– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

2000 Honda Transalp: Popular European Dual Sport Renewed

We’ve received some e-mail lately about the Honda Transalp. People have heard that Honda introduced a brand new Transalp at the Bologna, Italy motorcycle show a couple of weeks ago, and they are anxious for information about this bike. Actually, “anxious” would be an understatement. Some of them are furious that we haven’t mentioned it.

Well, since you are so anxious to learn about the Transalp, we decided to give you all the details. Unfortunately, you must have a “PDF” file reader — namely Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do, clicking here will give you everything you ever wanted to know about the 2000 Transalp, and probably a lot more (21 pages worth, including more than 40 pictures, graphs and charts). There, are you satisfied?

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can either go get it at their web site (but I hope you have a T-1 line, because it will take you a long time to open this file), or you can read on for the highlights.

The Transalp is unavailable in the United States, but if you live in Europe you are probably very familiar with this bike. It has a very strong following in Europe, and has been a strong seller since its introduction in 1987. Although cosmetically revised in 1994, the Transalp has been largely unchanged since 1987, and was overdue for a freshening. Ultimately, Honda gave this bike far more than a freshening.

Originally a 600cc machine, the Transalp is now a full-fledged 650 (well, if you want to pick nits, it’s 647cc). With significantly more power (Honda claims an additional 6 horsepower) and torque, particularly down low in the rev range, the Transalp should be a significantly better tourer (one of its original strong points). This is particularly true if you tour two up, rather than solo.

But the engine is just part of the story. The Transalp also received an entirely new design to its body work — contributing, Honda says, to improved wind protection and, therefore, rider comfort. Honda also claims that extensive effort went into centralizing the mass of the bike to improve handling, as well as efforts to reduce the weight of the chassis and components (and the engine).

As you might expect with a bike that hasn’t been thoroughly redesigned in 13 years, virtually everything is new or substantially revised on the Transalp, from suspension to brakes, wheels, frame, etc. Honda claims the new Transalp, already known as a comfortable, middle weight tourer, is dramatically more comfortable than the model it replaces. In addition to improved fairing protection, the seat, seating position and overall ergonomics of the bike are better. Even the pillion (passenger, here in the States) was considered in Honda’s redesign.

If touring is your game, a good headlight is a must. Other recent Honda models have outstanding multi-reflector headlights, and the Transalp received this upgrade as well.

Honda wanted to keep the same chrome “double barrel” tail pipes that have become a Transalp trademark over the years, but substantially reduce the size and the weight of the machine’s exhaust system. The exhaust system also contributes to a major decrease in emissions.

Honda attended to all the details, including a new rear suspension that employs aluminum (rather than steel) linkage units and a design taken directly from Honda’s CBR600F series.

The new frame-mounted fairing also includes a redesigned, lightweight instrument panel (providing fuel gauge, temperature gauge, clock, speedometer and tachometer).

Honda offers lots of accessories and optional equipment, including detachable, hard luggage (both paniers and top box) that are color coordinated. In Europe, the bike is available in three colors, including light green, red and grey (all of them metallic colors).

If you need more detail, open the giant PDF file and amuse yourself for hours. You’ll even win Transalp trivia contests.