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Why the new AT?

I acquired an original 1988 AT five years ago; immaculate JDM model with 20,000 km [12,000 ml] on it.
Since then it's gone places a big bike shouldn't go, been used as a commuter and loaded with camping gear for weeks on the road. It could do with some new valve stem seals now @ 65,000km, but it still starts with half a crank and gets on with it.

It's basic, slow, clunky and brilliant. In isolation all the parts that make it are very average, but it works, and continues to do so, way above what you would expect.

Now the old timer is retired - never to be sold - and the CRF1K has taken over.

Despite 28 years between them the same traits remain: basic [for a new bike], average components and not real quick.

I had a KTM950 ADV before the old AT and it was fantastic except for one thing: it was a KTM.

All I ever wanted was a Japanese bike maker to say "lets make our own KTM 950, but we will make it start easy, put it together properly and easier to fix".

Honda seem to be the first manufacturer who has done this so far. Others will probably follow with more sensible engine [smaller] and fuel tank [bigger] sizes. Currently it's the only multi-cylinder rig out there that is fairly dirt-able with my dodgy riding ability.

Sorry Triumph, your Tiger 800 felt like a 'loose' used bike sitting in the showroom with no miles on it. BMW 800 GSA seemed like a good idea until I looked into the ownership hassles - going back to the dealer to replace a minor electrical item because they have to make the CANBUS system 'recognise' the new part; get real.

Of course the CRF1K too heavy and big to be a real dirt bike. A trail bike is for playing in gnarly mud/sand, big hills and thick undergrowth. The more scratched the plastics are = the more dumb things to have ago at.

Anyway, after trying to ride 240 kg of wayward Honda, I feel like an enduro god on the little bike : )
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