Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm, linkage and shock bearing inspection and grease up!

26 K KM on the bike, with about 50% of it off pavement.

Have a look at the pictures 1st. Click the pic below, then hit right for next picture. Full description in each picture.
I was having some technical issues with my canon.
Flash didn’t work, so the pictures are a bit…shit.

Key here is to take your time. It’s all straight forward.
The book of Honder will have all the tasty deets starting on page 18-9.
Have a look at the below, all self explanatory!
Swing arm linkage and shock torque values

I elected to go full hog:

-Remove the rear wheel
-Remove the shock.
My tractive rear shock, needed a clean it, and service the upper heim bearing. It was looking a bit tight, and it was.
Pushed out the spacers, freed up the bearing (weird globe type jobbie).
Greased, and re-assembled. Gave the bottom of the shock a clean.
-Remove the linkage.
I cleaned the faces of the bearings, removed the spacers, and re-greased the bearings. They are captive, so the rollers stay in. This is true for all the bearings on this bike. The bolt that holds the SA to the bearing was a bit of a bitch to get out. It was starting to set in. Gave it a clean, and grease before going back in!
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

There are bearings on the front of the linkage arms. These are held with the bolt that holds the center stand on. I checked it for play, and it felt fine. I’ll pull this at 50k, clean and grease.
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

Once linkage is removed, you have good access to the three bolts you have to remove for the rear brake hose and ABS sensor. I’ve highlighted these on the page. Be careful, as there’s a bit of strain put on the lines once the SA is not supported. 2 by 4 to the rescue!
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

Swing arm (SA) bolt came out without too much fuss. Careful with the rear brake light switch. The spring stick out enough that I scratched my swing arm a touch. I took some needle nose and closed it up. The SA has no holding washers, or funny shit like that. Slowly work it out.
Mine came out easy peasy!
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

Once the SA is removed, you have quite a bit of room to play with.
I plunked it down on the slab, and cleaned off the crud with a cloth and a bit of WD-40. The seals were in perfect shape.
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

The bolt had a bit of grease on it, but could have used a bit more.
It was starting to rust in a couple of spots.
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

Quick once over with the sand paper, and it’s good to go!
Clean around the motor entry, and put a tiny bit of grease once done.
See below pic. You can a bit of rust around the motor.
Helps with the sliding!
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

Both bearing SA have small cavities within the SA (see pics)
There was a decent amount of grease on the bearings, but next to no grease in the cavities.
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube
They are closed up, so reason would dictate that if one were to put some schmutz in there, it wouldn’t go anywhere. So that’s what I did.
I gobbed on lots of grease, and worked it in.

Before re-inserting the SA bolt, I greased it. Cause you know…
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

Torque everything back up as per below, or page 18-3. I’ve marked up the relevant torque values for easy reference including the location of bolts.
Swing arm linkage and shock torque values

My rear pads were done. Two sets in 26k. Both OEM pads lasted 13k each. Trying EBC organic pads.
Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin swing arm and linkage bearing lube

When I was done, I noticed my shit OEM chain guard/slider broke off. No idea when that happened, so I ordered a shiny new one. A proper chain guard.
Should help the chain last a bit longer! Thanks To Mr. S from Oz for the tip!
I forgot what color I ordered!

Drink beer!

2017 HONDA CRF 1000 Africa Twin PCV (Power commander V) install

Right…I was on the lookout for a PCV on sale.  One popped up, so I grabbed it.

I needed to install a new GPS cable, so it was as good of time as any.
Idea here is to get rid of the low rpm leaness.  Tune the PCV for a K and N filter, and eventually if warranted, delete the cat, and make the OEM a full system.
I’m currently running a Staintune slip on, and the K&N filters.

PCV came with some black and white instructions.  Fairly easy to follow.

First up, peel back the fairing, and remove the tank. CamelADV has an excellent video. I followed along, as I forgot where all the shit was for the plastics. I was super careful, but still managed to break off three of the front studs..aka dicks on on of the fairings. The way this is designed, is fucking retarded. Terrible set up for an ADV bike. At any rate, I’ll see how it comes back together, and if they are really needed..knowing my luck they bloody well are! I manged to glue them back in place. No idea if they will hold. I may use some silicone on the edge of the windshield if they don’t sit as intended.

