Impressions from Riding the 2024 Honda Transalp 700

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Grand adventures often seem to be reserved for the affluent, those who can easily afford extravagant trips to the Himalayas with all the trimmings. For them, splurging on high-end motorcycles and gadgets is just part of the game.

But what about the rest of us? Thankfully, there are adventures out there that don’t require a hefty bank account, and they often come in the form of accessible bikes like the new Honda XL750 Transalp.

The Transalp is designed with one simple goal in mind: to make adventure riding achievable for everyday working people. It’s all about affordability, with a price tag of $9,999, making it even cheaper than the CRF450RL dual-sport bike.

Impressions from Riding the 2024 Honda Transalp 700
Impressions from Riding the 2024 Honda Transalp 700 (Credits; Dirt Bike Magazine)

Powered by a 749cc parallel twin engine pumping out around 80 horsepower and equipped with various electronic riding aids, it’s the kind of bike that can take you on an adventure and bring you back home without breaking the bank.

The name “Transalp” might ring a bell for some, as it’s recycled from a similar bike introduced back in 1987. Back then, it was a 600cc V-twin with a concept that left many scratching their heads. But times have changed.

The adventure bike market has grown exponentially, driven not just by dirt enthusiasts but also by those seeking comfortable touring and commuting options. Today’s Transalp caters to this evolving market, ready to deliver on the promise of adventure whenever the call arises.

With its inline two-cylinder motor utilizing Honda’s Unicam configuration and Showa suspension offering just under 8 inches of travel, the Transalp packs a punch. What sets it apart, however, is its electronic features

Boasting four preset ride modes—Standard, Sport, Rain, and Gravel—each with customizable settings for power output, traction control, engine braking, and antilock braking, the Transalp ensures adaptability to various riding conditions. And even without electronic intervention, its smooth power delivery remains impressive.

Honda’s unveiling of the Transalp was refreshingly down-to-earth, epitomized by the introduction of the “PA Wilds BDR-X,” a Backroads Discovery Route in rural Pennsylvania. While not as exotic as the Alps, this journey showcased the Transalp’s capabilities amidst the rustic charm of autumn.

Characterized by an upright riding position conducive to long journeys, the Transalp provides comfort on the road while remaining nimble off it. Optional accessories such as travel cases, engine guards, and a skid plate further enhance its versatility, catering to individual preferences and needs.

Navigating the varied terrain of PA Wilds, from smooth paths to rocky tracks, the Transalp proves its mettle with smooth power delivery and excellent torque. While electronic aids offer additional control, experienced riders may opt to fine-tune settings to suit their preferences, enhancing the bike’s off-road prowess.

While lacking suspension adjustability, the Transalp’s performance remains commendable across diverse terrains. Recognizing the need for additional accessories for serious off-road ventures, Honda offers a range of options to tailor the Transalp to individual requirements.

Despite its stripped-down nature, the Transalp beckons weekend adventurers with the promise of potential journeys yet to come, embodying a versatile companion ready for whatever adventure lies ahead.

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