Views
1 year ago

RideFast Jan 2020

  • Text
  • Rossi
  • Honda
  • Yamaha
  • Motogp
  • Ducati
  • Lorenzo
  • January
  • Rider
  • Ridefast
  • Racing

Build quality is simply

Build quality is simply sublime as expected from Honda. There won’t be parts flying off whilst thrashing it off-road. straight away. A whole 50mm has been shaved off taking it from 920mm to 870mm (on its highest settings). This already opens the Africa Twin models up to a lot more riders, including short people like myself. The power on all the 2020 models has been taken from around 94hp to 100hp. I am not going to bore you with the details on how they manged this but what I can tell you is that the difference between the old 1000 and new 1100 is far greater than the specs would lead you to believe. Power wheelies now came as standard and easier than ever to perform. Helping me tame this power would be the electronics, which have been revised and new goodies added for 2020. I set the riding mode to off-road and turned the wheelie control onto 1 to start, but would later turn it off as the bike would cut power up the steep inclines. Another really cool feature that has been added to the new models is that of the beautiful, big screen dash, which is touch screen. I found it very easy to operate as I played around with all the aids which include ABS settings. Not having an Apple iPhone I wasn’t able to use the Apple Car Play, which is a bit annoying, but was able to connect via Bluetooth and USB. With a headset you can now make and receive calls as well as listen to music - Another nifty addition from Honda. The 2020 model now has an off-road mode and I must say the ABS on the Africa Twin is most probably the best out there for both road and off-road applications. Up next and I climbed on the Small Tank DCT, keeping the settings the same as not to give an advantage to any of the models I quickly set off. After riding both Small Tank and Big Tank models in both DCT and Manual variants on the challenging dirt loop I can quite happily say that I was hugely surprised and impressed, but definitely favoured the DCT bike for off-road. It was just simply so easy to ride - no clutch control, just point and squirt!. The Small Tank felt a lot lighter and more nimble than the Big Tank. The actual weight difference between the two is a mighty 12kg according to specs and you can definitely feel this out on the trails. Another plus while going through all the rocks and obstacles was the tubes fitted to the Small Tank, whereas “After riding both Small Tank and Big Tank models in both DCT and Manual variants on the challenging dirt loop I can quite happily say that I was hugely surprised and impressed, but definitely favoured the DCT bike for off-road.” the Big Tank now comes standard with Tubeless. Mighty impressed, even though I was out of my element with the dirt it was time to swap and up next would be the track test. Back to what I know, I would once again take both models and variants around the tight but ohso-fun handling test track. The suspension is definitely vastly The new AT really has to be good if it can get a Portman through dirt... improved on the 2020 models and I noticed less dive from the front end while braking hard into corners. Grip on all models was amazing and I found myself scraping my knees and drifting the rear wheel in almost every bend. I must say out on the track I turned all of the electronic aids off and rode the bikes in Touring mode. The bike is so easy to ride and very forgiving and predictable so I knew I would get away with this superbike racing, track styled riding. I found that the manual bikes, especially the unit fitted with a quick shifter and auto-blip, was much better than the DCT around the track. Having said that, the sound the DCT made on down shifts was truly addictive. 58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 5 9