End of the line...In memoriam EXIT Honda Transalp...

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Two Plugs, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Two Plugs

    Two Plugs Long timer

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    @ All,

    Honda has released the official press announcement that the production of the last 'authentic' big trail bike has officially been ended.

    After almost 26 years one of the longest running models has been deleted from the Honda production line.
    Revealed at the Paris Motorcycle Exhibition in 1986, the Honda XL600V Transalp evolved in a reliable, trustful travel companion. The bike had an overhaul in 1991 (rear drumbrakes replaced by disk, new dashboard), 1994 (new fairing), 1997 (Double diskbrakes front), 2000 (model change to XL650V) and 2007 (current model, the XL700V with feul injection)

    I've owned 5 Transalps from almost every year (except the 650 and 700) which brought me to every corner of Europe and beyond. Reliable, cheap to run, just a great little bike. Covered in total over 150.000 km on all the Transalps I owned.

    After the Africa Twin XRV750 (production stopped: 2002), the Varadero XL1000V (production stopped: 2011) the last of the Mohicans, has been deleted from the Honda program.

    There is no news (yet) that we will see a true successor for either the Transalp, Africa Twin or Varadero on short notice.

    The current line-up of ‘crossovers’ like the Crossrunner (which is in fact an old VFR800i in disguise) or the Crosstourer (which is in fact a VFR1200F on high heels) can’t bee seen as successor.

    Honda calls its new line-up of big trail bikes 'progress'. But I doubt if they will ever become a real classic like the Transalp or Africa Twin have become.

    [​IMG]
    XL600V Transalp, 1987

    [​IMG]
    Transalp 600, 1995

    [​IMG]
    Transalp 650, 2000

    [​IMG]
    Transalp 700, exit...
    #1
  2. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    Just made the decision to buy one today, checked Honda site and nada. Oh well, off to see the wizard for a Multistrada I guess.....
    #2
  3. ROYMACNIC

    ROYMACNIC Adventurer

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    Sad news,I used to own a 600 ,it was a great bike ,come on Honda think about what people really want.
    #3
  4. Mr Grumpy

    Mr Grumpy Old Git.

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    Oh dear, bye bye to the old 'Slapper',

    Never had one myself, but I know a few folk that have had them & they've been stone solid reliable tools, if a little uninspiring.

    Kind of odd that they're being deleted without a replacement though.
    #4
  5. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I had several Africs Twins in the past, and rode a lot with my buddy's Transalp.. Great bikes, bulletproof, and ready for any trip. Can't understand why Honda quit making them.
    #5
  6. Sock Monkey

    Sock Monkey Corporate slave

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    I'm guessing Honda sees this as the replacement:

    [​IMG]

    NC700X

    -SM
    #6
  7. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    I am grateful to have seen the original new in the showroom. It really planted a seed of touring the way touring was meant and not just overloaded goldwing style.
    #7
  8. deathu

    deathu Adventurer

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    This is sad news...
    I currently own a '99 model which I've been enjoying for over 35.000 kms.
    I truly hope they are going to release a decent sucessor, but I do not expect this to happen, because the Transalp was built mainly for the European market. If I understand correctly, there's not much "adventure riding" (for me this means exploring, going down unpaved roads or even some soft off-road) you can legally do in "civilized" Europe these days. Just my opinion...

    From my point of view the line of Honda bikes became worse and worse during the latest decade or so... we have lost the Africa Twins, the Dominators, now the Transalps. Up to now we have not seen decent replacement models... only bikes that are more and more road-oriented :puke1
    #8
  9. Two Plugs

    Two Plugs Long timer

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    Well... According to Honda, they will reveal a road-legal version of their expected Paris-Dakar rally racer next spring:

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    I seem to remember inmates complaining about the newest gen Transalp as being under powered and over weight.. :lol3 Now that's it's being retired, some will miss it. :cry... What Honda needs is a real Africa Twin replacement. But then again, how many buyers buy the bike to actually ride it around the world or gnarly off road....
    #10
  11. Two Plugs

    Two Plugs Long timer

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    Well... If I look in our (very active) Dutch Transalp & Africa Twin club, a majority does so... What cannot be said from f.e. any GS rider... :evil
    #11
  12. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

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    Here, here. That's what we really need, is a modernized Africa Twin. Same geometry and build, with an 800cc, FI, 100 hp engine. If they could get it to weigh in at under 450 lbs wet, it'd be unstoppable.

