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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 2 Jan 2008
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3 twins

There's been some interesting views recently about singles Vs twins.

As another take on a related subject, the UK motorcycle news has run an article about the new 700cc Honda Transalp Vs the Suzi DL650X (the one with a bashplate as standard) Vs the Kawasaki Versys KLE650.

Their overall comments I won't bother with too much (they are very oriented to sports bikes) but some facts in there, bearing in mind that the TA is brand new to the market:-

Heaviest bike = Honda
Smallest fuel tank/least range = Honda
5 speed gearbox bike = Honda
Biggest engine capacity/lowest power = Honda
Least torque = Honda
Highest insurance class = Honda
Highest list price = Honda (by quite a few £ notes)

That's progress I guess.
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  #2  
Old 3 Jan 2008
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Honda's Folly

Interesting findings but not really suprising

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 07:25.
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  #3  
Old 3 Jan 2008
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Not convinced that Honda have anything better in development?

If they had, it's a shame they did not utilise the engine in the new automatic DN-01 bike instead of using the 700cc engine from the Deauville/Transalp which first started life in the 80's as the VT500 (Ascot in the US?).

Seems strange to me that they used a prehistoric engine fitted with their latest technology to power one of the flagship(?) bikes?
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  #4  
Old 3 Jan 2008
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Yes, the FI is fitted to the "new" Honda and it certainly is not new, all as you describe Mollydog.
I prefer the looks of the second generation TA as it happens (about year 2000 to now) - less bling!!

The engine has been at 700cc (680 actually) this past year on the shaft drive Deauville, which is about a grand more expensive than the TA, and now it is here on the latter.

I agree with Steve; I don't think that Honda do have "something coming along". There are constant rumours here about a new Blackbird (CBR1100XX) for instance - at least the last 3 years - but nothing, once more, for 2008. Instead, we got a fashion show at the annual bike show at the end of last year, with the bikes paraded up and down on a catwalk accompanied by models.
WTF was that Honda UK??

As a sideline, their cars are at the back of the grid in F1 and the bike engines on the MotoGP track are, reputedly, blowing up more frequently.
Have Honda engineers lost it?
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  #5  
Old 3 Jan 2008
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Xl700V

Here's a specification sheet for the bike:-

Honda XL700V TRANSALP

I 've looked this up because there is another review of the bike in Motorcycle Sport and Leisure (MSL), Jan 08, and they say that the gearbox is 6 speed - seems that this is not the case according to this specification.

MSL are more positive about the XL700V than the MCN review but they are not comparing it with any other bike, although they mention the DL650 as the nearest rival.
Personally, I think whoever wrote the article has looked at the bike with the proverbial "rose tinted specs" - could be influenced by Honda hospitality in the south of France?
One thing they do not like is the small range, quoted as 120 miles to the reserve light showing. One thing they do like is the improved brakes.

One more thing: I noticed the graphics at the NEC show and they show up in the MSL pics - "horrible" use of a lat and long of somewhere or other on the fairing. This could be somewhere in the Alps!

Pricing is a bit vague as well; not at all sure if a quoted price includes the Honda CBS-ABS or if that is an optional extra.
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Old 4 Jan 2008
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Madly competitive with each other...the rest of the world can piss off.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 07:26.
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  #7  
Old 4 Jan 2008
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[QUOTE=Walkabout;166375]

Personally, I think whoever wrote the article has looked at the bike with the proverbial "rose tinted specs" - could be influenced by Honda hospitality in the south of France?
One thing they do not like is the small range, quoted as 120 miles to the reserve light showing. One thing they do like is the improved brakes.

QUOTE]

I think the "hospitality" would have had a negative influence as the journos were taken high up in to mountains (Alps?) & provided with a Transalp branded tent to spend the night in - bloody cold from all accounts.

