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Old 09-13-2017, 02:09 PM   #21
"Mitch"
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klr650gal View Post
The things that turns me off about the AT are the price, the weight, and the complexity of the various systems and all those lovely electronics just waiting for a good soak in a body of water near me. Not that I frequent bodies of water mind you, but I remember talking with the parts manager of a Toyota dealership on the coast. He loved when a PU owner would drive on the sand, become trapped, and when the water got inside the cab, the bucks started adding up quickly.
I'm just saying this girl is a follower of the KISS plan, Keep It Simple Sweety!
But what do I know?
I hear you on all points.

Regarding price, the AT was a BARGAIN compared to the 1200GS I was seriously considering.

Regarding the weight.....nuff said.

Regarding the complexity......Well, that's where I am conflicted. On the one hand I loved the simplicity of my KLR. It was really nice feeling like I could fix that thing in the middle of nowhere with a Swiss Army Knife, a roll of tape, and a few zip ties. However, on the other hand, those electronics on the AT are amazing. The ride modes, traction control modes, switchable ABS, etc. provide incredible options, safety and ride comfort.

It's similar to how I felt about my old VW Beetle vs my wife's new Nissan Murano. I could tear that bug apart and put it back together with a relatively small box of tools. I had the confidence that no matter what, I could get that bug to run. It was truly bulletproof. But the loaded Murano has come crazy features, like 360º camera, lane change warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, both heated and air conditioned seats, etc. etc.

Yes, it is complex, but WOW! Those are some cool and comfy features.

As an old guy, I find I am often torn between the feeling of the "old ways" versus the "new age". In my day, we had to get out of the car and pull open the garage door. We had to actually get up and turn the channel (to one of 4 different channels) on the 19" Zenith. We had to actually go to this place filled with books....I think they called it a "Library".

Seriously, I do remember as a kid when my dad said he would NEVER buy a car with electric windows because it was just one more thing to break.......Oh how the world has changed.

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Old 09-13-2017, 02:31 PM   #22
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

I know how you feel Mitch......I sort of "tilt at the technology windmill" from time to time; the one thing I loved about my classic cars was that I knew what everything did and could fix anything (within my range of tools anyhow). My Jaguar and my wife's cars......yeah, not so much BUT at the same time my wife wouldn't even get IN my Superbee yet the Jaguar has more power and is faster but with all the creature comfort and safety nannies and she's actually fine to DRIVE the car....heck in "snow and ice" mode with the DSC, ABS, traction control, etc. etc. you could let your grandmother drive it without too many worries.

On the bike thing I'm still happy without all the electronic goodies but that may change and it doesn't mean I'm right; just old and set in my ways!


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Old 09-13-2017, 08:39 PM   #23
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

[quote="Mitch";1481096]I have obviously drank the Kool-Aid, having written the check for the AT. However, I will be annoyingly redundant and say again that the weight of the AT is remarkably disguised. Taking the AT off the stand is easier than taking a KLR (with a full tank of gas) off the stand. The weight of the AT is down near the kickstand.

I plan to install my SW Motech stuff, including crash bars, on Friday. When I do, I am going to have my lovely little wife help me lay the AT down in the grass. I want to see just how heavy this sucker is, before I have to lift it all by my lonesome in the middle of nowhere. We'll see just how heavy she is. It's one thing to feel light when vertical.....but when horizontal, it's a LOT harder to hide the pounds.[/size] Same goes for me.....

I'd love to hear your results. Also a brief outline of your size, age, etc. At 78 years, I do have a time getting my KLR up from a nap. I can/have done it, but just about.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

[quote=spooky;1481122]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Mitch" View Post
I have obviously drank the Kool-Aid, having written the check for the AT. However, I will be annoyingly redundant and say again that the weight of the AT is remarkably disguised. Taking the AT off the stand is easier than taking a KLR (with a full tank of gas) off the stand. The weight of the AT is down near the kickstand.

I plan to install my SW Motech stuff, including crash bars, on Friday. When I do, I am going to have my lovely little wife help me lay the AT down in the grass. I want to see just how heavy this sucker is, before I have to lift it all by my lonesome in the middle of nowhere. We'll see just how heavy she is. It's one thing to feel light when vertical.....but when horizontal, it's a LOT harder to hide the pounds.[/size] Same goes for me.....