One thing when removing the tank…two actually. The fuel line is easier to pull of at the TBs, and not at the tank. Also, the white collar is a push, not pull collar. Give it a light push, and it pulls the line off. Also, the pump power supply has a clip on the harness end, not on the tank end. This has tripped me up twice. I’m slow to pick up…

PCV calls for the air box to be removed. Off it went. I cleaned up my aux wiring while in there, and installed a longer drain tube for the center left drain tube. The OEM is way too short, so it overflowed, and shat itself all over the bottom of the air box. BTW..The rear air box/tb screw is not set, and has a tendency to fuck off and go places. Mine did just that..balls. It’s not in the intake ports, so I found a suitable M5 and put it back together. Will order a new one, and replace when I do the valves this winter.
On a separate note, the breather hoses are TPITB to put back together.
Another winning design from honda.

PCV wiring is plug and play for: injectors, TPS, and O2 sensor. Packaging on the AT is tight. But all the sensors except the 02 were easy to get at. The two ECU signals (crank and something else…) need to be tapped on the left ECU plug in. I used the provided stabby plug thing, and an inline splice block.
I tie wrapped the living shit out of all of it, and put it all back together.

While the tank was up, I also wired in the map switch. The PCV instructions suck, and don’t really say if it’s only a closed loop switch, or if one end needs to be hooked up to ground. I’m going to guess closed loop. Will check once I have the program on my small lap top, and plugged into the bike.

Fired up the bike to check if all the lights were blinking…and they were indeed blinking. No error codes to speak of.

Managed to find a good spot for the PCV and still retain my storage space.

The optional map switch was a TPITBs to wire.  The wire port holes are tiny.  PCV instructions say 22-24 gauge..not sure how the fuck that would fit.  I ended up using paper clips, soldered to the wire, then taped up.  Should work fine.  Just a ground switch.
PCV install

Finished wiring
PCV install

Got out for a ride finally.  First time out this year, so lots of gravel and shit on the road. Typical TC1 setting. The bike was cutting in under spirited take offs…looks like the PCV is working. Got out to the country and turned off TC. Yep…wheelies like a bastard. Response is also very good at low revs from 3rd gear on. No real hunting, or surging on neutral throttle. Money well spent.
I have the optional map switch installed. Need to figure out how to put another map in there, and I will have a mild and wild map.

May update. Right! I have about 1000 or so k on the PCV. Thoughts are:
-Better low down fuelling. Full lock turns can now be done without any clutch/gas input
-Bike feels much livlier even at 3300′
-Fuel economy has not suffered. I’m averaging 5.6-5.8l/100km in town

2500km update!
850K Burger run

Fuelling is much improved, esp. low throttle applications. I notice it while practicing full lock turns/fig. 8s.

You can basically leave the throttle alone, and cover the clutch. No jerking etc..
Better power. I’m not imagining this. Bike rev’s up faster, pulls harder. Good wheelies
Fuel economy has improved. On my 850k day, I averaged 5.25l/100km. Could have done better, but rode some shit conditions (snow, mud, more god damned snow!). And also had a few quick blarts on the hwy…160km/h or so. On yesterday’s 500k trip, got economy down to 4.8l/100km with moderate throttle (shifting at 4k)

10 k KM update:
Right, so how has the PCV done? well…pretty good. I’ve ran the bike with the map that came loaded in the PCV, due to various degress of lack of time or total laziness.
I did install/wire the auxilary map switch, and recently got it uploaded.
Talking to PCV, they recommended leaving the OEM O2 sensor plugged in, and uploading map M16-064-505.
I double checked that both stock and the hot map is in, and I went for a ride. Bike runs well with good low speed characteristics.
Fuel econ has been v.good. In town, sub 5L/100km. On the hwy, around 5.2L/100km. If i’m doing a lot of technical riding, the econ drops to 5.3-5.4L/100km.

Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin fork inspection, including disassembly and reassembly videos

Winter is around the corner in western Canada, time to get to some bike maintenance items. 

Note, some of the part number may not be valid.  Check and triple check the part number before ordering.  This post is circa sept 2018.