    We'd need some 21" tubeless tires to start being offered though. If not, we'd be better off with a 19" spoked tubeless front wheel. Actually, I think a 19" tubeless is really the best compromise for a world touring bike anyways. In any respect, if they built it, I would come.

    I think, if there is any real chance of seeing a better Japanese mid sized world touring enduro, it'll have to come from Yamaha. They are the only maker that has shown any real interest in the adv touring market as of late and the already have a decent power plant in the FZ8. Really, a redesigned 800cc twin is what is needed.

    It seems as most the Japanese makers seem to think they can just tell us what we want, so they make a standard, put a beak on it, and call it an ADV bike. In the mean time, you see the Euro makers designing real mid sized ADV bikes, that, if these forums are any indication, sell quite well. You may be right, in that most people don't really take these bikes on world tours or 4wd roads, but I think, like 1200gs & Hummer drivers, they take comfort in the idea that the bike/truck actually could, if they were so inclined.

    This in the end, is why I ended up w/ a 2012 dl650 (if only the GC wasn't so dismal). It seems as close as I could get to a modernized Africa twin in the USA. I probably would have looked good and hard at the Transalp if I could have bought one here, but the tube tires would have probably pushed me away. It's too bad that Suzuki is intent on making the vStrom 1000 into even more of a street bike than its predecessor, yet they have the audacity to claim it's based on the drBig, what a crock!

    Who will be the first?
    #12
  13. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

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    Cool, put a VFR 800 motor in that along with tubeless spoked wheels and a nicer seat and I'd pay any price!!! :clap:clap

    OTH, while I am dreaming, you might as well make sure it's under 430lbs wet (with 5 gallon tank) and came in under $10,000.:rofl:lol3:rofl
    #13
  14. cug

    cug --

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    Just have to say: after the 1995/1996 model it went so downhill - Honda just has absolutely no taste in design. They must have lost the last good designer at some point in the late 90s ...
    #14
  15. Two Plugs

    Two Plugs Long timer

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    It was actually the XL650V model, Cug, which brought the Transalp's bullet proof reputation down. The 1997-1999 model was very, very popular (the last 600). The 650 version was no more, no less than an Honda Deauville 650 on hiking boots.
    #15
  16. RaY YreKa

    RaY YreKa Palanquins RTW

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    At Intermot, Yamaha unveiled an all-new triple engine, apparently to power a range of bikes. Estimates are 750-900cc.
    #16
  17. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

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    Go Yamaha.!:clap

    Could you imagine if they delivered a long travel 800cc ADV bike w/100+ hp, good low end torque, FI, 19"/17" spoked tubeless wheels at 480lbs (dreaming 450lbs) wet, switchable abs, with a price tag of around $10-11,000!!!

    Oh so happy I could be in an s10 "mini me"! :freaky

    I'd sell my Strom & ride that bike to the Earth's ends! I could imagine an Arfica twin owner admiring me bike as opposed to me ogling his
    #17
  18. Milko

    Milko Adventurer

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    I had around 10 years on my XL600VH "88. A capable and forgiving bike that got me into and out of plenty of adventures. Thanks for the memories Trannie!
    #18
  19. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Anyone familiar with the Crosstourer (VFR1200)? Today is the first time I had heard about them.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. PiJiL

    PiJiL Been here awhile

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    It would appear that 'ADVENTURE BIKES' are taking the SUV route...

    Their popularity is exceeding that of road bikes, despite 95% of the 'ADVENTURE' riding being on sealed roads....

    So the manufacturers are making "SUV" Adventure bikes that meet the expectations of comfortable road bikes that have dirt road ability at the expense of rough road, dirt track hard core adventure bikes we all want.....
    #20