HONDA XL700V TRANSALP (2008-2012) Review

Published: 19 November 2007

"Much improved over the last model, but to be honest that was never going to be difficult"

Honda Transalp review action

"Much improved over the last model, but to be honest that was never going to be difficult"

  • At a glance
  • 680cc  -  59 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Medium seat height (841mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

This latest version of the Honda Transalp is much improved over the last model, but to be honest that was never going to be difficult. The motor is just quick enough, should last forever, and offers a smile when the mood takes you. The new Honda Transalp’s handling isn’t bad, either, considering the market the motorcycle is aimed at. Looks-wise it’s funky, versatile, practical, user-friendly, easy to ride and should prove a top seller for Honda, although it would benefit from a larger tank, bit more power and a sixth gear. 

 

Watch Honda's Transalp riding across the Alps

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Like most Hondas, the Transalp is a doddle to ride, quick or slow, and ideal for learners or more experienced riders wanting something different. Around town or down a lovely switch back road the new Honda Transalp turns easily and is very flickable, the smaller front wheel helps, down from 21 inch to 19.

Engine 4 out of 5

The new Honda Transalp’s V-twin 700cc engine isn’t going to impress your mates with breathtaking performance – 59bhp is far from impressive – but it does the job intended, just. It’s punchy low down around town and will happily tour along at 70-80mph all day, just don’t expect too much. It’s just a shame it doesn’t come with six gears.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The new Honda Transalp’s engine (derived from that of the Deauville) will still be going strong when you’re six feet under, their reliability is that legendary. The motorcycle feels robust and well put together (although it’s actually made in Spain not Japan). The motorcycle has a nice finish and looks good, however there are one or two bits of cosmetic chrome parts which look questionable, it will be interesting to see how they last a few harsh British winters.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

For just over £5000 you’ve got a versatile bike that just as happy around town one minute then taking on some serious touring the next, it will even take on some light off-road riding. Reliability should be unquestionable, it should hold its money in the market being a Honda and running costs should be low. Find a Honda XL700 Transalp for sale.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Considering the Honda Transalp’s price tag, it’s not bad. ABS is now standard. Fuel gauge, clock and speedo are digital, with an analogue rev counter. Hand guards are a nice touch, so is the small rack on the back for carrying luggage.  There’s also a huge list of accessories to personalise the motorcycle for touring or what ever your desired requirements.

Owners' Reviews

11 owners have reviewed their HONDA XL700V TRANSALP (2008-2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 3.7 out of 5
4 out of 5

A futher review after 6000 miles

11 July 2014 by harshbutfair51

I left a review of my impressions after having ridden 600 miles but thought I'd add further comments having clocked up nearly 6000 miles. Okay, it's not an exciting bike but it's just so easy to ride. I commute to London daily, a round trip of a... Read more 100 miles or so. It's a great commuter bike. I have fitted an aftermarket (£38) topbox and a Loobman (320) chain oiler both of which perform their tasks admirably. The bike took a weekend trip to the Lake District in it's stride and will cruise (if the law allowed!) at 15mph or so above the legal limit with no signs of stress. So, it's also a good touring bike, especially if you have the Honda luggage which I don't :( Because I use this bike solely on tarmac, I have fitted Michelin Anakee 3 tyres and they have certainly sharpened up the handling. I still don't like the sound of the engine but I can live with it. I average around 55 mpg but rarely lower than 51 so how people manage to get less than 150 miles out of tankful is mystifying to me. All in all, apart from that engine noise, I think this is a great unpretentious bike.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

A bit early to tell but first impressions are good

11 May 2014 by harshbutfair51

I have had the this bike just over a week and have put about 600 miles on it. Firstly, it handles so well, even on the Bridgestone Trail Wing tyres and I feel more confident leaning this bike into corners than I do on my Triumph 1050 Sport. The... Read more real concern is the engine noise which, at low speeds has a sort of pop-pop sound not unlike a Suzuki Burgman maxi-scooter. I suppose I'll get used to it but I do find it a little embarrassing at the moment. I am really impressed with how maneuverable and light it is. I think I'm going to really like this bike as a commuter. I can get 60 mpg out of it, if I go easy on the throttle but I thihk low-mid fifties is more realistic. [The Triumph has now gone! To be honest, I had a few issues with it and dealer was completely disinterested in getting them sorted under warranty.]

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Stickers on my panniers, a smile on my face.

