Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike - Intro
Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike - Intro
Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike - Intro
Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike - Intro
Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike - Intro
Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike - Intro
Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike - Intro
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February 2024 Update: It's middle of winter here in Ohio, so we've not been riding much lately. We have about 350 miles on the new Transalp and have been adding some new parts (see below) to the build. As weather permits, we are trying to get some rides in to see what parts we like and what parts we don't like. Stay tuned!

For this first iteration of our Honda Transalp XL750 Project Bike, we're going to call it "The Adventure Commuter Build", which is similar to what we first did with our Tenere 700 project build. Many riders that buy a Transalp will never take it on long adventure rides, and maybe never even ride it on off-road trails. They bought the bike as their do-it-all bike they can commute back and forth to work on during the week, and will also do some exploring on dirt and gravel roads whenever they get the chance... so, maybe about 75% street riding, and 25% mild off-road riding. Their "adventure rides" are tame by some standards, but it's all relative, and to many riders just getting out there and exploring the random back road on the way home from work is enough to scratch that itch and make an adventure bike like this worth it's price tag. A completely stock Transalp is very capable for this type riding, but what fun is it to ride a totally stock bike? You can always make it a little better. Here's what we've done to our bike so far...

HANDGUARDS:
  • Barkbusters Handguard Kit for Honda Transalp
  • Barkbusters LED Running Lights (mounted to handguards)


    COCKPIT, HAND and FOOT CONTROLS:
  • DoubleTake Adventure Mirror Package
  • Zeta Aluminum Footpegs
  • ASV F3 Clutch/Brake Lever Set
  • Pro Taper Pillow Top Grips


    BODY:
  • Zeta Heel Guard / Chain Cover
  • Puig Clip-On Windscreen Visor


    LIGHTING AND ELECRICAL:
  • Barkbusters LED Running Lights (mounted to handguards)
  • 12oClockLabs Brake Light Safety Pulser


    ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE:
  • Yoshimura RS-12 Slip-On Exhaust


    LUGGAGE AND RACKS:
  • Nelson Rigg Trails End Dual Sport Tail Bag


    SKID PLATE AND OTHER PROTECTION:
  • Skid plate and crash bars coming soon...




    INITIAL THOUGHTS AND IMPRESSIONS:

    December 2023 Update: We just picked up our new Honda Transalp project bike, and as of the end of December, we've only managed to put about 300 miles on it. As weather permits, we are trying to get some rides in to see what we like and don't like, but listed below are some of our current thoughts on the bike. The photos shown above are the bike in mostly stock form, but we've already installed a few aftermarket parts for testing. Stay tuned!

    LIKES:
    After a couple hundred miles of riding, here are some of my initial likes for the bike...
  • Engine has good power and a playful character to it
  • Up/Down Quick shifter works very well
  • Low seat height
  • Wide and comfortable seat
  • Doesn't feel as heavy as it is (around 450 lbs)
  • Built in rear rack / grab handles
  • Excellent TFT display
  • Good wind protection from stock windscreen

    DIS-LIKES:
    As for my dis-likes, keep in mind, this a $9999 bike, so some of my initial complaints are probably to be expected on a bike at this price point...
  • No oil sight glass (has a dipstick)
  • Non-adjustable clutch lever
  • Small and very cheaply made footpegs
  • Air filter is buried under the gas tank (hard to access)
  • ABS/Traction Control can be turned off, but once you shut off bike, it won't remember those settings, so you have to turn them off again once you turn bike on again

    WISH LIST:
    The following features would have been nice to see on the bike, but I think Honda left them out of the current spec, just to keep that price under $10,000... and also keep the more expensive Africa Twin on peoples shopping list...
  • Skid plate
  • Handguards
  • Cruise control
  • Tubeless wheels
  • Center stand

    The aftermarket will provide many of these, and already has a few of them available (see down below). I guess we'll have to wait and see if Honda offers an upscale version of the bike that is setup more for long distance adventure riding, and has things like cruise control, tubeless wheels, a center stand etc.

    For the $9999 price, this bike is pretty hard to beat. It has a lot of features (TFT dash, quick shifter, etc) that are hard to find at this price level. IMHO, it's a 70/30 bike and will work best on the street, doing gravel and dirt roads, some double-track, and terrain like that. It's probably not a bike that will see more hardcore off-road riding like a Tenere 700 might, although with a good skid plate, better suspension, and a few other things, it could certainly handle pretty much anything you throw at it.



    PLANNED UPGRADES AND MODIFICATIONS...
    We already have a few initial ideas of what we'd like to do to the bike, and here's a quick list of parts and accessories we're planning... please note that this list will change as we ride the bike more and figure out what it needs...


    COCKPIT:
    The stock mirrors will be one of the first things we swap out... they provide descent visibility, but are designed for a pure street bike, and probably not the best mirror if you ever venture off-road with your bike. They can be prone to doing some damage if you drop the bike and they break off. We'll be putting the much more durable DoubleTake Adventure Mirrors on right away, which are the same mirrors we used on our Tenere 700 project bike. The stock seat seems wide and comfortable, so I'm not sure we will change it out. The longest ride I've done though was about 75 miles, and the seat was fine for that... stay tuned for more opinions on how comfortable it is.
  • DoubleTake Adventure Mirrors


    HANDLEBARS / HANDGUARDS:
    The Transalp has pretty nice oversize 1 1/8" handlebars that are wide and have a good bend to them. It looks like you can also flip the handlebar mounts around, which will move the handlebars forward and open up the cockpit. This might be nice for taller riders, or people standing up alot on the bike.

