Right now, there’s an absolute craze for middleweight adventure bikes. What started with the midsize BMW GS and Triumph Tiger has expanded to bikes like the Yamaha Tenere 700, Ducati DesertX, and Aprilia Tuareg 660. Suzuki dressed its V-Strom 650 up with spoked wheels to meet the trend, while Kawasaki resurrected the long-running KLR 650. By now, only one of the Japanese Big Four is lacking a middleweight adventure tourer: Honda.
But, as of today, Honda lacks no more. The long-rumored Transalp is here, in all its 755cc, 21-inch-front-wheel glory. With good power for the class, a properly offroad-ready suspension setup, and an approachable seat height, it could make a major splash in the ADV market. There’s only one problem: no one has said if it’ll come to America.
The new Transalp is designated XL750, and it shares its engine with the similarly newly-revied CB750 Hornet. The parallel-twin makes a claimed 90.5 horsepower at 9,500 RPM in both bikes, with 55 lb-ft of torque on tap at 7,250 RPM. 270-degree engine designs like this are beloved in the ADV community for their power delivery, so the Transalp should fit right in.
Like the rest of the adventure segment, the Transalp is also available with a plethora of factory accessories. Honda offers hard cases for the top and sides, a taller windscreen, protection for the engine, radiator, and bodywork, LED fog lights, a quickshifter, and hand protectors for bashing through trees. There’s also mention of a low seat option, though Honda doesn’t specify how much lower than stock it’ll sit.
The Transalp is very slightly smaller than the Yamaha Tenere 700, though marginally heavier: 459 lbs ready-to-ride, compared to the T7's 452. For that weight, however, the Honda gets bigger brakes and more horsepower — though it loses about a half inch of suspension travel both front and rear. The Transalp’s seat is also more approachable than the Tenere: 33.4 inches, doen a full inch from the Yamaha’s 34.4.
All these specs point towards a genuinely competitive bike in the segment, one that can go toe-to-toe with the best of the class. I had personally been eyeing a Tenere to eventually replace my own entry-level ADV, but the Transalp makes a strong case for itself. Of course, that all depends on one key factor: Honda bringing the Transalp here.
So please, Honda, give us this bike. Sell the Transalp in the United States, where it can stretch its legs on those long American highways and tight Pacific Northwest trails. If you do, it may just be the next bike I call my own.