THE BIKE update 17/01/19
The iconic adventure motorcycle is the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, as its name suggests. A perfect balance between maneuverability, comfort, torque, power, travel, off-road abilities. Of course, the debate with the apostles of lighter machines is never closed, bikes less comfortable but easier to ride on difficult terrain like sand or mud; discussions on chain transmission vs cardan are also endless.
It is the bike I had bought and had fully equipped for adventure travel with reinforced suspensions and various other safety and protection equipment. Nearly a third of its value had been invested in this way. Unfortunately, it was stolen in my garage in 2018. My insurance having found the means to reimburse only the minimum possible, I was forced to look for a cheaper model, less exclusive, and I hope less attractive for thieves.
Thus I opted in 2018 for the new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports in DCT version (dual clutch transmission). I was very pleasantly surprised and even impressed by this model, Honda having chosen to do as well (as the Beemer) with less, and especially to create a more off-road oriented vehicle. The motorcycle is now equipped for adventure travel. For security reasons I will publish here only the commercial picture of the vehicle.
The Honda distinguishes itself from the BMW by a slightly lower weight, less power, a greater ground clearance, a 21-inch front wheel, a classic front suspension with long travel, the longest on the market, by a chain transmission, and, in the case of my model, by a sequential gearbox with optionally either automatic shifting along several modes or manual shifting by pressing the paddles on the handlebar.
I will not do its critique here. The specialized press has already done so. What I will say is that, the theft of my chosen vehicle forced me to re-examine my needs at a time when the market offered a vehicle corresponding exactly to what could be useful to me. That said, the choice of a vehicle is always a question of compromise. And no compromise is perfect in all circumstances. Everyone opts for the compromise that seems to be the most favourable, pleasant and adequate.
Until recently, the manufacturors were mostly surfing on the myth of the over-powerful off-roader able to conquer the planet – a myth primarily aimed at the bourgeois wishing to escape his condition without really being able to use the vehicle for what it was designed for. In reality, the real demonstrates that a motorcycle less powerful and lighter is certainly the most suitable choice. In recent years, the market offers models going in this direction, which is a good thing. Even if I went down a notch from the GS Adventure to the Honda Africa Twin, I think it is probably still too big and too heavy. We will see whether the road / the track confirms this.