They appeared at ITT99 on Saturday, and with them they had a reconstructed Africa Twin (no, not that rallye bike) and the nearly mythical Transalp reconstruction. No question, that I had a deeper look at the TA ...
Attracting viewer's attention of course is the KTM style fairing design. Ok, it's a matter of taste, I don't like it very well. It makes the TA look much more vicious than it really is. And if I would like to have a bike looking like a KTM, I would buy a KTM. However - I met many people liking that design.
The fairings are made from glass fibre. Outer finish and paintwork is very good, however I saw some rents around the fixing points. To understand it completely, you must know, that this bike wasn't registered, and surely had ridden not more than 50 km with the new design! Fitment to tank and frame was pretty good, the design and fixing points of the new square aluminium tubes subframe - hm. I already saw better solutions. And the OEM plastic grilles in front of the radiators - believe me or not, they are still there, fluttering around :-D .
Technical modifications on this bike are: Sebring pipe, SW Mo-Tech skidplate of course, Technoflex fork springs, and - hm, yes, the rear shock. It read Technoflex on it, and the motech guys claimed, that it would be a Technoflex shock. However, when looking a little bit deeper, I missed the damping adjustment! The Motech guy, "There must be that adjustment stuff somewhere, we just don't see it!" Hey man, I probably saw more motorcycles during my life than you, and I know where to search for that stuff and how to find it. An even deeper look to the shock revealed the little sticker reading "Showa" ... No further comment.
They offered to ride both bikes. The AT was of no interest for me, but I rode the TA. As I said before, it wasn't registered, so we just could ride on the campground, where they had a speed limit of 5 (five) km/h. Hoe-hoe ... At least, there were some nice potholes to make the bike dirty. What I could find during a less than one km testride: front fork seemed to be ok, rear shock seemed to be much too hard. Ok, spring preload was set to maximum, but anyway. Rear wheel jumped, when riding through the potholes. Even with 5 km/h ... ;-D And I directly felt the difference between my braided steel brakeline operated Brembo front brake and the stock one. Poooh, that cat got a lot of good luck ... Last thing I noticed: headlamps didn't suit into front fairing's cut offs, I could see them shining through. No problem on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but annoying, when it's dark outside. As annoying as the little twin lamps ...
To sum it up: The design is a matter of taste, but all those clumsy little things are a mess. Want to know another thing? What do you think about turning indicators fixed directly to fairing? Thus, a good touring bike mutated to not even a disco racer, but to a cafè racer. 'cause, if you're about to visit a disco, it's dark outside, normally. There's still one hell to do for the motech people, if the bodywork should be worth the price of little DEM 1,900.- the other day. Currently, it's definitely not.
DMU May '99
|Left: Africa Twin, right: Transalp||TA right side||TA front||TA cockpit|
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