Phases and Change

Griff

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In many aspects of my life I have been averse to change. However, when it comes to motorcycling I tend to be able to buck that trend and I often embrace change.

Right now I am in the middle of a period of change. Needless to say it has a lot to do with my age (65) and my changing frame of mind that comes with that age. Last evening I sold my 690KTM Enduro. That marked the end of an eleven year phase of KTM ownership. During that period I have owned a KTM 950 Adventure, a 950SM and the 690. Now there are no more KTM's in my shed, but I still have the Jerseys and the Dog bowls and the keyrings. All three of these bikes have given me immense pleasure, especially the 950SM which is probably the most fun I ever had on a motorcycle in my 45+ years of motorcycling. For various reasons I moved these bikes on. The 690 replaced the Adventure as a trail bike. The SM was irreplaceable for 8 years until I realised that I was no longer using it as much in favour of my Triumph Explorer and my NC. The 690 has now gone also as I was only using it in anger a couple of times a year on offroad events. So the eleven year KTM phase has ended .

There have been other phases of course. In the seventies I went through a CB750 phase. I had three of them over a period of 5 years starting with a K1 then a K4 and finally a F1. That phase gave way to the Kawasaki phase.

The Kawasaki phase lasted all of 14 years and was the longest one of all. I loved Kawasakis, almost all of them, from the humble KH100 to the mighty Z1300 and everything in between. I think I owned 16 Kawas during that period including dirt bikes and some classics. Then I went through a period of various bikes including a couple of BM’s and a Triumph.

In the 90’s there was the Honda vee twin phase. They included a VTR1000 Firestorm and a couple of Varaderos.

The GL1800 had a phase all to itself for 10 years, although it was shared with the KTM’s.

So that brings me to the current period of change. I now know that I no longer have any desires for very large motorcycles. I am ok with powerful motorcycles but they have to be in small light packages. The Triumph is an exception, but that is there for two up touring, which it does very well. I am wary of its weight though. My Friend recently visited with his Ducati 1200 Multistrada Enduro. Lovely bike but too tall for me. It has a huge surplus of power. It left me cold. While I am still into offroading, it has to be easy stuff nowadays as my lower back is no longer up to the rigours of the more serious stuff. Ironically the years of punishment offroad/enduroing is largely responsible for that bad back but what the hell, I had a ball doing it and no regrets.

So where does that leave me ? I now want comfort, ease of handling, and power where it is most useful (midrange and bottom end). The new Africa Twin has all of those aspects and as such I am looking at it closely. It is a little heavy but not excessively so, and it will handle light offroad tasks in my hands. I am fairly sure that is the way to go for me now and I am looking forward to it. I will miss my NC, especially that fantastic motor which imho is a milestone, and one of the best motors Honda have ever produced for its capacity. So, the end of a phase and change on the horizon again.

Just some ramblings on a wet cool day when I can’t get out and Me and the Dogs are waiting for the rain to stop………

Tiny.jpg
 

dduelin

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Pipe and slippers, dog by the hearth, and an Africa Twin in the garage. Sounds good to me.
 

JDE

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I too am strongly considering the Africa Twin. Especially after my recent trip to Yosemite. The NC can do off road stuff, but its not built for that. As I am wanting to do more off road type riding and still commuting on a bike daily. It looks like the right choice for me. Though, it hasn't been released in the states yet so I haven't seen one in person or even been able to sit on one.

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Old Can Ride

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I too am switching to the Africa Twin. The Africa Twin just fits me and my riding styles. I set on the Africa Twin the first time at Daytona Beach. Could not believe the Africa Twin has a 21" front tire and with my short inseam I could be flat footed. When the Africa Twin came to the Dallas show, I once again got to sit on the bike. It just fits me. Being in the USA I had to order my Africa Twin, so I called a dealership and ordered the AT. Now the earthquake in Japan might have delayed my order. No one can give me a answer as to when I will get my Africa Twin. So until the AT arrives I wil just keep on keeping on with my NC7.
 
