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Decided to buy the bike mag Two Wheels only yesterday for something to read while waiting for physio appointment to find they have an article about the new Transalp Vs F800GS Vs Tenere. It didn’t fair well as an off-roader against the competition and was described as a bike for ladies, pensioners and disappointed dispatch riders. Surely Honda can’t have got it that wrong from the first bomb proof 600 off-roader?
 

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DILLIGAF
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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

Decided to buy the bike mag Two Wheels only yesterday for something to read while waiting for physio appointment to find they have an article about the new Transalp Vs F800GS Vs Tenere. It didn’t fair well as an off-roader against the competition and was described as a bike for ladies, pensioners and disappointed dispatch riders. Surely Honda can’t have got it that wrong from the first bomb proof 600 off-roader?

Very odd, since their first review against the HP2 and the KTM in Wales was quite favourable for the TA :confused: :confused: :confused: (does what the KTM does at less than a third of the price). I really don't get magazine reviews sometimes :rolleyes:.
 

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Black Transalp ('54)
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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

Very odd, since their first review against the HP2 and the KTM in Wales was quite favourable for the TA :confused: :confused: :confused: (does what the KTM does at less than a third of the price). I really don't get magazine reviews sometimes :rolleyes:.
Oh yes you do - they are just the same as all the other rags (HiFi etc) and reflect how much thay are getting paid to do the review.
[/cynic mode off]
 

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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

The new Tenere is a peach off-road and super economical - 70mpg plus riding down to this year's Stella Alpina rally - and only spoiled by a poor seat. The Beemer is widely reported to be superb off-road with plenty of power and impressive economy with it. The 700 Alp has a 19" front wheel, short suspension travel, a poor bash plate and not a lot of ground clearance. Without even riding it I would not expect it to be remotely competitive off road against the other two. IMO it does not do the same job as its illustrious predecessors. You might as well buy a Deauville and get integrated panniers.
 

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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

It was a terrrible review, it said that the new alp was no more off road than a Deauville which is ridiculous. On my transalp site we've had members who've taken them deep into the Australian bush and arid South African regions. I've climbed huge mining tips on mine and followed deep rutted tracks, rock trails and open hill. It's a dual purpose bike, there might be better bikes but that doesn't make it useless. The accessories are available to make it as hard as you want.
 

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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

You can take anything off road. A mate of mine once traversed the mudhole of Ranmore Common on a Honda CX500 with handlebar fairing; another did it on a GPZ1100. Someone got a CB750F to the top of the Stella this year. The new Alp is a lot more capable than any of those, I'm sure, but that doesn't make it an 'off-roader', which is what the Tenere and F800GS certainly are.
 

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Captain Slow is my hero
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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

To borrow a phrase from the car world does it all mean that the new Alp is best described as a "soft-roader " ?.

Purely personally I don't care if it goes off road or not. I bought the alp 'cos i liked it , have always liked it and always wanted one.

(and it does look good in the car park at Sainsbury's ) :happy7:
 

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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

You can take anything off road. A mate of mine once traversed the mudhole of Ranmore Common on a Honda CX500 with handlebar fairing; another did it on a GPZ1100. Someone got a CB750F to the top of the Stella this year. The new Alp is a lot more capable than any of those, I'm sure, but that doesn't make it an 'off-roader', which is what the Tenere and F800GS certainly are.
It certainly is an off roader by any practical measure you can think of, what criteria are you using to say it isn't? Plenty of us have them deep in the dirt and they're doing fine. It's a dual purpose bike, as described in the manual.
 

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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

........ I think its got more to do with whether TWO Magazine is on the Honda PR "Wine and Dine" A List!!!!!!!!!

TM.
 

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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

I thought the new TA was an Adventure bike, not an off roader.
There is a big difference between the two.
If there was one thing really wrong with the new TA, I would say it is the styling.
 

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Top Cat
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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

So...

It didn’t fair well as an off-roader against the competition and was described as a bike for ladies, pensioners and disappointed dispatch riders.
Very odd, since their first review against the HP2 and the KTM in Wales was quite favourable for the TA :confused: :confused: :confused: (does what the KTM does at less than a third of the price).
So if the TA is for ladies (is this an insult?), pensioners etc, yet compares well against the KTM, where does that leave the KTM?
 

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bigtrailie admin
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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

At the end of the day Its not being compared like for like is it? The @ is really the bike that fits into that "sector" isn't it.
I think at this time Honda does not have a bike that truely "fits" since production of the @ stopped, The TA on the other hand does a good job from what I can gather It just never filled the gap the AT left (hope thats a fair assesment)
Whilst KTM, BMW, Yamaha all see potential and produce modern bikes in this area have Honda no plans to replace the AT?
 

