2023 Honda XL750 Transalp

Honda has brought back the Transalp name with the new XL750 Transalp, a middleweight adventure-tourer powered by the Parallel-Twin engine introduced on the Hornet CB750.

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The Transalp name was first introduced on a 583cc V-Twin model in 1986, before gaining larger 647cc and 680cc versions. The new 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp fills the mid-sized adventure bike slot in Honda’s lineup, sliding in below the CRF1100L Africa Twin and providing more off-road capability than the NC750X and CB500X.

“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!”

The bodywork is reminiscent of the earlier Transalp models, designed for a balance of aerodynamic performance and wind protection. The windscreen is optimized for wind deflection and visibility while minimizing turbulence from “trapped” air. Honda also offers a taller screen and additional deflectors as accessories.

At 33.5 inches, the seat height is relatively low for an ADV, and Honda offers a separate low seat accessory that lowers the height to 32.3 inches.

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.

honda transalp

Live from the Honda booth at EICMA 2022. Photo by Ryan Adams

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.

Like the Hornet, the XL750 Transalp has only been confirmed for Europe; we are hopeful for a U.S. launch, and we will provide an update once we hear from American Honda.


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