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  #1  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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Lots of AT engines available soon - or not?

ATs are notorious for wearing out the countershaft, or driveshaft, which costs a lot in time and trouble to fix. It's the power pulse, like that of a big single, which does in the splines. Plus Mr Honda-san made the sprockets a bit too hard.

I've worked out my own preventative solution (I hope) to worn c/shafts, but I think this endemic fault may soon, given the current kilometrage of many ATs, produce lots of second hand engines, but with a knackered c/shaft.

Against this engine windfall, I have heard that many UK Africa Twin engines are being shipped to the USA, to be used in some bonkers Honda Bros conversion. This is Disneyland gone mad.

If this is true, should we ask for a ban on export of our engines, in the same way that important works of art are export banned?

I know that AT owners are a dwindling band, as a look at any current HU European meet shows,(where have the previous ATs gone?) but we have a bike of the historical and practical importance of the old GSs, which defined this class.

I fear for the future......
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  #2  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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It's not THAT common ! Just by idiots who run their chains too tight.. I've had 3 high mileage AT's and never had a problem..

Whilst the AT is a good bike, its past it now really !! They're only really travelled on by die hards now.

Don't get me wrong, it was great in it's day and I still have a place in my heart for them but there are just sooo many good bikes about today which are far lighter, quicker, economical, better handling, etc etc ! Did I mention lighter ??

Coming to think of it, the AT has shit brakes, shit suspension, crap fuel pump, over heating regulator, sticking choke plungers, rotting rims, rotting calipers and is a total bitch to work on (expecially the front cylinder)...

I think most Africa twins have been ridden to death now and ending up broken as spares on Ebay !

I low mileage clean AT goes for about £3000 these days. That's for a bike at least 8-17 years old. Considering you could by a nearly new Versys, Tenere, transalp for that kind of money, you would really HAVE to love them !!

AT's are actually becoming harder to sell. People are catching on that theres better bikes for your cash !


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  #3  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
It's not THAT common ! Just by idiots who run their chains too tight.. I've had 3 high mileage AT's and never had a problem..

Oooh Touri/Ted, thats a passionate post! - a bodice ripper! Good man!

But please, please dont call HU AT riders idiots: I'm sure you don't mean that. They all know about this tight chain business, it's old hat, and I'm sorry, but you could be mistaken?

I explained the reason, but I welcome your other 'idea'. Yes, a too tight chain can knacker this area, but it will destroy the C/shaft bearing before the splines, tho' they will go too. But you probably knew that? Everyone who has an AT does!

You're so right about the reg/rect - you got that bit spot on. I've had loads of hassle there. It is as you say an old bike, though younger than many of the old GSs which continue to take many HUBBers RTW etc. Dont tell me that those bikes should be scrapped? No! I'm a little surprised that for a bike you insist is no good, that you bought three of them. Oh well!

I've never been one who liked consumerism and the hunger to buy the latest bike the magazines tell you to buy. I prefer to do things, like Frank Sinatra, My Way: "Regrets, I've had a few...." I'll tell you the truth, I fancy a diesel bike and a Honda 90. As well as my AT!

A well meant post from you, and I thank you for it

Good roads!

PS edited several times for clarity and length.
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Old 16 Aug 2010
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Yes, you're probably right ! "idiots" was perhaps a little harsh ! But not directed at hubbers in any way !

Stripped splines is by no means just an AT problem. Poorly fitting aftermarket sprockets, lose sprocken nuts/retainers etc can all cause it. It's not uncommon on super high milage bikes (which most AT's are now)

But really, I've never seen or heard of prematurely worn splines on AT's when the good sprockets have been used and a suitablly lose chain.

Yup, you're dead right... People should ride what THEY like. Not what a trumped up magazine tells them to.