I'd love to hear your results. Also a brief outline of your size, age, etc. At 78 years, I do have a time getting my KLR up from a nap. I can/have done it, but about.
I'll be sure to post my results after the test.

Regarding my specs....I am 57 years old, 6'1 and tip the scales at 235lbs. I am about 20lbs heavier than I should be. I work out every other day and I'm strong. I had no problem picking up my KLR. I hope the same is true of the AT.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:08 PM   #25
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

Myself and Dave have posted a number of times about this but weight when off road is nearly everything. There was a HUGE difference in my 217lb KX250 and my 258lb CRF450X and again my 305lb XR600. Race day I always took my KX. For day rides it would depend on where and how fast I wanted to go between the CRF and XR. Truth be told....the CRF won out 98% of the time. XR is twice the KLR offroad but no where near as fun as the CRF off road.

Get up into KLR territory and you are in another ball field of what you can/can not do off road. Or at least do with it and still have fun and not break stuff lol. Step into full size ADV bikes and again you are playing in another ball field all together.

When I posted my initial ride on the AT I noted that it was the first full size ADV bike that really really hid its weight...even off road. I found myself pushing it faster and faster to the point reality hit and I got three pinch flats within an hour or so. +500lbs is still 500lbs no matter how well balanced/hidden the weight seems.

I own a Yamaha Super Tenere. I was asked if I would buy the AT over the S10? Probably not...the S10 fits perfectly for what I use it for. As for the weight of the S10. I tell the story of wife and I riding from St George UT to Telluride CO...all off road. She wanted to hit one of our favorite campsites down on the colorado river. I, of course, said SURE! We got within 3 or so miles of the campsite and I pulled over. She asks whats wrong. I reply, I don't think we are going to make it. What?! was her reply. Sand was getting deep and while it was no big deal the couple times we took the KLR on the Tenere is was raising my red flags. We went another mile and I again pulled over stating thats it...we are turning around. She was bummed but after watching me struggling to turn the S10 around she simply stated...that was the right call. I was sweating...

I tell others that with a KLR I can pick up the tail end and walk it around. If really bad I can push the bike over and spin it and pick it back up. With an S10....I can't pick up the back end and I'm not sure I could actually spin it once on the ground. I know I can pick it up as long as its on flat ground or handle bars are up hill. The other difference is I've jumped on my S10 and made it to Glacier NP in a single day from Az. Not going to happen on a KLR.

Based on Mitch's previous adventure posts, what he does off road and his location (flatsville) I think the AT is an excellent choice.

Bunny hoping a CRF is easy. Could barely get much lift on my XR much less a KLR.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:09 AM   #26
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

As always, an excellent post.

You're absolutely right, in this part of the world our "off-road" is primarily gravel roads. If we head up to MN or WI we can get into fire roads and ATV/Snowmobile trails. The trails are in some beautiful national forests. They are mostly 2-track and fairly well maintained. When the going gets tough you run into mud or sand. It's the equivalent of the bunny slopes in skiing, but it is fun and very relaxing. However, no question, it is "flatsville".

For me the AT provided the right balance of on road and off-road capability. In fact, it has way more off-road capability than I'll ever be able to use.

One last comment on the weight, while I know I will have no trouble picking it up, I don't have any intention of taking this bike into places where the probability of me having to pick it up is too high. I just want to ramble around on back roads and trails.....No bunny hopping for me.

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Old 09-14-2017, 09:04 AM   #27
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
Get up into KLR territory and you are in another ball field of what you can/can not do off road. Or at least do with it and still have fun and not break stuff lol.
But, but, some of us actually enjoy taking big bikes into totally inappropriate terrain - and I know you're one of them I'm definitely in that category of "breaking stuff" on my rides by doing inappropriate things (like carrying all my gear off down through rock gardens). Mostly I'm just breaking the luggage rack these days.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:40 AM   #28
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

While I definitely push the envelope of where to take the KLR, I stop at the point where I start to break things or spend too much time on the ground....just not fun for me anymore at that point (and at my age). I will admit to getting some perverse pleasure passing a real offroad bike on the local ORV trails whilst honking the horn on my KLR.....but there are limits as Chuck has said.

