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Old 7 Jun 2013
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Location: Belgium/Cambodia
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Smile Preparing my Africa Twin for overland trip to Kathmandu

Hi everyone,

I'm preparing my 1997 AT for an overland trip to Kathmandu and could use some advice on how to modify AT for this trip. We will ride two up and will follow more or less the hippie trail. Once in Kathmandu we will probably continue our trip to Cambodia supposed we get through Birma. This trip is planned for 2015 at the earliest but will most likely happen in 2016.

Done already:
heated grips
two 12V sockets on the dashboard
digital voltmeter
vacum fuelpump
rugged roads crash bars
african queens roll-over bar
headlamp guards
lowering set
Metzeler Tourance tires

Double Philips X-treme Vision H4 60/55 bulbs
Continental TKC80 tires
Hepco & Becker alu cases 37L + 45L
HyperPro Progressive rear shock spring
HyperPro Progressive front shock springs

One problem is that I want to use my Hepco & Becker cases on the AT but don't like the H&B rack because the cases sit way too high. Anyone ever used H&B cases with a none H&B rack?

All comments and recommendations are welcome.

1997 Africa Twin; 1998 Africa Twin; 2008 Transalp, 1992 Degree, 2007 Royal Enfield Electra 5S; 2009 Bonneville T100

Last edited by icarus; 16 Jun 2013 at 00:29.
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Old 7 Jun 2013
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Hey mate,

Sound like you are on the the right track... Three things that jump out at me are
1) Change the Regulator rectifier to a .... ahh it will come to me..

rr83 regulator rectifier from electrex world. I got the a rally version (RR99H - Regulator Rectifier. modified by electrics to suit). lovely!! When the honda ones fail they do it with out warning.. Also this there is three yellow wires connected by Nissan clips take out the clips and either make sure they are very clean or hard wire it to bypass the clips..there is 350v running though em and it gets hot.. (like fire hot.. trust me....)
I also cut the plastic that cover the R/R and put a screen there to increase air flow.. but stop rocks (i followed the sticker pattern and colour matched it.. looked like a factory mod..)

2) we had a starcom (wired) intercom and it was great. it was great to have My pillion's help with the cities..

3)And make sure the seat is comfortable for your pillion.. This is worth a lot of money...

Do your really want a lowering set, with the extra weight of you two up and gear what is the ride height?

I was two up (2000 AT) with WP progressives, and WP rear (adjustable) and was happy i had the extra height and preload capacity...

and Cambodia DONT MISS THE PLANE OF JARS!!! totally Awesome... stone jars as old as stone henge....

Continental TC80 tires - If you mean TKC80.. LOVE EM!!!!

LOWER PANNERS: I had home made panniers for the same reason.. I wanted narrow and low.. and had to make em.. but my first attempt was to modify a SW motec rack and this worked very well. Basically i added some square tubing to move the pannier loops down the mounting point on the rack. Give that a look. (if you put some picts of the rack on here maybe we can come up with a design.).. we being the hubb in general.

One thing i can say about H&B.. I bought their locks for my panniers and they ALL failed before the Ghana (from the UK). So keep that in mind.
Good luck

2000 Africa Twin
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Old 8 Jul 2013
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we also had Hyperpro on out AT's... absolutely fantastic.
H&B, I don't like the locks either as they get full of dirt.

Please send me an email ,then I'll send oyu a mail with pics and descriptions of mods we've done to our rtw-AT's.
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Old 2 Aug 2013
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rear wheel bearings- they can let go without warning. change to be safe and maybe keep a spare set with you- two of the bearing seem to be quite common, but i've struggled to find one of them 'freely' from bearing shops
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Old 19 Aug 2013
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I did the same trip last year and had only a fuel pump (original) with me. Had standard GIVI cases on the bike (worked perfect), there´s no need of any special equipment, your bike is special !!
- Tires: I can recommend MITAS E07 , excellent on bad or gravel roads, my one now is running 22.000 km (until Cambodia) and there are another 3-5000 possible. Max speed is about 110 km/h., then he´s getting loud.
- take some fuses !

