Since it first chewed up the trails in 1986 until its demise in 2012, the Honda Transalp ruled the road.
In the following years, there’s been a gap in the adventure motorcycle field that inferior vehicles have filled. But the great hero has returned as the 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp.
We did some digging to find out if it’s worth the hype. Today, we’re bringing you all the info on this classic comeback.
Let’s hit it!
About the Honda Transalp
The 1980s saw Japanese manufacturers dominating the roads. Vehicles produced by the company won the Paris to Dakar motorcycle rally several times. With the new notoriety, they rode the wave to the top.
In 1986, Honda released the first version of the Transalp, and it quickly became the go-to adventure machine. They wanted a one-bike solution for riders who liked to explore. Designers kitted it out with enough horsepower, suspension, and ground clearance to handle any terrain.
Initially, it had a 600cc, V-twin engine that powered it over mountains and gravel. In 2000, engineers replaced it with a 650cc. Then, in 2008, it became 700cc.
Touring is a breeze with a lighter, more responsive cycle that’s as comfortable on the highway as it is on a mountain pass. Riders use adventure bikes hard. Through water, over rocks, and into the backcountry, generations of bikers made the Transalp name a legend. And now, with its new release, Honda is poised to take over the trails once again.
Advantages of the Honda Transalp
When you first slide onto the Honda Transalp, you’ll immediately notice how light it is. A tubular steel diamond frame provides a rigid platform that cuts down on weight, too. Additionally, the Unicam head contributes to the compact and efficient engine.
Atop this beast, you’ll appreciate increased handling and butter-smooth shifting. No matter the terrain, you’ll feel like you’re in total control. Higher ground clearance and raised exhaust make water crossings a blast.
As we’ve discussed, the drivetrain on the new model is robust and responsive. Ready to jump into action at a twist of the throttle-by-wire (TBW) system, it almost flies.
Unlike dirtbikes or cycles designed purely for off-road purposes, designers envisioned something else for their comeback. They planned for riders to enjoy long days in the saddle. A comfortable seat for the driver and passenger makes that possible.
If you’re the type who loves getting into the backcountry, there’s an added perk. Because of the different chassis on this rig, the distance between the pegs and the handles is shorter. For trips that involve aggressive terrain, standing is much more ergonomic.
This powerful machine also has a sense of style. With several paint schemes and an aerodynamic windshield, you’ll appreciate the sleek profile. You’ll have the choice between matte black, matte silver, or Ross White Tricolor, which is a patriotic red, white, and blue.
And, if you’re just getting into the adventure cycling world, the Honda Transalp is the perfect on-ramp. With a starting price of around $10,600, it’s an affordable way to leave it all behind.
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Honda Transalp Engine and Electronics
We’ve touched on the drivetrain briefly, but let’s look deeper.
The Honda Transalp squeezes every ounce of power out of its 750cc, parallel twin engine. Instead of two separate bores like in a V-twin, both pistons move in the same direction. When it comes to larger bikes, this engine produces more force with fewer moving parts and less weight.
With the 2023 XL750, a more robust drivetrain delivers 55 pounds-feet of torque and 92 horsepower. You’ll get plenty of acceleration, even at a fraction of the competition’s cost.
Engineers tuned their creation for long-distance rides. A four-and-a-half gallon tank provides up to 240 miles of travel.
The vehicle comes with four default rider modes. These include sport, standard, rain, and gravel. TBW adjusts the performance to suit conditions. You can control it using the buttons on the left handlebar. A user mode allows discerning drivers to calibrate their own settings.
Instead of classic instrument displays, a five-inch screen provides all the necessary information. It’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android systems for navigation and calling. You can control their device using a helmet-mounted headset via Honda’s Smartphone Voice Control system.
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What Are the Transalp Chassis Specifications?
Adventure bikes are known as all-rounders in the industry, meaning you can expect them to perform regardless of the terrain. In the Honda XL750 Transalp, engineers shifted some components around to maximize the function of the chassis.
It’s composed of a diamond steel form and is thinner than comparable frames. This reduces the overall weight, and each element is optimized for strength. Weighing in at 458 pounds, it’s a light and agile machine.
Similarly, the suspension is tuned to support a variety of riding conditions. According to AdventureMotorcycle.com, Showa 43mm SFF-CATM USD forks provide enough travel for any terrain. You’ll barely feel the bumps when you cruise on this motorbike.
During development, designers tried to balance strength and rigidity while reducing how heavy it rides. Even at low speeds, it’s effortless to handle. Over rough terrain, they took into consideration seated and standing positions.
You’ll feel every decision they made in the handling and stiffness of this ride.
Are Add-On Accessory Packages Available?
Different gear is necessary for every touring situation. Instead of packing on after-market accessories, Honda released five unique packages for the Transalp.
You’ll want the Urban Pack for traveling around town. It features a 50L top box, aluminum side panels, and a mounting base for other accessories. Add the passenger pad and an inner bag, and you’re almost set. They’ve also included a taller windscreen and tougher kickstand to round it out.
Long rides benefit from the Touring Pack. Rear panniers protected by aluminum panels and inner bags provide extra storage. Cold weather won’t be a problem for you either, with heated grips to keep you toasty.
If bushwhacking is more your style, the Adventure Pack has what you need. Side pipes protect the chassis, and fog lights cut through dense haze. A radiator grill adds a hint of style while providing improved airflow and protection.
The Rally Pack brings out the best in your bike. It includes a quick-shifter and an engine guard for when things get bumpy. Footpegs give the best views, so the included bash plate doesn’t see much use. Extended knuckle guards keep you safe from loose branches and rocks.
Finally, hours-long rides are made easier with the Comfort Pack. A 3L tank bag provides ample storage for two, and wind deflectors protect you at high speeds. Passengers will appreciate the footpegs included in this package as well. And when your phone starts to die, there’s even a charging socket.
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Is the Honda Transalp Coming to the United States?
The new Honda Transalp has been available in Europe for over a year. Riders in the US with a case of FOMO can relax. You won’t miss out much longer!
In May 2023, Motorcycle.com found documents that confirm the vehicle’s coming to the American market as a 2024 model. Reporters discovered the registration application and approval from the California Air Resources Board and leaked it to the press.
While the company hasn’t confirmed it, you can bet dealers are hungry to get their hands on it.
Is the Honda Transalp Worth It?
If the truth lives up to the hype, the Honda XL750 Transalp is worth it. Unparalleled handling and a versatile range make it one of the most anticipated bikes of 2023. And for the price, you won’t find a motorcycle as fun or stylish as this one.
For those who remember the Trasalp 600 and 650, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the newest version. It’s powerful, light, and a hell of a ride!
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