For me, I've decided to limit myself to one bike for safety reasons......I know if I buy something race worthy, I'm going to want to race it. The KLR seemed an odd choice at first and it was; I got into more trouble because the bike was incapable of being ridden fast/hard enough to clear some obstacles where I wanted to ride. I'd crash because I was going too slow and the bike was incapable of going much faster without completely loosing control. ....that's when I embarked on my modification campaign and after the mods, I was happy; the bike could tackle most things at a proper rate of attack speed whist still maintaining it's composure (mostly due to the suspension mods). It is still slow and heavy but it's JUST good enough to do what I do and it still maintains the KLR strengths I love (simplicity, longevity, reliability, ease of maintenance, etc.). It's FAR from a perfect bike but it's a pretty darn good fit for what I do.

In the meantime, I keep looking at and riding other bikes but so far, all the "good" offroad bikes (500EXC, etc.) are too crappy on the road and all the ADV twins are too heavy. That leaves the old school thumpers (DR/XRL/KLR) which all need extensive mods or a DRZ or WRR which are better offroad but suffer on the highway. If someone makes a modern dual purpose/ADV bike that has great suspension, weighs less than 400 lbs and isn't a nightmare to fix/own/maintain, then I'll probably upgrade. The AT and the KTM1090R are as close as you can get at this point but I still value the lighter weight of the KLR over the advantages of those two bikes....but that's for what I'm doing....



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Old 09-14-2017, 09:51 AM   #29
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

This reminds me of Tom Asher; Tom is a former inmate here (HolyCaveman) and a very accomplished rider.....he was well known for taking his KLR where it really shouldn't be. Recently Tom entered an Extreme Enduro on a modified BMW1200GS.....and his results and abilities were impressive. He didn't finish, nor did I expect him to but just to ride a bike like that in that kind of terrain is a testament to his abilities....but as I was watching the videos, mixed with admiration was a bit of horror as I could picture myself in his position as I've been there many times; wet, hungry and dead tired on a course that had plenty more torture in it before it would be over. Didn't look like that much fun to me;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu83-Uj0Bk4

...of course, I'm nowhere near the rider Tom is and wouldn't dream of taking my KLR on even a small portion of that course, much less a HUGE BMW. Unlike Tom and Chuck, I need every advantage if I'm to ride in the ugliest conditions.

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Old 09-14-2017, 12:13 PM   #30
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

It's interesting that you posted that video of Tom. I found and watched it about a week ago. I had the same mixed emotions. On the one hand, pure admiration. On the other hand..... He's NUTS! But no doubt, the man has skills. There were a couple places I seriously doubted he could make it....and he did. Impressive.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:55 PM   #31
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

Mitch, I hope you have a totally great time on your AT. I will respect your wish to own and ride it. They are lovely, well finished pieces of technology. I like the white/red/blue color scheme. Reminds me of my old (1985) 500 Honda Interceptor. But I think I'll stick with my KLR for now.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:56 PM   #32
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

So, the thinking is that the CRF1000L Africa Twin is a better bike then a KLR. Well, how am I supposed to argue with that?

Let me try. My rich uncle offers me a free CRF1000L Africa Twin or a free KLR? Very easy decision. I'm junking my KLR and now riding a smooth twin.

I forgot the part where he says if you pick the KLR, I will throw in 6500 dollars for gas, beer, food and 10 trips to Moab and you can keep any cash which is left over.

The decision got just a big more complex.

By the time I'm dead and if I keep my KLR till that day, my KLR650 which cost me 4000 dollars with 3000 mile on it might cost me 4 cents a mile in just the cost of the bike.

I might go out and buy a new KLR as s spare just in case I live another 100 years.

What do I really want to ride, for me I want a BMW 850 twin but, there is a difference between what I want and what I need and how much extra I'm willing to pay for an extra 200 CCs no matter how smooth it is.

Now for those who will say I don't get it, I really do and in reality, I agree. I need a few more bikes.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:01 PM   #33
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

On Friday I bolted on SW Motech crashbars, skidplate, center stand and tail rack. Also got SWM side racks that go on only when needed.....very nice.



Took the bike out today for a nice 100 mile romp. No second thoughts. Very nice bike. Runs silky smooth, lots of power, and the DCT is fun and drama-free.

I never mentioned before that after my 3rd back surgery I suffered some nerve damage in my left foot that causes what they call a "Foot Drop". Basically I am unable to lift the front of my left foot....which makes shifting a wee bit more difficult. I learned to cope by basically lifting my left leg to shift. However, when standing up the foot drop makes it a lot more difficult to shift.....This was another big factor in my DCT decision and today proved that it was a great decision.

