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53HiHood

New Honda Africa Twin

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I picked up a new adventure bike back in June to replace my Ducati Multistrada I had sold. I haven't put many miles on it yet but so far I'm more than happy with the bike. I installed SW Motech crash bars and soft panniers. I also picked up a set of Mitas E07 Dakar tires that I'll install this spring. Next on my list will be IMS Pro Series foot pegs, AltRider skid plate, Cyclops Motorsports auxillary lights, and Cycra bark busters.

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Everyone will want to know your impressions of this one!  Expect a lot of rubbernecking in the Spring...Keep us informed, you're on the leading edge, and the Africa Twin is a bucket list item for many.

I like the IMS foot peg plan, all of your accessories and upgrades make sense.  Beautiful machine!

Moses

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So far it's everything I wished my Multistrada was. Tall, low center of gravity, narrow, tractable power, feels lighter than an XR400, unique and aggressive sound, it's a Honda, the list goes on. Going from the CRF450R to the AT I feel right at home, very similar handling at speed.

A racing friend of mine just invited me to join him on a Canada to Mexico ride next year. But I would like to get out on a big trip this year. Any good Backcountry does down in the desert lands?

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There's a route at Northern Nevada that would be fun, actually two routes.  One is retracing portions (accessible) of the 400 mile long Pony Express Route across the state, which extends from Utah to Carson City or vice versa.  Another that I really like, which could be incorporated in a Pony Express/Highway 50 ("Loneliest Highway in America") trip, is High Rock Canyon and the 40-Mile Desert or Black Rock.  This is part of the Southern Oregon Trail into the Medford Area at the north and down to Goose Lake then High Rock onto the Black Rock.  

We access the High Rock Canyon (full of historical and pre-historic artifacts and history) from Gerlach north of Pyramid Lake.  Our base is Fernley, Nevada.  All of northern and N.E. Nevada is interesting, the Jarbidge and Owyhee River regions have a lot to offer, too.  I'm thinking in your terms, as you start at the Northwest.  Regardless which way you approach (forward or reverse), the Southern Oregon route of the Oregon Trail takes off from Fort Hall, Idaho and heads west across the Humboldt and 40-Mile desert.  Here is an article and photos I did for 4-Wheel Drive & Sport Utility Magazine a decade ago that covers High Rock and the Black Rock:

http://www.fourwheeler.com/events/1006-4wd-high-rock-canyon/

Here's a short video .flv I did around 2010:  http://www.4wdmechanix.com/High-Rock-Canyon-Travel-Video?r=1.  I'm due for another, higher tech 1080P/30 video of Soldier Meadows and High Rock.  Maybe we could connect for at least part of your journey?  The XR650R could use the romp.  Late summer, early fall are optimal, spring can be muddy with swollen creeks to cross (if lucky).  Tapers down after Labor Day and the Burning Man on the Black Rock Playa.  Gets better after that...

Moses

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That would be fun. I'll start looking into it some more, that's the whole reason I bought this bike. I don't want it to spend it's life on the highway. Fall is optimal for my busy fire schedule, and a ride like this would do more for me than my usual 24 hour Fall race.

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Good...With some planning, we could rendezvous and ride at least a stretch together...Northern Nevada has a lot to offer, glad to provide feedback when you've read up on the area and reviewed maps.  After fire season and before the hard overnight freezing would be ideal!  

Optimal fall riding in this climate is post-Labor Day to mid- or even late-October...

Moses

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I ordered the IMS Pro Series pegs, new Pro Taper Evo Adventures bars, Cycra Pro Bend bark busters with the solutions mount, and forgot to order new grips.

I went for a long ride on Tuesday, across the Puget Sound and down the Olympic Peninsula, and pegs, bars, and heated grips moved to the top of my priority list. Who makes a good set of heated grips?

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Delighted you got some touring miles on the Africa Twin!  How does the seat bode?  I need Seat Concepts or someone to redo my OE enduro seat, it's hard as a brick!

You likely found the reviews of the Honda official aftermarket heated grips, not very impressive.  Here's an interesting site with some reviews of a range of products:

https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-heated-atv-grips?id=adw&gclid=CjwKEAiA8dDEBRDf19yI97eO0UsSJAAY_yCSmoECjQ3kXaknPpZGDib4MVusECYafrXUP-w1g09XxRoCFz7w_wcB

The best OE heated grips I've had were BMW's K1100LT type, apparently tested on the Autobahn...Let us know what you find...

Moses

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The seat is nice, but after a couple hours my backside gets tired. Could be from lack of miles in the seat I guess, I have only put 1300 miles on the bike since last June.

The Oxford Heaterz adventure heated grips have great reviews, I might give them a shot.

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Well I got most everything mounted up. The Cycra guards with solution mount did not fit so I had to return those. I wish they would list any fitment issues to prevent customers from having to do their fitment checks for them and pay return shipping when their product didn't work. The grips seem good so far, they don't get super hot like the reviews said, I was running them at 75% in 45-50° weather without hand guards. Time will tell I guess. I'm not sold on the new Pro Taper Evo adventure bars, they are very similar height, bend, sweep, etc but a little narrower. I do think I'll be looking for a new seat, I'm starting to notice is a little too soft for longer rides. The IMS pegs are great. They aren't significantly bigger than the little stock pegs, but seem to work well with stand up riding. I guess there's some durability issues with one of the peg mounts, if dropped or layed over hard enough the mount itself will break. Not good. I'm not sure what pegs those guys are using, maybe the really big ones? Guess I'll keep an eye on this issue, maybe Honda will have a solution.

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53HiHood...Helpful review of these products, objective, too!  You never know until parts are in hand.  

Curious whether Honda steps up on the alleged peg mount issue.  These issues do come up, there was an upgrade on the Honda XR650R peg hardware;  we almost bought a 2001 GL1800 first year model only to find out later we were lucky we didn't, the frames had a breakage issue that result in a recall and an aftermarket local TIG welding fix.  Guess this can happen to any manufacturer, and Honda is volume.

I'm still a Red Rider devotee...I just keep track of the upgrades and recalls!  Even with our wonderful Ram truck, every manufacturer has its recalls these days.

Moses

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I had purchased these Mitas E-07 Dakar tires last summer and finally got around to installing them. I've made one short ride with some freeway mileage. No bad handling habits noticeable yet, but there is a little road noise. No big deal. The true test will come later this month when I get up to the mountains.

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Waiting for the mountain report!  They look great...Let me know the wear characteristics.  I've done very well with the Michelin T63 tires on the Honda XR650R.

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My mountain ride didn't come until the end of October. It was rainy, foggy, slick, rocky, muddy, and my tires were overinflated. And it was a dusk ride. Not ideal conditions. We rode a bit of pavement, gravelled Forest roads, and an old rocky Jeep trail that gave us a good mix of terrain. All in all the bike did great. I should have dropped pressure in my tires once the terrain got rough, lesson learned. The center stand likes to make a racket, I'll be securing that with a gear tie in the future. The traction control resets when the bike is shut off and makes climbing difficult, I got in a bit of a pickle on one steep climb when I forgot to turn it off. Once I recover from knee surgery I'll be getting out for some more riding.

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Speedy recovery on the knee surgery!

Traction control can be a pain, we dealt with this around the initial launch of the Mercedes-Benz ML320.   Under full mud conditions, there was no forward movement on any kind of gradient...Mercedes-Benz made remedy shortly thereafter.  The original system was an E-car open-diff application that used a brake apply approach that could, literally, stop spinning wheels and also stop the vehicle from moving forward in a full-slip situation.

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