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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Old 4 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by frnas View Post
Mollydog: Have you ever tried an XRV or even seen one? Talking about spagetti sving arm? XRV has an massive aluminium one, more than up to the jobb.

thin forks: actually the samme dimension as the road rocket suzuki you talk about, of course with more travel, and it comes with a brace. Do trawel bikes need 50 mm forks?
The "road rocket" Suzuki? You mean the VStrom? They have a 43mm fork IIRC,
and a frame that looks very similar to a GSXR. Have a look some time. Massive at the headstock. The AT was VERY good for 1990 but things move on
Is this a surprise to you?

I have seen many AT's, mostly in Europe, some have been imported privately to the US. In the UK I rode a '98 AT while my Triumph Tiger was getting a MOT inspection, this in 2003. I only rode the bike for about 1/2 hour...it was for sale.

I was not impressed. Slow, heavy and a bit ponderous....terrible brakes, clapped out suspension. Bike showed 17K kms. Comfort was OK, but not as good as my Tiger or my Vstrom. Just my opinion. Most likely it had not been properly set up...or had more kms. than the ODO showed?

But I must apologize....I looked at some pics on the Honda Trail BIke forum, and see the swingarm DOES look rather BIG! And I read later versions had stiffer chassis. All good. My mistake. I don't see this bike everyday.

So does that mean the bike would be rock solid with 800 lbs on board?

But that said, I would also say modern frames, swingarms and front forks have several advantages over the older A.T. Current Fork tubes and Triple clamps are bigger, stiffer and more robust than the AT equipment. I see many AT owners go with modern forks on the front, going with WP upside down forks or other forks and aftermarket or kTM triple clamps. Good move.

The swingarm may be big enough but new casting techniques and design now make most all current ALU frames and swingarms generally stiffer, lighter and stronger than earlier. Computer aided design is far more sophisticated now than in the 80's. They do More with Less. This is progress.

The AT is not a light weight bike. I saw two dry weights listed for this bike: One 217 kgs. the other (on a newer AT) was 235 kgs. or so.

I am aware the AT is legend....mostly a Euro thing. A great bike with a huge Euro following of fans. Obviously bullet proof reliability. Kudos to Honda.
If Honda had done more upgrades to this bike over the years it would easily be the best in the world. Even so, its still serves well for many riders....but lets not try to compare it with either Vstrom.

Originally Posted by frnas View Post
soft frame: I would say the xrv frame is pretty solid, with a good sub frame. RD04 was/is the choice for rally conversions. And i would say is is more solid than the old GS units, i dont know with the new 1200.

soft wheels? I have never heard of people having trouble with them so i suspect they are as good as anny.
Rally conversions? You mean rally conversions 15 years ago, right?

I never said AT wheels were soft. I'm sure they are way above average.
My POINT was that any bike's wheels will be dented easier when the bike is overloaded...a point on which we seem to agree.

I'm sure the frame is fine.....but may flex a bit when overloaded, no? And that, again, was my point. Put 700 lbs on a 1150 GS and you hardly know its there.
Same with a Vstrom...nearly. I just don't believe a stock AT would handle weight as elegantly as the other bikes in standard form.

Originally Posted by frnas View Post
Maybee know something about the actuall bike before you say it is a peace of shit?
Certainly not a POS....just a 20 year old design. A vintage bike.

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Old 4 Jan 2008
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First of all; I’m not a big fan of the AT for me it is something between a sofa and a bulldozer and it lacks power, and the suspension is bad.
But it is a very robust bike and it can take a lot of beating. The rims are solid with huge safety lips that make them very sturdy. I would say the rim is better then most (all) rims on modern bikes.

Going offroad with an AT is a nightmare (for me), the weight, the suspension the high COG and the riding position doesn’t fit me at all. But I guess that’s my fault because I’ve seen people drive the AT hard and it works very well, even with luggage:

YouTube - How to handle a Africa Twin
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Old 22 Jan 2008
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Talking Africa Twin

Maybe its time for a little history on my AT….

For me I love the older AT, the RD04 is indeed an older bike so fitted into my budget (carnet !!!), powerful enough for me, I’m a slow rider, it’s a big bike and I feel very comfortable… I love the looks but can only really compare it to my 600cc Yamaha Tenere. Being older there is plenty of overland knowledge and everyone speaks of fantastic reliability… lastly its simple, no fancy electronics to worry about and they can take real punishment.

BTW I think the rims are made by ‘excel’ as standard fitment. Down side is fuel consumption, rectifiers / regulators and I’ll add rear wheel bearings.

But I would like to point out what Sjaak said; the only thing that’s important, is it has to feel right in your heart !!! he rode a Yamaha R1 around the world….
Sjaak Lucassen | travelling the world by motorcycle | Yamaha YZF R1

The issue of rear shock arose due to a recent documentary by a few well know actors who rode GS1200 (or was it 1150’s) to Cape Town, they had two support vehicles and even then all 3 bike suffered complete rear shock failures !! Very strange for a brand new bike that’s out of the box, RTW ready….. I guess it was all the extra camera equipment they had to carry ........

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