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Blah! Blah! Blah!
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Re: New Transalp in Two Wheels only slatted

Well I like mine!!

I enjoy riding it and I'm sure it'll take me to all the places I want to go, infact the the only limit it has is the person riding it :blob5:
 

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Older - maybe not wiser!
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Must admit - I like mine, too! :)

I guess it depends why you buy one - for me, the "spread out" riding position was more important than most other points - I'm 6'4, and my knees don't like being bent too much for too long. A local dealership was also a big consideration.

I've had a number of similar machines over the years (Super Tenere, KLE500, XT350 and another Alp) - and very seldom been off tarmac.

I'm pretty happy with the new Alp (got mine March) - quick enough to be fun, decent economy, not a bad seat - and SWMBO seems happy, at least since I put a top-box on. I'd think it might be a bit heavy for much more than gentle tracks - but, given a more adventurous (or fitter) rider . . .

If there was one thing I'd have liked, I guess it would be more torque - my last bike was a big HD, and the first thing I did with the Alp was stall it - and again - and again!

Probably best not to take too much notice of a single test - if several testers came up with the same gripe, then maybe worth taking note - otherwise I'd reckon not. When all's said and done, you buy it 'cos you want it - not 'cos somebody else likes it.

Have fun!

Tony.
 

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Yes I think the review mighthave been a fully paid up member of the BMW club. I've done MX for several years and no the TA is not a true off roader but its what I bought it for.... an adventure bike.

You can go and buy a KTM EXC if you want but you will soon get fed up of having to wear 6 pairs of cycling shorts to stop your arse going numb, not taking your eyes off it in public cos its got no ignition or proper steering lock and not to mention all the attention off roaders get when passing the local chaps on the estate ! The knobbly tires will also have you laid out under a truck when the back end slides away from you on a bend. A fellow TA owner also came up with the comment that the KTM has a good planted feel off road but feels like your riding with flat tyres on it.

Its about a compromise. If you want off-road buy an enduro bike, it will eat the TA the BMW, the XT and its new Tenere mate for breakfast. BUt it will piss you off if you try and do both on it like i did. The TA does adventure very well but probably doesnt have the cool factor of the GS's that Mr McGregor and Boorman has earned some of it. The F800GS is not much different (Even though LWD/LWR used 1200's) since the weight is up there near the old 200KG mark. Even a 450 KTM is only 115KG and you try lifting that off the deck upwards up a hill when your knackered.

The BMW's are also a pile more money. I backed off a GS purchase when I found out I would have to wait 3 months for the privalage of paying and extra £2K to get what the TA has as standard.

It all about choices unless you can afford both. We would all like a bike for every day of the week. Hey even a car for every day but personally I think the TA fills a gap for what I want it to do.

Anyway hope this doesnt sound like a rant :thumb:
 

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I get the impression that the new TA is more of a road-orientated bike with some off-road styling and a smidge of green lane potential. I think the other two have more off-road/dual sport potential. I can't say I read the article, only having a stab in the dark as to what let it down. To be fair, I do believe the TA is quite heavy for its class, with average power output.

But at the end of the day, the big problem with mag reviews is they are the opinion of one person, yet we are suppoesed to take it as written in stone. As objective as they try to be, they cannot change how a bike makes them feel. However, the nice thing about bikes is that we tend to like our bike for how it makes us feel: that is a good thing, IMO.


Spec sheets and performace figures are a blight, IMO as they really cloud judgement. It comes down to whether you enjoy a bike or not. If so, great , even if it got the "last place" in a "adventure bike" special this month. I have looked at specs now and then and I think the TA is over-weight and underpowered for the class, but I still bet that it still rides really well, is well-built, handles, is comfy and will give the owner plenty of smiles: That is the most important...
 

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Hi!

I have been browsing these forums since I bought my Transalp 700 earlier this year but I only registered today.

After reading this post I would like to express my opinion about the Transalp 700. I started riding 18 years ago and have owned several bikes over the years, including the Yamaha XT660R and the BMW F800S.

I loved both of them and thought the Transalp would be a good mix, so I tried one. And it is just what I expected, a road bike with a good riding position and able to do some light off-road.
In fact, mine has already done some not-so-light off-road and besides the inappropriate tires and skid plate, the only problem I found was the weird standing up position.
People that say it cannot do off-road any better that a Deauville certainly have no idea what they are talking about.


The XT660R was much better off-road and the BMW F800S had a great engine but both had some serious issues that made me want to trade them.

The Yamaha had bad brakes and at low RPMs the engine stalled all the time. It was a nightmare to drive before warming up.

