I recently had the opportunity to ride the Crosby 400 Adventure brought into SA by V-Custom Cycles in Centurion. This recent addition to the Crosby range is most interesting, in that it ticks a much needed box. The beauty, to me, is the simplicity of this bike. The motor is the familiar 397cc air cooled single that powers the Crosby range.
The single overhead cam 4 valve unit generates 27 Hp @ 7000 rpm and 35 Nm of torque @ 5500 rpm. Not heady numbers by any means, but enough to deliver satisfying performance for the intended purpose of the bike. Electric start and fuel injection makes firing up the Crosby a doddle.
Visually the Adventure looks the part. A 90/90 x 21 inch, Kenda shod front wheel hints at off road capability, with a 130/80 x 18 rear giving a wide variety of off road tyre choices.
Suspension is by way of 43 mm front forks with preload, compression and rebound adjustability. The forks felt reasonably dialled in, with a firm yet controlled ride, so I did not experiment with the adjustments due to limited time with the bike.
The rear shock is a mono unit adjustable for rebound and preload.
Brakes are discs, with a 280mm front and 220mm rear. Whilst not overly powerful, they are well suited to off road use and a big improvement on the units fitted to the road Crosby I sampled a while back.
The seat height is a tallish 880 mm, but, allied to a dry weight of only 151 kg’s, doesn’t present problems to most riders. The motor exhibits decent torque low down, so low speed manoeuvres and pulling off from rest is made pretty easy.
The bike feels relaxed at around 110 kph, and will cruise at 120 if needs be. The seat is firm but quite nicely shaped. Really long tours may well require a gel seat pad. The bike comes standard with BMW lookalike panniers.
The locks feel a trifle stiff, but can probably be adjusted to operate more smoothly, the panniers swallow a fair amount of kit, and together with a stuff bag would accommodate your kit for an extended trip. The panniers are not waterproof, so one needs to use waterproof inner bags.
The Crosby 400 Adventure brings a really feasible simple option to the Adventure bike space. Many riders are embracing touring on smaller more manageable bikes with proper off road ability. Also bikes that don’t break the budget to buy and run. The Crosby is spot on. The tank, together with decent fuel economy allows a decent range. I would like to do an extended tar cum dirt adventure ride on this bike to really put it through it’s full paces, but what I can tell you is that my initial impressions are promising.
At a price point of R69 000 (including fitted panniers), the Crosby is a lot of bike for the money. You could just pack it and depart on your adventure.
The screen works really well to keep the windblast off, and the clocks are a combination of analogue and digital giving you all the info such as fuel levels, trip meters that you need.
As with the road only Crosby, the general fit and finish, whilst acceptable, is not up to what you would get from a bike out of Japan. On the other hand you don’t have to pay a premium for it though. Right now, especially considering the spend, there is nothing out there that offers what the Crosby 400 Adventure does. The last option of a dirt worthy, simple bike with proper adventure credentials died with the venerable Kawasaki KLR. The Crosby may just fill that gap.
For more information visit: www.vcustomcycles.co.za