My forks have been working well since I did the spring and re-valve work, linky here:

At roughly 10k km, they started to loose their shine.  The bike would seem to feel harsh over the smallest bumps, track bumps, and have an overall shitty feel.

The results below, and in the picture link:

The pictures tell the story.  Both forks had coating missing, ranging from quarter size to loonie size (for non Canucks…bigger than a quarter :] ) Oil was pretty dirty for less than 6k use, but that may have been from the new spring. All the wear was in the same spot on both forks.
Both lower triples were torqued back from the recommended 26Nm to 15Nm since I last looked at the forks, around the 4k mark.

Fork insepction at 13k

At any rate, have a look at the pictures, oil sticks to the outer where the coating is worn or scratched.

Fork insepction at 13k

Bushings look ok, but will be getting swapped out for new ones.  Remember that the guide bush will need to be shimmed to take out the slack (2016/2017/2018 regular AT tubes)

Fork insepction at 13k

The left damper shows some weird wear towards maximum extension, but is working as intended.  Sean tells me this is likely due to full extension of the rod, and associated flex.

Fork insepction at 13k

Have a listen to the forks without springs, oil, or bush spacer

Additionally, here’s a how to video, part one, disassembly:

Re-assembly part one

and part two

To sum up the issues with the 2016/2017, and 2018 forks:

  • 2016/2017 Outer fork tubes wear. As early as 8k km. This is total crap. 2018 outers, long term wear tbd.  Super dooper spoiler alert here, and below: 
  • The guide bushing has excessive slop. Fix this with a 0.05mm thick shim behind the bushing, giving you 0.1mm bigger diameter. In some cases you may need more than one shim. Not fixed for 2018 on the regular tubes.  ATAS jobbies don’t need shimming
  • Oil seals are ok. Kawasaki seals are better, and cheaper. I wrote about it when I re-valved the forks
  • Dust seals have a weak spring, causing the majority of leaks.
    I’ve had two leaks in 7k km. Dirt gets past the dust seal, and blows the oil
    seal. This is an easy fix, it’s covered in the re-valve post.  Simply take the spring from your OEM honda oil seal, and double your current springs on the dust seal. Job done.
  • The entire fork has flex. It’s dumb that they made the triples to fit 48mm tubes, and put in these piles of donkey dung. Can’t fix this unless you go to ATAS tubes…I think. I’m going with 2018 regular tubes. 

SOOPER important update.  Apparently, a good compromise is to use all your stock internals, and the ATAS inners/outers. 

Sean has a  thorough write up here:
Valving is just ok. Can be fixed. Again covered in the re-valve blog.  Here’s Sean’s excellent re-valve post.  All the info you need:

So what now? Obviously this is a well known problem, but not known enough for honda to do something about it short of redesigning the 2018 fork tubes.
I’m off to the dealer to drop these off for warranty work. I’ll be requesting the 2018 outer tubes, new bushings, oil seals and dust seals. Interestingly, they have updated the dust seals, as they were turds, just like the forks.

Here’s a snip from a 2017 Honda front fork, just to get folks situated with the right terms, and a visual
Front fork parts desc.

Have a gander below at 2017 vs 2018 part numbers, and the kwak seal for those that may want to upgrade their fork:

  • Kawasaki oil seal 92049-0118.  I explain this in the video, and mentioned it in previous post, of why this is a better oil seal
  • 2017 AT SEAL SET, FR. FORK 51490-MJP-G51
  • 2018 AT SEAL SET, FR. FORK 51490-MJP-G51
  • 2017 outer fork tubes TUBE (OUTER) 51410-MJP-G51
  • 2018 outer fork tubes TUBE (OUTER) 51410-MKK-D01
  • 2018 ATAS outer fork tubes Tube (OUTER) 51410-MKK-D21
  • 2018 ATAS inner fork tube Right side,  51425-MKK-D21
  • 2018 ATAS inner fork tube Left side,  51525-MKK-D21
  • 2017/2018 dust seal dust seal 91254-KZ3-003
  • 2018 bushings guide bush guide 51414-MFR-671
  • 2018 bushing slider bush slider 51415-MFR-671.  2017 to 2018 Both guide and slider  Bushings are identical.  For a better fitting bushing you can contact Rick at Cogent dynamics, and he can hook you up with some Racetech jobbies

Super dooper spoiler alert, conspiracy theory: One of the inmates over at ADVR said that it’s very likely honda took 2016/2017 regular tubes, kashima coated them, slapped a new part number on them, and put them on the 2018 bikes.  The slop is still there, and the guide bush requires shimming.  Dollars to doughnuts, that the regular AT tubes will wear just the same as the non K coated tubes.

