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Offline Dorsland

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You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« on: May 02, 2020, 11:51:18 am »
This is probably the worst time in the recent history of the world to have bought a bike.  With much trepidation and buyer's remorse before I'd even bought it, and plenty of good advice from many guys here on the forum over the past month or two, I yesterday drove down to PE and took delivery of an Africa Twin DCT.  :biggrin:

So just some first impressions and a few pix after my 350km ride back on mostly tar yesterday.  For what it's worth, I write this with the greatest appreciation and knowledge of how blessed I am to be able to do this in a time when many are taking so much strain in an economy in the junkyard and a world in turmoil.

I bought the bike from @Joel at Joel's Motorcycles, after being reassured by guys here that had dealt with him previously, and was not disappointed.  Joel is organised, the bike was as described, all paperwork, manual, service book, spare keys etc in order and presented in a neat folder along with 2 swanky key rings, the bike ready for my test ride.  I bought it with a few farkles already mounted (Honda taller screen, wider footpegs, bar raisers, headlight guard, centre stand, luggage plate, electric socket, Rumbucks crashbars and bashplate.). As promised, all the original items were neatly in a box for me.  I don't think a dealer has ever given me a full tank of petrol, Joel however, filled the AT up for me.

As you all know, rumours are flying around regarding roadblocks and regulations this, restrictions that, prohibited the other, curfew blahblahblah. After advice given by PE and other dawgs, I decided to load the bike on the bakkie and bring it home like that.  The ride down saw no roadblocks, police or SANDF of any nature so I decided to ride it back home, sans my riding boots and pants.  I had brought my helmet, gloves and jacket along for the test ride though.

A roadblock at Despatch where the road splits to go left to Graaff-Reinet and another near Glen Connor that was busy packing up when traveling back were both non-events.

@Operator also deserves a thumbs up as he arranged, on very short notice due to my oversight of arranging insurance timeously, all the paperwork, helped me while I was there to ascertain that all was good with the registration certificate and other paperwork and set me at ease.  Dankie Oppie, jy is 'n aanwins vir die versekeringbedryf waar daar baie onetiese mense is.  :thumleft:

Anyway, let's cut to the chase.

Seeing as a variation of this pic has already been tracked down and placed on the forum by our own sleuths, here is Joel's pic he took for his website. (I had received a copy of this pic from @Knucklhead before I was even halfway home  :lol8:)
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Offline TrailBlazer

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2020, 11:55:14 am »
Veels geluk Johan... mag jy etlike duisende km's geniet agter die stuur. Baie nooi  :thumleft:
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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2020, 11:57:04 am »
Hondas are lekker bikes.  They help grouchy buggers like me make friends in unlikely places.  Before I'd even gotten comfortable on the bike, near PE airport, I see a 790 KTM coming up in my mirror.  As he passes he greets me! Ha, even hardcore riding gods on KTMs have a soft spot deep down inside for a Honda.  :peepwall: :lol8:

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Offline cocky

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2020, 11:57:52 am »
Nice transport!
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2020, 12:00:47 pm »
Ek kyk na die foto en ek sien die duim, maar die gesigsuitdrukking van die koper sÍ "hoe gaan ek die gat in die bankbalans toe kry wat ek nou gemaak het"!!
Baie geluk Dorsland ek sien uit na menigte trips en foto's van die Honda. Mog daar n foto of drie van n SWA duin en klein gensbokkie ook wees onder die klomp!! ;) :peepwall:
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Offline GravelFox

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2020, 12:01:38 pm »
Baie geluk en geniet hom. Daai goue rims dra by om dit Ďn looker te maak. Jy sal nou baie keer net so om die bike loop om te kyk hoe mooi hy is.


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Offline Andre E

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2020, 12:03:55 pm »
Hondas are lekker bikes.  They help grouchy buggers like me make friends in unlikely places.  Before I'd even gotten comfortable on the bike, near PE airport, I see a 790 KTM coming up in my mirror.  As he passes he greets me! Ha, even hardcore riding gods on KTMs have a soft spot deep down inside for a Honda.  :peepwall: 8:
Manic?

