HONDA AFRICA TWIN
Courts-family feedback on the CRF1000L
I’VE LEARNED IN the past couple of months that there’s nothing quite like writing about motorcycles to keep you from riding motorcycles. Commuting on the Africa Twin has continued to work just fine, but I haven’t spooled up a long trip yet. Luckily I offered the AT to a guest tester for a jaunt up California and back—none other than my dear old dad.
He was coming from his 1981 RG80 G/S, and the Africa Twin is a close iteration of the original adventure-touring rig, 35 years later. His overall thoughts on the new Honda? “The whole package works great, really, at least compared to my antediluvian stone axe of an ADV.” Qualifiers help—thanks, Dad. He went on: “Real brakes, great wind management, not to mention the very useful and intuitive electronics that I’m too old and cranky to admit I need.”
I secretly celebrated that someone born before 1960 was admitting that electronics can be good, but I was most curious about the wind management. At 5-foot-10, my pops said the wind protection was ideal, but being 4 inches taller makes it less than perfect for me. The stock screen pushes air around my body really well—it’s the turbulent air around my helmet that’s the problem.
I’ll likely try a few screens but figured it was fair to test Honda’s own Tall Windscreen option from the accessory catalog (powersports.honda.com). Four bolts out and six bolts back in equals 3.5 inches more wind protection for $170. Even though it’s still not aerodynamic perfection, this is clearly the better choice for AT riders more than 6 feet tall. I can see over the screen while sitting, and it takes the tumbling air away from the bottom of my helmet and makes for a much quieter ride.
Among my dad’s critiques were the AT’S stiff seat and pegs that are too far forward. A recent day trip had me agreeing with the seat note, and I’m going to work on that. Daddio’s final note? He prefers his lovely jalopy for one very specific reason. “On the AT I need to exercise restraint,” he said, “and over my years I find that the restraint bone in my head has become weak, no longer reliably usable. No telling what kind of trouble I’d get myself into were so capable a machine at my disposal.” A fair point. And I suppose that’s my job, come to think of it.
WRIST Zack Courts (2017) $13,299 MILES 5,457 50 Touring windscreen 2 MSRP MPG MODS UPDATE