Sold my car. Just learning to ride with a new Africa Twin around TN/KY

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DaCaton, May 26, 2019.

  1. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    Yeah, I was just planning on riding up to the smokies in a month and I was going to use my issued duffle with a bungee cord. Hell, I lived out of that duffle for 9 months, why not just 4 days?
    #21
  2. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    Yes, you never know. Got out for five years after doing five years and then went back in and did 20......really? Life is funny.

    Can only speak for my lights....just want to make sure can use on the street and not blind drivers.
    Outback Motortek bars limited my light options, ESPECIALLY with the high fender kit. So if that is huge factor might not want to get the Outback Motortek bars.
    Camel Adv - Cory -has a great site and products. His AT is pretty tricked out. Might want to give his YouTube page a look to see what he has put on. He puts his AT through its paces.

    I did MABDR in mid Oct and FROZE in the latter half (going S to N in PA) so late Sept might be a good time depending on storms etc.
    #22
  3. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    So I got my gear today.

    It was raining so I decided to test out all my Gore-Tex gear and it definitely kept me dry, so I’m happy about that, however, before I rode into the Storm (the rain was about 10 miles away, so I chased the storm down, lol) I had al the vents open and these barely vent. The pants did okay, but the jackets airflow was so minuscule. Maybe i’m used to perforated jackets, but I would hate to wear the Carlsbad jacket and pants if I was going under 40mph. I will have test it out again tomorrow and make sure, I might have to buy a mesh jacket for when I riding around town.

    I wasn’t planning on riding to far because it was evening and I had installed the dark smoke face shield onto the helmet, but I ended up riding 120 miles, most of it through very heavy rain. (I forgot how rain can hurt even through jackets) I managed to get my bike close 800 miles. I suppose tomorrow I will see about doing it’s first oil change since it’s still breaking in.

    Also, I LOVE the Arai XD-4. It has a very nice quality feel to it and I’m glad I got the Africa Twin graphics. It perfectly matches the bike and looks pretty sick with the dark smoke visor. I also just installed a Sena 20S in the helmet. It seems the speakers are a lot quieter than I remember. Maybe it’s because I have it under the cheek pads and it’s muffling the sound. I will have to see how well it works with ear pro in at speed tomorrow.

    I do have one question though - why hasn’t Arai come out with a quick change visor system? I guess I figured such a premium helmet would have it because my $150 Icon Airmada had it. Also, it came with two dark plastic covers, I have no idea what these are for. Would somebody care to enlighten me?


    Also got the TCX Baja Gore-Tex. My feet definitely stayed dry during the torrential onslaught of rain I rode in. They breath very well, but we will have to see how they fair in warm weather.

    I also wore the new Klim Adventure Gore-Tex short gloves I got. Kept my hands dry, and worked great. They feel very well made.
    #23
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  4. Kd70qc

    Kd70qc Adventurer

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    Regarding luggage. I would definitely recommend the soft luggage for off roading. If you are learning and discovering your limits with the bike, you’ll probably spend a lot of time dumping the bike. Soft luggage will be more forgiving and easier on the ankles if you get a foot under it as the bike does down. Not saying that I have ever sprained both of my ankles or torn both MCLs, or anything like that, but it happens to some.
    #24
  5. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    Right now, I’m thinking I need both hard and soft luggage. Hard for the day to day, general “life” stuff that’s mostly on road and maybe a dirt road when I’m just wanting to ride, and then soft panniers for when I know I’m going to be on more technical terrain, although, I think I am going to get hard luggage first as that is the bigger need. I have no car, so it needs to have some carrying capacity that I can lock and leave while I’m at work.
    #25
  6. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    So I rolled into the dealer at exactly 900 miles on the odometer for its first oil change. I really need a center stand so I can do it myself. The dealer charged me $104 for an oil change. Sounds like a rip off.


    After the dealer performed highway robbery, I took the liberty of finally going a little harder on the bike. While I won’t lie and say I have babied it thus far, I will say I rode more conservatively than I wanted. I took the bike out to some unknown roads but they were beautifully paved and perfect sweepers. She might be a little slow to turn in, but I was having a blast downshifting with the DCT.

    While it does take away from some of the fun rev matching and the satisfaction of knowing you perfectly downshifted, the DCT provides a sensation similar to cheating on a test on getting away with it. Thrilling, but you still have much to learn.

    I then hopped on some more random roads, no GPS, just finding my way through farmland, and I ended up in Springfield, TN.

    It’s a quaint little town, and the town square was a perfect representation of a classic southern community. Stopped to take a photo and rolled on home. My job has a motorcycle ride tomorrow for everyone who has a bike and wants to participate, so we’ll see how that goes.

    1000 miles down. Let’s see how the next 1000 go.

