> > Bring It Honda! An 800GS, 950Adv, and Me.


Bring It Honda! An 800GS, 950Adv, and Me.

I haven't owned a million Adventure bikes. I've owned two: a 2010 BMW F800GS and a 2004 KTM 950 Adventure. I write this as my KTM sits in the shop, so please excuse any skewed editorializing.

What's most exciting to me about Honda's new release of the Africa Twin as the CRF1000L is that there is a very good possibility of finally having a very reliable, turn-key, 1000cc adventure bike that will handle better off-road than the other 'reliable' options on the market. Again, this is just based on my own personal experience and conversations with other riders.

My experience with the Beemer was overwhelmingly positive, but as everyone knows, it leaves something to be desired once you start pushing the envelope in the dirt. On the other end of the spectrum is the Dakar-bred off-road beast from KTM, that delivers more feedback and dirtbike-like performance than I ever could have imagined from a big bike. The two motorcycles are at opposite ends of the same Adventure category, with the 800GS being more road friendly and the 950Adv being more dirt friendly. If it ended there, my choice would be easy. I'd much rather ride a dirtbike on the street than a street bike in the dirt.

The issue I'm experiencing that pushes the two even further apart is the maintenance and general upkeep required. The 800GS required nothing outside of oil changes every six-thousand miles after outfitting it with SW Motech crashbars, an MOD skidplate, Barkbusters handguards, and Giant Loop and Wolfman luggage. The 950Adv has a laundry list of recommended updates and rebuilds, not to mention that you should change the oil every two-thousand miles!

The 950Adv is an absolute animal off-road, requiring only Doubletake mirrors, a Heidenau K60 rear with a TKC80 front, a Seat Concepts seat, and a Moose Racing windshield to get me comfy on the bike on the street and dirt. With nearly identical mileage on both motorcycles, I'm learning about cost of ownership the hard way with maintenance and updates required to keep my KTM happy. I love this bike, and I ride it every day. She just keeps making me pull out my wallet.

This experience has me looking to the new Honda Africa Twin as a safe bet to deliver what a modern Adventure bike should. Do I want a bike that performs in the dirt? Yes. Do I need something reliable that doesn't require a degree from MMI to keep running? Yes. I don't think that's too much to ask for, and based off all of the wild speculation online and the legendary history of Honda Racing and the Africa Twin, I would hope that the chances are good that we will see an enormously popular new Adventure bike that will satisfy the needs of riders who want it all.

You can look forward to seeing a lot of aftermarket parts and accessories from Solo Moto as soon as manufacturers make some goodies for Honda's new CRF1000L Africa Twin.
By Aram

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