This is a fail on honda’s part. Poor design, and execution, and a half assed attempt at not addressing the issue.

Here’s a hilarious read from one of the Revzilla guys, when they asked Honda USA about the issue, linky here:

exert from specific question, and honda response:

Giving Honda a chance to respond, I spoke with Colin Miller, who said they have had some complaints of static stiction and wear on the internal anodizing of the fork tube, but the majority of the complaints come from folks compressing the forks when sitting still. He said there have been almost no claims from people noticing any problems during regular riding. He reminded me that the anodizing is primarily used to prevent corrosion and signs of wear on an anodized surface is not necessarily a reason to be concerned.  “I have seen some wear on the anodizing on some customers’ forks but I also inspected forks that function perfectly (a professional-level rider with no problem) and have seen the same wear,” Miller assured me. “Just for perspective, I can count on one hand the amount of warranty claims for wear on the fork tubes. We also investigated this with Japan and found no functional problem with some fork wear.”

To this, Alex said that it’s not so much the scoring in the anodization that’s the problem, but where those shavings end up. That being said, even Alex admits that whether or not folks will experience this problem depends heavily on the rider’s abilities, weight, and type of riding they are doing. As for us, we have yet to notice any problems with our 2017 model, but our bike has remained almost entirely on the street. 

FFS honda…I didn’t know you had a sense of humor!  Alex from honda has got to have pretty large fucking hands, with many many fingers.  I know of 5 guys just around Calgary that had issues with their AT forks, and countless people on various forums. 

Update October 10th 2018.

I just got an ok from the dealer for warranty work.
Forthcoming are:
2L of 5W oil of my choosing
2018 outer fork tubes TUBE (OUTER) 51410-MKK-D01
2018 bushings guide bush guide 51414-MFR-671
2018 bushing slider bush slider 51415-MFR-671
2018 dust seal dust seal 91254-KZ3-003
Kawasaki oil seal 92049-0118

The last two will not be as shown. Honda sells the oil and dust seal as a set. While there, I’ll get them to save the big spring from the old oil seal and install it on the dust seal

If you are still in warranty, take your forks apart if you know how. Or better yet, if they feel like a turd, take them to the dealer and have them inspected. Wear will always at the bottom triple clamp.
It’s a poor coat, and wears well before 10k km for most, if used as intended. If you stick to road, that might buy you another 10k if that.

Come on Honda, pull your head out of your ass. They were redesigned for a reason…because the 2016/2017 outer tubes sucked!

A follow up.

I gave up on honda.  And decided to fix the issue by throwing money at it. 

The above may have fixed it if I was able to get the ATAS tubes.  I got the regular 2018 tubes.  Instead, I reached for my cc, and bought Ohlins complete forks.

Ohlins inspection

It’s a fuckload of money, but my thinking is:

  • honda doesn’t deserve any more of my money
  • The 2018 regular tubes may still wear due to flex
  • I’m tired of dealing with this bullshit and just want to enjoy the bike
  • When I’m ready to sell, I can put the OEM forks back on, and sell the Ohlins, or move them on to my next bike, if the layout is similar (unlikely)

Greg and Cam's september 2018 ride



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Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin twin fork re-valve procedure, and fork update

Ok, now that the rear is sorted, it was time to look at the front.

I looked into the pricier options, but frankly wanted to go el cheapo and try the re-valve, re-spring option.  I was also curious to the state of my fork tubes at a mere 4500km.
Link to picture gallery here:
You can either read the write up, or go pic by pic, in order. I’ve described them as best possible.

