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Author [ES] [CA] [PL] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [DK] [NO] [GR] [TR] Topic: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash  (Read 7568 times)

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Offline Captain Scarlet

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Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« on: February 18, 2012, 03:13:05 AM »
http://www.ashonbikes.com/content/honda-crosstourer-0

... as expected. A more sober and well balanced review IMHO. Plenty of strengths such as quality, torque, smoothness etc; plus a few quibbles / niggles that may annoy some and not others. Anyway, good to have lots of views from difference journalists.

Offline Doc

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Re: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 12:02:10 PM »
Hi Captain,
I though he gave it a right slating. That report should lose Honda a few customers! I could be forgive for thinking that Kevin has shares in BMW. Other reviews are much less scalding, sounding most positive towards the new Crosstourer. What was he comparing it to, a fireblade!

Disappointing!  :151:

I'm still picking up my "Elephant Seal" when it arrives - thankfully in the end, it's only my opinion that counts.   :152:

Doc

Offline roundincircles

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Re: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 12:45:09 PM »
Doc, Kevin Ash enjoyed riding the bike and his reply to some similar questions to yours is below. Must say Kevin's review caught me by surprise but he does call it how he see's it and get's my respect for that. He is also consistent and will not be swayed away from his remit.......to describe what it is like to ride a bike for the buying punter.

Test ride is booked.

This is Kevin Ash's reply.........


RiC, I really enjoyed riding the bike, and by the look of it so did the other journos, but I'd hesitate to recommend one because you really do feel that weight sometimes, and it looks as if the economy and range are well short of the mark. I think it's important that a review doesn't reflect what fun you had on the day riding a new bike (a lot in this case) but how much satisfaction you think an owner might get after forking out a large amount of his hard earned for it, and in this case I think there's something of a gap between the two, at least for owners who intend putting big chunks of miles on their bikes.

It might improve with miles on the engine although my own experience is that this doesn't make a wholesale difference, which is what's needed here, also I could only go by the dash readout and not measure it more accurately. So I'm holding back from condemning the bike outright because of its thirst as I'm not certain yet, especially as we were riding them fairly hard. But if the range really does work out at no more than 170 miles to empty, then to me that makes the bike a non-starter.

I don't lust after the bike because I think there are better adventure bikes - the engine is great, elsewhere it is indeed a very well put together but mixed bag.
roundincircles

Offline Captain Scarlet

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Re: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 02:41:42 PM »
Doc, you might have a point that it was a bit scathing, and I was being a little diplomatic. I should also mentioned that RIC and I have been hanging around Ash's web site forum for a few years now, purely because the postings are mature and intelligent by nature; we've all joined those forums for the 'kids' before now haven't we!

However, this said, I do agree with RIC in that Kevin will tell it how he sees it and is less swayed by currying favour with manufacturers than other journalists. This can annoy some, certainly would be owners at times, but over time his comments usually bare fruit.

I'll give you a good example. He said that the Tiger 800 engine was good, but that it lacked low down grunt. No other journalist globally wrote anything other than the engine is a complete peach at all revs, which was reflected in the linear smooth dyno graphs too. But I rode one. Twice to be sure. And on reflection he's absolutely right. It's not gutless or rough running down low, and it's lovely using that bottom end on wet slippery roads around tight roundabouts, but it certainly won't be pulling any trees up. And that's all that he claimed, the obvious the others seemingly dared not to state.

Again he was one of the first journalists to say, of the VFR, that the range isn't good enough, seat comfort could be better, low speed delivery is jerky and traction control is now de rigeur for these type of bikes. Guess what four areas Honda claim they've improved for the forthcoming updated VFR?

As for shares in BMW? I'm sure that was a tongue in cheek comment, but he can usually get whatever he wants as a long term bike. His last two have been a Multistrada and Tiger 800 XC (which Triumph provided 'after' he said the engine could be better low down like the F800GS's!). Both relevant to the Adventure genre and he's 6ft 3" tall too, so ergo's wise he's ideally sized for these. Will he have a GS as a loaner this year? Well he told me that he fancies an NC700X for this year, which incidentally he praised highly and said that other journalists wouldn't 'get it'. Hardly a FireBlade and definitely not bigoted towards Honda!  :001:

Caveat: I've no affiliation with the guy, I just respect the way that Kevin writes about the good, bad and indifference of machine. And he does it in a way that reflects what ownership of the bike would be like, not how much he's enjoyed a days thrashing in the sunshine. But I would say this, much as he's one of the most experienced journo's around (writes for MCN, The Telegraph, international bike mags) at the end of the day it's still just 'one mans opinion'. Just as Mark Forsyth was very pro the Crosstourer and Kevin Ash wasn't so much, you've got to balance out those opinions and where possible ride the bike yourself to make your own mind up about it, because at the end of the day nobodies opinion really matters other than your own, does it?