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JDE

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I too am switching to the Africa Twin. The Africa Twin just fits me and my riding styles. I set on the Africa Twin the first time at Daytona Beach. Could not believe the Africa Twin has a 21" front tire and with my short inseam I could be flat footed. When the Africa Twin came to the Dallas show, I once again got to sit on the bike. It just fits me. Being in the USA I had to order my Africa Twin, so I called a dealership and ordered the AT. Now the earthquake in Japan might have delayed my order. No one can give me a answer as to when I will get my Africa Twin. So until the AT arrives I wil just keep on keeping on with my NC7.
Reports like that have been making me wonder it I should make an effort to try and order one, or just wait until they start making their way to the U.S. then try and get one. No doubt I'll still be on the NC until that time comes anyway. So, what's the rush I guess.
 

bvogel7475

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If I had unlimited funds and it had a DCT I think the Ducati Multistrada would be the one for me. I am 6'4" with a 35" inseam. So, I would enjoy the height. However, I must have a car to take the family around and haul my ice hockey gear around. I guess I could sell all that, get a cheap pickup and drive a Multistrada that would also cost a fortune to maintain. My last bike was a K1200GT and I miss the power and handling of that bike. Sticking with the NC for now as I love the DCT transmission and it's cheap to maintain bike as well. The Africa twin looks pretty awesome though. I'm sure you will enjoy it immensely.
 
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drdubb

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I lust after the Africa Twin, but I don't need it. The NC fits my needs and after a year, I am finally getting it to the point it's mine...in form and comfort,
 
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itlives

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We (this site) should open another section for AT owners.........

After the "new car smell" goes away, I may make the plunge on a used one, too.
 

misterk

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I am looking at the AT also, but I will probably wait a year. I have my Goldwing for the need for speed LOL.

The NC700 is teaching to me to enjoy the ride. I will never buy another bike without the DCT.

I really enjoy the dirt, but nothing too severe.

My dog is ready to go for a run




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670cc

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Kinda makes you wonder, when the future Africa Twin forum comes to be, what other bikes will the AT owners lust after then when they need a change? Bikes that don't yet exist, I assume.
 

dduelin

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I lust after the Africa Twin, but I don't need it. The NC fits my needs and after a year, I am finally getting it to the point it's mine...in form and comfort,
This is me as well. I lust for the Africa Twin but basically it's lust for a 94 hp NC1000X. The AT doesn't meet my needs for a second bike with it's off road bias and lack of frunk. As many here know, I had a manual transmission 2012 NC700X. I bought the first one that arrived at the dealer after waiting several months for it to be released in the USA. After two years I had set up just perfect for me but I traded it in a fit of lust for a Triumph Tiger 800R and ended up with seller's/buyer's remorse for a year. The only way I had to relieve myself of it was to get off the Tiger and on another NC700X. For me the NC700X is incredibly versatile, comfortable, and fun to ride. My Honda dealer has offered me right of first refusal after a demo ride on the first AT he gets which should be in about three weeks. I want it but after waiting these few months and considering the pros & cons I think I'm ready to stand firm in the face of temptation. Maybe in a year or two.
 

Beemerphile

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I think I do circles rather than phases. I can't seem to catch the Africa Twin fever, thoughI've tried. Something about a chain and tube type tires in 2016 seems anachronistic to me. I also think the bike is too heavy. The R1200GS I just bought is 30 lbs. lighter and has a driveshaft and tubeless spoke wheels. It also has a 19" front which I prefer over a 21" wheel for anything other than a full-on dirt bike. I like the DCT option and Honda reliability is excellent. I like lots about the CrossTourer, but it is crazy heavy. Reminds me of my former ST1100. I am sure the Africa Twins will be great bikes and develop quite a fan base, but I will leave them for others to enjoy.

I started out with Hondas (SL125, SL350, CB500, GL1000) and then bought a 1977 BMW R100RS (which I still own). Since then I have generally stayed with the BMW's except for an ST1100 in 1990 and the NC700 in 2012. The Hondas both have been excellent scoots but neither has fueled the passion for me like the beemers do. I'll probably have waddled off to an old age home or bit the dust before the time comes for another try at Honda.

Ride whatever blows your skirt up.
 

