for your weekends in the dirt. You can change the wheels
in about 15 minutes, and the black Excel rims and red
Talon hubs are beautiful.
Next on the must-change list is a set of footpegs. The
stockers are surprisingly out of character—very street-ori-ented. The IMS Adventure pegs are wider, longer and
burlier. We aren’t that confident that the stock footpeg
mounts are strong enough for dirt, but they would be easy
to reinforce if they ever droop.
Scott finished off the bike with parts that any Africa
Twin deserves, even if it’s never taken into the dirt. Seat
Concepts has a Rally seat with the perfect density for
long rides on the street. We’ve discovered that the saddle
becomes more important than any other single part of an
adventure bike somewhere around the hour-four mark of
a long ride. The stock air filter element has to go too; Uni
already has one. Cycra has wrap-around handguards that
are made for dirt but provide good wind protection for the
We spent a few days in the dirt with the IMS bike
without ever touching the pavement. It didn’t seem at all
strange. We unloaded on one side of the San Bernardino
Mountains and had a chase truck meet us on the other
side, never venturing out of the dirt even for fuel. It
seemed just like any other dirt ride—funny how quickly
you adapt to the size of a 1000cc V-twin. The single most
impressive aspect of the bike was the suspension. It was
spot-on for the decomposing dirt roads of late summer in
Southern California. We wouldn’t even be afraid to take
the bike into an occasional set of whoops. When you do
exceed the limitations of the bike, it doesn’t really catch
you by surprise. You know well ahead of time if the trail is
too rough for 500 pounds of motorcycle.
Right now adventure bikes are still designed and purchased mostly for the road. But it’s changing. Within the
last four years Yamaha, KTM, BMW and now Honda have
shown that they’ve done real dirt testing. All of them have
taken the first steps to making a true off-road liter bike.
This simply shows what it’s like to finish the job. o
ADVENTURE: AFRICA TWIN
For a full list of the suppliers
go to the website at www.dirtbikemagazine.com.