VFR1200X DCT vs. Africa Twin DCT

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Jarrett2, May 30, 2018.

  1. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    UPDATE 6/2/2019:
    I bought a used 2016 VFR1200X DCT in October 2018 and sold the Africa Twin DCT in May 2019. I should have bought the VFR1200X first. It's a perfectly fine 80/20 bike (which is how I like to ride) and it blows the Africa Twin away on the pavement.

    And I now know better than to listen to the goobers that say its too much bike and it can't go off pavement, they are wrong! :)

    =======================================================================================================
    Original Post:

    I have a 2016 Honda Africa Twin DCT. It's my first bike, I've got a little over 3,000 miles on it now.

    I bought it because they tout it as a true 50/50 bike and when I bought it, I wasn't sure what I'd like to do with the bike. After 3,000 miles I'm finding I'm more of a 80/20 paved versus non-paved road rider. In my area, we have miles of broken gravel/caliche and two-track dirt roads. I enjoy going down them on occasion, but that's about as far as I'm looking to get off road at this point and most of my riding is on pavement.

    On the other hand, I'm looking for a little more power on the road than the Africa Twin is giving me. If I could magically add 20-30hp to the bike, I think it would be perfect for me, but as far as I can tell, that can't be done. I recently did a couple of 300 mile days on some highways and a couple of times wished the Africa Twin could have had more power available when passing at 80+ MPH.

    So naturally, I've been looking at the VFR1200X DCT. It's got 33 more hp and 21 more lbs of torque, but its also 99 lbs. heavier than my bike. And many have said, its not really an off pavement bike at all, but rather a street touring bike that resembles an off pavement bike. They've also said that extra 99 lbs would be a detriment when I do find myself on a dirt road or low water crossing.

    So my question is, for someone who isn't doing more than dirt roads with their Africa Twin and is looking for more power on the pavement, is the VFR1200X the right bike? Or should I just give up DCT (which I love) for something like the KTM 1090/1290 Super Adventure R bikes?

    (If KTM made a DCT bike, I would probably be at the store trading right now)
    #1
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  2. CRIAKLR

    CRIAKLR I like pie

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    My candid comments........

    ~ You want but do not need more power. The AT has more than enough power. If you're passing people at over 80mph.......Slow down. Live a while longer.

    ~ If you ever want to go on gravel again, do not swap for the VFR1200X. As you noted, it's basically a sport touring bike.....and while I too enjoy my AT DCT, I would never opt for the VFR1200X. There are too many better choices in that class. Unfortunately none of them have DCT, but I would still opt for one of them over the VFR.

    ~ If you're only going off pavement 20% of the time, KTM should be the last bikes on your list. Those are off-road biased ADV bikes and very tall.

    Sounds like you might have bought the wrong bike. But I think swapping for a VFR would be doubling down on that error. But it does depend on how much you enjoy the DCT.
    #2
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  3. GiddyThump

    GiddyThump Been here awhile

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    I cannot see the AT being under powered BUT maybe so if you are comparing to the big KTMs.
    Maybe look at the Yamaha Tenere as well.
    No DCT but more off road savvy than the VFR...not much though.
    #3
  4. fastnlight

    fastnlight Repeat Offender

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    As a vfrx dct owner who rides in the dirt, don't think for a moment that it is not suitable for dirt road riding. With better tires and a skidplate, I can ride more places and at a quicker pace than I ever could on my past two similarly setup 650 vstroms. It even has more ground clearance. If you are tall enough and comfortable on bigger bikes, it will be plenty of fun. It is hardest to love at a standstill or if you drop it. There is no getting around the weight at those times. The engine...well let's just say that the feel of this V4 sells these bikes more than any other factor. I considered the Tenere until I rode them both and fell in love with the V4 plus DCT.

    Greg
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  5. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for this info. I am a bigger guy. The Africa Twin doesn't feel like a lot of weight to me. I can flat foot it and pick it up by myself. Also strong enough to stop it from falling if it starts to go. Not sure if I could do that with 99 more pounds or not, but I rarely drop it anyway.

    I'm finding it hard to for a VFR1200X DCT in my area now that I've been looking. There are some 200+ miles away, but none nearby.

    Another question, does the traction control bother you? I noticed MC Commute did a test on a manual VFR1200X and said the traction control was miserable.