First off, a big thanks, to Motociclo (aka Mr. S).  He was extremely helpful both on his on going posts, and emails back and forth to answer various newb questions I had about my first shim stack job.  Both excellent posts below.  Hopefully the below, will further assist someone else.

Fork revalve guide by Mr. S!

I mainly tackled this job to get better feel from the front end, and the correct springs for my weight.

You will need the following to pull this off:

  • Honda manual.  Print out pages 17-14 to 17-21, for additional help, I printed out Mr.S write up on the revalve procedure
  • Fork spring compressor tool
  • Park tools AV-5 Spindle axle vice tool (or similar)
  • 45mm seal driver.  Turns out neither a 43, or 48 mm driver will do.  A 1/1/4 PVC pipe cut in half, does the job half assed!
  • Height measuring tool.  A ruler will do the job too
  • Shop rags, preferably the micro fiber blue jobbies
  • Some amount of skill/confidence
  • Honda seals (not recommended) $80 for the set including dust seals, Kawasaki seals part #  92049-0118 $24 for a set of seals, or SKF seals (pricy, $150 for the set including dust seals but excellent quality)

I’ll largely base this on pictures, and shit I learned along the way.

Start with one fork.  I chose the left leg.  Follow dis assembly as per manual.

Run both pre load and rebound all the way soft. leave as is. 19mm wrench
19 mm for the pre load

Tape yer nut!
Use some painters tape not to f. up the fork cap.

Let the fun begin!

So here’s the business end of things:

Start with the rebound valve. You’ll need to remove the oil lock, in order to free the rebound valve from the cartridge. Don’t do this: Clamp above the oil lock
Clamp the rod above the oil lock.  Use a small terminating screw driver to peel back the peened portions of the oil lock. Once that’s done, give the oil lock a decent whack and it will come off. I’ll expose the circlip shown below.
IMG_3769 Oil lock free

I’m not pulling the rebound just yet, as you need to free the compression first. Push the comp stack in a bit, to reveal circlip. Remove valve.

Easier said than done. My left leg came out easy enough, by putting a 15mm wrench between the valve, and treading in the adjuster, then tapping it with a rubber mallet
A little help

It wasn’t so easy on the right leg. Luckily I removed the oil lock 1st, then simply used the rebound valve to tap out the compression valve.

Here’s the compression valve freed!!

Here we go
Compression Valve

Mr.S gave me a suggested comp and rebound stack that would work for me. I went with a .75kg spring. Note, Race tech spring is 35mm longer than the OEM. I to cut the spacer back. White end, re drill holes for compression tool to go into.
IMG_3777 IMG_3778

You may need to order new shims to get the desired stack. I ordered mine from Rod at RMR in Vancouver. Good dude.

Pay particular attention to how the stack comes apart.  Lay it all out.  Take your time.  Don’t drink beer just yet.  Make sure that all shims go back on.  I forgot to put the .4mm last shim on my compression stack…I’ll be going back in shortly to install it.  OCD…
Here’s both OEM shim stacks
Comp and rebound valving

Here’s my shim stack, with a .75kg spring.  This will vary from rider to rider, and it’s not meant to be a go by.  You will need to figure out what works for you.  But the general idea is that by increasing the initial shims, i.e the 17 x .10 to a thicker 17 x .15mm shim this will errrmm….make thing better..Again, I know nothing.  The formatting below is a bit f. up but it will give you a basic idea.

Refer to the above picture for actual stacks.  Picture is accurate off my right fork leg.

Rebound stack.  Left leg.  Single shim/Valve to nut Stock  Shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm) # of shims new rebound  shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm) # of shims
17 x .40mm 1
17 3 17 x .15mm 4
16 1 15 1
15 1 12 1
8 x .20mm 1 9 1
12 x .20mm 2
15 x .20mm 3
Compression stack (actual) Stock  Shim OD/shim thickness  (.10mm) # of shims new compression shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm) # of shims
17 5 17 7
16 2 16 2
15 1 15 1
14 1 14 1
13 1 13 1
12 1 12 1
11 1 11 1
10 1 10 1
9 1
8 x .20mm 1
11 x.40 mm 1

Tubes.  Both fork tubes were in good shape.  Oil had metal residue but mostly from the springs.  It’s way to early for the coating to start falling apart
Fork tube

At any rate, the fork bushing has too much play, and this may contribute to the slop/wear in the outer fork tube. Cut a 0.05mm shim 19mm by 135mm. Sand the edges down. Don’t sweat it too much, it sits behind the bushing Bushing shim

Below is the link to my buddy Richards  video. His forks had about 13k km.