Fuzzy

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If I had unlimited funds and it had a DCT I think the Ducati Multistrada would be the one for me. I am 6'4" with a 35" inseam. So, I would enjoy the height. However, I must have a car to take the family around and haul my ice hockey gear around. I guess I could sell all that, get a cheap pickup and drive a Multistrada that would also cost a fortune to maintain. My last bike was a K1200GT and I miss the power and handling of that bike. Sticking with the NC for now as I love the DCT transmission and it's cheap to maintain bike as well. The Africa twin looks pretty awesome though. I'm sure you will enjoy it immensely.
With unlimited funds you could put a DCT on that Multistrada you lust after.
 

Griff

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I agree that the tubed tyres are a minus, but that was also the case with my KTM Adventure and my 690. However I understand that the weight is only about 10KG more than our beloved NC and I have to admit I didn't notice that when I test rode.
 

Beemerphile

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I understand that the weight is only about 10KG more than our beloved NC and I have to admit I didn't notice that when I test rode.
DCT curb weight (spec sheet to spec sheet) the difference is 500 lb. to 534 lb., or 15 kg. I imagine the story line is that the A/T has chain drive to save weight. In my view Hondas, with very few exceptions, have always been overweight. The 670cc chain drive NC that you are comparing it to is the same weight as my shaft drive 1200cc GS. I'm sure it carries the weight well in motion. So does the 900 lb. Gold Wing, but they aren't in motion when you are lifting them off the ground.

I'm not trying to talk anyone into or out of anything. Just inserting some data and a different point of view.
 

Griff

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I am ok with the weight having ridden one in all conditions that I would normally ride in. I have to think in terms of not dropping it as otherwise I would not take it where I do. Likewise with my Triumph although I did have to let it go once when coming to a halt in light snow. I was just about able to pick it up though, and it is much heavier than an AT. So, as I say I am not concerned about the weight more than any other bike of this style.

What I am now having to think about is that an ABS model will not be available until December or January because of the earthquake in Japan. The non ABS model is available however. I will have to ponder that considerably. I have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles without ABS and I can think of three occasions when I actually fell off a bike on the road, when ABS could possibly have prevented me doing so. Two of those times were on knobby tyres on metalled roads when I overbraked on dirt bikes and the front let go. The last time was off my 950SM which had a savage front brake and I fell off when braking too hard for a dog which ran out in front of me, on cold wet tyres .

ABS has been both a comfort and a liability for me because two of my bikes had it and two did not. As such one does not think about whether a particular bike has or has not ABS in a panic situation. Of the four ABS bikes I have owned or currently own, I have only ever had the ABS come on in anger once. On that occasion it may or may not have saved a fall. Then there is the train of thought that suggests that in an impact situation, when the ABS comes on, one may well hit the immovable object anyway because ABS is modulating the braking.

Yes, I have some thinking to do. Members views are of course welcome.
 

dduelin

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DCT curb weight (spec sheet to spec sheet) the difference is 500 lb. to 534 lb., or 15 kg. I imagine the story line is that the A/T has chain drive to save weight. In my view Hondas, with very few exceptions, have always been overweight. The 670cc chain drive NC that you are comparing it to is the same weight as my shaft drive 1200cc GS. I'm sure it carries the weight well in motion. So does the 900 lb. Gold Wing, but they aren't in motion when you are lifting them off the ground.

I'm not trying to talk anyone into or out of anything. Just inserting some data and a different point of view.
DCT adds 23 lbs to a manual transmission Africa Twin according to Honda's web site. The weight is added between the foot pegs so unless you can bench press 511 lbs and not a pound more, I don't think one would notice the extra weight.
 

Beemerphile

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DCT adds 23 lbs to a manual transmission Africa Twin according to Honda's web site. The weight is added between the foot pegs so unless you can bench press 511 lbs and not a pound more, I don't think one would notice the extra weight.
The weight difference being discussed was between the NC and the AT, not between the 6M and DCT on the AT.

No, you wouldn't notice the 23 lbs. It is just 23 lbs. So then from there, you should not notice an additional 23 lbs., because it is also just 23 lbs. Continuing the logic you can add as much weight as you want and you will never notice it. I think that may be how the 650 lb. GL1000 in 1975 became the 900 lb. GL1800 in 2016. Just be sure that you can bench press it before you buy one.
 
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