with what my bike was worth. I put it for sale at a huge discount from new, and still, no one came to the table. There's no elbow-rubbing and beer stein clinking going on in the least. Nope. So the cache for BMW is just a writer's paradise as far as I'm concerned.

As for upgrading to an R1250GS with Shiftcam? I have no desire to add electronics into the engine at all. That area, to me, is supposed to be mechanical, and not a mix of mechanical and electronic. I'm not sure how it's working out for BMW, but I am concerned that it would be prone to failure at some point, due to the heat on the electronics. And then what? I think Ryan at F9 discusses how variable valve timing can work mechanically with a governor, as on the VStrom 1000, when he reviews the R1250GS.
Well you said it right. It is the most comfortable and has the best wind protection. Plus the handling is great. That’s the reason I ride one about every day.
 

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I like the Africa Twin for the small back roads we do around here in Texas. But if I’m going to put on big miles and travel it’s the GSA.
 

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Well, after finally getting a chance to log some miles on the Africa Twin, I can safely say that I'm totally fine with taking mine on long trips. I might consider updating the seat, as others have suggested, but I find everything else about it quite fine. The wind protection is nearly perfect, but if I sit really erect, I do feel a small amount of turbulence, just enough to cause some tremor. If I lean forward slightly, it's gone. I think I could go with a taller screen, or just set it lower and let the clean air just hit me.
Other than that, I'm really happy with it, especially the tight turning circle and excellent balance at slow speed. Very confidence inspiring.
And the engine is a huge huge plus over my previous gen boxer. Way smoother, way more powerful, way more linear. I don't know how anyone could top this 1200 with another1200 twin of any configuration.
 

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Well, after finally getting a chance to log some miles on the Africa Twin, I can safely say that I'm totally fine with taking mine on long trips. I might consider updating the seat, as others have suggested, but I find everything else about it quite fine. The wind protection is nearly perfect, but if I sit really erect, I do feel a small amount of turbulence, just enough to cause some tremor. If I lean forward slightly, it's gone. I think I could go with a taller screen, or just set it lower and let the clean air just hit me.
Other than that, I'm really happy with it, especially the tight turning circle and excellent balance at slow speed. Very confidence inspiring.
And the engine is a huge huge plus over my previous gen boxer. Way smoother, way more powerful, way more linear. I don't know how anyone could top this 1200 with another1200 twin of any configuration.
1200? The CRF1100 is 1084 cc. Referring to the Africa Twin?
 

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Ahh, how right you are! It's funny that I referred to it as a 1200 because I always compare it to the 1200 Boxxer engine in the BMW. Funny how an 1100 Honda engine can be better (subjectively, I guess?) than a larger displacement engine from another maker! 😁😁😁
 

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Ahh, how right you are! It's funny that I referred to it as a 1200 because I always compare it to the 1200 Boxxer engine in the BMW. Funny how an 1100 Honda engine can be better (subjectively, I guess?) than a larger displacement engine from another maker! 😁😁😁
Not a problem. I thought maybe I was misunderstanding myself. o_O

Yes, Honda seems to make the most of their low'ish power-on-paper with many of their motorcycle offerings - cages too.
 

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I'd like to see Honda do a competition like the GS Trophy. That would be interesting watching.
Honda South Africa offers an alternative to the GS Trophy that takes riders through some of the harshest terrain in sub-Saharan Africa, in the middle of summer, known as the Honda Quest. Like the GS Trophy riders have to qualify and then are paired up with each of the seven teams-of-two supplied with a manual and a DCT (although for 2021 all bikes will be DCT). The winning team get to keep their bikes. Do a search on Youtube for Honda Quest.
 

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Honda South Africa offers an alternative to the GS Trophy that takes riders through some of the harshest terrain in sub-Saharan Africa, in the middle of summer, known as the Honda Quest. Like the GS Trophy riders have to qualify and then are paired up with each of the seven teams-of-two supplied with a manual and a DCT (although for 2021 all bikes will be DCT). The winning team get to keep their bikes. Do a search on Youtube for Honda Quest.
This is exactly what I was looking for. I keep getting BMW GS Trophy b.s. and can not find anything comparable for something like the AT, but now I did. If only there would be something like the Dakar-rally for heavy motorcycles, that would be fun. Just to see AT's, Tigers, Tenere's and GS's compete (if BMW would even join the party).
 

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This is exactly what I was looking for. I keep getting BMW GS Trophy b.s. and can not find anything comparable for something like the AT, but now I did. If only there would be something like the Dakar-rally for heavy motorcycles, that would be fun. Just to see AT's, Tigers, Tenere's and GS's compete (if BMW would even join the party).
I was thinking about this idea too...a place where you can run these bikes on hard-packed dirt or gravel roads for long distances at higher speeds. I think the Australian Outback might be the place to do this. Wondering if there's anything in Europe or North America, though?
 

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Not a problem. I thought maybe I was misunderstanding myself. o_O

Yes, Honda seems to make the most of their low'ish power-on-paper with many of their motorcycle offerings - cages too.
FWIW, I've been told that their lower specs on paper are designed to keep insurance costs more reasonable, which makes sense to me.
Having owned an R1200GS and Africa Twin (1100), the Africa Twin engine is by far the better accelerator of the two.
 
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