Honda XL700V Transalp

on tar...

 or on dirt, the XL700V Transalp is great

Remarkably, the Transalp is celebrating its 21st birthday this year, having been first launched in 1987 in response to massive interest in the Paris to Dakar Rally.

And it has to be said that with the new 2008 Honda XL700V Transalp, these Honda motorcycles really come of age.

First on the guest list for the festivities is a brand new 680cc engine derived from the Honda Deauville. This liquid cooled, 4 stroke, 8 valve SOHC V-twin delivers plenty of power, producing a top speed of 209kph despite its relatively modest 59bhp and 45 lb/ft of torque. This motorcycle will confidently cruise at 120 - 140kph for as long as you want to ride, while still packing some punch lower down.

Slimming down for the party is a nimble new 19" front wheel giving far more fluid and flexible control than the old 21" version. This gives the Transalp flickability on pretty much any terrain, from city traffic to off road trails.

And that is the essence of the Transalp. There is no decision to be made here; no balancing the benefits of a commuter with those of a tourer or a road motorbike with a trails machine. These new motorbikes are all of this and more, as comfortable off road as on the city streets, and as confident cruising as commuting.

The old model was once Europe's most popular midsized motorcycle, and with all its improvements, the new Transalp should re-establish itself in the top spot.

Improved ergonomics, easy handling, all day comfort and the flexibility to match your mood make this a stunning new machine, whether you're literally going trans-Alp or just trans-town.

on test at the moment... watch this space


discover the country... on a Transalp

and it's good in the counrty

words and photos by Dylan Slater


thanks to Joeline Dobrowski and her team at Honda South Africa for the ride,

NICE... very, very nice!