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Old August 5th, 2017, 06:34 AM   #1
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I Ride: 2013 Hyperstrada
Africa twin

Several people here and elsewhere have mentioned how great this bike is and I've found no negative reviews. Can this machine be as good as everybody says it is?
I have nothing against Honda, I've owned several. Back in the 80's they had a penchant for badly designed chain adjusters.

So how does the Africa Twin stack against the HS and also against other bikes in the ADV category such as Vstrom, Super Tenere, BWM, KTM, Multistrada etc.

At 1st glance I see she make less HP than the HS despite having more engine displacement. And she's quite a bit heavier.
And there's the auto tranny option. That's probably a worthy subtopic in itself. Anybody here have experience with riding an auto?
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Old August 5th, 2017, 07:56 AM   #2
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I am going to go ride an AT with the DCT today and compare it to my Hyper.

I want one for a touring beast capable of dirt road travel but have not convinced myself that it would be better than the Multistrada or the Hyperstrada. It would probably be a fantastic commuter bike with the DCT however.

I would have one if I did not have the two Ducs. I think it would be very redundant to the Multi but also don't think it would replace the multi.

I shall see if the test ride happens.

My ride report:

If you are comparing the Honda AT with the Hyperstrada or the Multistrada you are on the wrong planet. Get in your space ship and go home.

Saying that I did love the bike. It would make a fantastic commuter, Highway, and dirt road cruiser. It is very capable of dragging hard parts with the 21" front wheel and the 270 degree crank engine feels right, like a twin should. The one I rode was the DCT and I got about 100 miles on it and felt I explored it properly. Manual is just like any other bike but you shift with your fingers instead of your toes. Auto mode is so relaxing it puts you to sleep but is perfect for that morning after heading to work in rush hour. The other sport modes change the shift points and give it a bit more zip over the RPM range. At any time you can shift no matter what mode you are in and after a bit of a delay it goes back to auto shifting. Did I mention if you get in the rough stuff you can't stall it. Major plus factor. The ONLY thing I did not like about the bike was with the DCT I had no feeling of my speed. It defeated the butt dyno. Of course you can look at the speedometer and it was not this way manually shifting the bike, but the visceral feeling between your body, RPM, gear, and speed was diminished.

If I was in the market for a big Adventure Touring bike like mentioned in the OP I would go for the Honda. The features, build quality and price point just make the most sense.

But since I already have the Hyper and Multi it makes no sense for me to trade and go this way.

So there is my 2 cents.

Last edited by lomax; August 6th, 2017 at 06:45 AM.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 10:40 AM   #3
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Tube tires?

That's so last century.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 12:47 PM   #4
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My friend rode the AT and hyper back to back. The AT is not really in the same category. The engine is very flat and dull. Decent power and very tractable but not exciting.

It won't handle nearly as well on pavement with the 21" front wheel and soft suspension.

It's incredibly good offroad.

The only issue I've heard that is widespread is the transmission is very clunky and people get false neutrals everywhere. Same with the new CBR1000R.... kinda odd of Honda.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 02:11 PM   #5
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I don't even consider these bikes to be in the same category. Honda would beat the Ducati in every regard off-road, and the reverse is true on pavement.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 03:04 PM   #6
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I am definitely interested in one and fear that if I ride one I will want to get one which is why I haven't ridden one.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 04:30 PM   #7
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My brother has his AT DCT up here in Montana where we are all hanging for a week. I took it out on a spin and the bike is really not comparable to the HS. Feels much heavier and as has been said it doesn't feel like a motard in any respect. It I were in the market for a true big dual sport i.e. BMW or KTM for primarily domestic riding I bet I would choose the AT, for reliability alone. I wouldn't choose any of those big bikes for a RTW.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayotte View Post
I don't even consider these bikes to be in the same category. Honda would beat the Ducati in every regard off-road, and the reverse is true on pavement.
I haven't ridden the AT yet, but would like to try one. From reading dozens of reviews ... I agree. And beating the Duc off road includes ANY Multistrada ... which i HAVE ridden off road. It's a dangerous, very expensive Pig, IMHO. The Honda runs circles around all of them in rougher off road going.
The AT is clearly best of the "BIG" ADV bikes off road, yes, even the KTM's.
Yes, it's over weight and has a serious false neutral between 5th and 6th but still, for off road touring, hard to beat in heavyweight class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyGarrison View Post
My brother has his AT DCT up here in Montana where we are all hanging for a week. I took it out on a spin and the bike is really not comparable to the HS. Feels much heavier and as has been said it doesn't feel like a motard in any respect. It I were in the market for a true big dual sport i.e. BMW or KTM for primarily domestic riding I bet I would choose the AT, for reliability alone. I wouldn't choose any of those big bikes for a RTW.
Yes, probably most reliable and least expensive to own over time. And I agree, for going RTW out of USA I prefer a much smaller, lighter weight bike ... like
my Suzuki DR650! Versatile, tough, capable and very inexpensive ... and I can work on it myself. If it blows up ... just walk away (I'll take Ohlins shock home) and buy another DR650.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 08:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL View Post
Tube tires?

That's so last century.
Tubes are a PITA for sure. Many serious over lander riders now going with the newer, less expensive BIB MOUSSE type inserts. Just have to plan your tire changes ahead a bit. More shops will be able to handle Bibs in future and new type said be easier to R & R .
Also, Tubliss system shows promise. (I am not a fan at present ... but watching)

Other option could be a product like Ride-On or SLIME. I've used SLIME since
1998 with mostly good results. Not perfect, but has saved me a few times in Mexico.

But you're right ... for that sort of money Honda should have included spoked
tubeless rims like several other OEMs offer. I would much rather dent a rim than have to change out a tube on a hot day with no shade about.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 05:14 AM   #10
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With my HS I am bothered by the lack of ground clearance and the crappy clutch combined with poor low speed throttle response. I spend an unfortunate amount of time in stop and crawl during my commute and that sort of riding is a total pain in the rear on the HS.

I'm looking at the AT thinking, wow, 9" of ground clearance lets me take those little side-trails I wish I could go down on my HS and that dual clutch job would kick-ass and take names during the commute.

I am turned off by the fact the Honda comes with zero guards to protect it off-road. They build a bike that's very capable but then not equip it properly. It's tough to swallow having to spend so much on top of buying the bike just to make it off-road worthy. This is what I would be trying to avoid with the HS in buying another bike in the 1st place.

Then the mode settings reset issue is confounding in this day and age. I'm sure the bike has some battery backed memory on it for something. they couldn't stuff a few more bytes in for the modes? WTF Honda that's really obtuse. Call me lazy but I like the fact my HS remembers the last used ride setting so when I am running late for work I can just jump on and go knowing that I'm already in the mode I used to get where I am.

Oh and tubes? Again, WTF Honda?

Then there's the 1000cc insurance butt raping. If I must swallow a higher insurance for the bike's engine displacement I would want more HP to compensate. It has less than the HS 821. I suspect it's factory detuned and if you want it's true capability you'll be spending big time for engine upgrades.

So in my mind I'm seeing more money for guards, more money for engine performance, more money for insurance and being plagued with resetting the riding mode each and every time I start it up.

I don't know. Maybe these are all minor complaints after having a chance to ride one. We'll see.

Last edited by philthymike; August 6th, 2017 at 05:30 AM.
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