    D6DB1FFD-A98C-43ED-89E2-24ECBEF88B0B.jpeg
    #26
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  7. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    The first service is an expensive oil change, but compared to many posts I've read your's wasn't too bad especially if they used synthetic earl and actually did the whole check list. It helps if there is a warranty issue too as they did both pre delivery and break in so no B.S. as to anything not being caught early, etc.

    Many folks use a locking top box as they need to carry a lap top for work or other valuables and later get matching side cases or mix and match some soft stuff that fits their needs. There are many threads here on luggage from a few bucks on up. You can spend a ton of $ on luggage, strike that, truly obscene amounts of $ on luggage so ride a bit and determine what you need to carry and also want to carry and then check other folks bikes while your out and about. Enjoy her now that you can stretch her legs a bit (more).

    Cheers
    #27
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  8. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    Unfortunately it was just the oil change. The service manual said nothing anything more, so I’m sticking with that, unless I’m told otherwise....

    I’m looking at getting the full SW Motech cases for the day to day, and soft soft bags for when I take her out on some tougher terrain. It’s amazing how much you can spend on farkles, but I’m budgeting around $3k to get her fully kitted out to my liking, and maybe another $300-$400 in camping gear such as a tent, stove, compact sleeping bag, etc.

    I get a decent amount of 4 day weekends for my job, so I want to use that time to get out and explore and not spend too much money once I invest all this into the bike. I figure gas and food can be fairly cheap (let me lie to myself for now, lol), and asides from tire changes, I can do most the other maintenance myself. This is going to be my way of vacationing once or twice a month.

    I’m super excited.
    #28
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  9. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a great plan. Tires aren't all that terrible to do either.
    Don't forget a place to stay in there with the gas and food unless you're just doing day trips and home at night.
    #29
  10. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    My intent is to be in a tent.
    #30
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  11. superfunkomatic

    superfunkomatic Funky Monkey Trunk

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    Great bike. Big to learn on (as mentioned) but it is pretty forgiving and relatively easy to ride in gravel and trails with some practice.
    A change of tires makes a big difference, although I found the stock tires surprisingly competent considering their intended use.
    100 miles, leads to 200, then more and before you know it you'll be planning cross-country tours - ask me how I know....

    Thanks for sharing!
    #31
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  12. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    Honestly, knowing me, if I got a smaller bike I would probably ride outside my skill level immediately. I’m pretty sure if I got a DRZ, I would immediately go way to fast and try and jump it too far, or some other stupid things outside my skills level and hurt myself, lol.

    Harder to learn on a big bike? Yes.

    But at least it’ll keep me from being lazy and actually learning the proper form. Now when I get a small bike, I’ll be even better off. I want a Grom and a WR250R....and an Indian.....maybe a ZX-14R too.

    It’s good thing I have limited money, otherwise I would be even more alcoholic with 10 different bikes.
    #32
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  13. Smittyrunner

    Smittyrunner Been here awhile

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    I almost did the same as you. Decided I wanted a bike and bought a 2017 Africa twin dct... its bein a year and 17k later I still love this bike. I'm stoked for you. Good luck and have fun.
    #33
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  14. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    take this for what it's worth but truthfully, you are not going about this whole ADV thing in the most efficient manner. You just don't need all of this gear to have fun. Sure, it's fun to obtain stuff, but a lot of it (like your Klim gear) is not really going to work for you and you're going to out be a lot of money. Money that you will wish you had when you're eating Ramen noodles in college or worse, working instead of studying.

    What is efficient is to figure it out as you go along. You already have more than enough to ride safely. We Americans in general (and ADV riders in particular in the motorcycle world) think we have to have all of this cool gear to "do it right". It's just not true. Once you get past the idea that top gear is necessary to have a proper adventure, it's a lot less stressful. Screw that noise.

    One of the most useful and best piece of gear I own is a surplus Danish army canvas pouch that I keep my tools, 2 tubes, patch kit, rubber gloves, and rag in. I think I paid $5 for it and less than that for the flat Wal Mart bungie cord that hold it on. Yes, it is strapped to a nice rack, but somehow I've managed to live without the extra side plates on the rack I chose not to buy 14 years ago. Instead of some fancy 100 pumps to the pound titanium mountain bike air pump, I have a small hand floor pump I strap to the 70 year old canvas bag. Does this look the coolest (ok, at all cool)? Nope, but the pump and tubes were used to fix mine and 2 other peoples flats in a fraction of the time on one ride.

    A good friend of mine has spent a small fortune "improving" his KLR. Yes, he's had fun farkling. Yes, it's better (but still a KLR). Was he able to ride anywhere he could not have without the improvements? Besides the tires, nope. Does he ride better because of it. Not IMO. Could he have bought a used dirt bike with the money and vastly improved his riding skills instead? Yep.

