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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Why buy an Africa Twin CRF1000L?

[Part I]
I’ve been reading elsewhere online and it seems too many people are expecting a new Honda 50/50 ADV bike to outperform all others on or off road. There is not one bike out there, that I am aware of, that does everything better than any other bike, so the debate will go on forever and get nowhere.

The CRF1000L has a 1000cc engine, so power is not an issue for me. It’ll get me where I want at a pretty snappy pace, if thats what I want on the day. My Varadero did and power wise the CRF1000L is no different, but its a lighter than the Vara with a lower COG.
From all the responses I’ve read the CRF1000L’s transmission (manual or DCT) is fine. My choice is DCT. Any little quirks I will learn to deal with, so I have no concerns there.

To me, what really counts is.
Is the bike reliable?
Does it have enough power to meet my needs? (Not, how much power does it have compared to the bike next door!)
Is the bike reliable?
Can I tour 1000’s of km on road with it and expect a predictable handling result?
Is the bike reliable?
Can I ride on unmade roads, tracks and logging roads and will the bike handle that in a predictable manner?
Is the bike reliable?
Will I be happy with my choice of colour ;) LOL ?
Is the bike reliable?


[Part II]
Put a professional rider, experienced in either environment, on a CRF1000L and those that say the bike isn't that good on or off road would be left in the dust, or exhaust fumes, wondering on what authority they made the statement that the bike is crap/lacklustre/poor on or off road.

Honda has designed and marketed the AT to be a 50/50 On/Off road ADV bike. For that very reason it will never be better (in all respects) off road than a bike designed purely for off road use. Equally it will never match a pure bred road bike (in all respects) for on road use either. That having been said, I would suggest that the ‘majority’ of ADV riders out there might not have the ability, or inclination, to stretch the bike to the limit both on road and off road and experience short comings, at the limit of riding/bike handling, in both riding environments. There will always be exceptions.

Sure, there will be 'technical' discussion points.. how much weight the rear shock can handle, pre load settings, how well a 21 inch wheel handles twisties on the road, grip on the road for 50/50 tyres or off road grip for 90/10 tyres, front diving under hard braking.
Put a professional rider, experienced in either environment, on a CRF1000L and those that say the bike isn't that good on or off road would be left in the dust, or exhaust fumes, wondering on what authority they made the statement that the bike is crap/lacklustre/poor on or off road.


[Part III]
I owned a Honda Varadero XL1000V for 10 years and ran it with 90/10 tyres, touring all over Europe. There are plenty of road bikes out there that with the right rider, in no fancy riding gear, would knock the Vara way down the charts for cornering on road because it’s certainly no pocket rocket!. I'm no road warrior, but on a few notable occasions I met and left behind blinged up ‘pocket rockets’ (looking like fully sponsored track bikes) on 100% road/track tyres, with riders touting all the latest fashion in sports bike leathers (including speed humps FFS - never did get what that was all about on a road bike).

If you feel you are an average rider and want an ADV bike with a useful amount of power to tour on road and on unmade roads (such as logging tracks) then the AT has to tick a lot of your boxes.

If you are a super on road and off road warrior and expect the AT to match bikes made for each different environment you are in for disappointment and will need to buy two bikes to meet with your high, but narrowly focused, expectations.

If you want to out drag other road bikes off the lights, and win, get a different bike with more HP!

[Part IV]
Short term (in the last year or so) the CRF1000L seems to be reliable overall. As for long term reliably of the bike, who knows but, given the numbers sold and the feedback so far, the prognoses is looking pretty good at this juncture.

