Quebec has really shit roads. Worse could be had when we went to visit my Dad on base in Mom’s MG-B, but that’s because every time we saw a pot-hole we thought we were literally going to die. Landmines do that to you. Rhodesian Army had a vehicle called a Pookie, which was a great testament to our engineering brilliance, but I digress. Quebec has worse roads than most third world countries I have been in. So why would you ride anything other than an off road bike?
There has always been something in me that needs a motorbike and because of the these reasons I chose the Africa Twin:
- Quebec has shit roads why they hell would you ride a sports bike here?
- Oh my god I seem to be surrounded by dirt roads. Cool!
- The Trans America Trail needs to be done
- North America is really big
- A strange obsession with Honda. Blame Dad
So you live in a place with a load of dirt roads that need exploring, want to ride off road for 4500 miles and are mentally programmed to like Hondas. You obviously need an Africa Twin.
That Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) colour scheme is _amazing_
I’m having that one. “No… I don’t think so” says Honda N.America. We don’t want you to have the lovely gold wheels and pearl white paint scheme that makes you reminisce about the Tamiya 1:12 model that you built when you were a teenager. Okay then, go on, I’ll have the silver one. “well..” says Honda Canada “… we only do that one with the Dual Clutch Gearbox. Humm… I think. I’m not too keen on all that electronics stuff and what if it goes wrong out on the trail? Anyway I like changing gears.
Well all that became purely academic. I thought that after pouring over the lovely websites and excited articles by journalists trying not to sound excited I could saunter into the dealer, point to the shiny motorbike of my choice, bankrupt myself and ride out with a big grin on my face. Err.. No.
There was no Africa Twin in sight. No spotlit rotating stand with an adoring crowd taking photos and trying to touch it. Not even a poster.
It appears I missed the boat when even getting to see the thing because apparently, like the latest Band, it came to Montreal in February and everyone who saw it threw money at the dealer. Those lucky enough to have the right handshake/hookers/brown bags full of money got one of the sum total of 4 the dealer had to dole out. These are the people that sell more Hondas than anyone in a province that is bigger than most of Europe. Who puts on a Montreal motorbike show in February anyway? The snow is waist deep (yes, actually waist deep – I’ve seen people loose their car when they’ve come out of their massage), and you’re likely to get stuck to that pole that you’re nonchalantly trying to lick a lamppost.
Having no choice I said yes, I’ll have the silver one with the Dual Clutch gearbox, that sounds great. The very last one to be ordered in Canada.
Okay then, thanks for the deposit, now you’ll have to wait till later this year. Wooh, wooh, hangon! I’m off to do the longest off-road trip in America. There’ll be snow and hot deserts and rain and tornados and stuff. This is a tight window I need to hit so I don’t get all caught up in that. So they get on to Honda Canada and apparently the Black Sheep (it appears Silver/DCT is the least wanted combo) is first in the que. “Late May, early June”
Right then. This is going to take some serious discipline. From the kid that couldn’t wait 12 hours to open the vastly expensive black market european import Christmas presents his parents paid a month’s salary for, so he broke one and attempted to hide them under his bed.
It’s going to a tough wait.[UPDATE: The wait gets worse]