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Honda XL750 Transalp takes on the middleweight ADV class

The nameplate is revived for a new middleweight ADV bike

Honda is aiming for the lucrative middleweight ADV market. PHOTO FROM HONDA

Most riders associate Honda’s adventure bikes either with the entry-level CB500X or the full-fat Africa Twin, but dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts will be familiar with the Transalp nameplate. First introduced way back in 1986 with a 583cc V-twin engine, the first-generation Transalp focused on touring and some light off-road capability with its long-travel suspension. By 2008 (the last year of production), the engine had grown to 680cc, had fuel injection, and weighed 214kg.

The Ross Tricolor and the gold wheels are lit. PHOTO FROM HONDA

Now reincarnated for a world that has fallen in love with adventure bikes, the new XL750 Transalp has been unveiled at EICMA, and appears to have the goods to be competitive against popular models like the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and the BMW F850/750.

Honda may lack character, but you can't fault its design logic. PHOTO FROM HONDA

It has a faintly retro look with its flat side panels and front fairing, tall windscreen, and ’80s-themed livery. An all-new 755cc parallel-twin engine shared with the recently launched CB750 Hornet, produces 90.5hp and 75Nm.

Even better, it has a 270° crank to give it some character, while also benefiting from a throttle-by-wire system that gives the rider four preset combinations of power, engine braking, ABS, torque control, and wheelie control. A fifth user mode allows the rider to make his own preferred mix. The fuel tank holds 16.9L.

Showa fork, spoked wheels, 90hp parallel-twin...sign us up! PHOTO FROM HONDA

The XL750 uses a lightweight steel diamond frame, with a Showa 43mm USD fork with 200mm of travel and a Pro-Link rear suspension with 190m of travel. Dual-piston calipers are fitted, while a 90/90-21 front and 150/70-18 rear tire setup delivers versatile road/off-road performance. The tires will either be Metzeler Karoo Street or Dunlop Mixtour. The standard seat height is 850mm, and there’s also a low 820mm option.

Think of it as an Africa Twin Lite. PHOTO FROM HONDA

More goodies include a five-inch TFT dash with voice control connectivity for both Android and iOS devices. LED lights include auto-canceling turn indicators and Emergency Stop Signal technology. A quickshifter is optional, along with the requisite soft and hard luggage accessories. The XL750 Transalp will be available in three color combos, including the hero Ross Tricolor scheme.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but we hope it becomes available in the Philippines.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.