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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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Old 23 Aug 2005
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transalp '91 505000km. take it or leave it?

hi there,

i was looking for a bike for my next trip in the americas. i came across a honda transalp from 91 with already 50500km on it. the guy who sells it says it was always well maintained by an offical hondagarage..
does anybody know if a bike like this is still okay for making the trip from all the way north to south?
anybody knows about reliability with this mileage?
-the price was okay: 1700 us dollars...-

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Old 23 Aug 2005
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I hope it works well. Info on the web points out that the TA is very reliable and goes on for a while. I just got myself a 1997 TA with 40 000kms, and plan to keep it for a while.

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Old 24 Aug 2005
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Absolutely, without hesitation, yes. More than yes. It is ideal, for the price. You couldn't do better.

50,000km is nothing. If your informant is telling the truth, this means the engine is in the first quarter of its life still. Barely a teenager.

For general info see:

For a fascinating account of a trip on a TA see:

(You might find some bias in my assessment of the latter link).

The TA was discontinued in the USA after a few year's poor sales: it just wasn't what the biker population wanted at the time. No one had heard of adventure biking then.

An early TA will give you something like the off-road abilities of the 650cc class of singles (like the KLR650 for example) with a far far better road ability.

Two cylinders means the engine power doesn't die out mid range like a single, but just keeps coming. 90mph cruising is possible.

It has a very low state of tune, so the engines are very smooth reliable and last a long long time - ideal for you.

North America has lots of long open roads. It was the one place I thought my Transalp absolutely ideal. It was fine on the interstate when I wanted to blast through the boring bits, and great on the small roads.

If you are very keen on riding dirt roads, or intend to spend most of your time in central america (where the roads are much smaller) then the TA is on the large side.

The price is about right.
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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Old 24 Aug 2005
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thanks for the info. you made me doubt a little about your opinion about driving in central and south america. i am planning to do quiet a lot of offroad and i am only 1.70m or 5"6 tall.
i have some experience offroad with my ttr250 wich i drove from thailand to belgium. and maybe i could lower the seat? heard the newer ones have this option, maybe it fits also on the 91 model.
has somebody some advice for me on this?
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Old 4 Sep 2005
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Do you mean off road, or dirt roads? The 600/650 class are okay on dirt roads - just take it easy with all the luggage - but on proper offroad, forget it. The TTR would be much better.

It is about compromises. Accept this fact.

Here's another question - how much highway time in north america are you planning to do? The TTR will struggle on the big roads of the USA. Not impossible though. It just changes the kind of roads you can go on, and the pace of your journey.

The question is not really about the bike therefore,it is about what you want to to do. Both bikes are great choices, but will favour different types of tour.

A Transalp wont stop you going on dirt roads, but I wouldn't ride through jungles with it. Similarly, a TTR250 would be terrific for the small countries of CAm, but makes for slow going in the USA.

If you are flying down the Pan Am highway then go for the Transalp. But if you want to haul the bike on and off boats through the amazon...well you get the idea.
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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Old 7 Sep 2005
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The 1991 Transalp is a good model, but not the best one. If you buy it, there is one thing you HAVE to do immediately: change the rubber that holds the 2 CDI units under the saddle.


1991 Transalp, 57.000 kms
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