Sunday 3 May 2015

Africa Twin RD04 - Colourways

I like Africa Twins. I remember the first time I saw one. It was on a sunny spring day in Dublin in 1990 and it was stopped at a set of traffic lights as I walked past. It was brand new, shiny white, red and blue and it was enormous. I was intimidated and impressed by its sheer size.

The lights changed, the pilot dropped the clutch, taking off with a little first-gear wheelie and I was hooked!

But funnily enough, its only this version of the Africa Twin, the RD04, that I really like. The later RD07 is very possibly a better bike, but the RD04 was the one that I first saw and loved. The RD04 also had the kudos of competing in the Marathon class of the Paris Dakar - The RD07 never did.

The RD04 is sharp and linear and deliberate and very much of the futuristic '80s. It looks huge and angular and muscular and the way the side-panels flow into the the luggage rack is sublime. The enormous tank and belly-pan calls to mind the golden age of the Paris Dakar, all relentless sand seas and epic heroism...

The RD07 had no Paris Dakar pretensions. It looked smaller and less threatening and is a pretty mediocre example of '90s swoopy, blobby, shit design...

And the RD07 came covered in splashy, pukey, shit graphics while the RD04 looked dignified like this...

Africa Twin RD04 - Colourways

Africa Twin RD04 - Colourways

Africa Twin RD04 - Colourways
The image below is what prompted this particular rant. I came across it randomly on Google Images while looking for something else. I thought it was a custom paint job and I was struck by it - it's beautiful. Eventually I concluded that the reason it's so deadly is because of the black wheels and belly pan! Other than that it looks pretty standard. It's a relatively small change but it has a huge effect on the character of the bike...

Africa Twin RD04 - Colourways

#AfricaTwin #XRV750RD04 #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage

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