Return of the Transalp! Honda's rugged favorite revived as 750cc parallel-twin
After endless online speculation, gossip and artists’ impressions, the Honda Transalp has officially returned for 2023, sporting the same 755cc parallel twin as the new CB750 Hornet.
The Transalp first arrived in 1986 as a 583cc V-twin, growing to 647cc by 2000 and then 680cc for the last version in 2008.
“With our new Transalp we looked hard at what made the first model so good and wanted to strike the right balance between urban agility, long-distance, on-road touring comfort and off-road ability,” says Masatoshi Sato, Transalp Large Product Leader. “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!”
Honda have managed to keep the engine compact and lightweight, with the primary drive gear doubling up duties to spin the balancer shaft and the water pump tucked inside the left engine cover.
A 47bhp A2 licence option will be available, but it’s unlikely many 19-year-olds will have the cash for the deposit, let alone anything else.
Cradling this twin pot motor – complete with 270-degree firing order for more of a V-twin feel – is an 18.3kg steel diamond frame with integrated subframe, which weighs a claimed 10% less than the chassis on Honda’s A2-friendly CB500X.
The new Transalp is powered by a 755 cc eight-valve Unicam Parallel-Twin with a 270° crank. The performance figures are the same claimed 90.5 hp at 9,500 rpm and 55.3 lb-ft. at 7,250 rpm as the Hornet, but the throttle-by-wire system produces different engine mapping that favors touring and comfort.
The XL750 offers four selectable ride modes: Sport, Standard, Rain and Gravel. Each mode offers a combination pulled from four engine power levels, three engine brake levels, two ABS levels, and five traction control levels. There’s also a user mode for selecting custom settings.
A five-inch full color TFT screen helps manage the electronics while providing a choice of three analog or one bar-style tachometer. The display also serves as the interface for the Honda Smartphone Voice Control system which works with Android phones (a few features won’t be available for iOS phones).
The steel diamond frame weighs a claimed 40.3 pounds, a 10% decrease from the frame on the CB500X. Honda was able to find weight savings by reducing the number of reinforcing parts and decreasing the thickness of the main and down tubes. Meanwhile, Honda optimized the upper shock mount and swingarm pivot for a balance of rigidity and feel. An integrated high-tension steel subframe provides further strength and durability.
The suspension system is comprised of a Showa 43mm Separate Function Fork-Cartridge inverted fork with spring preload adjustment and 7.9 inches of travel, and a preload adjustable Showa shock with a remote reservoir offering 7.5 inches of travel. The shock connects through a Pro-Link system to the swingarm, which is produced from the same castings as the Africa Twin, but with its own aluminum alloy.
The 21-inch wire-spoke front wheel is matched with dual 310 mm discs and two-piston calipers while the 18-inch rear wheel employs a single-piston caliper with a 256 mm disc. The Transalp comes with either Metzeler Karoo Street or Dunlop Mixtour tubed tires.
Honda offers five accessory packs for the Transalp: Urban, Touring, Adventure, Rally, and Comfort, each offering a mix of accessories such as luggage, quickshifter, heated grips, hand guards and footpeg options.
No arrival date or pricing has been given for the U.S. market.