I continue to marvel at how well Honda managed to hide the weight of this bike. It weighs about 90lbs more than my KLR but feels lighter.....It really does. It even feels lighter off the kickstand than my Triumph Scrambler. Nicely done Honda!

Only bad thing about today......I was 2 miles from home when suddenly the back end felt weird. YUP.....I ran over a big nail and flatted. I crawled it home. Oh well, the OEM tires are about 90/10 tire, so now I have an excuse to spoon on something more suitable. Sure glad I didn't flat 30 miles from home. All I had with me was my cell phone.

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Old 09-17-2017, 05:25 PM   #34
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

That looks great. How does the windscreen work, is it quite behind it.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:50 PM   #35
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

I'm not usually a big fan of black, or white. I do like the combination on your bike.
It looks like it belongs that color combo.
The stuff you put on makes it look even nicer.

Interested in the wind question, and also how comfortable the seat is on long rides? Do you do your own maint? How easy is it to get to stuff? Big Dog claims it's a bear to take plastics off/on.
Ref. https://www.bigdogadventures.com/AfricaTwin.htm
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:06 PM   #36
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

The wind screen works great for me. It's a big improvement over the Bajaworx screen I had on the KLR. I am a little over 6 foot tall and the wind hits just at the top of my helmet. I think the screen is a keeper.
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:22 PM   #37
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spooky View Post
I'm not usually a big fan of black, or white. I do like the combination on your bike.
It looks like it belongs that color combo.
The stuff you put on makes it look even nicer.

Interested in the wind question, and also how comfortable the seat is on long rides? Do you do your own maint? How easy is it to get to stuff? Big Dog claims it's a bear to take plastics off/on.
Ref. https://www.bigdogadventures.com/AfricaTwin.htm
I read Mark's (Big Dog's) blog back when he first bought the AT, and then several times again before I bought the bike. I am a Big Dog fan. I live vicariously through his wanderings and bike work.

Regarding the plastics removal, it is a royal PITA. However, I think Mark was nuts to install the power plug in the dash. Having read up on it I discovered that Eastern Beaver and a couple others make fuse block kits for the AT that are easily wired under the seat. It's a way better option than the OEM power port. I plan to hardwire my GPS and then just run an SAE pigtail up to the bar that I'll use for charging my phone, running an air compressor, etc.

I did all of my own work on the KLR and I plan to do all of the basic maintenance on the AT....I just ordered a set of Mitas E-07's that I will soon be spooning on. However, given the sophistication of this engine with all the electronics, I don't think I'll be nearly so brave in doing too much. However, I am told that the valve adjustment on the AT is stupid easy. I'll just take it one step at a time and see what I learn about this bike.

All for now..........
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:07 PM   #38
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

Valve adjust are easy. Its just like the CRF dirt bikes.... You'll find there really isn't any 'work' required on these or most modern engines. With FI and twin you'll want to do a throttle body sync by 1000 miles. Then about every 10K afterwards.

Much like my Tenere lots of folks getting over 100K miles with just 2 valve adjustments (first at 24K) and cam chain adjuster needing replaced by/around 25K. Yamaha is on their 3rd version now. Mine is occasionally slapping around at first start up..takes about 6-8 sec for oil pressure to build up. I'll be going to the Yamaha R1 adjuster when I do my first valve check/adjust in a couple thousand miles...R1 is manual only. No big deal...
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:24 PM   #39
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

That's good to hear.

When I worked on my Triumph Scrambler I learned how to use TuneECU. I was able to check and adjust the throttle position sensor and to balance the throttle bodies. Plugging in a laptop and being able to run diagnostics and make adjustments without getting a finger dirty is pretty amazing. It's a whole new world.

Being wired as I am, I know I'll be digging in and learning a lot about this bike. However, I made the conscious decision that I am not going to farkle this bike to death like I did the KLR or the Scrambler. Two reasons....First, I know it is largely just frivolous and not helpful. Secondly, this bike really is so well-designed and set up. Other than a Seat Concepts saddle there isn't much more that I plan to do to it.....This bike is simply going to be enjoyed.

Last edited by "Mitch"; 09-17-2017 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:50 PM   #40
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Default Re: Took Africa Twin Demo Ride. Keeping KLR.

Again, sweet-looking ride and DCT makes sense with a drop foot. Happy trails.
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