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Black 2015 GTS
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Location: C'ville VA
 
Enthusiast
Black 2015 GTS
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Location: C'ville VA
UTC quote
Hi all,

So I've been scooting now for about 8 years - first on a 150 and now on a beautiful black GTS. For around town, I'm super happy with the GTS. I have gotten the distance bug, however, and also, being a leggy 6', have always felt a hair cramped on the scooter, even the GTS.

Have done 100 miles rides on the GTS just fine, but I find it hard to maintain speed on the grades and there's little spare power to pass.

I started this gig a little too old to really want to get into learning a clutch, but have been looking at the Honda DCT models.

Figuring that I'd go for the biggest bike I'd ever want, I have somewhat settled on the Africa Twin DCT. I know what I'd like about the bike for sure, but is there anything that I might regret about losing the GTS...other than style points?

I'm also a little curious about whether it's dumb to have an ADV style bike if I'd rarely take it off road. I figured it's good for luggage and long hauls, though. Goal might be to do a cross country ride when I retire....

Thanks in advance!
Raj
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UTC

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UTC quote
A couple of alternatives are
1. Fit a mono saddle, then you can sit further back and have more leg room.
2. Install a Malossi piston, cylinder and V4 head. This will give you much more power for overtaking (but will cost about $800 plus labour).

Mike
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UTC quote
Having done some travel on a big, heavy ADV bike, I would recommend something in the 500-750 range, and about a hundred pounds lighter. It's going to do well on very crappy roads, but, while they call it an off road bike, you're not taking that pig on motocross tracks.
If your entire riding experience is two scooters, the transition is going to be huge. The center of gravity is a lot higher and when it starts to go, it's a lot harder to stop.
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UTC quote
I'm a short, small guy, but looking things from down here:

I've learned to pay attention to the weight of a bike. Even I can tip toe with a light, tall bike...where as a heavy bike feels heavy, no matter how low seat.

Also, it's a typical saying that the sense of heavy weight diminish with speed - in a way this is true, but only when road is straight. Throwing a heavy bike into a corner feels very different than doing the same for a light bike.

I personally like dual-purpose / ADV style bikes because of their often excellent riding ergonomics. Neutral position for back and arms, good leg room - many of those are really good for long distance riding.

There's nothing wrong with the Africa Twin - if you're OK with the weight and height, it's a good bike.

That said - if start-stop commuting is not the thing you mostly do, I would also try a clutch model. Clutches & gearboxes of modern bikes are not as bad as they used to be - most of the new Japanese bikes, for example, have really easy and light clutches and precise gear boxes. The same goes with the latest Triumphs and many others. If you'd accept clucth, you had a selection of many models, also smaller, from which to choose.
UTC

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UTC quote
If I were you I'd look for a 2nd hand CB500X that already has a few scratches on. Try learning how to use the gears - it's not difficult. If you can manage the gears then obviously you have more choice, you might also find that the 500 is exactly what you need. If you can't manage the gears then it will be easy to sell on and you'll have lost nothing. The Africa twin is a bad choice if you have little experience, you'll probably drop it and it might become a costly mistake. The NC750X has the automatic gearbox, it's weight is much lower down which makes it easier to handle and it will cruise at 80mph all day.

I like ADV style bikes as they're comfortable to site on, tend not to be as fragile in a slow speed spill, the tank range tends to be larger and they have lots of space to store things. The longer suspension tends to work well on the crappy streets we have here as well.
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UTC quote
Check out the Crosstourer VFR DCT - it's an ADV bike from Honda that is more suited for pavement riding, and is shaft driven.