Bearing in mind that ‘Adventure’ riding is not all about how capable the bike is off road (to the n'th degree) with the latest tricked out ADV bike. I’ve seen a you tube video series of a young British couple riding Honda C90’s across Canada in the winter camping out in -35deg C!. That was adventure riding and no mistake about it! They were on road and off road on occasions. No ABS, Traction Control, DCT Drive or DCT Sports modes. No Heated grips, tailor made panniers, extra LED driving lights, gear change extenders, tailor made screens, bark busters, engine bars, bash plates etc.
Are C90’s adventure bikes? Nope!
But they surely had more of an adventure than many on this forum will ever have on Factory designed $20k ADV bikes, loaded up with all the Farkles, debating who's make of bike or Manual V DCT, is better than who's on or off road, which gadgets are best etc.
Its great to share information but lets not get too anal about it eh?

Just get out there, ride and have an Adventure!
 

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There is another way of looking at it.
For me the CRF1000 is what the Honda Crosstourer should have been AS A ROAD BIKE. The handling, suspension and riding position of the Africa Twin IMHO beats the Crosstourer hands down for on road use. So if you want an upright-seated reasonably powered, economical, great handling ROAD bike with DCT then your only choice is the CRF1000. (And I'm talking with direct experience of the NC750X range as well)
Mike
 

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There might be a handful of people slagging off the AT and professing one bike is better than another but I am not so sure there is a slew of people expecting Nirvana in the bike is there? Those with a bitch tend to shout the loudest and those that like the bike, by far the greater majority, sit back content they purchased something they like. Hopefully these forums bring about useful hints and tips we can all use to increase the enjoyment of our own bike, I know I have benefitted from others experiences and have made purchases based on other peoples feedback.

There is almost certainly a better bike in every category you care to mention, be it long distance tourer, hard nosed off roader, single laner, smooth tarmac etc etc and I think we all know that in reality. It is also true to say though that it doesnt matter what a "professional rider" might do with an AT in either environment, its a mute point, we are mostly "average" by our very nature and it is our average experiences that count, not what a pro can do. Discussing the failings of the bike Vs another is like a snake eating its own tail though, very boring forum material!
 

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My ST1300 is a far better road bike and my CR500 is a far better dirt bike. The Queen is a compromise but in my view, an excellent one. It is serving the purpose I intended: be comfortable on the road, on my way to some fun off road adventure. I like it.
 

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Outback Highway, Australia - 2,800 km of dirt road; Oodnadatta Track, an awesome 620 km dirt road; Tanami Road, 1000 km of dirt. Plus the 1000 km of sealed road to get out there. Anyone care to do that lot on a 250 dirt bike, or an FJR Yam? I'll take the Africa Twin thanks.
 

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I have been a Harley rider for the last 30 years: Dynas, Sporties, Glides......and while HDs are admittedly superior for long range highway touring, the Twin is nearly as good, and better in some ways: The ergos are perfect for me, and the only place the AT fails (for me) as a tourer is stability in inclement weather and heavy crosswinds (exacerbated by the panniers and top box), but it is still manageable. Just finished a Great Lakes tour/ride with my lady, who was riding my Fat Bob. We crossed Indiana south to north using only two-lanes. At the tip of Lake Michigan, we had to use interstates/toll roads to get to Chicago, and got caught up in a heavy squall, with serious crosswinds and semis. I had to fight the Twin to keep it upright, but my girl just plowed through it all like nothing on the 700 lb Fat Bob. Did a fair amount of dune dashing on the lakeshore while she was in camp. Stock tyres. Was like riding a giant 250 dual sport. Easy to stand up on, and just steer with the throttle. I find the AT to be just about the perfect do-it-all bike: Take it on 500 miles of Tarmac with wilderness at the end of the road miles, and keep going. It is like a sportbike on the street (people carp about "only" 100 HP.....they must be coming off Ducatis or such), and like a big 250 in the rough. On top of that, I ride it to work every day. Never been happier with a bike or design.
 

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I have a 2012 Concours and a 2007 KLR 650. The Africa Twin sits perfectly in the middle and is quickly becoming my favorite bike. I like them all for different reasons. Like having a Telecaster and a Les Paul. Both are great guitars but it depends on what you are doing at the time.
 
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