I also don't see Honda getting out of the bike business at all.
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Old 4 Jan 2008
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I think the "hospitality" would have had a negative influence as the journos were taken high up in to mountains (Alps?) & provided with a Transalp branded tent to spend the night in - bloody cold from all accounts.

quote]

No mention of that in MSL Steve, but they did kick off in Monaco and some of the other journos say they were picked up at Nice airport by helicopter for the trip to pickup their bike.
Thereafter, they had a ride to the Col de la Bonnette.

All of this was about last Nov I believe.
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  #9  
Old 9 Jan 2008
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new TA 700

"
Heaviest bike = Honda
Smallest fuel tank/least range = Honda
5 speed gearbox bike = Honda
Biggest engine capacity/lowest power = Honda
Least torque = Honda
Highest insurance class = Honda
Highest list price = Honda (by quite a few £ notes)
"

Not had a chance to ride it yet, so I really wouldnt know... but this sure doesnt sound like a "new generation bike", that´ll seriously take the fight to the DL650, or the new 800GS. Might be a bit cheaper than the BMW, though.
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  #10  
Old 9 Jan 2008
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Hello Pecha72,
From your other posts, you are having a great trip on that DL650.

Yes, from the specifications the TA does not appear to be "a great step forward", and it seems to be a trend for each new model of bike from any manufacturer to be heavier than the earlier generation.

Time will tell, and how many we see on the roads will be of interest.

I don't set a lot of store by the list prices; here in the UK at least, it is quite possible to bargain, especially at this time of the year. BMW are something of an exception (with carefully controlled distribution in my view), especially with a new model.

The facts for the TA do not read well - "120 miles to the reserve light".
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  #11  
Old 9 Jan 2008
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120 miles to the reserve light - thats less than 200kms, more like what you´d expect from some custom, with an attractively-shaped (and very unfunctional tank.) I actually think that that number may not be correct..... surely Honda must be aware of fuel distances on a bike like this. Or if those reporters have ridden at 100% throttle 95% of the time, then perhaps, but normal users will seldom do that.

Our DL (with which we´ve had a great trip so far!) uses some 4.0 - 5.0 litres per 100 km, usually closer to 4 than 5. And with 22 L tank that means well over 400 kms range. I think we could even go 500 km, if riding reeeeeeeeeal slow. And the bike is everything but lightly loaded, too!! The new Euro3-emission norms seem to have helped quite a bit on fuel consumption side, too.
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  #12  
Old 9 Jan 2008
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"3 twins"?

Don't you mean "triplets"?

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  #13  
Old 9 Jan 2008
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Well Pecha, time will tell; doesn't bother me because I don't go rushing out to buy a new model of bike anyway.

For what it is worth, the TA has a 17.5 litre tank (maybe/probably incls the reserve, the journos don't say!!); this is according to the MCN - the MSL journos were the ones who got 120 miles to the reserve light, but it was the same guys who said it has a 6 speed gearbox, so ........ a pinch of salt with the "facts" perhaps?

Once again, your factual opinions, along with everyone elses on here, are better than the mags!!
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  #14  
Old 9 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
"3 twins"?

Don't you mean "triplets"?

--Mike

Took me ages to think of that title!!
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  #15  
Old 10 Jan 2008
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Agree fully that you´ll need to include your own judgement a fair bit, when reading stories about new bikes from bike magazines. When a new model is launched, it is usually a more-or-less hurried, maximum 2-3 day affair, and that might even include travelling to where its held and back.

I once heard that when a journo from my country was sent to South Africa to test ride the new 1200GS, he was less than 72 hours away from here (and the return flights with plane changes take at least 30 hour.)

Add to that that they only had a welcome dinner on the arrival day, so they had from the next morning till lunchtime to actually ride the thing, then hurry back to the airport. And even during that time, the event photographers of course needed to arrange a shooting, for the journos to get some photos for their respective magazines!

Sure an experienced journo might not need a lot of time to get the general feeling of a new bike, but to really start understanding them (especially tourers), or make accurate observations about, say, fuel consumption, more time will be needed.
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