1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

First Bike 2019 AT AS-DCT vs 2021 T700

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Chyves, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. Chyves

    Chyves n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    CALGARY, AB
    Hi Everyone,
    Excited to join this group and after reading lots of threads, there seems to be an endless amount of incredible experience/knowledge. *eternally grateful*

    My situation -
    Chonky 39yr old - 5'7 - 170lbs Canadian (Calgary) Asian new rider (fresh out of Moto School)

    I'm looking for my first bike and the choice are absolutely overwhelming. After months of eye watering YouTube videos and articles, I have come to these 2 and here's why.
    I may have the opportunity at a new (old stock) 2019 Africa Twin AS-DCT for not much more than the 2021 Tenere 700.

    I've sat on both and oddly enough, even though it's much heavier, I find the AT more confident inspiring especially since I have a short inseam.
    For those that may have ridden both and are about my height, what say you? I completely understand the LOADS of feature differences between the two. I also am realistic that I won't be doing much off-roading until I have more experience riding. My goal with the bike is to do trips from Calgary to Banff, Jasper (Rockies) and eventually to Victoria BC and everything in between.
    My challenges are that I can't test drive either of them since my exam isn't until late Oct (yes... not ideal but no choice). I am literally buying a bike without a test drive which adds to the complexity.

    In terms of price, they won't be much different by the time I add the necessary accessories on the T700 such as crash bars, lowering kit, center stand, heated grips, etc...
    I have considered the Honda CB500x (just priced dropped from $7799cad to $6849) but being at highly altitude and wanting to travel in the Rockies, I don't feel confident the 500 will have enough juice. I wish the Baby AT was out already lol

    Long story short - If both were the same price, which would you buy if you were in my noob pants?

    Cheers!
    Yves

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10,517
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    I’ve only test ridden the AT, I liked that it carried the weight low compared to my vstrom. I’ve only sat on a T7, but I think it’s just going to come down to how much off road you want to do and how difficult. The T7 is going to be better off road than the AT.
    #2
    The_Precious_Juice likes this.
  3. AZ Africa Twin

    AZ Africa Twin From the AZ High Country

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    724
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Two great choices but opposite in a lot of ways, especially the AT all the electronic technology and the T7 bare bones basic motorcycle. AT DCT more bells and whistles that can malfunction, T7 not as many Rider comforts and not as long distance touring capable.

    It depends on what you like and what you are planning to do with it. Both are capable of putting some adventure in your life on and off road.
    #3
    The_Precious_Juice likes this.
  4. orgndnr

    orgndnr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Comox, BC
    I have a Africa Twin, CRF 450l and CRF250 Rally, and had a CB500X Rally Raid and Yamaha MT 700, and my suggestion for a new rider would definitely be either the Tenere 700 or 2020 Cb500x....the extra 80 pounds on the Africa Twin sounds like not too much, but picking that sucker up a few times a day gets old pretty quickly, and trust me, as a new rider you will be picking the bike up a few times if you are doing any kind of off-road. As a matter of fact, the crf 250 rally might just be the ideal starter adventure bike..
    #4
  5. Adanac rider

    Adanac rider O.S.T.R. Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,542
    Location:
    N.V.I.
    Welcome , congratulations as a new rider . I would get something smaller as a first bike and especially off-road.The 250 Rally or 500 CB-X at the heavy end . I'm of similar stature but older (and wore out), The T-7 is a couple steps lighter than the Big bikes but still 450 #'s . I agree with Orgndnr . Start smaller and enjoy the experience . I have a 250, T7, and S-10 and all have a purpose.
    #5
    Snapper, 97707, kmag and 1 other person like this.
  6. r_p

    r_p n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2020
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Boston
    I was able to briefly test them both but not long enough to make a decision.

    The T7 felt a bit under-powered but I was riding in a group (Yamaha demo event) and didn't really get a chance to open the throttle. The bike does feel simple and honest which I like but then it's also being sold at MSRP which IMHO is way too much what its worth.

