XLADV DEMO's AN AFRICA TWIN

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Honda's decided that they'd prefer I had more experience with their Africa Twin so they're providing me a bike to test out for a while.  I'm very honored by this and want to thank you the XLADV members for making this such a vibrant community for big adventure bike riders.  Honda is also an amazing motorcycle manufacturer and even with their traditional conservative risk-avoidance culture went out on a limb to resurrect a bike for the adventure market that many of us have been clamoring for for years.  Their sales seem to indicate the bike's been a hit and I'm sure is the reason why KTM brought their 1090R out as well as Yamaha's new T7 concept and KTM's "790" concept.

No idea yet whether it will be DCT or standard transmission or even the color.  My guess is that it's a fleet bike they've used for journalist demo's.  They typically loan them out for about a month.  I will bring this one to High Sierra.  My only real preference is that it comes with knobbies! ;)

Obviously it will be fun to get a feel for this bike and be able to compare it with the two bikes I have the most experience with; the BMW GSA 1200 and the KTM 990.  I will take care to be fair in comparing it with my relatively heavily modded 990 not to say anything like "well it's no 990."  The DCT will be fun to explore should I get that model.  I'm also going to want to experience for myself if there are any issues with the bike that we've heard about.  Honda of course will say these are "isolated incidents" and things they've never had pop up in any of their demo bikes which may in fact be the case (they usually are unless you're BMW this year).

I'm going to do some homework on the bike so that I can fully understand how it works and what it's designed to to really well.

This is one review I thought stood out well on the AT done by Jimmy Lewis at dirtbiketest.com

 

 

Awesome opportunity! as I think the 1200GS is in an entire different category, I'm specifically curious to how it compares to the 990. Also, if you remember this last line regarding what bike journey brought me to my current bike:

On 3-7-2017 at 0:37 PM, Motopreneur said:

KTM 990 Adventure / Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L. If I get the chance to buy any of these two within budget the Beemer will probably have to leave.

 

What a cool opportunity, should be a good review. Will you be doing a long trip test? 

That's awesome Eric! I look forward to seeing it at the High Sierra ride. I'm actually coming out with a Stator Guard for that bike next week. :) Have fun on it! My buddy just got back from taking is to Baja for a 4 week ride. He loves it. They are getting pretty popular too.

45 minutes ago, BBLADV said:

What a cool opportunity, should be a good review. Will you be doing a long trip test? 

I think I have it until the end of September.  I'll bring it to High Sierra then I'm supposed to attend the KTM Rally (may skip it for a weekend with the girlfriend) but if I do then I'll bring the 990 for obvious reasons.  Then I have the CycleWorld Sierra ADV rally at the end of Sept.  Horizons Unlimited too but I didn't plan to go this year.  Seems like every weekend there's something.

This is cool news Eric. High Sierra offers such a diverse amount of terrain for flogging!  Now as for skipping the KTM Rally for a wknd with the girlfriend? 

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Edited by greedyg

ha ha.  I knew I'd get my share of ball busting over that.  I was going to trailer there with Jerry but he's moving to UT so I'd have to get another ride.  I'm not very well going to take the AT there!  Plus, there's been kind of a disconnect w/my KTM invitation.  I was personally invited (and attended two years ago) but when I emailed my contact there about making it official, I never heard back.  So I have this fear of showing up and them not letting me in.  

Picked her up today at Honda!
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She's a beauty.  I look forward to getting your real-time reactions at High Sierra :thumbsup:

Yes, looks good, I see the mark 2 difference now, should be a bitch'n ride🤘

That is the color scheme that I absolutely love!  Waiting for your review.

 

These new mark II front tires are fine on the highway. No wobble at all

I always say, "Let me show you what I can do on YOUR bike!" ;)

Time for some real, no consequence testing Eric! :ph34r: Let's see what that bad boy can do! Oh, ATGATT brother! :ride:

Best colors too

Short video I posted on FB earlier.  Longer one uploading to YouTube now

 

And the full video of picking up the AT yesterday at Honda's hq in Torrance, CA.

 

Initial impressions...  so admittedly this new bike is a lot to take in.  The DCT poses a challenge as does the traction control, gravel modes, abs modes and drive modes.  It's something that will take time to figure how which mode works best in which circumstances.  I'm primarily interested in seeing how this does in the dirt and how I can best access the right gear for what I want to accomplish.  I really want to master these new features  because I hate when people diss something and it turns out they were doing it wrong or didn't understand how it's supposed to work.

But sure enough, when I went to pull out I reached for that "clutch" lever (it's a parking brake).  It's like riding a scooter!  You just twist and go!

Wow, what a very cool opportunity!! That's my dream bike. I'm really looking forward to your impressions Eric.

Rode some more street this weekend.  Had to adjust the bars up (no big deal).  Was going up a hill and it was a bit boggy in 4th gear but I just used the paddle shifter to put me in 3rd and it was no problem.

For the record, this bike weighs in at 533 lbs; a bit heavier than I thought.  The DCT adds 22 lbs.

Also, I had a few "claims" that I aim to figure out the veracity of.  One person on our FB post says when in the sand you can't shift to 2nd gear manually; that it won't shift to 2nd until you have more speed yet speed in sand in first gear is difficult to attain.  I will try and replicate this.  Not sure if this rider had luck with manually shifting to 2nd but that's what I would have done in that situation.  I've been trained to start in 2nd gear (in deep sand) because 1st is too much torque.  Another similarly says in DCT it cannot find the proper gear and instantly switches up and down; he says only manual mode will work properly.

I hope to determine that all this is more of figuring out exactly which mode works best in each condition and doing that, instead of being in the wrong mode for whatever it is you're trying to do.  For example, when I was a noob it took me 9 months to figure out that I had to turn the traction control off when I was off road lol.

I believe the DCT is a learning system where with more time it can better predict the changes you want as a rider.

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