Following the release of the R80GS by BMW and the birth of one of the greatest races of all time (the Paris Dakar), manufacturers started to add a new kind of bike to their product range. These new “adventure” bikes were road legal adaptations of off road racing motorcycles used primarily for the P-D. During the 80’s, Honda won the race 5 times thanks to their legendary NXR750V. Therefore, they had to release their road legal trail, and as one f their tributes to the NXR, they released the XL600V Transalp in 1987.
Honda wanted to create a bike that could cross the Alps by conquering dirt roads, twisty roads, rain, snow, etc…a bike that could do it all and feel natural while doing it. They succeeded. In addition to a good marketing campaign, the Transalp was considered to be a Swiss Army knife by critics at the time. Honda took the VT500 engine as a base, re-bored it and re-stroked it so the compression ratio went down (from 10.5:1 to 9.2:1), and the engine became a 583 cc. They also coupled it with smaller carbs than the VT and a different ratio in the gearbox so the engine attitude was less radical. With a dry weight of 386 lbs, the bike could reach a top speed of 110 mph which was great for that kind of bike. The fairings permitted riders to cruise at speeds higher than 75mph feeling comfortable and safe. When released in 1989 to the US, it was a success as well. The major and only criticisms were about its weight that seemed a little too high for dirt biking and the soft-mounted handlebar that was not the best for quick transitions on the road. Find more info about the Transalp here on Motorcyclespecs.
The bike presented here is a very nice 1990 Transalp. When bought by the seller one year ago, he decided to clean the carbs and install a new CDI as the bike had been sitting for over 15 years before. Many parts and add-ons have been installed to make it ready for any adventure: SW-Motech aluminum skid plate, Givi engine bars, Oxford heated grips, Givi tall windshield, etc. Plus, the seller includes some of the OEM parts and a few spares like a CDI and clutch. Because the bike has been used as Honda intended, there are some scratches on the plastics but none of them are cracked.
Find this Honda Transalp XL600V for sale in Highland Park, California here on Craigslist for $4,200 OBO.