How many km´s are on your bike ??

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Old 22 Aug 2013
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22.000-25.000km!!!!! I do something wrong, doesnt matter what I try I never had with any tire more than 15.000km and I tried nearly all of them. I had to change always between 10 and 15.000. I tried once Vmax below 100 on asphalt that gave me a bit more. But our AT was fully loaded about 450kg, maybe thats it...
Round the world by bike. www.RTWbyBIKE.com
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Old 7 Sep 2013
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Herewith the modifications made / spares taken regarding my trip from Portugal to West Africa in 2011:

Looking at your list I found that a spare or improved regulator/ rectifier is missing. Check also the total electrical power required including the mentioned extra bulbs compared to what the generator can provide.

Happy and safe travels,
Luís Cabrita
Lisboa - Guine Bissau, Fev2011
Panoramio - Photos by LMCabrita > Lisboa Bissau Fev2011
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Old 2 Nov 2013
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Broken speedo cables

Just out of interest- I've seen plenty of people complain about broken speedo cables on trips. I found that the cable 'pinches' when the front suspension completely compresses, causing the inner cable to 'grab' and break.

So if you regularly have this problem- your front suspension is too soft and is bottoming out. (surprise surprise- only happens on trips when you're running luggage etc. )

Also- if running the standard plastics and covers- I found a clear indication of bottoming to be the plastics 'unclipping' between the front mudguard and fork covers.
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Old 2 Nov 2013
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At 750

I traveled around the World on a AT 750. All my modifications are mentioned here: Mein Honda Africa Twin 750 Umbau

Some of the stuff i dismantled again while I was heading around the globe since it was of no use or got damaged.

- Rectifier can be an issue but you are already well prepared since u have Voltmeter. I was able to control the Voltage through the GPS Display (Garmin 276Map).
- Wheel Bearings are an issue, especially after a lot of river crossings. Keep a spare set for front and rear with you. Front bearings are the same as the rear right one. Maybe also carry a set dust seals for the bearings.
- Another issue which came up is the little plastic sprocket which is the speedo gearbox and the bottom end of the speedo cable. From time to time clean that properly and fill with new grease. After severel river crossing the the grease went bad and dirt made its way in and I lost a few teeth on the sprocket...
- The steering bearing is crucial on the AT. Change it for a roller bearing as seen here: Apico - Steering Bearings - Honda
- The TKC80 are nice tyres but the front one can become a pain in the neck if its down to 50%. To avoid uneven wear u can fit it after a while the other way aroun don the rim. Don't worry about the direction mark on the tyre. Since the thread is exact the same both ways it doesn't really matter (Never do this on a street or racing bike!)

If any more questions arise, don't hesitate to contact me. I know this bike inside out.

Greets from Kinshasa

-Challenge your Limits-
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Old 2 Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by Globetrotter View Post

- Rectifier can be an issue but you are already well prepared since u have Voltmeter. I was able to control the Voltage through the GPS Display (Garmin 276Map).
Controlling ain´t gonna help apeshit if the voltage suddenly goes up to 15.5V and kills the electronics before you get your foot on the ground. Get a MOSFET FH010BA rectifier, nothing else, directly connect the three yellow wires, run the red wire through the main fuse, the earth to the battery and be done with it.

Get rid of the aftermarket fuel pump (the use of which most certainly causes that your Honda safety system, which stops the pump if the engine is out e.g. after a crash or bike drop does not work anymore as designed, which results in a happily pumping pump and a driver in a puddle of fuel), fit the original pump with a new set of contacts and an extra diode to solder in to kill the sparks (total of 30 minutes work) and be done for the next 40.000km. Carry a spare set for 15 quid, size of a match box, if you so wish.

Need to fix your Africa Twin? Check out my step-by-step frame strip pictures at
Google+ album: http://tinyurl.com/6u93yv2
Dropbox with zip-File: http://tinyurl.com/czj8qgw
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