RT
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UTC quote
I got a Honda NC700 DCT late last year, and while it hasn't really grown on me it has some good capabilities. Top end speed on the interstate being primary.
The DCT works well, only takes a bit to get used to.
As to the heavier bike taking longer to get going, well, that's just not so. Watch the throttle....
I don't see myself ever wanting anything bigger, but then, I think I recall saying that four years ago. Razz emoticon

If the Africa Twin draws your fancy I'd say go for it.
Just be aware of the options.
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UTC quote
Madison Sully wrote:
As to the heavier bike taking longer to get going, well, that's just not so. Watch the throttle....
If the Africa Twin draws your fancy I'd say go for it.
Just be aware of the options.
Something that happens every time you go up in size or power is that the margin for error diminishes. Give your LX150 too much throttle, not a big deal. The GTS, a little more, but if you get on any sport bike and give it the same amount of throttle you are used to giving the LX150, you will get a much different reaction. People who ride well tend to have followed a path like the OP, start with something small, then go to something bigger, etc... The ones who go out and buy the biggest bike they can, because they don't want something they are going to get bored with, are more likely to get in over their head in a critical situation, by not being able to handle what the bike is capable of doing.
UTC

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UTC quote
I'm not going to try to discourage you. I have also admired that bike. Life is short, do whatever you want to be happy. You 'settled on' on the Africa Twin. Have you ridden it? Try it out some, and see if it still moves you as much before you sell your GTS. There's always some regrets after selling a beloved bike, we recall all the good points and seldom the not so good.
( Kind of like ex girlfriends, but there's always reasons why they're an "ex"! ) But if the new bike makes you happy, don't look backward.

Two points--- You say you are a leggy 6', which is good, the Africa Twin is tall. You also say you started out too old to learn a clutch. Are you old? Are you on the weak side or strong? Handling a big bike is more than being tall enough. And, finally, don't be afraid of a bike with a manual transmission. Today's clutches have a lighter pull than years ago, and the transmissions are more forgiving to a newbie shifter.
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UTC quote
The AT is a beautiful bike and if I weren't inseam challenged I'd be tempted. My husband rides a Honda CTX 700 DCT and really enjoys it. It can be fitted with luggage for light touring, and has enough power to please but not so much to make him want to be stupid. He has arthritic hands which preclude extended clutch use and living in a city means lots of stop and go traffic.

I find I prefer a clutch on a heavier bike as it gives me more control. Using a clutch is fairly easy and will only take a few minutes to get the hang of the basics, especially if you take a riding safety course like the one MSF offers.

https://www.msf-usa.org

I highly recommend some formal training for any rider, regardless of what you ride or how long you've ridden.
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UTC quote
For What It's Worth, only--
My experience may be a bit like yours. Except for riding a high school friend's motorcycle a few times around farm roads, I'd never ridden or owned a scooter or motorcycle. About ten years ago when I was in my mid-fifties I got my first scooter, and it's been downhill-- and uphill and all over the country ever since. Getting to the point-- when I took a MSF rider class shortly after getting the scoot I got to like the idea of shifting the motorcycles they had. So I found a good deal on an older Yamaha FZ6, got permission from SWMBO, and got that in addition to my scooter.
So far, it's satisfied my need for more speed; I've taken it on some long rides though I really prefer my BV350 for touring, and it hasn't cost much to own. I still look at other bikes occasionally but it's not likely that I'll ever really want something bigger.

So there's an idea if you have the space-- get an inexpensive older motorcycle and see how you like it.

Good luck & have fun! 8)
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UTC quote
Raj,

Read all the reports on the DCT and its fly-by-wire-throttle, etc... Before jumping. There are 20 pages on the Africa Twin Forum!
Changing gears on a bike is not such a hardship unless you commute everyday in heavy stop-go traffic.
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@tdrake avatar
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UTC quote
The heart wants what the heart wants, and life is short.

But the heart often wants really stupid s--t and it's not like life is really that short...in fact, on a gray, windy, frosty Tuesday like today, it starting to feel feckin' interminable. But, anyway....

Like you and RRider I just love the lines of dual sport bikes and I really (really!!) want something larger and more suited to dirt than my GT, so I hear ye. I really, really hear ye.

