A good friend of mine purchased a brand new Africa Twin this year and was kind enough to let me take it on a Colorado mountain road adventure! Adventure bikes are one of my favorite types of machine, I have a need to wander everywhere and anywhere the roads and trails can take me so it’s great when one machine can let me explore both! The Africa twin definitely has this capability.
The 1000cc engine is pumping out 93.9hp and 98 ftlbs of torque! This is a machine that you can feel the rear tire dig into the ground as you crank the throttle. It comes with a 3 setting traction control feature that is adjustable in motion depending on your terrain and needs. The ABS can be turned on and off for your preference and riding style. Lets face it sometimes we want to let the rear wheel slide side to side and skid to a stop and other times we like to keep things a bit more under control.
On the highway the Twin glides along smoothly with little vibration and plenty of speed and power. The curves and U-turns are easily negotiated it doesn’t feel heavy to lean one way or the other with its light weight of 534 lbs wet, and the turning radius is superb! When climbing the steeper inclines off-road I kept the traction control at level 2 and it allowed me to sail right over the wet loose rock without kicking the tire out from under me. On the straight gravel road I found it more fun to leave that feature off and get the wheel dancing around a bit behind me slinging some dust. The ground clearance is more than adequate for any terrain and if you happen to get in over your head, so to speak, the skid plate is there to save the day!
The downward slopes were easily navigable with the ABS making sure that I didn’t lock up and go sliding out of control from my 12,000 ft descent. This bike crawled along like a Trials machine with excellent balance and then when I decided to twist the throttle and fly it was right there ready to dig in and climb in all gears at all rates of speed! That’s about the time I decided I was in love. Quick response from zero to let’s go steals my heart every time!
I am 5’9″ and the stock Twin is too tall for me as an off-road vehicle but luckily there are suspension options to modify that problem if I decide to purchase one for myself. Bruce is 6’2″ and the bike seems to fit him perfectly though he does want to put wider pegs on it and may opt for risers for the handle bars. He chose a Delkevic exhaust (an Englewood CO company), Wolfman luggage, Puig windshield, and Givi racks as add-ons so far. A neat little feature I noticed was the plate added to the bottom of the kickstand for better stability on soft ground. I carry around plates for kickstands on my street bikes but this little gadget is a permanently mounted accessory and was only $23.95 online! Unfortunately there is no brand name on it so i can’t give anyone credit for their product.
There is more than enough room for luggage and passengers on this bike. It seems there really isn’t much it isn’t capable of! The earlier models in the late 80’s were 650cc’s and then through the 90’s into early 2000’s they came as a 750cc model, I have read many stories of people literally traveling around the world on them. Now with the 1000cc model the possibilities really are endless.
This machine spends most of its life in the San Juan mountains around Silverton CO so heated grips are a feature that will be added. The head light is very bright but could have a wider range. Compared to the Twins list of awesomeness I’d say the shortcomings are very minimal and some are simply rider specific in this case. That’s another great thing about motorcycles, they can be molded and modified for each riders wants and needs.
If I were to saddle up and hit the trails or the highway I would be damn proud to do it on this machine! Thanks for hitting the nail on the head once again Honda!
Here I am driving across Iowa five days and 1 million memories later. This is the third year in a row I have spent the third week of September in Silverton Colorado. Maybe 3’s my lucky number … This year’s visit was not only fueled by the fire of the blaze orange aspen trees in all of their fall glory, but also by a meeting with an organization called the Steelhorse Sisterhood. This group of women wind warriors are hosting a women’s motorcycle summit in Silverton next June. Through some mutual friends we have become connected and I am now helping with this awesome event. There will be women from all walks of life gathering in the San Juan mountains for a week of education, riding, scavenger hunts, adventures, great food, and even a little dancing in the street! The Rocky Mountain Woman’s Motorcycle Summit will be divided between Durango and Silverton Colorado with many destinations in the surrounding areas. Any and all skill levels are welcome to attend along with anyone who may be interested in becoming a rider but hasn’t taken that leap into the saddle just yet. The ride down the infamous Million Dollar Highway is worth the trip a lone but there will also be inspirational and educational speakers to help us all learn a little something about life on 2 wheels. There are teams forming for moto rally challenges all over the mountains, points are earned for making it to certain locations and taking selfies with your bikes. The Steelhorse Sisterhood will be providing some meals for the week and there are host hotels in each town. The best part about it is getting together and sharing our love of 2wheels, our passion for adventure and freedom, and our unbreakable bond of Sisterhood driving us to empower one another to succeed in life by concurring our fears! Remember ladies, S.T.R.O.N.G. Women Ride!!! This could be the chance of a lifetime to meet new friends, hone your skills, and take on the world while rolling the mountains on motorcycles! I don’t know about you but I’m gonna climb that mountain! I’m gonna help others make it to the top! I’m gonna make friends and memories that last a lifetime!
The Steelhorse Sisterhood is a charity organization and the money raised at this event will go towards an educational grant to help someone further their life and have hope for the future. For more info on the organization and the events visit http://www.steelhorsesisterhoodsummit.com/
Ever hear of Viking Cycle Gear? How about Motorcycle House? I never had either until they asked me to try out their products. With the amount of miles I ride and the weather that comes with them gear is pretty important. Sadly after 10 years and thousands of miles I was forced to retire my old HD rain suit this year due to some massive leakage issues. I replaced my longtime wet weather travel companion with a 2 piece Viking rain suit.
The price is definitely right at $49.99 and the suit stands up to it’s savage name “Viking” I’d trust it to weather any storm at highway speeds!
The Jacket and pant legs have thick high quality zippers covered by full length Velcro flaps to keep them sealed off from any water leaks. The Velcro flaps on the pants also allow you to adjust the fit of the pant leg for a more personalized fit allowing more room if you have on chaps or less room if you’re just wearing jeans underneath. There are stirrups that fit around your shoe or boot to keep the pants held snug to the ankles while sitting with your knees in the breeze. The sleeves of the Jacket also have Velcro cuffs to fit snug around your wrists or gloves. The drawstring hood can be worn snug to your head and face or rolled back and velcroed out of the way. It is mesh lined to prevent that sticky, plastic, suffocated, feeling us all-weather riders are familiar with when we have had to settle for wearing one of those cheap department store rain jackets. There is reflective striping across the back and down the arms for better visibility to oncoming traffic and the gear is available in bright safety colors. There are 3 huge waterproof pockets, 2 on the jacket and one on the pants. The suit fits great when sitting or standing and doesn’t flap ridiculously in the wind. The pants have a reinforced inner thigh and butt area and the jacket drops well below the waistline for optimum coverage.
I would recommend this gear to anyone who rides. I plan to see how it withstands the test of time and will report back in the very distant future! The only shortcoming with this product is that it does not currently come with a pouch/bag for packing it.
Check out all the Viking Cycle gear and more at https://www.motorcyclehouse.com/