    The bottom line is yes, I understand you want this stuff but you don't need this stuff. Getting it now on and for a bike you are probably making payments on just isn't wise. Especially when you probably won't keep this bike for a long time. Trust me, I've wasted money too and even come close to buying a lot of crap for my brand new Dorsoduro for a 4 day trip to Montana in 3 weeks. But I know what is really important is going on the trip. So I will live with a crappy high beam, keep the 12 extra pounds and save $800 with the stock exhaust, no $150 wind screen, no $110 bar risers (I did just adjust the handlebars and levers - much better, probably eliminating the need for risers), bungie on my surplus Army 3 piece sleeping bag or stuff it in a dry bag I won as a door prize, put on my Marine Corp back pack, wear the helmet and jacket I've had for 5 and 3 years, live with my scratched up sunglasses, and just ride. And by the time I get back, will know a lot more about what I actually need. If anything else.

    So what to do? Whatever you want but I say, chill brah. Get some bungie cords, strap on whatever you have from your Army gear, and go ride, knowing the money you saved will be huge when in school!
    #34
  15. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    It’s great that you are concerned, truly, however, I’m in a unique situation where I’m spending less than I was with my car. I’m spending less than 15% of my paycheck on my bike every month. I choose to ride and try and get the best gear because I enjoy the comfort and piece of mind it brings. I want hard luggage so that it’s simple for me to go to the grocery store and get food. I want that loud exhaust because it gives extra little shot of adrenaline to me when I start her up in the morning. (Although to be fair, that exhaust is the last thing I’m going to upgrade)


    I’m 100% positive that I could have a fun on a DRZ or a KLR, I’m positive that I could strap down a duffle bag and call it good. But my bike is my hobby and my transportation. I could do a lot worse. Instead of spending money to go to the movies, I spend it on my bike. I am always open to saving money and getting the best deal.

    I cut spending where I need to to be able to do this and still save for college. What I’m cutting out is movies, clothes, and alcohol. Generally, all these things don’t bring me as much joy as my bike. While I enjoy a good beer, there is nothing better than riding 300 miles away just because I can.

    And like I said, I’m still spending less than I was with my car.
    #35
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  16. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    So another update on the money saving front.

    I originally had gotten Geico insurance because they were good to me when I had my car, handled my one minor accident with no problems, and was around the same price as everywhere I had gotten a quote from. It was also easy for me to setup insurance while at the dealer, so I just rolled with it.

    I was paying around $115 a month for “full coverage” with a $1000 deductible on collision and comprehensive.

    I just switched to Progressive for $75/month with a $500 deductible. No roadside assistance, but my credit card and my warranty both cover that aspect of it.

    Overall, I’m pleased with the customer service and how quick I was able to get ahold of an actual person. I tried calling State Farm for a quote and they said my wait time was 30mins, so I hung up.

    This is just a friendly reminder to shop around for insurance.
    #36
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  17. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    Most definitely. I was shopping for insurance for my son a while back. He's 17, just liability, the bikes not worth enough to worry with full coverage.
    I got quotes from $75 per year to over $3000 per year for same person, same bike, same coverage.
    #37
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  18. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    Well, I had been waiting for the Outback Mototek crash protection kit to come back in stock, and of course I check my email when I didn’t have cell service. I got an Email saying the kit was back in stock. I’m visiting family up in Alaska and went backcountry camping for the weekend.

    I had to wait to purchase it by the time I got back in cell service, only one kit remained. I bought it while still flying with this as my view.
    1649059E-DF13-44A0-AE38-12C0B09CF21F.jpeg

    Anyways, other than that, no updates. I’m just loving life in Alaska for 2 weeks visiting my parents and siblings. I did find a perfect cabin in the middle of nowhere I want to ride to next year. It’s pretty rough getting out there, but four wheelers can do it no problem.

    I’ll update once I install the bars.
    #38
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  19. GeneralClortho

    GeneralClortho Been here awhile

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    I understand your thinking. I have been hiking, camping, riding, 4 wheeling, etc... for 30 years and like most everyone else, I started out with junk, or whatever I could find the cheapest. About 10 years ago, I decided, "To hell with this, I am getting old." and budgeted out the funds to put together a good backpacking rig. I picked up some high end Kelty equipment (bag, tent, etc...), Thermarest, North Face, etc... I can tell you that my enjoyment when camping went way, way up, especially when the weather was bad. I have spent over 100 nights with that rig, and it is like the day I bought it. I would of replaced the cheap stuff at least once.

    For example, in Feb, I spent two nights camping in the Texas hill country, and the weather rolled in. It was nasty, rainy, misty, cold, and just plain crappy. I was with two other guys and they had their own tents from Walmart. In the morning, I got out of bed, warm, dry and rested to fix coffee. They got out later miserable, wet, and issuing expletives left and right. I will never go back to cheap crap.
    #39
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  20. DaCaton

    DaCaton Reckless

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    There is a fine line between overpaying, and getting junk. I’m just trying to find that middle ground of perfect for my needs and my wallet.
    #40
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