Honda XL750 Transalp Review - The Spirit of Exploration

  • May 1, 2024
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The Honda XL750 Transalp is a friendly and versatile adventure tourer

The first ever XL600V Transalp was introduced in 1986; it was a mid-size dual-sport motorcycle that featured a fairing to enhance comfort at higher speeds. The XL650V Transalp in 2000 and the XL700V Transalp in 2008 were the next-generation models that were lightweight, had a compact chassis and were more comfortable for touring, both on and off the road. 

The new XL750 Transalp, hence, is designed for all-round, long-distance touring and Honda says that the aim was to enable you to enjoy a motorcycling lifestyle that is freer and more adventurous than ever before. We put the bike to the test with a long highway ride, followed by a ride through some twisty roads and also explored some off-road trails.

Design

The Honda XL750 Transalp looks like a purposeful motorcycle for long-distance touring. It has classic dual-sport styling and the rear seems inspired from the Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin. This Ross White colour option with golden spoked wheels and hints of blue and red surely makes it stand apart. Internationally, there are three colourways to choose from, but in India we only get the Ross White, and Matte Ballistic Black Metallic colour schemes. The bike rides on a 21-inch spoked wheel at the front and an 18-inch spoked wheel at the rear. Unfortunately, these are not tubeless spoked wheels.

Engine, Performance, and Mileage

The Honda XL750 Transalp has a 755cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine putting out 92PS at 9500rpm and 75Nm at 7250rpm. This is an extremely usable engine, be it in the city, through twisty roads, and mainly out on the open highway. As you get going, the acceleration is linear, followed by a strong mid range and after 6000 rpm, it aggressively darts to the redline. In our tests, we achieved a 0-60kmph time of 2.57 seconds, while 0-100kmph took just 4.65 seconds. In terms of tractability, I was able to do around 55kmph in fifth gear after which the bike quickly built up speed as the throttle was opened. There is a very slight buzz at the footpegs once it passes the 7500rpm mark, but nothing that really bothered me too much. This motor features a 270-degree crank which makes it deliver an aggressive exhaust note to compliment the performance that it offers. Overall with the character of this motor, the Transalp can do it all; from cruising in the city, mile-munching through highways, and powering through trails. I only wish that Honda had equipped the bike with a quickshifter, as it would have made the Transalp even more engaging to ride. It gets a 16.9-litre fuel tank and a claimed fuel efficiency of 23kmpl so the bike should be capable of approximately 380 kilometres on a full tank. 

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Handling and Ride Quality

The Transalp is a 208kg motorcycle, but the weight is hardly felt while riding. It tips into corners in a stable manner and gives the rider confidence while powering out from a turn. The bike has 212mm of ground clearance, and uses a 43mm Showa USD fork with 200mm of travel, and a Showa monoshock with 190mm of travel. The ride quality of the suspension setup is really plush so it can take on pretty much anything in its way. It is equipped with dual-purpose Metzeler Tourance tyres; they do a brilliant job on the road and also allow for some fun off-road as long as you keep it to light off-road trails and nothing too hardcore. The braking setup includes twin 310mm disc brakes at the front and a 256mm disc at the rear. I really liked this setup as it is sharp, precise and predictable. Even while getting hard on the brakes in case of an emergency, the bike comes to a halt in a stable manner and the intervention from the ABS is hardly felt.

Comfort

The seat height of the Transalp stands at 850mm but it is a surprisingly accessible motorcycle even to shorter riders. With my 5-foot 7-inch stature, the footpegs were in a neutral position and the handlebars kept me upright. The bike is very well balanced so even though I could not flat-foot the ground, I never found it to be an issue, even in stop-go traffic. Additionally, it is also really easy to move around in parking spots. The comfort offered by the seat is also exceptional so you can cover longer distances out on the highway without having to keep halting for stops. This unit that we received for a review also sported a taller windscreen which is part of the official accessories. This accessory windscreen unit is slightly distracting as it distorts a rider's vision, and may be especially inconvenient when it is raining.

Features

The Transalp gets five riding modes; Road, Rain, Sport, Gravel, and User (which can be set up according to a rider’s preference). Each mode has a different combination of Power, Engine Braking, Traction Control and ABS (On Road or Off-Road). The 5-inch TFT console displays adequate information which is easy to read. The only thing that could have been improved is the switchgear to access the controls in a more user-friendly manner; the Mode button has to be long-pressed to personalise settings in the User riding mode. There are also four different menu layouts to choose from; a nice touch is that two of these layouts have a classic analogue tachometer incorporated into them. The Transalp also features Bluetooth connectivity along with the HSVC (Honda Smartphone Voice Control) system. To make the ride experience even safer, the ABS modulator detects sudden emergency braking, which in turn flashes the hazard lamps rapidly to warn the vehicles behind, a system we have already seen on other bikes from the stable, such as the Honda CB650R.

Verdict

Priced at Rs 11 lakh (ex-showroom), the Honda XL750 Transalp is a versatile adventure tourer that has an extremely usable motor and is a very confidence-inspiring machine. Considering that it is a Honda, riders will not have to worry about reliability as well. Whether embarking on a cross-country tour or exploring off-road trails, it delivers a refined and plush ride experience. In terms of competition, the XL750 Transalp goes up mainly against the likes of the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE.

Honda XL750 Transalp
Honda XL750 Transalp
Rs. 11.00 Lakh
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