Shitty because I suck at them. The bike however, does not suck. And having hit two weeks of ownership and 1500 miles, now seems as good a time as any to post about it!
I’ll start out by saying that the biggest disappointment with this bike is it’s power. Which is saying something. What I mean is, it isn’t slow, it doesn’t need more power. It’s perfectly adequate. And power delivery is so linear it will be excellent for use when I finally get it dirty. You just have to remember I’ve put 18k miles on a 1200cc Ducati in the last two years. It’s no surprise the power on the bike would be underwhelming. It’s plenty quick to handle all traffic situations and out-accelerate most cars.
I did have one minor annoyance. Wind buffeting over 45mph. The windshield throws sure right at my forehead and actually makes wind worse to deal with on this than my Monster. Or should I say threw/made... I found an aftermarket fork hole cover and installed that. Wind problem now completely solved. I think if I were under 5'10" this wouldn’t be needed, but if that were the case I think I would be too short to feel comfortable on it.
This bike is tall. I’m 5'11" and am often tip-toeing at stops. That’s with the seat in the low position. I’ll need to be careful when I take this on dirt. But it doesn’t feel heavy, which is great. It’s real easy toss and move around, both on and off the bike. Somehow, walking it around while off of it is actually easier than the Monster.
That maneuverability translates nicely to the ride. I was not expecting this thing to handle so well. For something with 90/10 tires, spoked wheels, and tubes, this thing handles very confidently. It’s not a sport bike or a sumo, but you can really move through corners and have a blast riding this thing on the road.
As for the build quality, it’s a Honda. The transmission is precise and satisfyingly snickety. The controls are just right. The pegs are grippy and comfortable, no matter which boots I wear. The gauge cluster looks a little cheap, like a 90's Timex watch. But it’s all function. It tells me everything I want to know and nothing I don’t. I’ve had no issues with visibility or glare even in direct sunlight. Even the mirrors on this provide great visibility without excessive vibration.
The next biggest surprise for me was the exhaust note. It’s a moderate volume, but actually sounds pretty decent. Parallel twins can be disappointing. But this is 270 degree parallel twin. It makes surprisingly decent little pops and just sounds good. It’s no classic Triumph or Ducati, but I prefer the sound of this to a CBR.
Suspension is great. Handles a passenger very well.
I’m losing steam. You probably are too. I’ll try to wrap this up!
The side cases are extremely functional. They’re the Honda ones. No brackets required and half the price of Givi’s. They’re side opening, which is my biggest complaint. But they hold a lot, including my helmet in the left side. And quickly pop off. Like I said, extremely functional. I’ve ordered a top case also, but don’t have it yet.
I can sit on this thing for hours cruising down the road, or push it and have a blast. Amazing all around bike. I don't think I'll ever love it as much as the Monster, but that would be unrealistic. The Africa twin would be an excellent choice for a single bike garage, especially if you like camping and hiking and all that.