The legendary name returns with the all-new 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp. Intended to slide into the slot between the Honda CB500X and Africa Twin 1100, the new Transalp is powered by the new 755cc parallel twin that first broke cover with the Honda CB750 Hornet last month. Unlike the Hornet, which has not been confirmed for the U.S. market, Honda recently announced the new Transalp is confirmed for the United States, and that means a good long First Look.
Editor's Note: As of September 19, 2023, Honda has confirmed that the Honda XL750 Transalp will be available in the U.S. market this October, labeled as a 2024 model. We have updated the information in this story to reflect that fact.
- We will let Honda R&D, Japan, Transalp Large Project Leader Masatoshi Sato set the table: “With our new Transalp, we looked hard at what made the first model so good and wanted to strike the right balance between urban agility, long-distance, on-road touring comfort, and off-road ability. In arriving where we are, we have considered all these aspects in a ‘360-degree’ way, and created a bike that gives riders of all experience levels a fresh new option in the Honda range. The look revives the classic Transalp presence in a modern key, the new engine is incredibly strong and versatile, and the bike has an appealingly long and rich specification list.”
- The new motor gets unique tuning for the 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp application. Mechanically, the powerplant is identical to what we told you about for the Hornet. The 755cc parallel twin is liquid-cooled and has a Unicam four-valve top-end, which means the single cam acts directly on the intake valves and via rockers on the exhaust valves. The 91-horsepower peak comes at 9500 rpm on the decisively oversquare motor, and torque tops out at 55 ft-pounds at 7250 rpm—the same numbers as on the Hornet. However, the Transalp delivers the power differently. Although Honda isn’t saying, we suspect that means a softer, dirt- and touring-friendly delivery, rather than the sporting punch you would want on the street-only Hornet. Also, the heavier Transalp would need more low-rpm torque than the Hornet to get underway easily.
- The motor’s 270-degree firing order will be advantageous off-pavement, while feeling good on the street. This setup mimics a V-twin's feel and power delivery while allowing engineers to go with the parallel-twin configuration.
- The six-speed transmission works in conjunction with an assist-and-slipper clutch. A quickshifter is optional, and there won’t be a DCT, at least initially.
- Ride-by-wire allows Honda to give the Transalp more sophisticated electronics. There are four preset power modes—Sport, Gravel, Standard, and Rain. These modes differentiate themselves by varying the power output (four levels), traction control (five levels), engine compression braking (three levels), and ABS (two levels, plus rear wheel off). Within each mode, you can adjust any of the parameters independently. Additionally, there’s a Rider mode that you build from scratch and save.
- A five-inch TFT dash keeps tabs on what the motorcycle is up to. The dash will also interact with your smartphone and helmet headset via Bluetooth and Honda Smartphone Voice Control software. You’ll be able to monitor texts, phone calls, music, and navigation. You can have it your way, as there are multiple display options to select from.
- The 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp’s off-road intentions are signaled by the wheelset. That’s a 21-inch front wheel and 18-incher in the back, with the hoops connected to the hubs by wire spokes—pure off-road. That wheel size combination gives the rider access to a wide variety of off-road-friendly street tires and race-race off-road-only rubber. This puts the Transalp right in the same neighborhood as the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and the new Suzuki V-Strom 800DE, as well as making it potential competition for the more sophisticated and expensive European quartet—Aprilia Tuareg 660, BMW F 850 GS Adventure, KTM 890 Adventure R, and Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro.
- Off-roaders will want to swap out the standard Metzeler Karoo Street or Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tires. If you stick to the street, for the most part, the stock tires will treat you right.
- The all-new frame is a traditional diamond style and made of steel. The subframe is not removable, and the entire Transalp frame weighs four pounds less than the CB500X’s frame.
- Showa handles the suspension duties. The SFF-CA (Separate Function Fork-Cartridge) fork is non-adjustable and has nearly eight inches of travel. The triple clamps mix a forged aluminum bottom clamp and cast aluminum top clamp for optimized flexibility and strength. The shock has spring-preload adjustment and moderates 7.5 inches of wheel travel with the help of a linkage system and aluminum swingarm. The longish-travel suspension gives the Transalp 8.3 inches of ground clearance. A skid plate and centerstand are optional.
- The standard seat height is 33.5 inches. An optional seat lowers the perch to 32.3 inches.
- Braking is handled by a pair of 310mm wave discs in the front with traditionally mounted two-piston calipers. As we mentioned earlier, there are two levels of two-wheel ABS, plus front-wheel-only ABS.
- With a 4.5-gallon fuel tank and an estimated fuel consumption rate of 54 mpg, you quite possibly can get over 200 miles between visits to a filling station.
- To keep things smooth during touring runs, the 755cc motor has an innovative lightweight counterbalancing system. Honda did away with the balancer drive gear by having the primary drive gear spin the balance shaft. This saved weight and kept the new motor more compact.
- The electrical system uses a CAN (Controller Area Network) and a BCU (Body Control Unit). This can make adding electrical accessories easier if the accessory is CAN-friendly. If not, the process can be more complicated.
- There are five optional ‘packs’ to choose from to help tailor the 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp to your needs:
- Engine guard
- Radiator grille
- LED fog lights
- Three-liter tank bag
- Wind deflectors
- Comfort passenger footpegs
- AC charging socket
- Engine guards
- Skid plate
- Off-road footpegs
- Hand guards with extensions
- Panniers (26 and 36 liters) with mounting hardware and inner bag
- Heated grips
- 50-liter top box with mounting hardware and inner bag
- Passenger seat
- Tall windscreen
- America hasn’t had a Transalp since 1990, so we’re overdue. The only Transalp that made it to the United States was the 1989 XL600V, which only lasted two years in the lineup. It seems like a perfect time to bring the 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp to the US to keep the CB500X and Africa Twin company.
2023 Honda XL750 Transalp Specifications
- Type: Parallel twin w/ 270-degree crank
- Displacement: 755cc
- Bore x stroke: 87.0 x 63.5mm
- Maximum power: 91 horsepower @ 9500 rpm
- Maximum torque: 55 ft-lbs @ 7250 rpm
- Compression ratio: 11.0:1
- Valvetrain: SOHC; 4vpc
- Transmission: 6-speed (quickshifter optional)
- Clutch: Wet multiplate w/ assist and slipper functions
- Final drive: Chain
- Frame: Steel diamond
- Front suspension; travel: Spring-preload adjustable Showa SFF-CA 43mm inverted fork; 7.9 inches
- Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted, spring-preload adjustable Showa remote-reservoir shock; 7.5 inches
- Wheels: Wire-spoked wheels
- Tires: Metzeler Karoo Street or Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour
- Front tire: 90/90 x 21
- Rear tire: 150/70 x 18
- Front brakes: 310mm wave discs w/ 2-piston calipers
- Rear brake: 256mm wave disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: 2-channel (rear wheel defeatable)
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 61.4 inches
- Rake: 27 degrees
- Trail: 4.4 inches
- Seat height: 33.5 inches (32.3-inch seat optional)
- Fuel capacity: 4.5 gallons
- Estimated fuel consumption: 54 mpg
- Curb weight: 459 pounds
- Ross White
- Matte Ballistic Black Metallic
- Matte Iridium Grey Metallic
2023 Honda XL750 Transalp Price: £TBA MSRP
2023 Honda XL750 Transalp Photo Gallery
Accessorized 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp Photo Gallery