BUT...most of my friends with with 1000cc bikes either:
a) stopped riding them and have tried to sell or even give me theirs
b) have something smaller for around town and only use the big bikes for cross country tours.

The stakes of buying a new AT and not liking it, or finding it a handful and dropping it etc., seem much higher to me than buying something transitional and smaller (like the CB500x, or a VStrom, or...) and then wanting something bigger.

I mean, why gamble on an incredibly expensive, really cumbersome bike if you haven't yet gambled on a cheap, used, smaller, more practical bike?

But, admittedly, I'm biased. Big bikes scare the crap out of me and also just don't appeal: what I personally want is something more multi-purpose, adaptable that a) isn't so big I won't be able to control it or get in over my head as I learn b) won't crush me if I drop it and c) won't break the bank if I drop it.

And hell, used VStroms and KLRs and CB500s and simply dirt cheap: $4,000 will get you something you could quite honestly hop on and ride all the way to Patagonia. $4,000!

So that's a pretty cheap way to test the waters before leaping off the ship, me thinks. Buy a $4,000 dual sport, ride it for a year, and if you don't like it and still want the AT, sell that dual sport for $3,995.

However, I think I just wrote all that to convince my wife, not you, so maybe disregard it all, because basically I'm just parroting everyone else.
⚠️ Last edited by tdrake on UTC; edited 1 time
@wleuthold avatar
UTC

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2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2005 Vespa GT (Razzo): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125: 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Big Ugly), 2023 Vespa GTS300 (Ghost)
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UTC quote
Re: One of THOSE threads...I think I want a DCT Africa Twin.
Jeeves wrote:
Have done 100 miles rides on the GTS just fine, but I find it hard to maintain speed on the grades and there's little spare power to pass.
Raj
I find that the limited power and performance make touring on a Vespa so much fun.

They are very competent in almost every condition.

I find them lacking only in steep climbs at altitude and interstate highways where riding 75 mph is too slow.

Everywhere else, they are perfect little touring machines.

And the comfort, compared to riding a BMW F650GS and a Honda NC700X, is vastly better.

Bill
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UTC quote
People buy SUV's and sports cars, never take them off road or race track. The Africa Twin is on top of my list but want to see how the new Yamaha Tenere looks like in the flesh.
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UTC quote
Friend of mine with a Triumph/Kymco/Genuine/Zero dealership just bought an Africa Twin. Says he will not go off road with it. Has lusted after it since it came out.
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UTC quote
Motovista wrote:
Madison Sully wrote:
As to the heavier bike taking longer to get going, well, that's just not so. Watch the throttle....
If the Africa Twin draws your fancy I'd say go for it.
Just be aware of the options.
Something that happens every time you go up in size or power is that the margin for error diminishes. Give your LX150 too much throttle, not a big deal. The GTS, a little more, but if you get on any sport bike and give it the same amount of throttle you are used to giving the LX150, you will get a much different reaction. People who ride well tend to have followed a path like the OP, start with something small, then go to something bigger, etc... The ones who go out and buy the biggest bike they can, because they don't want something they are going to get bored with, are more likely to get in over their head in a critical situation, by not being able to handle what the bike is capable of doing.
Or give a 50cc full throttle and wonder when you're leaving the driveway! Laughing emoticon

Seriously, that happened to me.
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UTC quote
Re: One of THOSE threads...I think I want a DCT Africa Twin.
WLeuthold wrote:
Jeeves wrote:
Have done 100 miles rides on the GTS just fine, but I find it hard to maintain speed on the grades and there's little spare power to pass.
Raj
I find that the limited power and performance make touring on a Vespa so much fun.

They are very competent in almost every condition.

I find them lacking only in steep climbs at altitude and interstate highways where riding 75 mph is too slow.

Everywhere else, they are perfect little touring machines.

And the comfort, compared to riding a BMW F650GS and a Honda NC700X, is vastly better.

Bill
Yes, yes, +1 yes.