For me personally I would be interested in the CrossTourer if it was coming to America, but Honda have dropped the ball and we're losing out, which is a shame. If everyone else's review from this point forwards is outstanding, then it might be worth me waiting a year or so to see if Honda import it at that stage. But if the reviews become lukewarm towards it and if Honda continue to be arrogant enough to not even indicate if/when they might bring it in, then my choice will probably boil down to eXplorer (if it's outstanding) or Multistrada, as I already have a Ducati (good part-ex) and a first class dealer who really looks after me. Looking forwards to the other reviews though...
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 02:48:29 PM by Captain Scarlet »

Offline Doc

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Re: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 03:47:33 PM »
Captain, you are of course right in everything you say; I know Kevin is as neutral and honest as they come. I have read many of his reports, and respect his opinion and his vast experience in these matters. :020:

I think we need to look at Hondas target market for the Crosstourer. It is not targeting the same market as Triumph with the new Tiger Explorer. I am changing from the ST1300 to the Crosstourer and I will be using the bike on the road, so for me the bike will be lighter and more agile than I am used to. It took a while to get used to the big and heavy Pan when I changed from the VFR800 V-Tec, so I am not worried about the weight issue.

What has surprised me, and it must be concerning for Honda, is the lousy fuel consumption. The best Kevin managed was the absolute worst that I was expecting. Now even I am having second thoughts about the Crosstourer - I need at least 200 miles, and it may be difficult to get it.

I really am disappointed with the results Kevin obtained from the bike. I am going to my dealer, who I know very well, and I am going to take the demo Crosstourer for the day and check it out for myself. If I don't get under 7 l/100km then Honda just lost a Crosstourer customer.

I am feeling quit sad on the back of this test review. I hope the Crosstourer redeems itself well when I get my hands on it.

Doc
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 03:51:02 PM by Doc »

Offline ojo

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Re: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 04:37:47 PM »
*Originally Posted by Doc [+]


I really am disappointed with the results Kevin obtained from the bike. I am going to my dealer, who I know very well, and I am going to take the demo Crosstourer for the day and check it out for myself. If I don't get under 7 l/100km then Honda just lost a Crosstourer customer.

I am feeling quit sad on the back of this test review. I hope the Crosstourer redeems itself well when I get my hands on it.

Doc
Doc i wouldn't be too much worried yet. Much better on what Mark Forsyth says:

"... Riding it like I stole it I managed 36mpg according to the trip computer. I’d say 50mpg is much more likely if you rode it like you’d paid your own money for it....... "

I wonder why they get that much differences? Only reading it from the dash could irritate things, too.


Around the world and back ... driven Honda motorbikes all over Europe, Australia, NewZealand, Japan, Russia .....
my latest trip: http://www.austral.omania.ch/index.html

Offline ojo

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Re: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 05:18:38 PM »
That sure was a very informativ review especially as so far we only could speculate on many things. But then, for me it was not much of a surprise of what Kevin Ash  wrote "on the negativ side" of it. We talked a lot about the weight and the small fuel tank capacitiy already. For me it's a compromise thought of things, so i didn't change my mind either! Can't wait to drive the bike myself!

On a few comments:

"– the Crosstourer is most definitely not a GS rival, oh no ..."

.... a little ridiculous, a BMW GS with some 250kg sure is "THE BIKE" to go offroad BUT with 10% more weight as on CROSSTOURER you are totally lost out there! ... sure you are  :150:

That made me wonder, so i went to read what he wrote about BMW R1200GS 2010 review back some time:

".... and while (BMW GS 1200) it’s not a motocrosser, in the right hands it can still be shockingly effective as a trail bike in difficult terrain. It’s only when it’s asked to get airborne that the mass really shows up (on landing again that is, when it bottoms out readily)....."


same man writes on CT:

".....but the DCT version with panniers and topbox is as agile as an oil tanker,..."

Somebody mentioned already that he's got shares in BMW  :211:
Around the world and back ... driven Honda motorbikes all over Europe, Australia, NewZealand, Japan, Russia .....
my latest trip: http://www.austral.omania.ch/index.html

Offline Doc

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Re: Full Launch Review - Kevin Ash
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 06:03:10 PM »
"The stock machine disguises its weight reasonably well, but the DCT version with panniers and topbox is as agile as an oil tanker, and it doesn’t help that the front end has something of a rubbery feel. Pull on the bars and you even see the flex between them and the front wheel, while the bike heaves from one side to the other with the alacrity of an elephant seal digesting its Christmas dinner."

Well to be honest, when I get on it, it's not going to get any lighter  :745: :745: :745:

"the Crosstourer is most definitely not a GS rival, oh no"

"the Crosstourer is a GS rival really"

So it isn't a rival and it is - what a multi-talented machine! (not meaning to be sarcastic) :002:
 
I think probably 95% of GS owners have never been off-road, so I see the Crosstourer as a serious alternative to the GS - and 95% of Crosstourer owners will probably be tarmac-only riders anyway. The closest I will get to off-road will be the Umbail Pass  :745: :745: :745:

Looking forward to my test ride - and like you and Mark Forsyth say Othmar, 50 mpg may be possible when ridden like we want to keep our licences.   :001: :001: :001:

 


arab-exile