Honda Africa Twin: The Long Way Home

Good friends will help you move. Awesome friends buy new motorcycles and leave them in your garage to ride.

I happen to have an awesome friend. In fact he’s been bugging me for weeks (basically since he got it) to take it for a ride. Sadly with everything else in my life going on it took a while. (Plus my newish motorcycle is pretty amazing.)

However, last week I finally got it out of the garage and onto the streets, and I’m glad I did. The Honda Africa Twin is a fun motorcycle, and I’m pretty sure that if I was riding in Africa it would be the bike to take. It’s got the long suspension to handle the crappy roads and plenty of grunt to keep you out of  the way of the crazy drivers. Both of which Africa* has lots of. I enjoyed the ride height, and had fun playing with the DCT.

Though I have to say that early in the morning when it’s still dark, is not the time to try and figure out a new motorcycle. I had a bit of an adventure trying to get on to the freeway while somehow stuck in first gear. (I thought DCT would be a no brainer… apparently I was mistaken)


Since there is no way better for me to get the feel of a motorcycle than taking it on the Long Way Home, that’s what I did. The huge variety of different riding that “The Long Way Home”  has certainly gave me a sense of what I like and didn’t like about the bike.

Liked:
The lazy easy rider nature of the DCT, it was fun to just zip around town and the Highway and not worry about shifting.
The Ride Height is awesome, it’s great to see over traffic with a clear view of the road ahead of you.
Shifting in “manual” mode is fun. just use the paddles, which in some corners is much easier than using your foot.

Disliked:
The DCT on sporty roads is not good enough, even in the “sport” setting. You need to switch to manual.
It’s heavy and tall, which means it can be tough to move around the garage or any really slow situations.

Overall the bike is great. I’m not sure I’d buy one since it’s made for a type of riding that I just don’t see myself doing anytime soon/ever. The narrow front tire makes me a bit nervous in the twisty bits. I struggled to get comfortable with riding the bike at a fast pace. Part of this was just not knowing the bike well and also part of it was not wanting to crash my friends new motorcycle!

Now I really a BMW GS, (I wonder if one of my friends still has his?) and compare the two, since those bikes are definitely more direct competitors.

I think the best thing riding another new bike was that it just made me love mine more.

 

*Well my experience of Africa which is only Tanzania and Egypt.

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About MotoCynic

I started riding motorcycles in 2006, and there is no going back. I've ridden more than 100,000 miles, most of it on a Ducati Monster, and despite setbacks and murderous BMW's I'm loving every mile.
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