10 May 2014 by Anonymous

I've been riding for about 13 years. I have owned a fair few bikes, hornets bandits, cbr600's, ninja 600's but this is by far my most favourite two wheeled beauty. I love the relaxed feel you get when you swing a leg over the saddle, the gentle thud... Read more of the v twin inviting you to explore the horizons (or indeed just to escape London for for an hour or two after work) It's not fast, its not a knee scrapper buts its torquey enough and handles perfectly. Just let the sports bikes go and enjoy the journey, then catch them up on the corners...probably. Abs makes me feel confident when my girlfriend and I are two up and fully loaded. I really like the way the bike looks, I love the headlight I love the dark red paint and that kinda metal silver on the luggage is cool. I'm not missing 6 gears, just use the torque of the engine and keep the pace cruisey, in my opinion I have more fun on this 98% of the time than I ever did on my ninja. Sure could have a bigger tank but just stop for petrol more often.. only cost £18 to fill right up. So I'll leave you with the words of my girlfriends first trip on the back "just feels more oldskool"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Overall . . . er hmmm . .

24 April 2014 by IronAss

I keep wondering if it is as great a mind-boggling mystery to me as it is to other people why the idiots at Honda didn't think to give this otherwise great bike a slightly larger fuel tank, a six-speed gearbox and cut down on the humungous weight.... Read more That squashed-round headlamp is a farce which not only looks definitely odd but there's also very little perceptible difference between high and low beam.The bloody indicators stalks get bent so easily that even a person brushing past the bike can put them out of kilter. AND WHY CAN'T I GET THE DAMN HONDA SIDE-PANNIERS FROM ANYWHERE??!!!

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Transalp 700 18 months on

18 February 2013 by celticminority

Good points - always starts and runs well whatever the weather. Loads of poke and loves hills. High up riding position and comfy 2 up(without luggage) Bad points Really bad fuel economy - 150 miles on a tank? I get only 120 at best. Price is... Read more too high, nearly 7k for a bike! Twitchy front wheel Terrible fully loaded and 2 up, no room for pillion with luggage and front wheel skips all over the shop. Paint job not as good as you would think. Overall, the best bike I have owned, but with fuel economy being so rubbish and its not designed for two people - its time to trade in I think.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

@2800miles

09 August 2011 by Ste1

This 2011 bike has just clocked up 2800 miles in 2months or so, most of which have been accumulated on a tour from the Midlands to the North-West, up to Scotland through Glencoe, over to Skye, up to the most north-westerly point in the UK, then the... Read more most northerly, then back down through Northumbria including Holy Island and to home. She ran impeccably. She returned 62.4mpg in these 2800 miles and that has included heavyweight touring, some off-road and mountain passes, and not a little "around the national speed limit" stuff (given that human error and other factors might cause there to be some fluctuation above and below). Yes there's a shortage of a sixth gear but in a way that makes the 5 there are more flexible in terms of engine braking and so on. Yes i laid her down twice but that was down to the inexperience of the rider, not the bike, and the fact that I had two 45l panniers attached filled with lead or the equivalent. (How many pairs of socks do you really need i ask myself?). In any case the panniers and the front (added) bars took the sting out. This bike can take it, of that be assured! This is a true all-rounder and a definite keeper.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Transalp 700 - 1 year on

22 December 2009 by DNH1

I have ridden a number of bikes and was immediately taken with how comfortable and easy to ride this bike is. It's probably not really a two-up touring bike and I also think that it would benefit from a 6th gear, but overall I really love the bike... Read more and would definitely recommend a test ride. There are faster bikes and cooler bikes, but I enjoy riding this bike every time I am out.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

New Transalp 700 ABS

12 July 2009 by bikerdoc09

Reliable,smooth,agile.Engine has just enough power but it is never short of breath.Not for cruising at 120 mph on fast motorways with missus- but if you plan a trip to the moon, it will take you there and back. Original tall screen buzzes annoyingly... Read more but it provides good protection. This is a bike and a companion.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

transalp 700

19 February 2009 by glennfromscotland

took for a test ride and came back with a big grin,bought demo with all extras, not fast but more than capable to have some fun on a-b roads, brakes good, not had chance to feel abs yet, gearbox very smooth ecconomy above 60mpg even riding fast,... Read more taller screen good, now feel I contol power rather than other way round, build and reliability usual honda,nice and light enjoying it

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

transalp 700

03 February 2009 by greenhat

can't fault it! used for instructing, does 50cc cbt's or advanced equally well, plus i look forward to going out on it and i own a bmw gs 1200! Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 11 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £6,775
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 59 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.75 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 680cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Seat height 841mm
Bike weight 214kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload and compression
Front brake 2x 256mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 100/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 130/80 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2007: New model launched.
2011: Renamed XL700VA Transalp

Other versions

None.

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