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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 22 May 2013
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Honda-What next?

My Honda Africa Twin is finally giving up the ghost. I bought the bike new in 2003. It's been to North Africa twice and all over Europe several times. We moved permanently to Portugal last year and we rode to the South of Italy then up through Romania before returning home to central Portugal. Other than the normal consumables, tyres, brakes, a set of clutch plates and a replacement fuel pump the only part I've had to replace was the front wheel which I damaged dropping of a high kerb (my fault) Now at 157,000 miles the bike has started using a lot of oil and the gearbox is playing up (difficulty in engaging second from first) The question is: What should I replace it with? Please don't suggest anything BMW. I've had three new and they've all had problems.
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  #2  
Old 22 May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdarbyfeast View Post
My Honda Africa Twin is finally giving up the ghost. I bought the bike new in 2003. It's been to North Africa twice and all over Europe several times. We moved permanently to Portugal last year and we rode to the South of Italy then up through Romania before returning home to central Portugal. Other than the normal consumables, tyres, brakes, a set of clutch plates and a replacement fuel pump the only part I've had to replace was the front wheel which I damaged dropping of a high kerb (my fault) Now at 157,000 miles the bike has started using a lot of oil and the gearbox is playing up (difficulty in engaging second from first) The question is: What should I replace it with? Please don't suggest anything BMW. I've had three new and they've all had problems.
I think if I'd owned a bike for 157,000 miles that's been as trouble free as this one I'd simply spend some money to get it fixed and keep it.

And I would guess after that mileage you might just be quite attached to it as well.
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  #3  
Old 23 May 2013
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Find another AT.
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  #4  
Old 23 May 2013
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If it is using oil at that number of k's it is most likely just glazing of the pistons and gunked up rings and seals.. Give her a rebuild... Or give her to me.. i''l take her. Anubis (my 2000 AT) has 150k km on it and i have done the above) and she is sweet as!!
you will not regret it....
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  #5  
Old 23 May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdarbyfeast View Post
My Honda Africa Twin is finally giving up the ghost. I bought the bike new in 2003. It's been to North Africa twice and all over Europe several times. We moved permanently to Portugal last year and we rode to the South of Italy then up through Romania before returning home to central Portugal. Other than the normal consumables, tyres, brakes, a set of clutch plates and a replacement fuel pump the only part I've had to replace was the front wheel which I damaged dropping of a high kerb (my fault) Now at 157,000 miles the bike has started using a lot of oil and the gearbox is playing up (difficulty in engaging second from first) The question is: What should I replace it with? Please don't suggest anything BMW. I've had three new and they've all had problems.
Get a 2012+ Suzuki V-Strom 650.

Brilliant bike.
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  #6  
Old 25 May 2013
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Well, bought a brand new TA yesterday after testing the V-Strom and Tiger 800xc. Nearest thing to an AT except gearbox seems much slicker. Will keep the AT and try and get a used motor & box.
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  #7  
Old 25 May 2013
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Originally Posted by mcdarbyfeast View Post
Well, bought a brand new TA yesterday
Congrats! It's always a good feeling when getting a brand new bike.
It's more or less the end of the line; Honda will not be marketing that bike in the future - they don't have a V twin at all, according to a Honda dealer I was talking with a while ago. He also mentioned that he thinks the V4 800cc VFR will be the next bike to be discontinued, but that engine will continue to be available in the Crossrunner.
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  #8  
Old 25 May 2013
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Originally Posted by docsherlock View Post
Get a 2012+ Suzuki V-Strom 650.

Brilliant bike.
I´m with this guy. Owned 5 (five!) different 650-750 AT´s in the golden Nineties... still love that bike in a way, but for my use, the new DL simply trumps it in almost everything except maybe looks. Africa Twin is an old bike in 2013. Ok, the AT was probably a bit better for outside the tarmac, but still a heavy beast at that. It´s sad that Honda decided to quit the AT, I´m quite sure they would have sold truckloads of an updated FI version.
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  #9  
Old 25 May 2013
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Another vote from me for having it overhauled. Powder coated frame and cycle parts, renew whatever has significant ware, shock, bearings and a top end overhaul with a peek at the gearbox to sort that.
I have never owned or ridden an Africa twin but the people I know who have and sold them have regretted it.
Alternatively if you can afford to and have the space get a new bike of your choice and do the above to the AT as you can afford it and keep it for trips down memory lane.
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  #10  
Old 7 Jun 2013
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Picked up the Transalp this week and have started running it in. Couldn't me more pleased with the bike. It seems ideal for, the far from perfect, road surfaces here in central Portugal. Met one of the mechanics at the local Honda garage (not where I bought the Transalp, they don't sell big bikes) who is more than happy to help me overhaul the original engine and gearbox and to use the workshop out of hours so, I'll start stripping the AT down this weekend. It'll be interesting project in more ways than one as Portuguese is still in a fairly embryonic stage.
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  #11  
Old 9 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdarbyfeast View Post
I'll start stripping the AT down this weekend.
Just so you don´t have to take pics:
Google+ album: http://tinyurl.com/6u93yv2
Dropbox with zip-File: http://tinyurl.com/czj8qgw