Unfortunately ~80% of my miles pile up on my commute on I-90, which a couple of years ago raised the speed limit to 70MPH and all the actual speed that entails.

We'll see how comfortable the Spyder is, now that we have that for, as JKJ puts it, SWMBO. Razz emoticon

In truth I'm rather torn right now. Including a Buddy 50cc I'm selling for a friend, right now there are 6 PTWs in my garage (and no cars).
Buddy's going ASAP, wife's MP3 250 also going ASAP.

Which leaves wife's Spyder, and my GTS250, MP3 500, and Honda NC700.
Sort of wondering at this point what place the MP3 has. Maybe long distance rides, but really, I'm thinking the GTS will do fine other than interstates.

Oh well, good problems to have I'd say. Can't complain.
Except the weather. FFS it's snowing....
@gr8shotz00 avatar
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UTC quote
I get the same bug now and then. I have looked at Honda 500x, 700's, Suzuki vstrom 750, some of the Ducati models, But I don't ever take the plunge

I have to preface this by saying I also own a Burgman 650. It weighs in at 540 lbs. And every year I think I am going to get rid of it. But in reality it is the most comfortable bike I have ever owned. I can haul half the house on it with my underseat, sidebags and topcase. We do take it on longer rides and I feel I really wouldn't want more then the 700cc to do this task. Weight and seat height are things to think about. Even on the Burgman after sitting for an extended time putting those feet down at a stop light coming into town, well...it can be a bit shaky. The burgman has excellent power and can handle 2 up at 80 mph just fine when we need that.

I also have to admit, I think I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to do anything but the scooter variety. There are still some thoughts of selling the big Burgman and maybe getting a Piaggio BV350. Much lighter still and I think doing the 2 up kind of distances would be fine.

I am also going to start trailering one of my Vespas with us as we travel to places where we stay several days at a time. The Vespa will be the main ride once we get to the stop This way we can do long road trips with conversation, air conditioning, etc. Seriously some of the routes we have to take to get places have some pretty high constant winds. I am not sure I really want to spend hours on a bike in them. I know I am soft and weak.
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UTC quote
Yep, use the Vespa in town, and buy a Honda motorcycle with ABS and traction control.
I ride two scooters and my son's pristine CB500X. I enjoy the difference and extra control provided with shifting.

If I could only have one....it would be a naked midsize motorcycle with the safety options of ABS and traction control now available.
I say....add a Honda bike to your garage, you'll love it!
If you don't come to love it - they have better resale value than a scooter.

O.S.
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UTC quote
Motovista wrote:
Having done some travel on a big, heavy ADV bike, I would recommend something in the 500-750 range, and about a hundred pounds lighter. It's going to do well on very crappy roads, but, while they call it an off road bike, you're not taking that pig on motocross tracks.
If your entire riding experience is two scooters, the transition is going to be huge. The center of gravity is a lot higher and when it starts to go, it's a lot harder to stop.
I put one between my legs in January. I liked it better than the GS1200.

What would I say to describe either? 2 wheeled jeeps. The Honda was pretty good at low speed. I don't really care for the whole "adventure" scene but I wouldn't refuse a trip if someone supplied one for me to use.

My next bike is going to be an off road only. I really like the KTM 300XC and the e start is a nice feature. I manage to ride borrowed dirt bikes a couple times a year on trails. Just enough to remind myself I'm not 15 anymore...lol.
Its definitely a lot of fun and less work than doing a track day.
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UTC quote
Re: One of THOSE threads...I think I want a DCT Africa Twin.
Jeeves wrote:
Hi all,

So I've been scooting now for about 8 years - first on a 150 and now on a beautiful black GTS. For around town, I'm super happy with the GTS. I have gotten the distance bug, however, and also, being a leggy 6', have always felt a hair cramped on the scooter, even the GTS.

Have done 100 miles rides on the GTS just fine, but I find it hard to maintain speed on the grades and there's little spare power to pass.

I started this gig a little too old to really want to get into learning a clutch, but have been looking at the Honda DCT models.