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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2020, 12:08:45 pm »
So some impressions after my short time on the bike.  There are a few references to my Tenerť and 800 BMWs, these are what I can compare the AT to.

It feels like a bigger version of my 660Z Tenerť which I foolishly sold in December.  The shape of the tank is similar, riding position very similar, the 270ļ crank offset even makes it sound a lot like a thumper.  The riding position for me is almost perfect.  Those bar raisers make all the difference and that was a worthwhile farkle, I would have installed these anyway.  There is much more space to move around in the saddle and on the pegs.  On the 16km dirt from the tar road to my farm, standing, the standing position is perfect, I could do many miles like this.

The taller screen on the road is great, I can leave my visor completely open but chose to keep it open a crack for ventilation (it was 32ļC leaving PE) and I don't want insects in my eye.  On dirt the taller screen is too tall as it interferes with my view of the road.  I have the original screen so may swop it out to see which works best.  I am 1,86m tall for reference.

The DCT took a bit of getting used to when I forst climbed on the bike.  I kept looking for the clutch and gear lever. Before I'd gotten onto the open road though, I was OK with it.  Nice to just come to a stop at a robot, then open the throttle and go.  D mode almost short shifts but the bike never labours.  I could almost imagine myself in an old V8 Fairlane cruising along.  :biggrin:

We stopped along the way near Jansenville for tea from the cooler box my wife packed for us.  I did a U-turn on the dir troad where we'd turned off and it does that no problem.  Riding along without any throttle in 1st gives about 12km/h so this is good to know.
'Tis the timeís plague, when madmen lead the blind.

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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2020, 12:10:47 pm »
Ek kyk na die foto en ek sien die duim, maar die gesigsuitdrukking van die koper sÍ "hoe gaan ek die gat in die bankbalans toe kry wat ek nou gemaak het"!!
Baie geluk Dorsland ek sien uit na menigte trips en foto's van die Honda. Mog daar n foto of drie van n SWA duin en klein gensbokkie ook wees onder die klomp!! ;) :peepwall:

Die ANC het gehelp om hom te koop Chris.  Toe hulle met hulle nonsens aangaan en die wisselkoers trek hier oor die ZAR19/USD1 toe gooi ek 'n paar saam my geld van die 660 en knyp oŽ toe.
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Offline McSack

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2020, 12:29:50 pm »
Congrats Dors!
Hell I am jealous of your ride home. Your are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of our country for riding a bike.
I reckon I would be up and down to the plaas gate on the AT a few times a day if I was in your position....you know....just to check if there is enough grease in the hinges....or if the draad to either side is as tight in the afternoon as it is in the morning....stuff like that

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Offline Joel

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2020, 12:35:10 pm »
Thank you very much @dorsland for the business! Itís very much appreciated and I know youíve bought yourself a great bike to add to your long association with ATís.
 
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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 12:41:26 pm »
Congrats Dors!
Hell I am jealous of your ride home. Your are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of our country for riding a bike.
I reckon I would be up and down to the plaas gate on the AT a few times a day if I was in your position....you know....just to check if there is enough grease in the hinges....or if the draad to either side is as tight in the afternoon as it is in the morning....stuff like that

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I'll tell you something @McSack, get on your bike and come visit me.  The authorities have put the fear of God into people with this lockdown nonsense.  It's no problem to get out and about.  Do it.
'Tis the timeís plague, when madmen lead the blind.

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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 12:42:50 pm »
Thank you very much @Dorsland for the business! Itís very much appreciated and I know youíve bought yourself a great bike to add to your long association with ATís.

I slacked off those fork pinch bolts this morning and straightened out that handlebar Joel, all seems good now.  For good measure, I gave it another wash after the 3 river crossings to get home.   :thumleft: :biggrin:
'Tis the timeís plague, when madmen lead the blind.

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Offline Joel

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 12:43:37 pm »



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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 12:44:00 pm »
Hondas are lekker bikes.  They help grouchy buggers like me make friends in unlikely places.  Before I'd even gotten comfortable on the bike, near PE airport, I see a 790 KTM coming up in my mirror.  As he passes he greets me! Ha, even hardcore riding gods on KTMs have a soft spot deep down inside for a Honda.  :peepwall: 8:
Manic?

