Author: Billy Johnson

New 2023 Honda XL750 Transalp: the adventure bike returns

Honda XL750 2023

After much speculation, Honda has unveiled the new XL750 Transalp for 2023, bringing yet another competitor into the middleweight adventure bike category.

The first Transalp arrived back in 1987 and proved popular around the world before disappearing from the Honda lineup in 2012. The Transalp name has always been synonymous with reliability and the ability to get from A to B, wherever A or B may be.

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The return of Honda’s Transalp will be welcomed by its devoted fans, but may put fear into the hearts of other manufacturers as they compete for glory at the top of the middleweight adventure class.

Watch James explain everything we know about the 2023 Honda Transalp:

New engine for the Transalp

Transalp engine

The Honda XL750 Transalp is powered by the same parallel twin engine found in the recently announced Honda CB750 Hornet, which puts out 90.5bhp and 75Nm of torque, squaring the Transalp up against rivals like the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and BMW F 850 GS.

Throttle control is ride-by-wire, and it pairs with a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch. There’s also a de-tuned A2 licence option available, which can be reconfigured back up to full power once the rider has an unrestricted licence.

Well equipped with electronics, but not overbearing

Transalp View from seat

The XL750 Transalp comes equipped with five riding modes: Sport, Standard, Rain and Gravel, and User. User allows the rider to customise the bike’s handling to suit their needs.

Information is displayed on a full colour, 5-inch TFT display, and other electronic rider aids include anti-wheelie control, and ABS and traction control which can be switched off on the rear wheel. It also comes with smartphone connectivity for navigation, music, calls, and messages. And there’s LED lighting throughout.

Lightweight chassis

Transalp side

The new Transalp is built around a steel diamond frame which weighs 18.3kg, and the entire bike has a wet weight of 208kg, which makes the bike very approachable for off-road riders and for beginners alike.

Showa suspension is fitted at the front and rear of the bike, with 200mm and 190mm of travel respectively. Combined with a ground clearance of 210mm, the XL750 should be plenty capable of tackling trails.

The brakes are a two-piston calliper working dual 310mm discs at the front, and a single-piston calliper paired with a 256mm disc at the rear.

Wheel sizes are off-road biased with a 21-inch front and an 18-inch rear, with spoked wheels and tubed tyres: either Metzeler Karoo Streets or Dunlop Mixtours depending on your intended riding style.

The fuel tank has a 16.9-litre capacity, and with a claimed fuel consumption of 65mpg, that should work out to a potential 180 mile distance between fill-ups.

The seat is an easy-going 850mm height, with a low 820mm seat available as an option.

Pure retro style

transalp black

The styling of the new Transalp has hint of the retro, with it borrowing some of the lines and form of the original 1987 XL600V. The main visual differences are the exhaust set up, a larger windscreen, and the LED headlights. That’s either a testament to Honda’s original futuristic vision or people’s demand for retro style today, but either way, the 2023 Transalp looks fantastic.

It’s available in three colours: Matte Ballistic Black Metallic, Matte Iridium Grey Metallic, and of course, Ross White Tricolour which pays homage to the original 1987 livery.

Will the new Transalp live up to the name?

Transalp puddle

The Transalp name carries a long legacy with it, and after a 13 year hiatus, many people will be expecting a lot from Honda’s new XL. But from what we can see so far, it’s got all the makings to be a success for Honda.

With a capable new engine, the expected Honda build quality, useful but not overbearing electronics, an accessible size and weight, and a truly retro style, the new Transalp should faithfully carry on the legacy of its name.

Of course, we’ll have to ride one before we know if it really is the complete middleweight adventure package.

The only factor that remains to be seen is the price. In such a competitive market, Honda can’t afford to price anyone out. But with luxury features relatively few, we expect that the XL750 Transalp will arrive with a reasonable price tag.

You can find out more about Honda’s new Transalp over at their website here.