Figuring that I'd go for the biggest bike I'd ever want, I have somewhat settled on the Africa Twin DCT. I know what I'd like about the bike for sure, but is there anything that I might regret about losing the GTS...other than style points?

I'm also a little curious about whether it's dumb to have an ADV style bike if I'd rarely take it off road. I figured it's good for luggage and long hauls, though. Goal might be to do a cross country ride when I retire....

Thanks in advance!
Raj
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UTC quote
Try the X adv, practical as a scooter but not so far from an Africa Twin with dct also and tubeless tires and much more affordable. And if you can keep both as I did, for different use!
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UTC quote
That would be the ultimate choice. i would by one in a heartbeat. Hopefully America sees this model.
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UTC quote
Oups... sorry I didn't know and even couldn't imagine that it isn't sold in the US. It's sold here in Israel whis for sure a smaller market ROFL emoticon
Anyway it's a great bike and I found in love with this Honda dct gearbox. So you can't go wrong with the Africa Twin. That will complement and certainly not fully replace your Vespa.
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@dooglas avatar
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UTC quote
arh wrote:
Oups... sorry I didn't know and even couldn't imagine that it isn't sold in the US. It's sold here in Israel whis for sure a smaller market ROFL emoticon
No X-ADV in the US and no Integra. Apparently Honda has concluded that Americans don't buy scooters so no use shipping any here, except the Honda Metro for the Key West crowd.
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UTC quote
MS i love your answer. Just spewed my coffee. The thing to do is like what i did. Get a Yamaha Vino 125 and the Vespa will look like it's the fastest scooter out there.
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External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
I'm sure security isn't a big problem in Israel but I'll just warn you that the front wheel comes off the Vespa in under a minute. If they took a front wheel from another Vespa then your security wouldn't work at all. You'd do better putting the chain through the back wheel on the Vespa. Obviously it might not matter in your country but I thought I should at least warn you.
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UTC quote
I did the opposite, came from adventure background to a Vespa. The main ride is a KTM 990, 100 horses of uncontrolled power. It'll do anything and go anywhere, keeps up with all the sports bikes on the twisters, 80 comfortably on freeways, and dirt roads and lesser technical dirt. But way overkill for city driving and my 7 mile commute through suburbia.

So the commuter is now a LX150, super fun and much more appropriate.

If you're going to have more than one why would they be the same?
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@arh avatar
UTC

Hooked
Gts 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 216
Location: Haïfa, Israël
 
Hooked
@arh avatar
Gts 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 216
Location: Haïfa, Israël
UTC quote
robinm wrote:
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I'm sure security isn't a big problem in Israel but I'll just warn you that the front wheel comes off the Vespa in under a minute. If they took a front wheel from another Vespa then your security wouldn't work at all. You'd do better putting the chain through the back wheel on the Vespa. Obviously it might not matter in your country but I thought I should at least warn you.
Thanks for the advice Robinm. You have no idea of how often I don't even put the chain. Or even worse forgot the keys on my Vespa! Both bikes have a geolocation chip also. And still there. But it's not a reason to play with fire though. Funny that you noticed that « security isn't a big problem » 😜 in Israël !
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6526
Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6526
Location: Tega Cay, SC
UTC quote
All good advice above. My 2 cents: Your scooter is mainly built for the city and light touring. The ADV looks cool, but so does a street fighter or cafe racer. They all serve different needs. If you plan on staying on the street, your would be better off buying one built for that. ADV bikes usually have a higher ground clearance which comes at the expensive of a higher center of gravity. Not bad, once you learn how to control it, but not meant for a newbie. TDrakes advice, I think, is spot on. Get a used one and try it. If you find you don't like it, you can turn around and sell without losing too much coin. Last word: Don't fall in to the "I'll ride this because it will make me look cool and pick up street cred lie". Get want you want, meant for the purpose intended, you'll be happier in the long run. Good luck.
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