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 Honda - XL V Transalp
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Honda D2-492-14-04
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 600
Model : XL V Transalp
Production : 1987 - 2013
Category : (On-Off) Dual Purpose


600 V Transalp - 1987

A new kind of off-roader

Always on the lookout for new ideas, in 1983 Honda presented the XLV 750, a curious motorcycle that clumsily copied the eyeball-searing color schemes of contemporary motocross machines. Though it was in fact an excellent touring motorcycle, the XLV 750 was too heavy to be an off-road bike and the prospective clientele could not imagine the purpose for which it had been designed.

Return to the Theme

Though the XLV had been far off target, Honda was not discouraged, and returned with the 1987 TransAlp. This time the product was much more highly developed, and intended specifically for Europe. But to position its motorcycle precisely in the marketplace, Honda created a new category especially for it: "Rally-Touring." To make doubly sure, Honda even sponsored an annual rally reserved for TransAlp owners.

Jack of All Trades

The stratagem was successful and the TransAlp became a huge commercial success. Faster and a better road bike than the single-cylinder trail bikes, the TransAlp cost little more than its rivals. Without pretending to be a sports machine, it could handle rough going in style. Its enveloping plastic shield made it a machine that stayed clean and was easy to maintain. While its kinship with the dominant off-roaders – including the NXR Honda which had four times won the Paris-Dakar, made it a supreme image-building bike. Which explains its long success.


Engine: 583cc (75x66 mm) four-stroke air-cooled 52-degree V-twin; electronic ignition

Power Rating: 55 hp @ 8000 rpm

Valves: overhead camshaft/3 valves par cylinder

Fuel System: two 32mm carburetors

Transmission: 5-speed, final drive by chain

Suspension: telescopic fork (front); swinging fork with mono-damper (rear)

Brakes: single disk (front); drum (rear)

Wheels: 90/ 90-21 inch (front); 130/ 90-17 inch (rear)

Weight: 386 lb

Maximum Speed: 101 mph

The Transalp is a supreme off-roader capable of going to the ends of the earth.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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