Still though, all these old GS's go around the world fueled on passion, not mechanical superiroty ! Just ask Grant or Brighty about their old GS's ! Hardly seems worth the trouble to me but motorcycling to the masses is a passion too and the relationship a rider has with their bike is an important one ! lol
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  #5  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Yes, you're probably right ! "idiots" was perhaps a little harsh ! But not directed at hubbers in any way !

Stripped splines is by no means just an AT problem. Poorly fitting aftermarket sprockets, lose sprocken nuts/retainers etc can all cause it. It's not uncommon on super high milage bikes (which most AT's are now)

But really, I've never seen or heard of prematurely worn splines on AT's when the good sprockets have been used and a suitablly lose chain.

Yup, you're dead right... People should ride what THEY like. Not what a trumped up magazine tells them to.

Still though, all these old GS's go around the world fueled on passion, not mechanical superiroty ! Just ask Grant or Brighty about their old GS's ! Hardly seems worth the trouble to me but motorcycling to the masses is a passion too and the relationship a rider has with their bike is an important one ! lol
Thanks Touri/Ted,

- glad to see you eventually agree. But come on, why did you buy 3 ATs when you believed they were trash? Whats your secret?

But I liked your emotional passion in your first post, when you dismissed the idea of bikes which were not sparkling new. Passion is a rare quality these days! Dont lose it Touri/Ted , and keep whatever individuality remains - forget the magazines! we all know it's tosh! Get on board!

PS I'm not at all keen on asking any 'heroes' you mention, none at all, anywhere, in any area of life (your heroes might be embarrassed at your words) who are just like me and ....well, you of course. I like what they do, (so much more than me,) but I do my own thing, as they do.

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Old 16 Aug 2010
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Don't worry, my bike choices are very very rarely nice, gleaming well running machines.

I've owned about 30-40 bikes in the last 10 years and the majority have been old bikes or with something needing fixing.

I love Africa Twins, but there has been alot of developments in the last 10 years which just lowers them in "MY" pecking list.

I don't class anyone as heros !! Well, maybe Spiderman.... And only caus im wearing Spiderman Xmas socks at the mo HAHAH !
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  #7  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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I may be wrong...but I was told that the worn out put shaft was caused by useing after market front sprockets.

my AT as only ever had genuine sprockets supplied by Mr Honda,and there is no sign of any ware on the out put shaft at 44,000 miles.

I still think that the AT is one of the best all round bike's that I have had,and it does what I need better than other bike's I have tried over the years

Don't worry about part's...I have friend's riding bike's from the 1930's so our Africa twin's may well be going for a long time to come.

as for price...you can't pay enough for something this good looking


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Old 16 Aug 2010
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Worn output splines are not the sole reserve of ATs.

By all accounts, it also seems to be a weakness on Transalps also.

I'm actually scared to look under the sprocket cover of mine.... just in case the curse has come a'callin'...
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  #9  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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Running the chain too tight does also caus the wear Dazza, although its a much slower process..

Like you, I only use genuine, or JT Front sprockets.

JT are the only pattern front I will use. Not saying they're the only decent ones, but the only ones I know of.
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Old 16 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Running the chain too tight does also caus the wear Dazza, although its a much slower process..

Like you, I only use genuine, or JT Front sprockets.

JT are the only pattern front I will use. Not saying they're the only decent ones, but the only ones I know of.
could be,but I thought running the chain to tight would damage the output shaft oil seal first.

most of the lad's I know that have damaged the output shaft splines on their AT's have been useing after market sprockets .
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Old 16 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzerrtw View Post
could be,but I thought running the chain to tight would damage the output shaft oil seal first.

most of the lad's I know that have damaged the output shaft splines on their AT's have been useing after market sprockets .
I guess its a combination.. If a chain is pulling on the shaft tight enough to damage the seal/bearing, then its also putting undue stress on the sprocket and spline !

We're talking about damage over years, not months !!