We’re ready to put it all back together.
Follow OEM manual for re-assembly, except for:

  • Run rebound 3.5 turns, then screw fork cap on to rod, seating gently.  At that point tighten the nut, and pre load adjuster
  • Set oil at 50mm from top, c/w spring, fork fully collapsed.  Each leg should take about 700ml.
  • Torque all components except bottom triples.  I have mine at 12Nm.
  • Torque mark all your bolts
The sag range is about 65mm to 73 mm.
Start with 1.5 turns out on rebound adjuster. This equal to about 6 clicks. Will find 1 turn out is likely the right spot.
Enjoy your new boingers!



I have a mere 1500km more since the re valve.  That said, the front end feels great.  The initial dive is gone, and the forks feel more progressive, through out the travel.  On big hit/air, I still have about 1″ left before the forks bottom completely.
A couple of updates.  My buddy Richard put me on to some Kawasaki seals.  He measured them up and everything. Pics/part # below. Bonus sprung scraper top lip, which Honda seal doesn’t have. Price wise, it cost $28 CDN for two K seals (no dust seals), and $80 for the H seals, including two dust seals.  I will be installing these before my September trip, or if my H seals keep acting up.
Kawasaki seals vs AT seal

At 5800km, my left seal shat the bed.  I managed to save it with a seal saver, but lost a bit of oil in the process.

Free lubrication

BTW..2018 H fork part number here: 51410-MKK-D01.
Tell your dealer you want a set!!
My forks seals are holding up well.  I’ve installed some neoprene booties over the forks, and even after some seriously muddy and shitty rides, no leaks.  No idea about the inner fork tubes, but suspension seems to be working well.
SOOOPER BIG findings by my buddy Richard.  The dude is a constant tinkerer and seriously sharp dood.
Here’s what he found.
The OEM dust seals have weak springs.  He did back to back tests by running OEM vs OEM dust seal c/w 2mm oil seal spring
pics below of OEM

fork seal oem spring

vs OEM c/w upgraded 2mm oil seal spring

fork seal after spring mod

I’ll be tearing into my forks prior to warranty expiry this December.  I’ll check the tubes etc, if they appear ok, and have no play with the bushing shim removed, then I’ll install the KWAK fork seals, re-use the honda oil seal spring on the dust seal, and Bob is someone’s uncle.

Moving on to the 2018 forks.  Richard got his forks warrantied by honder.  Sadly the forks may have better coating, but the shims are still very much needed.  Oh well.

2017 VS 2018


2018 forks on AT


Final update to the Honda forks.

Richards 2018 uppers wore after 8k of use.  Sadly this is still not the answer.  The placement of the bushing on the lower tubes is not correct, and binds on the upper fork tube.  Shit work honda.  Shit.

There is hope at the end of the tunnel with an ATAS upper tube.  A few folks have done the conversion, and found it acceptable, and better on road (bigger diameter tube).

Me? well…I broke out the cc.
Ohlins for the AT!!

2017 Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin 6 speed, thoughts to date


so I finally got a chance to put in some proper seat time on the 2017 6 speed AT.

Richard (on another AT), Evil Greg (2011 DL 650) and Reg (2012 DL 650), Loaded up the bikes and headed south to California.
Plan was to ride roughly 80% pavement, and the rest decent gravel. It was a great trip. Will not go into detail, but fuel was burned, tires well used, wheelies well executed, to date, probably one of the best trips I’ve done to California. Link to Cali album here:

Below, the four Canadian muppets.
The crazy Canucks!<

On to the bike.
Before setting off, I took my sweet ass time to equip the bike.
Check my previous posts for the big ticket items.
The only thing I didn't really write about was the Tractive rear shock. Yes the rear shock is rebuildable, but it's a feeble little thing, and I usually default to buying a rear shock. For me it's a good investment, and I can usually sell it on after I trade in my bike, for about half price of new. Shock was purchased from Ted and Jeff at the Beemershop. Good dudes. I've dealt with them on several shocks, and will keep coming back.
touratech shock vs OEM<

Above, Honda OEM boinger and the Tractive shock. Notice how beefy the shock shaft is. With the correct spring, I have one or two turns of preload in, while riding with zero added luggage. The shock rides nicely.

