Your brand-specific dreams of touring mountain passes or roving over gravel on a middleweight ADV from Honda will very soon have a chance to become reality, as Big Red has just pulled the wraps off of its new 2023 XL750 Transalp. This new edition bridges the gap between the commuter-friendly smaller displacement CB500X and do-it-all CRF1100L Africa Twin adventure motorcycle.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Transalp name. The original Transalp was first introduced in 1986 with a 583cc V-twin which grew into a 680cc mill with fuel injection in 2008. The new XL750 Transalp is a modern take on the classic but will use the all-new 755cc parallel-twin engine, the same that’s seen on the new CB750 Hornet.
Each of the two 87mm pistons move through a 63.5mm stroke and sound off to a 270-degree firing order. Max power output is 67.5KW (or 90.5 hp) at 9,500 rpm and 75 Nm (or 55.3 lb-ft.) at 7,250 rpm.
According to Honda Motor Europe, the engine is compact because it’s equipped with the same Unicam head used on the CRF450R. The engine’s primary drive gear also serves double duty by spinning the balance shaft, no balancer drive gear needed. Additionally, there’s no need for a water-cooled oil-cooler because the water pump is tucked away inside the left engine cover.
Another concept pulled from Honda’s CRF450R, as well as the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, is a nickel-silicon carbide (Ni-SiC) coating on the cylinders which is said to increase the engine’s efficiency.
A number of electronic rider aids work with the long-distance-touring-tuned throttle-by-wire system. There are five ride modes, Sport, Standard, Rain, Gravel, and User, which incorporate different combinations of engine power, engine braking, ABS, and Honda Selectable Torque Control with wheelie control. Those last two can be turned off.
But the tech doesn’t end there. The view from the cockpit includes a 5-inch TFT display that has bold fonts and easy-to-read information. Honda also equipped the Transalp with its Smartphone Voice Control system, which gives the rider control over calls, messages, music, and navigation. A helmet-mounted headset and a smartphone that can connect to the bike via Bluetooth are needed. The lleft switchgear can also be used to manage this system and main menus. All lighting is LED and turn signals cancel automatically.
A nice safety feature included in the lighting package is that the rear indicators have an Emergency Stop Signal function (ESS for short) that flashes the indicators to warn following motorists of especially hard braking.
As for brakes, the Transalp is fitted with two-piston calipers up front pinching two 310mm wave discs and a single-piston caliper/256mm disc combo out back. Off-road-ready 21- and 18-inch tube tires are looped around stainless steel spoked rims.
Honda says it’s optimized the steel diamond frame’s pipe thickness and stiffness while keeping it lightweight; for comparison, it’s 10 percent lighter than the CB500X’s according to the manufacturer. On the topic of lightness, the swingarm uses the same castings as the Africa Twin, but is made of aluminum, exclusive to the Transalp.
The Transalp rides on Showa suspension, namely a 43mm Separate Function Fork-Cartridge (SFF-CA) and a remote-reservoir shock. Both are adjustable for preload. The front offers 7.9 inches of travel; the rear has 7.5 inches.
2023 Honda XL750 Transalp Technical Specifications
|ENGINE:||755cc, OHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 4 valves per cylinder|
|BORE x STROKE:||87.0 x 63.5mm|
|FUEL DELIVERY:||Fuel injection|
|CLUTCH:||Wet multiplate assist slipper clutch|
|CLAIMED HORSEPOWER:||90.5 hp @ 9,500 rpm|
|CLAIMED TORQUE:||55.3 lb.-ft. @ 7,250 rpm|
|FRONT SUSPENSION:||43mm Showa SFF-CA USD fork; 7.9-in. travel|
|REAR SUSPENSION:||Monoshock, adjustable for preload; 7.5-in. travel|
|FRONT BRAKE:||Two-piston calipers, dual 310mm wave disc w/ ABS|
|REAR BRAKE:||Single-piston caliper, 256mm wave disc w/ ABS|
|WHEELS, FRONT/REAR:||Stainless steel spoked wheels; 21 in. / 18 in.|
|TIRES, FRONT/REAR:||TBD; 90/90-21 / 150/70-18|
|GROUND CLEARANCE:||8.2 in.|
|SEAT HEIGHT:||33.5 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY:||4.5 gal.|
|CLAIMED WET WEIGHT:||459 lb.|