Around a decade ago, the Transalp disappeared from Honda’s catalogs. However, the Japanese brand has already confirmed that it will be putting a new model on the market in 2023, with the same Alps-inspired name—the impressive mountain range that spans several countries across Central Europe, and perfectly fits the tourism and adventure aspirations of the new Honda trail bike. The slogan “Mountains are calling” that appears in the launch video also makes their intentions clear, warning that both on road and dirt tracks, this new Honda trail bike will be difficult to tame.
Another big draw of the new Transalp is that it boasts a maximum of around 92 hp, and can be capped at 35 kW to be driven by novice riders who hold the A2 license. This means there is a wide range of ages and experience levels who can use the bike.
History of the Transalp
Let’s refresh our memory. It is worth remembering that the first Transalp came on to the market in 1987 in the form of the XL600V, and stayed on sale for 25 years. Throughout that time, it underwent different developments and lots of changes, also being marketed as XL650V and XL700V, as its displacement increased from 583 cc in the first version, to 647 cc, then finally 680 cc in the latest 2007 version. It is also noteworthy that the Transalp was a “made in Spain” product for a few years, being produced at the Montesa-Honda headquarters in Santa Perpetua de Mogoda from 2005, until it ceased production in 2012.
Honda has not yet put a price on it, but considering the CB750 Hornet costs €7,950, the Transalp should not go for much more than €8,500. What we do know is that the new Honda XL750 Transalp will be available in three color types; Matte Gray metallic, Matte Black metallic, and Tricolor white, red, and blue.
Honda XL750 Transalp 2023 Characteristics
Comfortable and easy to handle
The Honda XL750 Transalp has been developed with the aim of being comfortable and easy to handle on long journeys, both when riding alone and when carrying a passenger. With a seat height of 850 mm, it is not a particularly high trail bike. It’s also worth noting that there is the option of a lower seat that reduces its height to 820 mm.
The riding position is comfortable, and the protection provided by the front to the rider’s upper body is more than acceptable. And being a 2023 model, all lighting is LED, with self-canceling turn signals. The rear lights include an Emergency Stop Signal, which, in the event of heavy braking, flashes automatically to warn other road users.
The XL750 Transalp is a completely new motorcycle, although certain aspects of its design and some of the aesthetics are reminiscent of the original 1987 version. However, that’s where the similarities end, as the new Honda trail bike recently unveiled at the Milan Motor Show is a highly modern bike, with state-of-the-art technology. Previous versions were also powered by V-twin engines, whereas the new one is equipped with a high-performance straight-twin engine, and is clearly more compact and lighter.
The new 755 cc straight-twin engine is the same as in the new CB750 Hornet that will also be released in 2023, and boasts a maximum power of 67.5 kW at 9,500rpm and a torque of 75 Nm at 7,250rpm. To improve the performance, the crankshaft connecting rods are at a 270º angle, and the cylinder head features Honda’s renowned Unicam system, with a single camshaft to power the eight valves. This reduces weight and size, as well as the number of parts subject to friction.
Another new aspect of the Transalp “seven and a half” is the patented “Vortex Flow” ducts that facilitate air intake from intakes on the sides of the bike to the air filter box. They enable a very quick and precise throttle response, and really get the engine revving. The wet multi-plate clutch has an anti-lock system and cable control. It can include a quick shifter, a component that facilitates gear changes in both directions without pressing the clutch lever.
Leading electronics in its category
The new XL750 Transalp has an electronic throttle with four programmed riding modes: Rain, Standard, Sport, and Gravel. There is a fifth mode called User, where four power modes, three engine brake modes, five traction control modes associated with the “anti-wheelie” control, and two ABS modes can be combined to the user’s liking.
Traction control and rear ABS can also be switched off. All of this is controlled from the button panel on the left side of the handlebar and is displayed on a large 5-inch TFT screen, like the Honda Smartphone Voice Control connectivity system for Android and IOS. Before using the system, the phone must be connected via Bluetooth, and the rider’s helmet must have speakers and a microphone installed.
Lightweight diamond-shaped steel frame
The twin-cylinder engine is anchored to a new lightweight steel frame with a diamond-shaped structure made of steel tubes, weighing only 18.3 kg, a reduction of around 2 kg compared to the Honda CB500X trail bike. The inverted fork with 41-mm bars and 200 mm of travel is a Showa SFF-CATM with separate functions and adjustable spring preload. The front axle also sports a Nissin brake system consisting of two parallel piston brake calipers acting on two 310-mm petal discs.
It has a Showa rear monoshock allowing for spring preload adjustment. It is supported by a characteristic progressive Pro-Link system of connecting rods, allowing a travel of 190 mm to the rear axle. There is also a generous 210-mm ground clearance. The spoked wheels have gold anodized rims and are fitted with 90/90-21″ and 150/70-18″ mixed tires with inner tubes, guaranteeing stability and high performance in all environments.
The fuel tank holds 16.9 liters, which means, according to its 4.4 liters/100-km consumption, it has a range of over 380 km. Also noteworthy is it weighs only 208 kg in running order, which helps make it agile and easy to ride at all times.
Standard and optional accessories
Standard accessories include a USB port and rear luggage rack. Meanwhile, Honda has prepared a long list of optional accessories for the XL750 Transalp that will be available separately or in five packages: Urban, Touring, Adventure, Rally, and Comfort. In addition to the “quick shifter” and low seat already mentioned, all options include the 50-liter rear top case, side cases (26 liters on the right and 33 on the left), heated grips, engine guards, aluminum skid plate or handguards, among others.