The Versys vs The Africa Twin

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by DavidFL, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Quite a few guys ask me what do I think of the Versys compared to my ex beloved Africa Twin...
    So here's a brief summary / few ideas.

    THE VERSYS
    Like
    Better Brakes
    Better Acceleration
    Superior Fuel Consumption
    Excellent Fairing
    Cheaper Parts & Service
    Dislike
    Weak Engine Braking
    No Centre Stand
    Smaller Luggage Capacity
    Small Wheels
    Weak Suspension
    Twitchy steering / front end

    THE AFRICA TWIN
    Like
    Bigger Bike
    Superior Engine Braking
    Superior Luggage Capacity
    Rock Steady Handling
    21 inch Front Wheel
    Better Suspension
    Centre Stand
    Superior Looking Bike
    Superior Chic Magnet
    Dislike
    Lousy Fuel Consumption. 3 baht a kms vs the Versys 1.5-2 baht a kms.
    @ 324,000 kms too much down time for service & maintenance
    But I loved the bike to death & really did not want to part with it. It's a superior machine compared to a Versys, but the cost - money & down time - & trouble of keeping it on the road was too great.
    However....reality had to take over.

    When you do the kms I do you the best bike is the one you can get & afford to ride / run. The AT no longer met those requirements. @ 3 baht a kms for fuel that meant 9,000 baht a month for fuel when I regularly do 3,000 kms a month.

    Happy New Year & safe frequent travels everyone.
     
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  3. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    Could you briefly say what major work you had done to the engine of the Africa Twin in those 340'000 kms please David.
     
  4. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Certainly the Versys is more economical and more road focused than the AT, but have to say, the AT was an awesome bike that really turned heads. Do you still have it? I'd say it belongs in a Thai motorcycle museum, if there is such a thing.

    :happy1:
     
  5. KenYam

    KenYam Ol'Timer

    Well done David as I was wondering exactly the same thing regarding the comparison of the 2 bikes.

    Interesting factual reading, hope you enjoy many years of safe trouble free riding.

    All the best for the new year mate.

    Ken F
     
  6. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    Wouldn't the Transalp 700 be the replacement for the Africa Twin?

    I'm not too familiar with those bikes, maybe they are the same but sold in different markets?

    The engine seems to be the well-known 52* V-twin.

    [​IMG]

    Ignore the pic of the Yamaha, don't know how that got in there, tried to "manage attachments" but didn't find a way to cut or delete it.
    It doesn't show in the preview but in the final post. Can't delete it under "Additional Options" where the pics are listed.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I have a complete service history of the bike - the full 300,000kms if you're interested & could email you a PDF file.

    The biggest problem was the front sprocket wearing the spline on the counter shaft, resulting in a complete engine strip down to replace the shaft, which is the very last piece to come out of the motor.
    The gasket kits cost more than the actual shaft.
    Whilst this was down I always replaced anything that I thought would not last another 3 or 4 years.
    So over the years valves, pistons, cams, cam chains, have all been done; even cylinders.
    I had to do two engine strip downs because of this. Roughly @ 100,000 kms & 200,000 kms. It was due a third @ 320,000 kms but I did not want to do it again because it was starting to cost too much money - petrol @ 3 baht a kms- to keep it on the road.

    The other main problem was electrical. Regulators lasted 18 mths - 2 years; & if you did not catch them out you could burn out battery, wires, sockets & CDIs, like happened in Laos once.
    Eventually I think I solved the regulator problem by venting the left hand side cover - for better cooler air flow, plus used an aftermarket regulator. The last regulator had been in a couple of years.
    To help with the electrics I also installed a Trail Tech Striker trip-voltmeter & swear by these. I'm trying to get one for the Versys now.
    With the electrics as the bike got older & the kms higher & higher connectors & sockets started to short out. I had a bad run for18 mths with numerous electrical break downs & eventually hard wired as much as possible, plus had the wire harness redone.

    But the AT Rocks. Amazing bike & so sad they have never come out with a satisfactory replacement.
     
  8. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    no doubt about it David, the old girl deserves to be in a motorcycle museum. Have you considered offering to Honda? Maybe you could strike a deal with Honda for a new model.
    It is a shame that the BMW GS800 or the Triumph Tiger are so expensive, these bikes would suit our riding better.

    See you on the road soon.

    Cheers

    Tom
     

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