This Africa Twin has seam­less shift­ing DCT... Con­tin­ued over The rid­ers

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Michael Guy SPORTS EDITOR

onda have al­ready sold more than 400 of their new flag­ship Africa Twin in the UK. But while the de­ci­sion for peo­ple to part with their hard-earned cash ap­pears to have been eas­ily made, each prospec­tive buyer has had to make an ad­di­tional de­ci­sion: opt for the con­ven­tional man­ual ma­chine or go for Honda’s DCT (Dual Clutch Trans­mis­sion) op­tion.

It’s a de­ci­sion buy­ers will have no doubt ag­o­nised over and so far ap­prox­i­mately 21% of Africa Twins sold here have been DCT with that fig­ure sig­nif­i­cantly higher else­where in Europe, at 44%. While the sys­tem has been proven on-road on other Honda mod­els, im­press­ing buy­ers and jour­nal­ists alike with its seam­less gear changes, Honda are break­ing new ground in a bid to prove the sys­tem’s cre­den­tials away from the pre­dictable world of tar­mac.

To find out if the DCT ver­sion can be a match for man­ual in the de­mand­ing dirt en­vi­ron­ment, MCN spent a day back-to-back test­ing the two bikes at a wet and slip­pery Avalanche Ad­ven­ture off-road venue in Northamp­ton­shire.

Hav­ing been on the press launch of the Africa Twin in South Africa at the end of last year, I al­ready had a clear in­di­ca­tion of how the bike be­haved in on- and off–road con­di­tions. But un­like South Africa, where I was rid­ing on fast dusty trails, this test was far more real world for a Bri­tish rider – wet, cold, rut­ted and in­cred­i­bly slip­pery. So much so that it was a test for the bike just nav­i­gat­ing our way around.

HFormer tri­als rider and road racer. Com­peti­tor in the UK All Ter­rain Rally Chal­lenge Ex­pe­ri­enced off-road and ad­ven­ture rider. Africa Twin ex­pert

Andy Hibbs (54), mo­tor­cy­cle sales­man

Iõve been blown away by the new bike; the en­gine sounds very sim­i­lar to my old Africa Twin and the looks still iden­tify with the orig­i­nal. I went for the man­ual, mainly be­cause of what I know. There is also a cost im­pli­ca­tion, which was im­por­tant, plus I like to be in to­tal con­trol. 700 miles into own­er­ship I have ab­so­lutely no re­grets.

David Busby (48), Di­rec­tor Stafford Mo­tor­cy­cles

I went for DCT be­cause it was new and I wanted to give it a try. I had some reser­va­tions but af­ter rid­ing it of­froad on this test IÕM im­pressed. On the road in the stan­dard Drive mode it is se­date and you donõt have to think about it. I would rec­om­mend it to any newish rider be­cause it has some dis­tinct ad­van­tages over the man­ual bike.

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