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Wassie hy nie, diť ou was nie op sy agter wiel teen 200km/u nie.  :imaposer:
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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2020, 12:52:15 pm »
Joel and I couldn't figure out the 2 trip meters before I'd left so cannot give mileage on. a tank of petrol.  When I left Jansenville (86km to GRT), there was one bar on the fuel guage, about 40km from GRT the fuel light started flashing and remaining fuel volume displayed 3.2 liters.  I had been traveling at about 138km/h up until then but slowed to around 125km/h.  I reached the 2nd filling station in town with 1,6 liters of fuel indicated.

Last night I grabbed the manual and figured out the trip meters and other functions of the on-board computer.

While there was no strong winds blowing yesterday - it was the most beautiful day, like today - there was some light cross winds blowing between GRT and Jansenville.  The AT feels more stable but probably not a good comparison as the wind really needs to be a lot stronger to get a good idea.  I cannot compare to a GS but the AT, compared to the 660 eats miles easily.  I sometimes groaned when having to do long tar stretches with the 660 as at around 140 - 150 km/h the single was working fairly hard.

Keeping in mind I haven't done much mileage on the AT, the 660 stacks up really well against it.  I am still sorry I sold that Tenerť.

First fill up of the AT in GRT.
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Offline Dorsland

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You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2020, 01:04:54 pm »
I had my doubts about the DCT but all the feedback I'd gotten from guys like @Kobus Myburgh, @Hinksding, @Ian in Great Brak River [mention]BikerJan [/mention] and others, I was comfortable taking the chance.  Yes, it obviously takes some getting used to.  Like this morning, starting it up I was again reaching for the clutch and gear levers  ::)

However, yesterday when I got on my dirt road, I felt the benefit.  I have to cross the Sundays river 3 times after our good rains.  The last crossing here at my house is fairly deep (around axle depth) and very rocky after the storm water had washed the road away to a great extent.  No problem for the DCT, I'm in the right gear automatically, don't need to changed position for gear shifting, just open the throttle and go through.

I think I am going to enjoy the DCT. Changing is very smooth, I cannot really feel it, I just notice the slight change in engine note.  Admittedly I haven't fiddled around with all the settings available, I'll get to that when I take a good ride maybe later next week or next weekend.  Remember, I am no jaagduiwel and never even tested the limits of the 660, never mind the the AT.

Things I think could've gotten more attention from designers are the angle of the instrument display and the placing of the centre stand footlever.  The latter is directly in line with the RH rear footrest and gouges my shin every time I pop the bike onto the centre stand.  Small thing but still.  The angle of teh instruments make it difficult to view them when standing.  Even seated, the display is slightly too upright.  Nothing major.

I am often amazed at how people can find something to endlessly bitch about, threads on some forums running to the tens of pages about relatively minor issues.  Not only about bikes but cell phones, laptops, videos and other stuff.  Social media rally has given the complainers a soapbox from which to moan to all and sundry.  And woe betide the manufacturer that doesn't reply to these bitch fests.

Anyway, just an observation, a discussion maybe for another day.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 08:19:43 pm by Dorsland »
'Tis the timeís plague, when madmen lead the blind.

King Lear
 
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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2020, 01:07:12 pm »
I took a few pix on the dirt late yesterday afternoon.  It was fortunate that i did as I noticed one of the number plate bolts had got lost and the plate was hanging by one.  I removed this and replaced with metal bolts this morning.

'Tis the timeís plague, when madmen lead the blind.

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Offline Dorsland

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2020, 01:09:59 pm »
Monday morning I'm off to town to go fit the Anakee Wild front and Mitas E07+ rear tyres.  Then I need to find out when the roadworthy centre here in town is open so I can get the bike roadworthied and registered.

More gaan ek en my vrou die stofie pak en Írens in die Karoo gaan koffie drink.  Gemmerkoekies is reeds gebak.  :biggrin:
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Offline Joel

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Re: You meet the nicest people on a Honda
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2020, 01:11:26 pm »
Awesome scenery & pics !!


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