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Old 16 May 2010
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Should I get a '700' Transalp

I'm considering getting a '700' Transalp but as a test ride seems impossible I'd like some opinions please.
I currently have a Tiger 955 which is perfect in every way - except that it is a bit tall in iffy situations and heavy to manhandle on foot.
The TA will probably solve both of these 'problems' but may raise others such as ......
Will it cruise comfortably (for me and the bike!) at 80/85 for those occasions when I'm forced on the motorway?
At 55/60 will it have enough oomph to overtake on A/B roads?
What is the tank range? (Assuming normal riding not thrashing.)
Does any one other than Touratech do engine bars?
Which is the best choice for panniers? (Practical not just pose value!)

Any other comments or suggestions to help me decide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 19 May 2010
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I can't really comment for the 700cc Transalp, but my 1997 600cc Alp is quite happy at 80 and 85 on the motorways so i'd expect the newer model to be the same.

My main bike is a CBF1000, and i do notice the difference in power, but i don't have any problems overtaking on the A/B roads when needed.

Having had a look online at the specs of the 955 and transalp 700, there doesn't seem to be much in it weight and seat height wise, the 955 is quoted as 215kg and 840mm against the Alp's 214kg and 841mm, though it seems you can get lower seats for both.

I'm certain SW Motech make bars for the engine but not sure of any others.

At the weekend my 600 was doing 60mpg bimbling around the Lake District, then 48mpg doing the aforementioned 8085mph on the motorway on the way home. The 700 is a larger engine, but fuel injected so should be similar mpg i'd think.

Most of the 700's i've seen have come with panniers from the dealer, but it mostly comes down to personal choice between soft fabric, boxy metal and hard plastic.

There's a wealth of information here Transalp - Honda Trail Bike Forums if you want to do some more research.

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Old 20 May 2010
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Honda TA

Can't tell you much concerning the new TA version. I own an old lady, model 1992, built for the Japanese market, so 400ccm. I am more than pleased with it!! Great gas milage - something like 25 kilometers/liter, easy maintenance (almost none at all) and the engine wil last more or less forever if taken care of! Even two-up it got enough power (at least for me). Took us to quite some places here in Japan, longest was Hokkaido (3.500 kilometers) last year summer (pics on my homepage)

I am a member of a Honda TA forum in Gemany and everyone on there who owns a TA (mostly newer models) has nothing at all to complain! (here their homepage, but it's all in German, sorry!! Transalp - Honda-Board)

So, I would say Go For It!!!
Klaus D. Orth
A German in Japan
1992 Honda TA

Last edited by klaus; 20 May 2010 at 02:36.
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Old 20 May 2010
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Originally Posted by Roamer View Post
8085mph on the motorway
damn ... thats fair moving!
He who makes a beast out of himself
Gets rid of the pain of being a man
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Old 21 May 2010
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Thanks very much for the responses ...... it all sounds pretty positive.

The spec comparison is interesting because I had more or less discounted the Alp based on the specs - however, sitting on one and pushing it round the dealers, it just felt soooo different to the Tiger. I put that down to centre of gravity and seat shape. Also apparently, Honda quote 'wet' weights whereas Triumph quote 'dry' weights.

Looks as though I really need to try and get a test ride somewhere.
Any comments on whether the new ABS is considered the best of the breed or is a previous incarnation better?
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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You've probably already ridden and/or bought one by now, but here's my two-penneth...

I test rode one on the same day as a KTM 990 Adv. I came away really impressed with one bike, and thoroughly disappointed with the other.

The KTM looked great, was 1990's 600-sportsbike quick, but had horrific fuelling at light load (30mph in town, for example) which really bugged me (I develop engines for a living and could never release a cal like that for production). At that price, KTM should've done better.

The Honda looked like nothing special, but was a really great bike. As an ex-Africa-Twin-owner, I'd've liked it to have been a bit taller, but the performance was good, it was well put together, and unlike the austrian orangeness, it felt like a properly developed product. A blast on b-roads, perfectly capable at high speed on motorway, and behaved itself well in town.

In the end I went even smaller and lighter, and the next trip will be on a DRZ400, but yep, I reckon the 700 Alp is an oft-overlooked and rather good bike.
'02 Africa Twin (sold), GSX-R 1000 K5 (sold), '97 TL1000S, '08 DRZ400 SM/S, '92 CRM250
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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I agree, the newer Transalp is a pretty good bike, certainly proven in RTW situations, not too expensive, strong and reliable.

I would also have a test ride on the Vstrom DL650 (Wee Strom) There is very good reason the Wee Strom has become a very popular travel bike. I'd suggest trying to ride them back to back if at all possible.

I've only ridden the older TA, but I understand the new one has about the same power. And that is one area where the DL650 out paces the TA. But power is not everything and not really required for over landing.

Try to ride a variety of bikes ... then imagine them loaded up with 50 kgs. of your gear and riding down a rocky track or in sand. Shopping is the best part of all this ... so enjoy yourself and take your time.

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Old 20 Jun 2010
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1. i would never buy a bike without a decent long test ride or three, and
2. most honda dealers have a good selection of demos and also all have access to the national fleet so i dont see why a test ride is impossible, it should just be a case of walking in with your driving license and pointing at "want that one" or it always has been for me, one reason im a fan of bigH.

my dealer (portsmouth motorcycles) knows damn well im out for a jolly, and still lets me have the odd bike for an hour now and then (including a goldwing once, the mad fool) ive taken a 700trannie out a couple of times, and had it as a courtesy bike once.
the looks dont do it for me, but i would have no 2nd thoughts owning one or taking one on a long trip (if you could get a decent sized acerbis for it). im not one to comment on the offroad ability, but on road it was a pleasant enough ride, bit like my varadero but with less of everything.
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Old 6 Jul 2010
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Allround great bike no major faults maybe a little low slung but not a big problem. Love mine, love the new colours as well. You wont be disapointed. They are often overlooked which is a shame as people discount the TA before they give it a go.
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Thanks for all your responses - great help. I have to be honest, the latter postings helped confirm that I did the right thing!

I managed to get a good test ride in the end. I rang Honda UK to find a dealer somewhere near me with a demonstrator available - but no joy there. In the end a conversation with a friend pointed me in the right direction.

I've had her for a couple of weeks now and am thoroughly enjoying myself. My guess is that she won't be quite as 'easy' on longer rides as the Tiger, but when I get to where I'm going, I'll have a lot more fun ...... no bad reflection on the Tiger, it's just I feel more in control!
No bad reflection on the TA either, it's just the Tiger has a fantastic engine!

Anyway - love her to bits and looking forward to our first decent trip together.
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Old 10 Jul 2010
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hi mermaid you wont be disappointed, i went to my varadero from a sprint ST and you are right, the 955i triple is a fantastic engine but so is my 1000V-twin and in every other aspect the honda trumps the triumph hands down.
also ive now had the honda for the same time i had the triumph and its cost less than half to own, taking all things into account (insurance, parts, servicing, reliability. fuel economy is a bit worse on the varadero but you wont have that problem)
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