    The ATAS engine felt and sounded uninspiring (at least at low RPMs) and it does feel heavy but that's what you want if you're riding on the highway at 70-80 mph amongst trucks/semis. I also experienced a LOT of wind buffeting around the helmet on the ATAS at 6'1. Then there are all these posts of clogging fuel filters on the AS model.

    In any case, with the leftover 2019 AR/ATAS you're getting a lot of bike for your money. Is it a great bike, I don't know. @mcmann owns both and in the best position to compare.

    Since you're still shopping it might be worthwhile to take a look at the DRZ400/DR650 as well. Although its hard to get a good deal on them like the leftover ATs.
    #6
    The_Precious_Juice likes this.
  7. B-Nads

    B-Nads Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    You're in the same boat as me. I started out with the 2016 CB500X (I'm 6'3, 220lbs), and it was certainly physically small feeling (not to mention it's not much for offroading unless you upgrade it), but at your stature a 2019 CB would be a great starting point. I'd all but decided to go with a road bike a dirt bike, but after sitting on many sport tourers, I keep coming back to ADV bikes, and I'm settled on one of the AT or T7. I can get a new standard matte black 2020 AT for about $700 more than a T7, which is a lot of extra bike for $700, but it's a lot of extra potential maintenance cost and aggravation as well. I haven't ridden the T7, but just sitting on it you feel like you're on a real dual sport - a KLR with a degree in behavior ;-).

    Ultimately, my decision may have just been made easy. My dealer called me in to check a trade-in that just arrived - 2017 AT standard with Outback bars and skid, Jesse racks and hard cases, other upgrades, and an aftermarket set of forks. I may well grab that one and happily run the ever-loving sh!t out of it ;-). Either way, Honda or Yam, you can't go wrong.
    #7
  8. antwon412

    antwon412 Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,144
    Location:
    Yuba City, CA
    My useless opinion -

    No way would I want an AT or a S10 as a first bike. Way too big. I can’t imagine how you could feel comfortable enough on it to develop proper riding skills.
    Many understand the mechanics but don’t have any skill.
    Start on something small and light. Learn to lean. To trust the bike, the tires. Then move up.
    I’ve had 250s, 500s, 600s, 650s, 800s, 1300s. Probably others I can’t think of.
    Over all the 250 was one of the most fun and my current 500, a Cb500x is just about the perfect bike.

    Again. My opinion. And won’t fit the use case of everyone.

    Start small. Learn to really ride then move up.
    I love the AT. So good looking. Was at the dealership to get my Cb500x and they had one. Sat on it and immediately didn’t want it. Big, tall bike.
    #8
  9. nohumdrumlife

    nohumdrumlife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    Let's talk about the competitive advantages of the AT vs T7.

    DCT - i rode 40+ years with a manual clutch. I also do 500 mile days on a regular basis. I will never own a manual bike again. Your left hand will thank you.

    Two up - The AT gets my wifes seal approval for 400-500 mile days.

    Short guy - With the low seat in low position, a person with a 30 inch inseam can get the balls of their feet down. The seating geometry is pretty good. Its almost like it was built with the short guys in mind.

    Those are the only clear advantages of the AT over the T7 (although pretty important ones)

    However, I suspect an NC750x would make a better beginners bike and have many of the same advantages.
    #9
  10. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Oddometer:
    17,717
    Location:
    日本
    My AT's DCT broke down, stranding me. Honda took five weeks to fix it. Even then occasionally it'd get stuck in first gear, requiring a restart to operate normally.

    Even when it was operating normally, it rarely shifted when I would have, necessitating manual overrides or manual mode unless I wsa in drone mode while commuting.

    U-turns and other delicate maneuvers where one would normally feather the clutch require that you feather the brake instead, a poor substitute for proper clutch control.

    It's impossible to lock the rear wheel in gear, good luck keeping it from rolling backward if you don't make it to the top of dirt hill climb.

    That's the long way of saying I will never own another DCT again.