The BMW was the first non-japanese bike I bought and probably the last. It had too many 'minor' issues: a one year old dead battery, coolant and oil leaks, foot pegs and handlebar grips wearing out at light speed, engine stalling after slowing down from highways and fast roads (dangerous!), an horrible ABS system that made me loose the brakes when the rear wheel lifted on roads bumps (dangerous!), paint coming out of the front fender and corrosion spots in the engine.
Most of these issues were fixed under warranty but I got tired of taking the bike to service all the time.

These are the kind of things you never read about in magazines...


The Transalp is not as exciting as other bikes when you first try it, but it does not disappoint you in any situation. It is rock solid and you can use in town, light off-road and in road trips.

The engine is smooth and the bike feels agile and very easy to drive. Put some Michelin Anakees and try it in a twisty road. You can also invite your friend with the 180hp RRR to go with you. I assure you he will be surprised.

Compared to other bikes it is not as heavy as most people think. The real weight is around 217 kg, the same as an also fully loaded V-Strom 650.

The only problem is it warms very fast in slow traffic, even in winter. The cooling fan does a good job so the engine is safe but it will cook your legs in traffic lights or jams.

I hope you guys are enjoying yours as much as I am enjoying mine.
Regards.
 

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Yes well said Mazze, some good points there. Spot on with your comments. I too thought the bars were too low when stood up on the pegs, its thats what you meant. Mine seems to get hot in town too. I tested an XT before I bought the TA. It was an ex demo going slightly cheaper at my local Yam dealer but it seemed to lack any exitement. I like the styling especially as the model was in black and I even blasted down a geen lane despite the test drive rules ! Went pretty good although it bottomed out a couple of times. I would have bought the new tenere but none available so the TA won in the end.

Just to throw another one in. The versys was a great ride bought obviously not at all off road. Slightly weird styling but still a looker if you avoid the lime green.
 

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Decided to buy the bike mag Two Wheels only yesterday for something to read while waiting for physio appointment to find they have an article about the new Transalp Vs F800GS Vs Tenere. It didn’t fair well as an off-roader against the competition and was described as a bike for ladies, pensioners and disappointed dispatch riders. Surely Honda can’t have got it that wrong from the first bomb proof 600 off-roader?
It seems odd that they mention the bash plate on the transalp but not the exposed position of the oil cooler and filter on the BM.
Maybe the relationship between the mag and the dealer who lends the bike is the issue?
 

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I do not doubt that Honda has built a very good and capable machine etc but please consider the following.
This bike is the two-wheeled equivalent of an SUV. It's not an off-roader, it would need lots preparation to do that and even then it will surely not be in its natural enviroment. Think of it a CRV on two wheels: funky vehicle but please stick to paved roads.
This bike in my opinion has two areas of concern.
The first one is the engine. It's a incredibly proven and rugged design, having its origins in the 52° degree twin first fitted to the VT500, but it's starting to show its age. Take the new Kawasaki parallel twin: it has better perfomances all around and it's just as economical (perhaps a tad less thirsty when a bit of throttle is applied). Guess why?
The engine has been extensively modified to provide more power and meet stricter emission requirements without giving troubles but when fitted to 200+ kg (dry weight) bikes like the new TA and Deauville it shows all its limits. Don't get me wrong: if I could own three or four bikes the Deauville would be my first pick as an everyday ride but when you need to cover lots of motorway miles, go to the Alps etc you just need more than that.
The engine would just be fantastic if it were fitted to a bike with same weight as an older TA (600 or 650, your pick).
The second one is a common issue with modern Hondas and is finish and overall build quality. I do not even want to discuss reliability, because it obviously spotless, but I am talking about all the rest. Consider this.
At the end of 2003 I bought a brand new VFR. in three weeks the paint on the heel plates had already been rubbed off and the fuel cap was already sticky. In 2005 my brother bought a brand new CBR1000RR. In a couple of months the paint on the tank was already starting to become dull. This year two of my mates (one is also a very good friend) bought two brand new CB1000Rs. The paint is already starting to come off on both bikes.
Is this what you'd expect after giving a reputable manufacturer as Honda LOTS of money?
I have two "older" Hondas (a 1988 Transalp and a 2003 VTR1000SP2) and they both still look absolutely gorgeous. The TA deserves particular mention because it's ridden every day and it's seldom (if ever) washed.
How will these new bikes look and feel in ten years time? Are they made to last or to be consumed?
I had more than one occasion to closely observe a brand new TA680 and I cannot but have a sense of "cheapness" about it. Like a Peugeot 107 or Citroen C1 everything about it seems to have been designed not to be functional or durable in the first place but to be as cheap as possible to manufacture. Spanish manufacture surely doesn't help out.
Thanks for hearing this rant, getting old and slow you know! :thumbleft:
 
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