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Honda Is Joining The Middleweight Adventure Bikes

2638 Views 43 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  OCL
It's official:
2023 Honda Transalp 750

460 lbs. claimed curb weight. 7.9" and 7.5" of suspension travel F and R respectively. 21/18 wheelset. Claimed 90 hp, so maybe 75 rwhp in US trim. Looks boring like a Honda but the hardware is there. Look at the ground clearance! I think a skid plate is optional since video shows the bike with a big skid plate. I'm getting a hard on.

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I believe it's same size as your G3 KLR. But time will tell when we get real world testing.
Curious to see how it pairs up to the Taureg 660.
My guess is not as good but at a lower price point. See my post with Suzuki's entry. That looks like a good match up to the Tuareg and T7, on specs that is. Way more suspension travel. My guess is also going to be around sub-$11k for both Honda and Suzuki entries, right smack dab on Yamaha's T7 territory. Serves Yamaha right for having such limited supply. I think their market share is about to shrink big time.
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I'm really torn. I waited to buy a KLR 650s until Honda released this. A Transalp 750 with the lower accessory seat is about the same height as the KLR650s. Oh man...decisions decisions.

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I still prefer the look of the G3 KLR that's for sure. The Honda looks like the CB500x.
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Didn't take them long to catch up.
Only four years long. I suppose it takes that long to develop an all new engine. Same with Suzuki's all new P-twin.
Bro it’s a Honda
Honda doesn’t make anything that isn’t reliable and very well engineered.
The rear suspension is all from the AT, ever rode one? They’re a beast.
The KLR isn’t even in the same class with T7s, ATs and the new Transalp !
I love my KLR but it’s too slow and I’m over the 70s tractor engine.
Try not to get too excited. It's similar to the AT but it is NOT an AT.

Look closely at the specs of the Transalp 750. It is a bargain bike, similar to the CB500x. It doesn't have the suspension travel and ground clearance of the T7 nor the KLR650. No suspension adjustability up front. In fact, it looks as if it is a class below the 2023 Suzuki VStrom 800 DE. Yes it has a better engine than the CB500 and the KLR. I dare to say it's similar in spec to the KLR just with a better motor. So for sure it will be faster and smoother. It's also going to cost around $10k. Nevertheless, the bike it replaces in Europe, is no T7 fighter, and this new Transalp is just an evolution of that old Transalp. Great bike, but not transformative. It's closer to a VStrom 650.

The T7 and Tuareg 660 are class leaders. I don't think the new Transalp will be that. I'll venture to say the new VStrom 800 DE is going to be a better alternative, because specs-wise, it sits slightly above the T7. It's heavy. But so are other 800 class bikes like the Tiger 900 and Ducati Desert X. And it appears to me, the Suzuki is targeted at those. So the T7 and Tuareg 660 really does not have much to worry about. These are all going to be over $10k bikes, well below the KLR650 market class.
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Adjustable suspension?
F that! Don’t need or want.
Bargain bike?
wtf is a KLR!
Suspension adjustability is great to have. It's a big dividing line between a bargain bike and one that is higher spec. Especially preload at the rear, plus rebound/compression damping at both ends. It makes a difference if you know what you're adjusting. Zero adjustability up front is a sure sign it's a bargain bike.

Yes we all know the KLR is a bargain bike. Just like the CB500x, and it appears the Transalp as well. My point is, don't elevate the Transalp to the T7 or the Tuareg 660 level. I'll bet money it won't match either. I'll also bet money its suspension performance is going to be close to the G3 KLR650. Good up to a moderate level of terrain difficulty and rider ability.
Kinda disappointed on likely weight of new Honda and Suzuki "middleweights". Hate to be that guy that's looking for the unobtainable unicorn bike ( which isn't the same for everyone), but a 400 lb or less is still my limit for solo riding. My small statue and age/crash related decrepitude cannot put much more than a Gen 1 back on it's wheels. That said, the T700 my riding buddy has is sweet, and the Tuareg has great reviews also. Still looking for that sub-400 pounder that has modern suspension and reasonable service intervals. The 690/701 is light and amazingly smooth (dual couterbalancer versions), but have some reliability issues. Seems like the Honda 500X with some careful weight reduction and longer travel suspension/and 18-21" tires for $9000 would be a seller. Too bad AJP PR7 is not more available, checks a lot of boxes. The 450RL looks good, but small oil capacity, and cost of adventurizing it is up there. Wish KTM would make an R version of their 390 adventure platform (modern engine, longer travel suspension, decent reliability and maybe 8K or less?)
Your Unicorn doesn't exist. You have to build it like so many others have, and spend a $hit ton of money doing so. There just isn't a sub-400 lbs. wet adventure bike with great range, suspension, wind protection, cargo carrying capacity, some crash protection, great power to weight ratio. Nothing. Doesn't exist. You have to build it.

The 690/701 is the best foundation, but by the time you build it out, you would easily have spent as much as a KTM 890 Adventure R. You can build out a 500 EXC-F, but you will be in the same cost range when you're done. Except, your wet weight would be very low in comparison to the fully kitted new ADV bikes.
Maybe we should all get together and design one? I nominate OCL as team captain.

Did you ever give some thought to updating a DR650 with a 790 piston? I played around with the idea. A good friend of mine has one such Unicorn he built. Has all the right ingredients including a Britannia Fairing. That bike was the most fun bike I've ever ridden. Of course he told me he's all in on that bike for over $10k, including the purchase price of the used '12 DR650. I did the math at one point, and I strongly believe it can be done for under $12k including new bike purchase, and owner's labor to install the big piston. That includes full exhaust, cogent suspension, long range fuel tank, comfy seat, LED lights, upgraded gauge cluster, but only s re-jetted stock carb (not pumper upgrade).
I'd require a twin cylinder counter balanced engine to start. I did the dr650 rabbit hole already. It was still a paint shaker after all the thousands I threw at it.
Yeah I hear yah. That's why I didn't go for it. I've done the math with the 690 as well. All in, with bigger tank, comfy seat, windshield, rear rack, was going to be $13k including price of new bike. Not too bad considering weight will be around 355 lbs. wet and the motor doesn't need anything. This would be the way to go if you've got the extra $$ and must have it under 400 lbs.
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