Pablo's Transalp

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Pablo83, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    I remember seeing a new Transalp in the Honda Dealership when I was in high school. It looked alien; I didn't know what someone would use that type of bike for. That was in Louisiana where back country exploring is done on an air boat. After moving to the mountain states I began to realize why someone would want this type of bike.

    [​IMG]

    Trevor (MountainsAndRivers) from Telluride saw I had an NX650 and contacted me wanting to know if I wanted a free Transalp. Of course I do, Duh?!

    It was in rough shape:
    [​IMG]

    Build Index:
    Other builds
    #1
  2. PacificPT

    PacificPT Been here awhile

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    This sounds interesting!
    #2
  3. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    The story is that the last registered owner was a know abuser of motorcycles. He sold it to someone in non-running condition and then moved to Panama to open a bar. The new owner never got it running or registered and then had to move out of his house into an apartment where he did not have room for it.

    Trevor noticed the abandoned bike and knew the owner so he gave him a call and asked about the bike. It was free to whoever wanted it. Trevor contacted me about it and was nice enough to drive it here when he came in to attend the MonkeyButt ride. Trevor's the man.

    :beer
    #3
  4. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    The bike came with a box of body panels and parts.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    I think there are one or two good panels on the bike. The bike would really cost a fortune to restore. I don’t have a title yet and it looks doubtful that I’ll be able to get one from the previous owner. I don’t know the condition of the engine. The starter was removed and the back wheel was locked up.

    Right now, the bike's too complete for me to part out, so here's the current idea...I love the look of flat-track bikes.
    [​IMG]

    I've thought about making one with a couple different thumpers I had, but the projects never took off. Of all the flat trackers I've seen I think the V twins look the best and now I have a chain-drive, V twin engine bike that's perfect for a project bike.
    #5
  6. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    Here's my inspiration
    [​IMG]

    Here's what I have:
    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    The bike I'd like to build would be street legal so I'll need a front fender and headlight. This will detract from the overall look of the bike a bit, but if done right, it will still look cool.

    One element of the V twin flat tracker I really like is the carb setup. The way the stock heads are setup, putting both carbs on the same side of the bike would require extensive intake plumbing for the rear cylinder. I don't plan to sacrifice performance for looks, so I've been thinking about other options. The best option would be to fit a second front cylinder head to the rear cylinder of the bike (if this is even possible). Then I could easily install carbs in the same configuration as the race bike. I understand this is what is done on flat track Harleys.

    So the first two items on my to-do list are to start the paperwork for getting a title, and disassemble the engine to see if the front head will mount to the rear cylinder.
    #7
  8. B DIRT

    B DIRT Long timer

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    your moms house startn a small fire in her panties
    :lurk definitely IN on this one
    #8
  9. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    Well I've 86ed that idea pretty quick. I just looked at the parts fiche to compare front and rear cams on the bike. It's clear from the fiche that the front cylinder timing chain is to the left of the cylinder, while the rear is to the right, so the front head will not fit on the rear cylinder.
    #9
  10. locorider

    locorider Loco, pero no estúpido!

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    Pablo: There is enough expertise available at the Show your Transalp Modification thread. If you have technical question it might be answered there. Also most transalpers post there so we might be able to help with parts and experiences!

    Good luck with your project!:clap

    Carlos
    #10
  11. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    Thanks. I found that thread and started to browse through it shorty after I got the bike. I'm sure it will come in handy at some point.
    #11
  12. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    So this is what the bike looks like now.

    [​IMG]

    The stock bike has a double backbone frame which allow room for the air intake system above the engine. The carbs will be moved to the side of the bike (probably one on each side). I plan on replacing the double backbone with a single round tube. This will allow for a much smaller looking tank. Unless I can find a tank for cheap, I'll probably be making my own. The backbone and the tank will probably require the most work in this project.
    #12
  13. B DIRT

    B DIRT Long timer

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    #13
  14. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    Why the long face? I see progress already.

    If you can see through all the dirt, I think this is a great looking engine. If you look at Japanese V-twins from the 80's, most of them are hideous (see Yamaha Virago). It's too bad Honda covered most of this one up with fairings.
    #14
  15. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    This bike is a natural flat tracker. I stripped off everything I don't want and attached a muffler and air cleaner for visual reference. The pipe and filter are for another project so they will not end up on this bike, but I'm guessing the final product will be similar.

    [​IMG]

    Man this bike is dirty. One positive point about not being able to use the front head on both cylinders is I really like the stock pipe routing.

    The rear subframe is going to have to be modified as well. It's just way too big.

    Unfortunately that's all the updates I'll have for quite a while. I have a policy of not spending any money on a bike that I don't have a title for. I did verify with the local sheriffs office that the bike has not been reported as stolen, so I felt comfortable stripping it down, but the buildup will have to wait for the paperwork to be completed.
    #15
  16. SuperMARTO

    SuperMARTO Adventurer

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    Just so you know, Transalps really like their airboxes... If you really plan on running her this way, be prepared for some serious tuning time spent trying to get her to run well...

    Ask me how I know.:wink:
    #16
  17. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    Do you have a build thread on your bike?

    I hope to source a couple small flat-slide pumpers for the project, and at the elevations I ride in (6k-12k') I know the carb tuning will never end.
    #17
  18. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

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    great project! I'm in... :lurk

    Cheers, Andy
    #18
  19. Icewalker

    Icewalker Conundrum

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    Why not chop up some POS v-twin cruiser to use as a flat-tracker instead of a Transalp? Why not simply restore the TA instead?

    Seems like an awful waste of a good bike to me .....
    #19
  20. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

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    I think I already went over that. Besides, picture A is much cooler than picture B

    #20