HONDA AFRICA TWIN

Courts-fam­ily feed­back on the CRF1000L

Motorcyclist - - Garage - —Zack Courts

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

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