The new Yamaha Ténéré 700 borrows its name from the Tuareg languages of Northern Africa: “Ténéré” meaning either “desert” or “solitude” depending on the context in the region.
The explosion of the big-bore adventure bike segment over the past decade has brought us new releases from nearly every major manufacturer, but few bikes caused the stir that Honda’s CRF1000L Africa Twin did upon its announcement and introduction in 2016.
The new KTM 790 Adventure presents an excellent mix of on-road comfort with sporty handling, and off-road capability. Consider it a slightly more pavement-focused version of KTM’s new flagship bike that is the 790 Adventure R model.
Since its inception in July 2013, the Honda CB500X has proven to be a solid, dependable, multi-purpose machine that does the Honda stable proud. With numerous improvements over the years, it just kept getting better and better - and the 2019 model is possibly as close to a Swiss Army knife a biker can get.
"Hey, Honda....what took you so long?"
If my opening question is toned with tenderness, a bit of emotion is for good reason. Such a long wait for the motorcycle giant to re-enter the booming Adventure Riding & Dual Sport category sure was a test for Honda enthusiasts.
Clinging to scraps of a "better late than never" sentiment, a recent roadside pee-break opportunity between motorcycle tours in Patagonia seemed like the right moment to make this video and share some thoughts about Honda's latest adventure bike. RIDE Adventures is now in our 2nd season of offering the Africa Twin as a motorcycle rental in Patagonia, with largely positive feedback from our Customers and those of us who guide these motorcycle trips. Categorically speaking:
'Tis the season for new motorcycles for the rental fleets in Chile and Peru!
Part of keeping such touring and renting options running smoothly is thereplacement of bikes. While they all get regular inspection and maintenance between Customers, there comes a time and financial juncture when it just makes sense to replace each bike with a new one. Of course we need to break-in these bikes a bit and get them through their initial 1,000km's before they go through a first revision and inspection; and well ... somebody needs to put those first 1,000km's on them. Riding virgin bikes is still one of those simple pleasures that will never get old. I mean, they even smell new!
Great news, adventure riders: Honda's new Africa Twin CRF1000L is coming to Chile! With a scheduled arrival of September, Honda's reintroduction of this adventure riding classic will be available along with our other Patagonia motorcycle rental options just in time for you to head down the Carretera Austral this coming 2016/17 season.
Considering just how "absent" Honda Motorcycles has been from the fast-growing world of adventure riding, early feedback from other riders suggests the new Africa Twin is well worth the wait. With the BMW GS bikes still making up the definite majority of the rentals we offer, Honda sure will have their work cut out for them trying to gain market share. Nonetheless, we're excited to further diversify the options that we offer in Chile, Argentina and of course other locations soon.
Instead of posting an immediate reaction to BMW’s R1200GS Adventure when the updated Liquid-Cooled version of it became available a couple of years ago, I wanted to wait and see how this latest version of the famous “GSA” performed in the rental business for a while. After all, it’s probably not just my personal opinion of how the bike rides & feels that you’re probably interested in. Those of us in the international motorcycle rental business are in a unique position to comment on the overall performance of these bikes and their durability, dependability, etc. over some time. So here we are, about 2 years after the updated, Liquid Cooled “Water Boxer” version of the GSA became available….
My question is simple: "Why isn't Honda Motorcycles putting their race-winning, widely respected, all-around excellent XR650R back into production?"
First, kudos to Honda for bringing back the Africa Twin, the bike that we're all excited to start riding more and integrating into our list of motorcycle rental options after some testing. But really, why wouldn't they start production on the XR650R again, too?
The XR has already been designed, built, proven, and adored by riders with tremendous success. The blueprints are already there, it's not like they'd have to entirely design or redesign a motorcycle, and a slightly-improved XR650R would take a HUGE chunk out of KTM's 690 Enduro dominance in this mid-cc's dual sport category (more on that below.)
So I ask: "Honda Motorcycles.....where have you been, and isn't it about time to start building this possible KTM-Killer again?"
Over the past few years, I'd had a few chances to hop various Kawasaki KLR 650's for an hour or so, although usually only on pavement. Only on recent riding research projects for our new "Best of Northern Patagonia" tour did I finally have the chance to ride the KLR to such an extent that I feel prepared to share my opinion about this motorcycle.