Whilst Missus rides an TA XL700VA, I myself look at a KTM LC8 990 Adventure Dakar as a legitimate replacement for the AT.

Cheers
Chris
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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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  #12  
Old 10 Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by Keks View Post
Just so you don´t have to take pics:
Google+ album: http://tinyurl.com/6u93yv2
Dropbox with zip-File: http://tinyurl.com/czj8qgw

Whilst Missus rides an TA XL700VA, I myself look at a KTM LC8 990 Adventure Dakar as a legitimate replacement for the AT.

Cheers
Chris
Thanks for the photo's. I had intended to take some as I stripped the bike down but, I'd slightly under-estimated how filthy it would be. Even after draining the oil overnight I still managed to cover myself and the bench with oil. Taking pictures without submerging the camera in oil would have been impossible!

I've ridden the KTM 950 & the 990 and loved the bike. The riding position is very close to the AT. Unfortunately my midget legs are just a little too short!
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  #13  
Old 18 Jun 2013
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Pedro and I finished stripping the AT down this weekend and have been cleaning and checking all the components for wear and tear. So far everything is still within manufacturers tolerances. Cylinder wear is minimal, rings look OK and valve guides are fine. Can't really figure out why it was using oil. Gearbox seem fine apart from some worn clutch plates. The rest of the bike looks pretty good to. There is some wear in the swing arm but the head race bearings (replaced at 80k) seem fine. Wheel bearings were replaced at 80k and are good. The frame has minimal corrosion but will get it powder coated. Not sure how far to go with the rebuild yet but, will change the pistons and rings and clean the bores. Had a nice surprise when a dealer friend of Pedro's turned up with a brand spanking new red, white and blue petrol tank. (must be worth 5-600 euro) The only thing is, it makes the old fairing look a bit dull!
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  #14  
Old 1 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdarbyfeast View Post
Picked up the Transalp this week and have started running it in. Couldn't me more pleased with the bike.
I finally decided my Tiger 955i was too big and top heavy for me about three years ago and had a hankering for an AT. I was advised against it (as it would be too big and heavy!) and, as there didn't seem to be any ATs around at the time anyway, I was at a loss what to get. According to the specs the TA700 was as high and as heavy as the Tiger but I decided, with nothing to lose, to go for a test ride.
Needless to say, I now have one! What a fantastic little bike (it feels little compared to the Tiger) and it has taken me through Europe and along some 'interesting' roads in Romania with ease.
My 'what ifs' had been quashed by the TA anyway but, basically, I'm quietly pleased that an AT owner reckons the TA is a good alternative.
(I have lowered the pegs by about 45mm which I find more comfortable anyway but also more 'planted' when standing.)
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  #15  
Old 8 Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post
I finally decided my Tiger 955i was too big and top heavy for me about three years ago and had a hankering for an AT. I was advised against it (as it would be too big and heavy!) and, as there didn't seem to be any ATs around at the time anyway, I was at a loss what to get. According to the specs the TA700 was as high and as heavy as the Tiger but I decided, with nothing to lose, to go for a test ride.
Needless to say, I now have one! What a fantastic little bike (it feels little compared to the Tiger) and it has taken me through Europe and along some 'interesting' roads in Romania with ease.
My 'what ifs' had been quashed by the TA anyway but, basically, I'm quietly pleased that an AT owner reckons the TA is a good alternative.
(I have lowered the pegs by about 45mm which I find more comfortable anyway but also more 'planted' when standing.)
Hi Mermaid,

I've really gelled with the 700 already. I've had a 600TA and the 650TA and the 700 feels completely different. The build quality seems better and I like the bigger feel. I like the sound of lowering the foot pegs as my knees are at more of an angle than the AT. 45mm seems quite alot though. Do you notice the reduction in ground clearance ? Also, where did you get the lowering kit ?
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