Honda hasn’t had a midsized adventure bike to sell in quite some time, almost a decade if I’m not mistaken. We’re not including the CB500X as that’s not quite a middleweight, at least on the performance front. That’s about to change with the reintroduction of the Transalp.
For a while there it looked as if the Africa Twin was going to be shrunk into a middleweight offering but then rumours of a rejuvenated Transalp started and here it is, revealed at the EICMA show.
The first Transalp arrived in 1986 with a 600cc V-twin and by 2000 the engine had grown to 647cc. The last version arrived in 2008 with 680cc, fuel injection and a 214kg kerb weight. We must have ridden it around 2010.
The new XL750 Transalp fills the gap between small and large ADV offerings from Honda, and at the same time the legend is reborn, although not in V-twin status.
The new Transalp should prove a true do-it-all. A spokesperson from Honda said of the new offering “We wanted to strike the right balance between urban agility, long-distance, on-road touring comfort and off-road ability. We have created a bike that gives riders of all experience levels a fresh new option. The look revives the classic Transalp presence in a modern key, the new engine is incredibly strong and versatile, and the bike has an appealingly long and rich specification list. Around town or around the world – our Transalp is ready!”
The Transalp’s design, like that of Africa Twin, mixes adventure touring with on-road needs. The long travel suspension and the fairing and fixed screen work together to deliver wind protection without bulk, and comfort over all surfaces.
The new 755cc parallel twin was designed for solo or two-up touring, producing 91hp (68kW) of power (9500rpm) and 75Nm of torque (at 7250rpm). This engine is shared with the new CB750 Hornet streetfighter, though has different throttle-by-wire settings more appropriate for its touring/off-road intentions. Fuel consumption of 4.4L/100km offers a potential range of roughly 400km from its 17L fuel tank.
The 270° crank is designed to deliver a characterful pulsing feeling. Electronic rider aids include five riding modes, one a user configurable setting, the others Sport, Standard, Gravel and Rain. There are five TC levels, and all include wheelie control. An assist and slipper clutch is also fitted.
The steel diamond frame is lightweight (18kg) and underpins nimble handling, helped by Showa 43mm separate function USD forks. Travel is 200mm up front, 190 at the rear, with each end preload adjustable. Ground clearance is set at 210mm.
Dual two-piston calipers work on 310mm petal discs, while the 21-inch front and 18-inch rear tyres deliver both for on and off-road requirements. Wet weight is a claimed 208kg. A 42 degree steering angle is said to make U-turns easy.
Other features include a five-inch TFT colour display, all-LED lighting and auto-cancelling indicators. The seat height is 850mm while a rear carrier and USB socket are standard fit items.
Accessories include a quickshifter, taller screen, lower 820mm seat, rally/touring equipment and cosmetic enhancements. Several luggage packs will be available for specific duties, such as touring, commuting and the like.
Colour options are gray, black and tricolour (white, blue and red), the latter harking back to the original XL600V.
Honda distributors say to expect the reinvented Transalp here midway through next year, along with the Rebel 1100 Touring.