Im guessing over the years, there are many Africa Twins which have been run on very poorly fitting sprockets. When you're travelling overseas, you just have to use what you can get a lot of the time !
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  #12  
Old 17 Aug 2010
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......
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzerrtw View Post
I may be wrong...but I was told that the worn out put shaft was caused by useing after market front sprockets.

my AT as only ever had genuine sprockets supplied by Mr Honda,and there is no sign of any ware on the out put shaft at 44,000 miles.

I still think that the AT is one of the best all round bike's that I have had,and it does what I need better than other bike's I have tried over the years

Don't worry about part's...I have friend's riding bike's from the 1930's so our Africa twin's may well be going for a long time to come.

as for price...you can't pay enough for something this good looking

excuse the ballsup in this reply!I put it in the wrong place..

Very tasty pic, D. Is that in Morocco, on the way to Erfoud, or Ouarzazate??

I was also told that non Honda sprockets are too hard, and I tried to find metallurgy info to heat and soften the centre only, but it was a no-no.

I have one AT which has done 200,000 kms. Before I got it, it had a c/shaft replacement at around 50,000 kms, but not since then. Funnily enough, the c/shaft bearing has now gone, but at 200,000kms thats understandable.

Like you, I think these bikes do the job, like the old GSs and other makes, so what more does anyone want. I know some people, a few individuals, feel the need to spend loadsa money on the latest bikes, which is nice if you believe what the journos tell you. It gives them a sense of "doing the right thing", like staying in fashion.

I dont mean that if you can, buying a new bike isnt a good thing (my ATs were new once) for the modern KTMs seem to be fabulous, eg, but there's maybe a bit of overkill there. Which of course costs money. The new Yamaha 1200 Ténéré looks stunning and huge, just like the price. Way out of my league.


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  #13  
Old 17 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Don't worry, my bike choices are very very rarely nice, gleaming well running machines.

I've owned about 30-40 bikes in the last 10 years and the majority have been old bikes or with something needing fixing.

I love Africa Twins, but there has been alot of developments in the last 10 years which just lowers them in "MY" pecking list.

I don't class anyone as heros !! Well, maybe Spiderman.... And only caus im wearing Spiderman Xmas socks at the mo HAHAH !
No worries at all Tour/Ted!

It's interesting that you've had on average about 3-4 bikes a year over a decade. One every 12 weeks or so! Well.......!

This could be an indication of the power of bike mags to impress people. Maybe, I'm not certain.
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Old 17 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
No worries at all Tour/Ted!

It's interesting that you've had on average about 3-4 bikes a year over a decade. One every 12 weeks or so! Well.......!

This could be an indication of the power of bike mags to impress people. Maybe, I'm not certain.
Nooo, I dont just sell one then buy another. I usually maintain a fleet

I used to buy spares/repair bikes on ebay, restore them and sell them on for a little profit which then was used to buy another bike. I was skint while training and worked my way up from a smashed up ZX6R worth £500 to a £5000 Fireblade, all bought on profit !! Took a few years though !

I also used to work for a large chain of motorcycle dealerships. I would buy the worthless partex's, fix them up with second hand parts and sell on again.

eg. I bought a ZX6R J2 for £700 because the gearbox was shagged and all the bearings were dead. It also wouldnt run well.. It cost me £15 for a gearbox on ebay (couldnt believe it), and another £100 on bearings, valve shims, service etc !! I sold it for £1600 3 months later running like a dream with a 12 month MOT !!

I also used to buy bikes just to "try" them. I would sometimes lose money on them, sometimes make money ! It all balanced out !!

I've calmed down a little now. I've just got my DRZ400. I sold the others to help pay for my liverpool - Capetown !
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  #15  
Old 28 Aug 2010
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pro oiler?

not sure if this is worthy of a reply but ive been running a pro oiler on my AT since i got it at 9000 miles and the chain has never run dry its now up to 50000,i replaced the front sprocket a few weeks ago and the output shaft still looks brand new?i also got 30000 out of my last chain and only changed it because the link broke.more bucks for !.....not a bad run god bless the AT
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