Fork worked a treat on the trip. The bike was nicely loaded. Two 36L tin cans and my camping gear.

AT Thoughts to date.

-Ergos. I swapped the OEM bars to my flat-ish renthals. No complaints or aches after long day, getting stuck in snow, or having to detour, due to errmm…more snow
First snow in Oregon<
-Seat. For shorter days, say under 300km, the seat is really decent. But after 5 non stop days on the bike, I was in agony. The bit between your ass, and thigh…was in pain. For shorter days, I'm happy with the seat. It works well off road, if you need to stand up, shift your weight back towards the passenger seat. I'll leave it be for the time being.
I may just need to switch the foam out to something a bit higher quality. The overall fit and finish of the seat is holding up well, and staying clean unlike the red ATs.
-Suspension. I spoke about the shock. Winner. The front forks, for road work actually did ok. A bit of dive on them, but not bad. Regardless, I'll be tearing into them next week to fit SKF seals, linear springs to my weight, and shims to take up the slack behind the main fork leg bushing. I also have shims coming, and will re-valve the meh..OEM shim stacks (comp and rebound). There is a but…The longevity of the outer tubes remains to be seen. My buddy has issues with his tubes at 13k km. I'll speak to it on the next blog post.
-Brakes. No complaints. They're not brembos, but this bike doesn't need brembos. They do the job well. Rear brake has a bit of travel, and nice wide take up. It's not grabby or anything like that
-Motor. This motor was never going to set anyone's hair on fire. That said, it's good. It did great from sea level (wheelies, yes please!) all the way up to 6000'. It's linear, and has a decent step in power around 4500rpm. Pulls nicely to the low-ish red line
-Fuel consumption. The entire trip, the bike averaged 5.4L/100km of spirited riding.
-Controls, and dash. Straight forward and easy to use. I didn't find issues in seeing the dash, it worked well for me. Lots of useful settings on the dash, between the trip meters, avg. fuel display, and remaining liters/km's to empty
-Electronics (TC and ABS)
TC. Compared to my 2012 XT1200, and my 2015 FJ09, the TC fucking rocks.
The on the fly adjustment is awesome. Additionally, the settings all do a different job. E.g. TC1, in 1st gear, pre-load the suspension a bit, and give it a handful on rebound..instant wheelie.
and up!<
For Gravel roads, and minor wash board. TC2 does a great job. TC3 work well on fast and smooth gravel. Happy days.
ABS. Good set up. I like the fact that the brakes are not linked. I played around with the rear ABS off button, but didn't need it in Cali as we never did anything that crazy. I'll be useful at home on the hairier shit.
-Tires. I was brave/cheap/stupid enough to keep the Dunlop OEM tires on after I fitted the Outex kit. Surprisingly, they did great on road. Wet, dry, on the side of the tire, mid corner corrections, and overall confidence. The good out of the way, they flat out sucked off road. I had so many close calls on wet gravel, that I was super happy to lever on my set of Mitas E07 dakars waiting at home.
-Lights. OEM LEDs were great. The Chinese bought LEDs did a good job too. High beam melts paints off cars.
-Exhaust. I ditched the OEM slip on for a Staintune. The baffle stayed in all of a day. Great noise with the baffle out.

Overall riding impression. Very good. We mostly road paved roads, ranging from smooth as glass, to bumpy shitty pot holed side roads. The AT did great. Off road, in California with the dunslops, it did great in the were the limiting factor. I can report that with the E07s, the bike rocks off road. Light enough, changes direction well, and there's a lot more confidence in the 21" rim with deep gravel, ruts etc. Surprisingly, it's very good at changing lines mid corner if you screw up. And I screwed up regularly.

Looking forward to logging more time on the AT.
Oh...this snow..<