The world remembers old bikes fondly, sometimes so fondly it’s questionable. Browse a comments section on any social platform and you’ll find a handful of comments about 990 KTM’s and Africa Twins being better. So we started a series called Retro vs Modern, to explore that exact idea.
Are the old bikes better? Are the new bikes too big and heavy or is the whole world wrong?
For our first episode we started with the most iconic of Japanese adventure machines, the Africa Twin. The first generation was so loved it sparked a huge run of sales of the new generation upon launch. The new CRF1000L sold like hot cakes however, a fair few people grumbled that it was the off-road conquering bike they wanted, “it wasn’t true to the old bike”.
We thought it was time to put that the test, so we took and brand new, all bells and whistles fitted 2019 Africa Twin Adventure Sports DCT. It’s Honda’s most technologically advanced Adventure bike, fitted with the clever Dual Clutch Transmission automatic gearbox, Off-Road ABS, Traction Control and other fancy bits. While the Africa Twin isn’t the cleverest bike on the market it is generally modern and well equipped.
We’ve paired that against a 1991 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin. It’s a little rough around the edges but mechanically sound. Back in ’91 technologically advanced was rather different. The RD04 is generally, very mechanical with carburettor’s, analog everything definitely no ABS. It’s also very much lighter, has shorter suspension and lot lower seat height.
If you want the full low down, watch the video above and then let us know what you think down below.