2008 Honda Transalp XL700V first test report

Published: 22 October 2007

Honda’s all-new 2008 Honda Transalp XL 700V has just been launched and MCN Road Tester Adam Child has been riding the completely revamped motorcycle in French Alps for this week’s forthcoming issue of MCN. Here’s what he’s had to say:

“The first Honda Transalp came out 20 years ago, but for 2008 Honda has marked the occasion by completely revamping the motorcycle and re-branding it as a middleweight ‘adventure’ motorcycle – and to emphasise the fact our first ride has been to the French high Alps.’

“The new motorcycle features a new engine (essentially a retuned, chain drive version of the latest Honda Deauville’s V-twin) housed in an all-new chassis (now with a 19 instead of 21-inch front wheel) plus racier bodywork.”

“It’s perky, handles well, is OK on mild trails and is comfortable on motorway hauls, too, thanks to its comfy seat and effective fairing. But its greatest asset is it’s genuine versatility. This really is a do-it-all motorcycle, suitable for everyone from novices to city commuters to even those who fancy riding around the world. And if you need a few accessories to tailor it more exactly to your needs – luggage, heated grips etc – Honda has a long list of those available for the new Transalp too.’

“The only criticism so far is a slightly small tank and a slight vibey revviness at sustained 85mph-plus, but it’s still a great motorcycle and, at £5399, good value, too. We’ll be seeing if all that’s enough to see off the likes of Suzuki’s V-Strom 650 and Kawasaki’s Versys soon.”



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