    For a beginner, I'd recommend the smaller, lighter, simpler Yamaha.
    #10
  11. nohumdrumlife

    nohumdrumlife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    Yes, what would a thread be in mentioning DCT that twinrider didn't show up. Of course, before his problems he was the biggest proponent of the technology that existed, so if you search, he's in those threads too. Of course, a bad experience can sour anyone. Regardless, I've got 20k miles on it. There is always the threat that DCT could bone you. But isn't that the case with any tech on any newer motorcycle? Recently I went to Utah and did Moki and Snow Flat Road (the beginning of the UTBDR) by myself. Towards the end I bit it on a sandy decline. Got out my dirt napper and jacked that son of gun back up. See, innovation can also be a blessing.
    DSC04687.JPG DSC04686edit.JPG DSC04678edit.JPG
    #11
  12. bmac

    bmac Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,530
    Location:
    Florida/Wisconsin
    Agreed!

    For a beginner, a beater bike for the first year is always a great choice. It is very beneficial for a beginner to be able to get both feet on the ground as the learning process can result in some mishaps.

    Neither bike the OP referenced is a good choice but if the go cheap for the first year option isn't in the cards go with whichever one feels best from a stability standpoint.
    #12
    97707 and kmag like this.
  13. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,020
    Location:
    Here, but lost. Am I lost if i know i'm here?
    AT DCT was my first actual bike. I'm on my third one AT DCT now. Love it.
    #13
  14. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    9,820
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, Va.
    To reiterate what at least one other rider said, start on a small bike, esp off-road... or your learning will not (likely) only be inhibited, it will be negated.

    Barry
    #14
    slipknot and kmag like this.
  15. mcmann

    mcmann Adventure Rider Junkie Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,180
    Location:
    Jefferson, GA
    If I remember correctly . . . you are 2-3” taller and much more robust than the OP.

    IMO, a CB500X would be much more confidence inspiring for a newbie rider . . . 100 lbs less weight (that’s a lot of potatoes).

    “Chonky 39yr old - 5'7 - 170lbs Canadian (Calgary) Asian new rider (fresh out of Moto School)”

    F9553FBB-B0EE-462A-861D-A895F2FAB30E.jpeg
    #15
    The_Precious_Juice and lithodave like this.
  16. katit

    katit Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2020
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Saint Louis, Missouri
    First post here, very similar situation. Very limited experience dirt-biking when in high school. Now 40+, haven't ridden bike for 20+ years. Looking at BMW 850/800GS or AT or maybe DL 650. Those were suggested to me. 6'1, 210lb, will do school in September.

    I really want bike to be for riding MO places and also I understand it's ideal to get light bike - there will be a lot of highway miles to get to places. What kind of bike would you suggest in this case?
    Honestly, if it was only for off-roading - I would be fine with 125/250 dirt bike(or at least I think so). But it has to give me comfort on longer highway runs.
    #16
  17. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    314
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    As stated above, I think both bikes are WAY too big and heavy for a first time rider.

    Get a Honda CRF250L (my biased opinion since I have one), and ride, ride, ride. Great reliability, will costs 50% of the two bikes you're considering (which will leave you with more $ to spend on proper riding gear), very forgiving throttle response, and fairly easy to pick up. Oh...and stupid long maintenance intervals. Then after riding a ton if you feel that you need to move up, you can...the CRF250L probably won't lose much in value.

    Also, in terms of "juice", at your size, the 250L will have plenty of it....you won't win any drag races, but it will get you where you want to go.
    #17
    slipknot likes this.
  18. katit

    katit Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2020
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Saint Louis, Missouri
    Getting to trails from STL is probably 100-150 miles on a highway. Thats where I have problem with 250cc. Sounds good when you get off asphalt. But I am not sure it's even safe on interstate for long times.. This is my dilemma with a smaller bike.
    #18
    lithodave likes this.
  19. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Oddometer:
    17,717
    Location:
    日本
    The WR250R is light and can cruise at 80 mph all day if needed.
    #19
    The_Precious_Juice likes this.
  20. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    You're probably better off buying a bike you plan to keep 1-2 years while you figure out what you like rather than a $12K one. Who knows, maybe you'll love track days and hate dirt.
    #20