Author Topic: Which Adventure Bike Suits You?  (Read 237 times)

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james.mc

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Which Adventure Bike Suits You?
« on: July 05, 2017, 09:59:45 »
Why buy an Africa Twin CRF1000L?

(Part I)
Iíve 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.  Itíll  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 Iíve read the CRF1000Lís 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 1000ís 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 Ďmajorityí 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 itís certainly no pocket rocket!.  I'm no road warrior, but on a few notable occasions I met and left behind blinged up Ďpocket rocketsí (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 ĎAdventureí riding is not all about how capable the bike is off road (to the n'th degree) with the latest tricked out ADV bike.   Iíve seen a you tube video series of a young British couple riding Honda C90ís 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 C90ís 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!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 10:04:05 by james.mc »
regards
James Mc
Honda-Adventure-Riders

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Current: 2008 Triumph Tiger 1050
Previous: 2003 Honda Varadero XL1000V (bought 2003, sold 2013 - Sadly left behind in Europe)

varonda

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Re: Which Adventure Bike Suits You?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 11:57:45 »
 You said it and I totally agree with everything you say -- only thing I'll add is ' lerrem  em geron wi it '  [ Yorky speak]  VCIF_ThumbUp VCIF_ThumbUp
If the truth fits---wear it !!!!

james.mc

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Re: Which Adventure Bike Suits You?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 12:13:09 »
You said it and I totally agree with everything you say -- only thing I'll add is ' lerrem  em geron wi it '  [ Yorky speak]  VCIF_ThumbUp VCIF_ThumbUp

Hah!  Way eye! Dead Reet there mate!
regards
James Mc
Honda-Adventure-Riders

Current: 2017 CRF1000L DCT
Current: 2008 Triumph Tiger 1050
Previous: 2003 Honda Varadero XL1000V (bought 2003, sold 2013 - Sadly left behind in Europe)

MrKiwi

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Re: Which Adventure Bike Suits You?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 04:34:03 »
The Africa Twin bike is a good bike, but let's not kid ourselves that it is perfect or necessarily the best kid on the block.

Having said that, I sold my Crosstourer to buy the AT. The DCT version is a nice bike for one up riding and the geometry is definitely 50/50 paved/unpaved capable. I prefer to use the term paved/unpaved as off road means too many different things to people. So for me it is tarmac or gravel. The bike is very good for these two surfaces. My views on suitability and weaknesses are:
  • I do not lose much if anything on tarmac with the 21 inch front wheel. The low centre of gravity makes this a bike easy to fling through the corners.
  • DCT works well, but it takes a little time to find the settings that best work for you
  • The default setting for traction control is a little intrusive for my liking but I have a start up routine now that has me setting it at two bars for tarmac and one or no control for gravel.
  • I'm replacing the rear rack with an aftermarket stainless unit that will increase the strength and reliability of the rear for the size pannier we wish to carry. The glass re-enforced plastic rear rack with a 10 kgs limit is too little in my view. Fine for one up, but not for two up riding.
The major weaknesses of the bike for me are two fold.
  • The bike simply does not have enough range for an adventure bike. 300-350 kms per tank is not enough, it should be closer to 450 km. For this reason I will be fitting an extra fuel tank (hopefully the camel 6.5L side tank) to the bike.
  • Rear spring capacity is not enough. To be fair for most people it will. However I am a big boy so when it is me, plus my wife and our luggage we exceed the 194 kgs recommended weight for the bike. I need it to be closer to 220 kgs. For this reason in a couple of weeks the rear suspension comes out and I will be fitting new suspension (Ohlins) rated for my weight.
Am I pleased with the bike - yes I most certainly am. NO matter what bike I buy I have to tailor it for my needs. However, some bikes get the fuel tank size and range right from the outset, look at the KTM models.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 04:35:48 by MrKiwi »
MrKiwi
always thinking about my next ride

Two Plugs

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Re: Which Adventure Bike Suits You?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 14:18:25 »
Currently the Varadero suites my needs. I consider the Africa Twin as a good successor in the near future, but first they need to come with a model which is a little more buffy than the current 'skinny' design. Including a proper fuel capacity.  ;D
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Jyrays

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Re: Which Adventure Bike Suits You?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 14:42:51 »
I have had VARA, CT and now AT. All of them are fine for their own purposes but none of them is perfect. Maybe I should try some other brand to have cross-reference?  VCIF_salut
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