VFR1200X DCT vs. Africa Twin DCT

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

  1. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    720
    Location:
    central valley, california
    So, local dealer has brand new 2017 Africa Twin DCT and 2016 VFR1200X DCT for the same price of $11999. Which would you go with? 100% road bike; primary purpose two-up weekend trips, no day trips. We used to ride my BMW scooter which had 60hp and weighted 550lbs so I know either would work just fine in the power department.

    My thoughts:
    VFR has shaft drive and tubeless tires. But weights 100lbs more than the AT.
    Africa Twin: 100lbs less and still has plenty of power for the type of riding I do. But, tube tires and chain. The chain I really don't mind so much, my Ducati scrambler has a chain. But I am a little concerned about the tube tires.

    I think if the AT had tubeless tires, it'd be a no brainer. Am I over thinking it?
    #41
    davyjones likes this.
  2. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    17,500
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    The VFR1200X seems like the way to go but, have you both sat on each bike?
    #42
  3. fastnlight

    fastnlight Repeat Offender

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    A bit, but so did I. The fact that the VFRX had shaft drive and tubeless put it ahead of the AT just a bit more to me. Tubed tires are very last century and I don't want anything to do with them. Just dealt with a flat on one yesterday on my Versys 300 and they are a pain in the rear. I would rather carry a spare tube for a set of tubless tires than have to run tubes and carry a spare in addition. Most flats can be fixed with plugs on a tubeless tire.

    Greg
    #43
    davyjones and MUDHWY like this.
  4. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Oddometer:
    17,670
    Location:
    日本
    The VFR will be a much better two-up bike both in terms of power and suspension. The AT is pretty softly sprung and doesn't handle heavy loads well. Just adding a weekend's worth of camping gear on mine made the front end really light and caused headshake in corners.
    #44
    GREY.HOUND likes this.
  5. k1w1t1m

    k1w1t1m Kiwi

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    I had the same decision to make although it was ATs versus a manual VFRX. The VFRX is in my garage and I love it more each time I ride it. In fact my wife and I have just come in from a 300 mile day. We were two up and kept up with solo riders on BMWs and the like. Of course being solo they had an easier time. [​IMG]

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    #45
    davyjones and GREY.HOUND like this.
  6. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Simple Math

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    13,325
    Location:
    The Edge Of Town
    I did 200 miles today on my Viffer 12X. What a great machine!

    The suspension upgrade on mine has transformed the bike into a magic carpet ride for sure. Quite possibly the most plush ride I have ever had in 37 years of riding.

    20180915_114640-EFFECTS.jpg
    #46
    davyjones and GREY.HOUND like this.
  7. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    17,500
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    You guys are killing me.
    #47
    JeepDawg likes this.
  8. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    4,804
    Location:
    Upper Michigan
    You sound like you would like a vfr better.Even a wing can go down a gravel road.Does not matter if your on a vtr or AT on a low water crossing both can go to hell quick.Any of these heavy bikes suck when stuck.The transmission thing really limits your choices on bikes.And for the people that are waiting for dct in a sport bike it may be a long wait.As twinrider said there are better options that can give a rider a edge over dct.As for the paid pro riders saying one is better offroad than the other they also will argue about it.If I was a paid honda rider making my living in the mc buisness I would tell you whatever honda wanted me to tell you.Japs get really pissy about there people not pushing there products.
    #48
    twinrider likes this.
  9. motosickle2000

    motosickle2000 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    324
    That is an interesting theory about paid pro riders. If you watch one of the videos, Malcolm Campbell rides the same technical off-road section twice - once with a DCT and once without. He had a much easier time with the DCT bike. Seeing is believing.
    #49
    davyjones likes this.
  10. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    4,804
    Location:
    Upper Michigan
    I do think that the dct would most likly be better in certain situations like he was riding.A rekluse clutch would work just as well in that vidio and adds no extra weight.I don't have hero,s and just because your a pro does not mean I will like what you like.One of the A riders at the loose moose enduro last week had his AT adventure parked at his camper with his race bike and he does not like the dct.To each his own but I would never trust what a sponsored rider would say.They are paid to push the product they sell period.DCT is a cool unit but it's not heaven sent.Also he was hacking the clutch pretty bad in that vidio almost like he was trying to make it look bad.I was dumb enough to fall for the promo bids and purchased this bike but I should have watched closer.
    #50
    twinrider likes this.
  11. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Oddometer:
    17,670
    Location:
    日本

    So if that's the case why isn't Honda entering the AT DCT in races like the Baja 1000?