    My one gripe is that Honda put threaded inserts in the ends of the handlebars, which makes mounting handguards a little more of a challenge. On an ADV bike like this that might see a bit of off-road riding, you definitely want handguards to protect your hands, the controls, etc. Because of those threaded inserts in the handlebars, Barkbusters Handguards are probably about the only way to go, since they have a kit that includes threaded mounts that will fit the TA's stock handlebars. Zeta will probably also have a similar handguard available sometime in the future.
  • Barkbusters Handguard Kit for Honda Transalp


    HAND / FOOT CONTROLS:
    The stock footpegs are small and have a removable rubber insert. That rubber insert is fine for street riding, but not ideal for off-road or muddy/wet riding conditions. We're testing out the Zeta Aluminum footpegs and DRC Ultra Wide footpegs, both of which are a bit larger/wider than the stock pegs, which will make them much more comfortable when standing up on the bike. They also have have more teeth for added grip. We've got Oxford Heated grips ready to go on the bike, and I think I want some shorter brake/clutch levers too. The stock clutch lever isn't adjustable, so an adjustable one would be nice. We'll be swapping out both the clutch and brake lever at some point, so stay tuned to see what we've found.
  • Zeta Aluminum Footpegs

  • ASV F3 Clutch/Brake Lever Set


    PROTECTION
    This bike is in desperate need of a skid plate to protect the exhaust and lower engine. As of December 2023 there aren't many options. I've seen SW-Motech makes an aluminum one that ships out of Germany, and Hepco & Becker has one as well. Honda didn't make it easy though, and it looks like many of the skid plates (including the Honda accessory skid plate) also require lower engine guards and a mounting kit to be fitted at the same time as the skid plate. I think we're going to hold out for a plastic skid plate. Acerbis is working on one and we were told sometime early 2024 on those. I'm sure AXP-Racing over in France is also working on a plastic skid plate. Stay tuned for more on this. Some sort of engine guard is also probably needed, and maybe a radiator guard, as well as headlight guard. More on that later.


    LUGGAGE / RACKS
    Lots of stuff to explore here.... so many options. My initial thoughts are a few simple things just to carry stuff on the bike, like a tank bag and tail bag. The Nelson Rigg Trails End tail bag we carry fits right on the stock rear rack/grab handle piece. For a tank bag, Givi makes a Tanklock ring for the Transalp, so we've already paired that with Givi's XS320 tank bag, which seems to work well.
  • Givi XS320 Tanklock Tank Bag
  • Nelson Rigg Trails End Dual Sport Tail Bag


    ENGINE / PERFORMANCE:
    The bike seems to run well right out of the box and has plenty of power for an ADV bike. Sounds good too without being obnoxious or really loud. Fueling on our bike seems spot on, and the bike is super easy to ride at slow speeds, with no sign of the jerky throttle you get on some fuel injected bikes. It's exhaust system suffers from a similar issue as the Tenere 700, the way the exhaust is mounted down low and attached to the sub-frame, which can easily be damaged if you drop the bike on that side. It's begging for a high mount exhaust, so I'm curious if Camel ADV will make one for it like they did for the Tenere 700??? I'm not sure we will ever put an aftermarket exhaust on this bike, but we've got a Yoshimura slip-on on pre-order just to try out.


    SUSPENSION:
    I haven't ridden the bike enough yet to have much of an opinion on the suspension. From all I've watched and read, it's pretty soft and not very adjustable. This might be perfectly fine for some riders, depending on your weight and the type of riding you do. But for more aggressive off-road riding, I'm sure upgrading the rear shock and front forks to something adjustable and tailored to you and your riding will definitely improve the bike quite a bit.


    LOWERING:
    One of my issues with the Yamaha Tenere 700 was how tall it was, and how top heavy it was when full of gas. For somebody my size (5'10" tall / 31" inseam) it could be a handful. The Transalp is MUCH LESS intimidating and easier to manage for somebody my size. The seat height is lower by about an inch (or maybe slightly more), and the bike just "feels" lighter weight even though I think the wet weight is about the same as the Tenere. At any rate, I don't feel the need to lower the Transalp, and so far have had no problems with it's overall height. Nice job on this Honda!


    LIGHTING / ELECTRICAL:
    I'm really impressed with the LED lighting on the bike... headlight seems bright and the stock LED turn signals are as well. My only complaint is how far the turn signals stick out, which could make them easy to damage. At some point we might replace them with something like the Motogadgets, which are very small, while still being super bright.
  • Motogadget m-Blaze LED Turn Signals


    WHEELS / TIRES:
    As mentioned above, I think a lot of riders will want tubeless wheels on a bike like this, but Honda kept the price down by going with a standard tubed setup. I'm going to look into converting ours to tubeless over the winter. Our bike came spec'd with Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tires, which I can't find much info about, but they look like an 80/20 (street/dirt) tire. We're probably going to initially switch to something like Motoz Tractionator GPS's which is more of a 50/50 tire.
  • Motoz Tractionator GPS Tires


    MISCELLANEOUS:
    Add a center stand to your shopping list. That would make just simple things like chain maintenance much easier. Honda has an accessory center stand available, but so far I haven't been able to get ahold of one. I'm sure the aftermarket will step in shortly as well.




  • NOTE: All parts listed will fit a 2023+ Honda Transalp XL750










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