Honda XL700V Transalp - Superbly confortable and not
shy to put it out in the dirt
perfect bike for new comers to dual sport adventure touring.
The Honda XL700V Transalp
This beautiful dualsport machine was superbly
comfortable to ride and even after 6 hours of touring, I had very
little desire to stop. The Transalp is a fantastic tourer, it
won't win the Dakar next year, but must be one of the smoothest
700cc bikes available and still has the capability to hit the
Craig Marshall - Rider
blue skies and hardly a breath of wind, we headed over
Sir Lowries Pass and through Grabouw to the Majestic Theewaterskloof
Of course we couldn't resist the temptation of quickly
popping up the Franschhoek Pass for a few twisties on
From Theewaterskloof Dam we weaved our way back through
the gravel roads of Van Der Stel's Pass towards Botriver
and along the tarmac again towards kleinmond.
A few hundred meters just after the Kleinmond Turn off
is a nice gravel road called Highlands Road, which takes
you through the farm lands via a series of winding forest
roads and joins up with the Viljoenshoop Winelands area.
If you do get the chance to do this route, its definitely
worth stopping at the famous Peregrine Farm Stall for
a wholesome lunch.
and Market Appeal
Although at first glance the Honda Transalp may
be more road bias in looks, once fully kitted with touring Panniers,
Bash plate, perhaps a set of knobbles, the bike transforms into
a formidable Dual Sport Machine.
XL700V Transalp - Specifications 2011
*ABS Model Available
8-valve SOHC 52° V-twin
transistorized with electronic advance / 12V/11.2AH
PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
pressure with wet sump
cable-actuated Wet, multiplate with coil springs
box-section steel tube
leading-axle telescopic fork
with adjustable compression damping
x 4mm dual hydraulic disc with dual-piston (Combined
three-piston) calipers (ABS) and
sintered metal pads
x 6mm hydraulic disc with (Combined) single-piston
caliper (ABS) and resin mould pads
(57H) / 130/80-R17M/C (65H)
litres (including 3-litre reserve)
Weight (No fuel)
The overall impression I had of the Honda
XL700V Transalp was that it is extremely well suited
to riders who travel regularly on tarmac and limit
their off road riding to hard pack gravel roads
that are regularly maintained. It won't handle the
rough terrain, soft sand and mud very well with
out doing some modification to the front suspension.
If you add a set of off road tyres you may notice
a world of difference and certainly improve the
off road capability of this legendary touring bike.
A rider should always purchase a bike for the purpose
it has been designed and ride it accordingly.
Don't buy a road orientated touring bike and expect
it to keep up with bikes based on Enduro design,
with superior off road suspension and high ground
The Honda XL700V Transalp is a really great bike
and will suit a wide selection of dual sport riders.
A perfect bike for new comers to dual sport adventure
The specs claim you can do over 300km on a single tank of
unleaded 95. With fully loaded Panniers
and a heavy hand on the throttle one can expect at least
250km before the 3 liter reserve initiates.
This is most probably the thing that impressed me the most,
even after 6 hours of continuous riding on a mix of gravel
and tarmac, i seldom if never felt the urge to stand up
and allow blood to flow to my butt. A truly comfortable
ride indeed. hard to Match !
it must be said as one of the very few negative attributes
of the XL700V Transalp - is that it does feel slightly on
the heavy side. It more than makes up for it as an allround
fantastic touring bike.
The rider position is very deep on the transalp,
so you sit well behind the standard fearing. With a small
extension you are guaranteed to have almost zero helmet
Very little as can be expected from most twins.
Power to Weight:
The XL700V Transalp
delivers 44kw and it has no problem getting up to 170km
+. It may feel slightly sluggish if you are used to bigger
displacement sport bikes. But in dual sport type of riding
its not always necessary, and with bikes that deliver instant
power it can be too much in the loose gravel.
Off Road Handling:
The XL700V is definately better
suited to the Tarmac and hard pack gravel roads. It can
handle the dirt, but you may want to redo the front suspension
to handle the knocks better. The bike is agile, but would
do much better with a set of off road tyers and perhaps
more ground clearence.
Once again the comfort factor makes the Transalp a pleasure
to tour with. The bike is very stable in corners and the
ABS model is available if you prefer. In tight bends the
bike can be thrown around and responds well to input. One
has to be careful if riding with a pillion, the lack of
ground clarence can be a problem when leaning very low in
a tight bend, you may hear the center stand touching the
tar. don't panic, just be aware of it.
19' 24.53"N, 6° 48' 22.33"E
de la Bonette, click to view
Col de la Bonette is considered
the highest mountain pass in in Europe at 2802m. Situated
in the French Alps, near the border with Italy. It is
situated within the Mercantour National Park on the border
of the departments of Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.