    Wondering if bigger guys on DCT models would have the traction control firing less often?
    #5
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  6. haggis mctavish

    haggis mctavish Adventurer

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    hi jarrett2, 3000 miles on a motorbike ammounts to basically no experience. worse than that you are probably at that stage where you haven't frightened yourself big time yet! 1200cc, even for a big guy like yourself is more than enough to get yourself in plenty of trouble. build up the miles on your AT build on your skillsets and then have another think about changing bikes. Sorry if this sounds like a lecture, but you really are at a dangerous point in your riding experience, where your confidence perhaps needs a bit of a reality check!

    cheers and stay safe from down under
    #6
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  7. fastnlight

    fastnlight Repeat Offender

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    Traction control works fine. Level 1 works nice in the dirt allowing for a little spin or just turn it off on the fly if you don't want it.

    Greg
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  8. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I get what you're saying. Forget the 1200, go big, get a 1300. Got it!
    #8
  9. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    Traction control has 4 settings.........so your able to set to just about any scenerio you can imagine. Miserable is a huge exaggeration.........max setting is abrupt but likely designed that way to give maximum power cut. Just use the 3 other settings.
    #9
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  10. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Still enjoying your VFR? I'm still kicking it around.

    Shaft drive and tubeless tires seem like they would be nice as well.
    #10
  11. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    QUOTE="Jarrett2, post: 35690648, member: 412866"]Still enjoying your VFR? I'm still kicking it around.

    Shaft drive and tubeless tires seem like they would be nice as well.[/QUOTE]


    Approaching 4000 miles on mine




    CF9C730E-A4D5-4431-BE20-8513F086D063.jpeg
    #11
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  12. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Did you have the Africa Twin before? How much off pavement are you doing with this bike?
    #12
  13. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    No AT in my garage.
    Use the NC700x and the VFR1200x the same.........75% paved and 25% gravel and fire/forest road.
    Sold a St1300 when I purchased the VFR.
    Right now the NC is sitting a lot..................as the VFR so smooth, great power, comfort. My only complaint ( annoying) on the VFR the throttle is snatchy ( very sensitive at speeds below 40 mph noticeable on rough roads). I have a throttle tamer which made it better.
    #13
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  14. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    There are plenty of S10 owners in Texas, try to get a test-ride on a Gen II. It has cruise control too, which must come in handy for a Texan.
    #14
  15. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    If you want to choose a bike that fits like a glove to your riding style,
    the DCT attachment has to go; otherwise, you'll never find what you want- yet.
    Come on Honda, you gave us GL1800 DCT where's the automatic superbike?
    #15
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  16. fastnlight

    fastnlight Repeat Offender

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    VFRX does dirt roads really well, especially if you change out the tires appropriately and add a skid plate for tossed-rock protection. I just did a 1000 mile day on mine last week in under 16 hours and smiled nearly the whole way. Disclaimer.... I do like a bit more gnarly dirt track exploring sometimes and I tend to do that solo, so for that purpose, I use a Versys X 300 because it is easier to pick up or get turned around on my own. (took and few drops/drags to figure that out on the VFRX)

    Montana trip last month with 300+ miles of dirt road riding was great on the VFRX plus two friends if I need a hand. Never dropped it.

    Tires I have used besides the stock set.

    Shinko 804-805 tires are good for heavier dirt riding (sand/mud)
    Mitas E0-7 Dakar tires are great mixed riding tire for wet/dry dirt/paved roads
    Shinko 705 tires are great on the road and still good on dry dirt/gravel roads



    Greg
    #16
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  17. RonKZ650

    RonKZ650 Been here awhile

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    I agree, ditch the DCT. There are many good choices, but DCT has to go.
    #17
  18. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I can't wait to hear the reasoning behind this.
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  19. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    1. DCT= Honda
    2. You need more power than a CRF1000L
    To satisfy your requirements, there are two choices VFR1200X and the GW1800 both available with DCT- take your pick, there are no other choices.

    If you ditch the DCT requirement,
    you got alot more to choose from.
    #19
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  20. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I see.

    At this point, I have a hard time imagining owning a bike over 500cc that was not DCT. Meaning, I'm fine with having a little dirt bike with a clutch, but anything I plan on doing serious miles on it, I don't want to fuss with it. Would rather just let DCT do its thing.

    So either Africa Twin or VFR1200X for me at this point. Gold Wing is too grande.

    I do hope other companies take notice and follow suit. A KTM 790 Adventure DCT would be a helluva bike.
    #20
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