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2018 Africa Twin DCT initial thoughts

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So in short I had the opportunity of test riding an AT DCT yesterday with a mind to buying. It wasn't just a suck it and see type test ride as I was a serious buyer and falling short of any major dramas it was coming home with me. The bike was one month old, 135 miles and over £2k saving on new. After the obligatory licence check and signing of forms I had the controls briefing by the salesman and then left to my own devices. Initially as I sat on the bike in the low seat position I was very aware of being able to get both feet securely on the ground, I am only 5'8" and how much lighter it felt which was no real surprise compared to my 1150.

Side stand up and in "D" it felt very strange pulling away with the gearbox selecting 2nd at walking pace, a quick check and out onto the main road with acceleration and gear change being very smooth. I had a route in mind but found myself settling into DCT riding very quickly, so much so that I changed my route to try and challenge it some. I found the bike trying to stay in 6th but with realising this and flicking down the gears roundabouts and corners were dealt with like any other geared bike. In fact the lack of clutch and gear change allowed lines and position to be smoother and traffic became a novelty with this "twist and go".

The inevitable sales pitch informed me of the improved mapping, exhaust and DCT operation which all seemed relevant compared to the ride I had whilst closer inspection of coatings and finishes assured me that this area of concern had been dealt with and improved, time will tell. I decided to stick with the standard AT rather than the AT AS mainly due to the fitment and height for me. The AT is a good fit in the low position where as the AT AS is based around a bike higher than the upper seat position of the AT. I can't quite help thinking that Honda have seen the GS and GSA characteristics and although delivered in a different package have used the structure of what these bikes are fitted with as a basis for the AT and AT AS. I realise there will be some that rubbish that comment but the comparison is there for me.

What do I think?

In short I've put a deposit down and will collect it in a few days and only too happy to report on my findings as time progresses and miles are clocked up.
The only question I have now is do I go soft or hard luggage?


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