    Exactly. looked like he was deliberately making the wheel spin on the manual bike. If anyone knows how to operate a clutch correctly in that kind of terrain, it'd be Johnny Campbell.
    #51
    Junglejeff1 likes this.
  12. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    4,804
    Location:
    Upper Michigan
    He hacked it pretty good but 90% of people who buy these bikes most likly never road offroad enough to understand what went on there.But I do agree the dct would take less talent to ride those rocks.Also know a rekluse would do the same 30 lbs lighter.Damn cheater clutch lol.
    #52
  13. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    4,804
    Location:
    Upper Michigan
    Sorry but he hacked the shit out of the clutch.And a man at his level did it on purpose.I ride with intermediate riders that clutch better offroad than that.He is 100x better rider than me and I can clutch better than that.
    #53
    twinrider likes this.
  14. motosickle2000

    motosickle2000 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    324
    Not everyone that buys a DCT is a pro rider. I have ridden extensively off-road and much prefer the DCT. Like you said "To each their own". The Africa Twin DCT is not intended to be a race bike but it is very capable off-road. Exactly what I wanted.

    Adventure bikes are compromises by design. Street bikes are not dirt bikes and vice versa. That being said, the AT is a good compromise (at least for me).
    #54
    k1w1t1m, playinatwork and Junglejeff1 like this.
  15. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2018
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    DFW
    Still kicking around a VFR1200X DCT.

    I certainly like my AT DCT, but after a 1200 mile road trip on it, I could see how the VFR might have been nicer.
    #55
    davyjones and GREY.HOUND like this.
  16. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2018
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    DFW
    I went and test rode a VFR1200X DCT today.

    Initial thoughts, I own a 2012 NC700X DCT and 2016 Africa Twin DCT. The VFR1200X DCT felt like the mating of those two bikes + more power.

    It had the street feel of the NC700X and similar ergonomics to the AT. The suspension felt more like the NC700X, but the power kept on pulling where the AT started to fall off.

    I had heard there were issues with the traction control, but I didn't feel any. I put it on the middle position of three and gave the throttle a solid pull from 0-100. The front wheel got really light, but the traction control didn't kick in at all. The brakes felt fine as well. No concerns stopping hard. Linked ABS worked well.

    The surprise for me is it didn't feel heavier than my Africa Twin. I assumed being 100 lbs heavier that it would feel really top heavy and prone to want to tip over at stops, but it didn't feel that way at all. It seemed to be equal to the AT in that regard if not better. Maybe lower center of gravity?

    I put it on Sport Mode 3 like I do with the AT and that felt different than with the AT, more intervention needed on my part. It didn't hit the same shift points that the AT does. It's not that it wasn't smooth, it shifted really smoothly, but when I got to say 85 on the highway, it was still in 3rd or 4th gear and ready to go. I had to manually shift it to 5th and 6th. The AT would normally be in 5th or 6th by that point and ready to cruise. THE VFR1200X felt like it wanted to cruise faster. Maybe that's just the difference in power band of the engines, I guess.

    The downsides are it has a ton of overlap with the AT. Really no reason to own both. The AT can essentially do everything the VFR1200X can do aside from going faster than 120 mph. But the VFR1200X can't do what the AT can do in terms of off road options. It's a street bike. No tubes and no chain though. That's kinda nice. Less stuff you have to carry on the bike for flats. No chain maintenance either. Also kinda cool the spokes are outside the bead, so no leaky spokes.

    Cool bike though.
    #56
  17. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    720
    Location:
    central valley, california
    Still playing this debate also. Plus the other Japanese 1000cc ADV bikes. You mentioned the fact that it didn't feel heavier than the AT, that's good. Also, it didn't wheelie? Not something I want, some youtube videos make it sound like it will wheelie easily.
    #57
  18. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Simple Math

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    13,325
    Location:
    The Edge Of Town
    Turn TC off. Front wheel airborne.
    #58
    Cajunhawg and k1w1t1m like this.
  19. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2018
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    DFW
    I got the feeling it could be done, I just didn't purposefully try it. It might have actually come off the ground at one point, but just an inch if it did.

    I assume on the manual version of the bike, its extremely easy.

    My DCT AT won't really wheelie. The only way I can do it is to turn TC off, put it in manual, run it up to 25 mph and give it full throttle, like this:

    #59
  20. Plane Dr

    Plane Dr Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,223
    Location:
    North TX Metromess
    Hmm I wheelie that crap out of min XDCT. I leave rhe TC on so I don’t do the long flagrant ones. So it doesn’t carry them, but I haven’t had a ticket for them either since I switched....
    #60
    MUDHWY likes this.